Do you know that our hair is not all the same? Indeed, you may have heard of 4c natural hair afro, and read articles about how to care for 4c hair type. However, do you really understand What is 4c natural hair?, and whether your hair is truly 4c? Don’t worry, this article will help you answer all these questions.
What is 4c natural hair type
Depending on the texture, the feel and the look of your hair, it can be divided into a number of types. Determining your hair type is necessary if you want to better care for your hair, especially if your hair is 4c hair type.
How many hair types are there?
In total, there are 4 types of hair: type 1, type 2, type 3 and type 4. The type numbers are subjectively ordered following how curl your hair is, which means hair type 1 is naturally straight and has no curls, while hair type 4 is tightly curled and really coily.
It’s not difficult for Afro women to determine their hair type, as almost all of them is type 4. Though may look coarse, African hair is super kinky and fine, with each hair strand has a zigzag-like pattern. Its delicate, wiry nature makes this hair type more fragile and prone to break than others.
In particular, type 4 hair is divided into 3 smaller types, which are: 4a, 4b and 4c. What is 4c natural hair? What about type 4a and 4b? Well, let’s take a closer look at each type to exactly find out which one among is your hair type!
Type 4a hair definition
It is easy to determine if your hair is type 4a or not. Having 4a hair type means your hair is naturally coily with clearly defined curls. In order to define type 4a hair, you can take several strands and see if they are S-shaped when stretched or not. If yes, then your hair is definitely type 4a.
4a hair type often has 2 textures: wiry or fine. Like other type 4’s hair, 4a hair has great dryness. However, this hair type generally has greater capacity to keep moisture than others. Besides, with high density of hair strands, people with 4a hair type often look like having coarser and darker hair.
What is 4b hair type?
Apart from type 4a hair with S-shaped strands and coarse look, 4b hair type tends to look fluffy. Because of its natural sharp bends, 4b hair has z-like strands instead of defined curls. When touching a 4b hair, you mostly feel wiry, and yes, the hair is tightly coiled.
As said above, type 4b hair naturally owns sharp bends, which is the reason why this hair type is prone to break and damage. These hair structures make 4b hair look shorter than it actually does, as 4b hair strands shrinkage can be up to 70% of its real length.
4c hair type – What does 4c hair type look like?
What is a 4c natural hair? Well, 4c hair looks quite similar to type 4b hair with a lot of zig-zaggy curls. However, woman of type 4c would see that their hair is more tightly coiled. Also, 4c hair type tends to look much shorter than other hair types as its shrinkage is greater than 70%.
Type 4c hair is the most kinky hair of all types. Therefore, it is also the most fragile, easily breakable hair type. People with 4c hair type often could not easily clump their hair into a bunch, and this hair type also requires deeper care with special products.
How to care for 4c hair type?
As defined above, 4c natural hair afro is the most delicate hair type, which requires us to go far more miles when taking care of it. There are 3 gold rules you must not forget if you want to maintain healthy hair:
Rule 1: Stick to the moisture
Oxygen is the unmissable element for our lives, so does the moisture to 4c hair type. Because of its thickly coiled pattern, 4c natural hair afro dries out so quickly. The curls prevent natural oils from scalp from running down, leaving your hair ends thirsty for moisture.
One of the greatest ways to keep your hair’s moisture always is regular deep conditioning. You should do it once or twice a week with hair masks or natural oils like coconut, olive oil or shea butter, etc.
Besides, to help your hair absorb the moisture to the greatest extent, try to
follow the LOC order of moisturizing: Liquid > Oil > Cream. You can start off with water, then gently apply olive or coconut oil onto your hair to have the moisture locked. Finally, mask it with a leave-in conditioner for fully hydrated hair.
Rule 2: Be gentle
Naturally kinky and dry, type 4c hair gets tangled and knotted easily, which is really frustrating and difficult to get rid of. Still, you should detangle your hair gently with a wide-tooth brush or your fingers to avoid breaking or losing dozens of strands. Also, don’t forget to start from the ends.
Besides, your hair often loses a lot of oil and moisture because of its friction with pillows every night you sleep. Therefore, it is advisable for people with 4c hair type to wear hair bonnets around or loosely tie your hair into a ponytail before going to bed.
Rule 3: Avoid too many products
Though 4c natural hair afro is super dry and delicate, putting too many products onto it is really a bad idea. Thousands layers of defining cream or leave-in conditioners can do more harm than good. Instead, just stick on one or two products that really works for you; take regular care rather than “layering” care.
Additionally, people with 4c hair type would better co-wash their hair regularly. Since shampoos tend to wash natural oils out from your hair, 4c hair would end up drier and drier than it originally had been. Limit your shampoo usage to once or twice a month, and try to co-wash your hair instead.
4c hair type may require more effort to maintain its beauty, yet it will worth if you pay enough time and care for it. Hope that through this article you have gained full, thorough knowledge about what is 4c natural hair is and how to take care of it. If you still have any questions about it, don’t forget to leave comments here to let us know.
I am Thomas Taw, the CEO of CITIZENSNIPS. I have experience in hair product development and chemical research, as well as sustainable resource engineering. In 2009, I co-created Sunsilk, one of the world's leading haircare brands. More recently, I was the CEO of SMOKINGPANDA LTD. I am a professional with a strong track record in delivering tangible results.