4B Hair Type Guide

4B Hair Type Guide

Understanding your hair type is important for taking care of your hair, especially if you are a black girl with type 4 hair. The hair typing system helps people choose the right products and routines for their hair. If your curls are a mix of textures and not very defined, you might have 4B hair. Whether you're new to understanding hair types or have experience with curly hair, we're here to help. Let's make it easier and simpler!

What Is 4B Hair?

what is 4b hair

4B hair type is a special kind of curly hair with tight curls that look like the letter Z. These curls are close together, giving a cool appearance. But because of the sharp angles, you need to be gentle with it to avoid breakage. When 4B hair dries, it can shrink a lot, losing up to 70% of its length. This quality makes styling quite difficult. 

Furthermore, 4B hair frequently feels fluffy and dry, meaning it requires a lot of dampness to keep healthy. It's important to note that individuals with 4B hair might have other curl patterns, like 4A or 4C, in different parts of their scalp.

4A VS 4B VS 4C Hair, What's the Difference?

4a vs 4b vs 4c hair

All these three curly hair types belong to Type 4 hair, so we can easily identify the difference from the curl patterns. Here are the details:

4A hair: Has loosely packed well-defined "S" shaped spirals curls.

4b hair: Has smaller and less defined compared to 4a curls, with the tight-packed zig-zag curl pattern.

4c hair: This is the most tightly curly hair type, it's hard to find the defined curls, and easy to break.

How To Care For Type 4B Hair?

Understanding how to take care of your 4B hair type is the first step to having healthier and more beautiful curls. Here are a few tips to help you get started with a haircare routine.

How To Care For Type 4B Hair

1. Use the LOC Method First

To take care of your frizzy 4b hair, you can try the LOC method. It's easy and helpful. LOC stands for leave-in, oil, and cream. 

  • First, apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair to make it hydrated. 
  • Then, add some oil to lock in the moisture. 
  • Finally, use a styling cream to make your hair smooth and free from frizz.
This method will make your hair ready for styling and keep it looking good.

2. Minimize the Amount of Wash Days

If you have 4B hair, it's best not to wash it too often. Washing once every two weeks is a good rule of thumb. Since every 4B hair is unique, you might need to adjust based on how your hair feels. 

When you do wash, use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners. If your hair feels oily or your scalp is uncomfortable, that's a good time to shampoo. After washing, use a conditioner and apply a good oil to keep your hair moisturized. 

3. Perform Your Curls by Air Drying Only

To keep your 4B curly hair healthy, it's best to let it air dry instead of using a blow dryer. Blow drying can make your hair more likely to break and become dry. 

If you need to use a blow dryer, make sure to use a diffusion spreader. This will shield your curls from damage and help prevent frizz in your hair. So, remember to let your hair dry naturally and only use a diffuser-equipped blow dryer if necessary.

4. Pay Attention to Moisture

The shape of 4B hair makes it hard for natural oils to cover all of it, which is why it can lack moisture. So, it's critical to moisturize it to avoid breakage. 

Using hair oil on your hair once a month is one method to do this. This helps in retaining moisture. Moreover, apply a mild lotion that keeps your hair moisturized daily. Remember to use a sealer on wet hair for the best results.

5. Use Your Fingers to Detangle Your Hair

Instead of using a brush or comb, it's better to detangle your 4B hair with your fingers. This helps prevent damage. Remember to detangle your hair when it's wet, not when it's dry, as wet hair is easier to detangle and reduces the risk of breakage.

Exploring the Best Styles for 4B Natural Hair

Protective styles are a fantastic choice for 4B hair, as they help to minimize damage and promote hair growth. Here are some of the best styles for your hair type.

1. Classic Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a beautiful hairstyle that can protect and help your 4B hair grow. They are also easy to take care of.

bantu knot

To create Bantu knots, start by partitioning your hair into portions. Make sure the parts are about the same size to keep the look uniform.

You can get creative with how you part your hair to make interesting shapes. Take each segment and give it a firm twist.

Next, form the knot shape by wrapping the twist around itself.

Related Read: Bantu Knots: Everything you need to know

2. Pineapple Hairstyle

For curly 4B hair types that may be worn outside the house, the "pineapple" is a popular haircut.

Pineapple Hairstyle

To get this look, you'll need a medium-hold curling gel, a brush, and an elastic hair pick. Use the hair pick to comb through your hair from your scalp and build volume.

Apply a generous amount of styling cream to your edges, paying particular attention to the rear of your head. Bunch all of your waves at the top of your head, near your hairline, and secure them with an elastic band. This will create a cute and protective bun-like style.

3. Messy Bun

Messy buns are a great hairstyle for 4B hair because they help keep your hair hydrated. It's not good to wash your hair too often, so messy buns are a perfect solution.

Messy Bun

This hairstyle is versatile and can be worn from the gym to a night out with friends. If your hair looks a little messy, you can wrap a scarf around the base of your bun to make it look stylish. This gives your messy bun a stylish flair.

4. Stylish Box Braid Bob

Box braids are a cool hairstyle for 4B hair that can protect it from damage. Box braid bobs are especially popular right now, so if you've been considering it, go for it! This style is trendy.

Box Braid Bob

Box braids involve dividing your hair into small segments and braiding them from the root to the ends. The braids can be any length you like, but bob length is currently very popular. It's a great way to switch up your look while keeping your 4B hair healthy and stylish.

5. Voluminous Updo

For 4B hair, the puff updo is a classic hairstyle that brings out the natural texture of your hair. When you want a simple choice between wash days and do not feel like creating a protective style, this is the ideal item to wear.

Voluminous Updo

To achieve this style, gather your hair at the top of your head and secure it with a hair tie or a scrunchie. This highlights your lovely coils with a puffy, voluminous effect.

Final Thoughts

Taking care of your 4B hair type is all about understanding and appreciating its unique qualities. By following a routine, you can keep your hair healthy and make it look beautiful. One important tip is to keep your hair moisturized by ensuring it has enough moisture or water. 

You can also try different hairstyles that protect your hair. These simple tips, explained in this guide, can make a big difference in how your curls look and feel. Stay tuned for more helpful articles on how to take care of your hair!

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