21 Type 4 Hair Care Routine Tips & Products

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS.
21 Type 4 Hair Care Routine Tips | Whether you have short, medium length, or long hair, knowing which products to use, how to apply them, how often to wash your hair, and what to do between each wash day is key, especially if you have type 4a, 4b, or 4c hair. Commonly referred to as Afro-textured or kinky hair, this hair pattern is the most fragile, with a shrinkage range from 50-90%. If you want to know how to make your type 4 natural curly hair look it's best, this post has all the details!

Type 4 hair, also known as coily, kinky, or Afro-textured hair is considered the densest hair type. It’s crucial to figure out the right products and routine for your hair type to keep it looking and feeling its best. Keep in mind that no type 4 hair routine will be identical as all type 4 hair is different. There are three subtypes of type 4 hair (4a, 4b, and 4c), and it’s possible to have a combination of all three on your head. Pay attention to the health and happiness of your hair and change things up when they’re not working for you. Moisture is key for all type 4 curls and should be the biggest part of your hair routine to keep it healthy. Take a look at our best type 4 hair care routine tips and products!

What Is Type 4 Hair?

Type 4 hair is also called coily hair. It’s considered the densest hair type, and is commonly referred to as Afro-textured or kinky hair. It’s naturally very dry and spongy in texture and can be soft and fine or coarse and wiry. It’s the most fragile of all the hair types because it often consists of fine strands with fewer cuticle layers. Type 4 hair also experiences shrinkage that can range from 50-90%.

4a – Coiled

Type 4a hair has dense, springy S-patterned coils that are similar in circumference to that of a crochet needle. It can also experience 50-60% shrinkage when wet. It retains moisture well, but as with most curly hair types, is still prone to dryness, and dryness can lead to breakage. Frequent manipulation of the hair can also cause breakage in 4a hair. This hair type is usually very dense and lush, meaning the strands are tightly packed together.

4b – Zig Zag

4b hair is made up of densely packed Z-shaped coils and a less definitive curl pattern than 4a hair. Shrinkage often occurs with 4b hair (up to 50-75 %), making the hair appear shorter than it really is. 4b coils are quite tight, making them easy to manipulate. The curl patterns also tend to have sharp angles and it’s usually quite fluffy looking and dry in texture.

4c – Tightly Coiled

4c hair has an extremely tight zig-zag pattern, which can be difficult to see. It’s the most delicate of all hair types and experiences more shrinkage than 4b hair. It’s tightly coiled in its raw state and since it has no defined curl pattern, coils must be defined by styles such as twisting and braiding. The spring factor for type 4c hair is between eight to 16 inches. When 4c hair shrinks, it’s quite fragile and prone to breakage, which can lead to coils getting tangled.

21 Type 4 Hair Care Routine Tips & Products

4a – Coiled

  1. Wash your hair at least once a week with moisturizing shampoo. If you want a refresh between washes, spray your hair with water, then apply a styler like the PATTERN Curl Gel.
  2. Use a clarifying shampoo at least once a month to eliminate product build up.
  3. When washing and conditioning, consider using cold water, which prompts the cuticle to lie flat, locking in moisture.
  4. Scalp health is super important. Wash your scalp every 7 to 10 days with a gentle sulfate free shampoo such as Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Shampoo. Massage it into your scalp with a scalp massager to remove dirt and encourage blood flow to the scalp.
  5. Add an oil such as argan oil to your routine to lock in moisture.
  6. Use a leave-in conditioner to ensure the tips of your hair get the moisture they need.
  7. Sleep on a satin pillowcase or wear a silk bonnet to bed to help your hair retain moisture.

4b – Zig Zag

  1. Wash your hair weekly with a moisturizing shampoo such as Aveda’s Be Curly Shampoo. It contains emollients, which provide a protective barrier that leads to moisturizing, softening and smoothing the hair.
  2. Using rich conditioning creams on wash day can help reduce the amount of shrinkage you experience.
  3. Don’t rely on co-washing as it won’t cleanse your scalp in the way you want. Neglecting to use shampoo as part of your wash day can lead to bacteria growth on your scalp and hair.
  4. Be mindful of overloading your hair with product – a good leave-in product and sealant is the perfect combination.
  5. Apply products to soaking wet hair for the best results.
  6. If your hair is in a protective style, like braids or cornrows, apply a light oil to your scalp once or twice a week for additional moisture.
  7. Give yourself a hot oil treatment every month to seal in moisture.

4c – Tightly Coiled

  1. Shampoo your hair about twice a month. Washing 4c hair too often can strip it of its natural oils, leading to damage. Use a super moisturizing sulfate-free shampoo. Use a clarifying shampoo once a month for excess product buildup.
  2. Wash your hair in sections to minimize breakage. Sectioning ensures hair is being cleansed thoroughly and proper attention is being given to the scalp.
  3. Deep condition your hair every wash day to infuse moisture back into the strands. Deep conditioning is a 15-30 minute process that incorporates heat or steam with a conditioning product.
  4. Practice the LOC method. L stands for ‘leave-in’, then add an oil to seal in the moisture, which you lock in further with a cream. Use a curl cream for this.
  5. Use a conditioning detangler to help soften and protect the hair from breakage during detangling.
  6. Detangle your hair while wet and saturated in product to reduce the risk of damage.
  7. Stay on top of your trims and trim your hair every six to eight weeks to maintain healthy ends and snip off slip ends. This will keep your curls bouncy and defined, and also help retain length.

As long as you have the right tips, tools, and products, keeping your type 4 hair healthy and happy has never been easier!

This post contains affiliate links.

Did you enjoy these type 4 hair care routine tips? We’d love it if you shared this post on Pinterest!

21 Type 4 Hair Care Routine Tips | Whether you have short, medium length, or long hair, knowing which products to use, how to apply them, how often to wash your hair, and what to do between each wash day is key, especially if you have type 4a, 4b, or 4c hair. Commonly referred to as Afro-textured or kinky hair, this hair pattern is the most fragile, with a shrinkage range from 50-90%. If you want to know how to make your type 4 natural curly hair look it's best, this post has all the details!

Looking for more curly hair care routines? Make sure to follow our Hair Board on Pinterest!



Share this post:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest