4C Hair Type Guide

4c hair type

Do you know your hair type?

Our hair has been categorized to fall into different types. There are type 2, type 3, and type 4. You've probably heard of these types.

But, these types are further divided into subunits, with the toughest and curliest of them being the 4c hair type. That's why we are here.

This is a guide on the 4c hair type. We'll be explaining what it's about, and how you can care for the type 4c hair.

Have you been in search of a comprehensive guide? Here is one. So, stick around to learn and know the 4c hair.

What Is 4C Hair?

What Is 4C Hair

The 4c hair type falls under the hair typing system of 4. It's often referred to as black kinky and has a coarse, tight, and dense texture. This hair type does not have a single curl pattern. Rather, there is a mix of curls and zigzags in the strands, which makes it hard for some people with this hair type to manage it. So, black women turn to relaxers and perms to give the hair a loose texture.

But with how fragile the 4c hair is, we'll advise against regular treatments like the relaxers. They can cause damage in the long run. While you can do whatever you want with your hair, we know you would love to have healthy hair.

That's why we're offering this guide. This guide should help you know more about the 4c hair type and manage your hair.

Features of the Type 4c Hair

Have you been wondering how to tell if you have a 4c hair type? These unique characteristics listed can guide you on that.

It's easy to have the type 4 hair subcategories mixed. That's because they are similar since they all have tight curls. However, while they are, they are also distinct and require different hair care.

In this case, let's get to know the unique features and specific traits of the 4c hair type. You can protect and care for your hair with them.

Features of the Type 4c Hair

Some of these traits are general to all 4 types of hair.

1. Dry Strands

A unique characteristic of the 4c hair is that it's naturally dry. That makes it easy to break, snap, and become brittle and weak.

But why? Well, it's because the oils on the scalp find it hard to reach the strands due to the inconsistent pattern of the 4c hair type.

2. Tight Natural Curls

Tight Natural Curls

As we've said earlier, the 4c hair has tight curls that are more springy and coily to be precise. They are super tight and dense without any defined curl pattern more in a zig-zag shape. Most times, these coils look frizzy if no proper care is taken.

3. High Shrinkage

High Shrinkage 4c hair

The 4c hair grows horizontally. That means it shrinks most of the time. Since the curls are tighter, the hair can shrink by about 75%. And when wet, it shrinks even more.

Pulling your strands gives you the actual length of your hair. So, do not be surprised if it's twice its former length. This shrinkage also adds to its volume, making it so dense.

4. Volume

Naturally, the 4c hair is quite voluminous since the hair is dense, with inseparable curls.

5. Fragile Strands

While the 4c hair is voluminous and dense, it's fragile, frizzes, and breaks easily. You might have noticed your hair breaks or suffers damage. It means you have a 4c hair type. And it's normal. With the right care, that should reduce significantly.

6. Tangles Easily

The 4c hair is known to tangle and clump together easily, especially when wet. Since it shrinks and has a delicate texture, it becomes more vulnerable to this. Still, there are ways to prevent it from tangling.

Be sure to check the subsequent section if you'd love to see how you can prevent that.

Is 4c Hair High Maintenance?

Is 4c Hair High Maintenance

Of course! Maintaining 4c hair can be an intimidating task. It has always been known to be the most challenging hair to care for and high maintenance. Since it is naturally dry, frizzes, weak, and doesn't love heat-styling tools and chemical products. That's a lot.

So, to achieve hydration and moisture and maintain your type 4c hair, you will need styling products and a few tricks up your sleeves.

One of those tricks is to do protective styles that can last for a long time. It will keep your hair safe from damage. That's a bonus.

Also, you must spend your time washing, detangling, and using the right products for moisture.

We know it requires a lot, but it is worth it.

How Do You Care for 4C Hair?

Surprisingly, the care routine for maintaining a healthy 4c hair type is relatively simple. We'll advise you to start with the essentials as you get to know your hair- a shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner. These products are best friends to those with 4c hair type. Start with them and include other styling products as time goes on.

Now, how do you care for 4c hair? We've mentioned a few times how hard it is for natural oils to get to the strands, making the hair dry.

Let's take you through the various aspects you should not neglect in caring for your hair. These areas should help your hair look healthy.

Washing 4C hair

Washing 4C hair

Since the 4c hair is usually dry, washing your hair every day is a no. If you wash your hair too often, it can dry out. You want your coils to retain all the moisture they can get. So, do this instead- wash your hair once a week.

  • When you wash, divide your hair into sections. That will help you get the products in and detangle properly.
  • Then, take each section and apply products to moisturize your strands and scalp.
  • You can get a detangler brush to wash your hair with.
  • Stay clear of sulfate products. Use natural ingredients-based shampoos and conditioners. Those products will moisturize your hair.
  • Once you've washed all the sections, use lukewarm water to rinse the products properly.

Drying 4C hair

dry 4c hair with cotton towel

Method 1: Drying your hair with regular towels can lead to friction that causes breakage. So, opting for a cotton-based material is preferable. It's more gentle on the 4c hair.

Method 2: Another way is to let your hair air dry. Although it's better, it takes time.

Method 3: If you'd love your curls to remain intact, L'oreal recommends using a cotton T-shirt instead.

Simply put your hair into a ponytail, and wrap your hair with the T-shirt after washing your hair. This method makes your curls more defined and saves your hair from breakage. You can let your hair be about 50% dry before losing it or wait till it dries completely.

Method 4: While you can also use a hair dryer, make sure it's on low heat so it doesn't cause your hair to break. You should check the features of the tool you'll use and be sure it has such features.

Brushing 4C Hair

Brushing 4C Hair

The hair follicles of the 4c hair type are closely together, making it easy to tangle. To prevent constant tangling that leads to hair damage, investing in the necessary brushes is paramount.

  • Get a detangler for when you wash your hair and a wide-tooth comb. They'll save you a lot of stress.
  • You should detangle when your hair is wet to avoid frizziness. 
  • It's okay to brush 2 to 3 times in a week. That's to prevent stressing your hair too much.

Care for Your Scalp

Care for Your Scalp

It's essential to apply nourishing products to your scalp as you would to your strands. It is a must, especially if you wear styles that hold your scalp and hair tightly.

A good serum should work fine. It can help with the tension and also moisturize your roots if they are dry. Simply apply to your scalp for moisture and relief. It should be soothing and calm.

Video On How To Style & Maintain 4c Hair

Leave-in Conditioner

You wouldn't want to miss out on the nourishment your hair can get from a leave-in conditioner. You can lock in the moisture to your curls and detangle easily by using this product.


Don't sleep on this. Water can revive your curls, help you detangle easily, and retain moisture. It does not necessarily have to be washing your hair. You can spray when there's a need. However, when you use water, add oil so your hair will not become dry.

Satin Scarf

Prevent breakage, knots, and split ends by wearing a satin scarf or bonnet whenever you sleep. You can also get a satin pillowcase for further precautions.


You can keep your hair moisturized and nourished by getting a few natural oils. Focus on the ends and apply every two to three days.

Experience the Joy of Achieving the Best 4c Hair Type

Would you love to experience the joy of having healthy 4c hair? Follow this guide. You'll be amazed by how well your natural 4c hair will turn out. It'll become nourished and healthy.

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