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Hair health and science

How to Care for This Coily Hair Type

4 minutes

As the tightest of all type 4 locks, 4C hair can be a challenge to manage. This hair type is notoriously fragile, especially when chemical treatments and heat styling tools are involved. But many, like you, have chosen to embrace their natural hair by finding new ways to style their 4C locks without causing damage. 

Want to know how to rock your 4C hair? We got you! Here are the best ways to care for your natural hair. 

What is 4C hair? 

It's got tons of personality, and lots of texture and character. 4C hair can be a bit unpredictable at times though. Depending on its density and porosity, it's often extremely fragile and prone to dryness.  

Just keep a few of its defining characteristics in mind: 

  • 4C hair doesn't retain moisture easily 

  • Hair shrinkage is real – up to 75%! 

  • Handle with care: it's delicate and can break easily 

  • 4C hair is prone to tangles, especially if you're not careful with it 

Coily hair is a spectrum including the following hair types: 

Type 4A: Springy, small, and dense coils, with strands forming an S-shape 

Type 4B: Even denser, strands are at sharp angles and form Z-shapes. 

Type 4C: Close to 4B but levelled up to be more tightly coiled – and more fragile. 

How to care for 4C hair? 

1. Hair’s unique needs 

Your 4C hair may be very different from another person's 4C hair. You might even have 2c hair in some spots and 4c in others. That's why knowing what your hair needs and how it responds to products and the environment is so important.

2. Which 'poo for your 'do? 

The most important thing to look for when buying shampoo for your locks is its pH level. A high pH can dry your hair out while a low pH can weigh it down. Find that sweet spot!

3. Keep it quenched 

Moisturising and hydrating are a year-round job! With 4C hair, you’ll need to moisturise each time you wash your hair.

4. Style easy, not extra 

Don't overload your hair with products, and don't touch it too much. Over-styling leads to build-up and breakage: 2 things you don't want.

5. Snip snip 

If you don't take care of your split ends, they can spread all the way to the hair shaft, resulting in a big mess. Trim regularly. It's easier to manage than waiting for your hair to fall out. 

Hairstyles for 4C hair 

Want to switch up your ‘do? We’ve rounded up some easy natural hairstyles for 4C hair that you can recreate. 

Updo with a scarf 

Pull your hair into a high ponytail towards the front of your head. Next, wrap your scarf around the base of your head, tying it and leaving your ponytail out. 

High puff 

If you have long hair, here's a super simple way to make it look chic. Slick your hair into a high ponytail and secure it with a hair tie. Then tease the ponytail for an extra boost of volume. 

Bantu knots 

If you're looking for an edgy and fun look, try this one-two-punch of styles. Part your hair into small sections, spritz lightly with water and twist each one into a tight bun. 

Stitch braids 

Short, four-strand braids are a great way to spice up your locks. This stitch braid variation is one of our favourites. 

Crown braid 

Braid your hair down the centre or side of your head to create a royal twist on an old classic. You can also braid the back of your hair as well, but one cute way to wear this style is with the rest of your hair in a twist-out or a wash-and-go. 

Appreciate the beauty of 4C hair 

If you're blessed with 4C hair, count your lucky stars! You've got one of the most versatile textures out there. You can wear flat twists, plaits, looser curls, or keep it coily – and every style in between. Plus, your hair is very easy to maintain with the right products and techniques. Why listen to anyone else when you know how gorgeous your 'fro really is? 

Our quiz will help you choose the best products for your type 4c hair - take it now and let your hair’s natural beauty flourish!

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