Hair type is one thing a lot of us do not know about, we know African hair is different from American or Indian hair, but we do not know these hair types have been grouped and their labels can easily identify them.
Type 4 hair is the hair type of the black woman (African). It ranges from 4A to 4C. The type 4 hair is coarse and fine with thick strands. Our focus for today isn’t all of the type 4 hair but the type 4C.
The type of 4C hair is tightly coiled, it has no known curl pattern. It is the most fragile amongst the type 4 family and this leads to experiencing more breakage from people. It is prone to dryness and it shrinks a lot, hence it requires more care. However, there are people with the 4C hair type who have curls, this is normal and can be determined by a lot of things, like their genetics.
(Note: some people have two hair types too)
The type 4C hair can range from soft, to fine, coarse, or thin. There are misconceptions that this type of hair doesn’t grow, however, this isn’t true. Because it is different from every other hair and like every other hair, you only need to understand this type of hair to know how to care for it. Also, due to its shrinkage, you may think it is not growing because it has gone lesser than its actual length.
It is said to be the kinkiest of the type 4 hair family.
Protecting the type 4C hair from breakage can be done by making protective hairstyles like braids, twists, buns.
Knowing how to care for your hair type will help you see the significant change you desire.
How often should you wash the type 4C hair?
For type 4C hair, there needs to be a balance between washing the hair too often and less washing.
Washing the hair too often will strip the hair of its natural nutrients and oil that it needs to grow, and this will lead to breakage and split ends.
Less washing of the hair will make it dirty, less attractive, and smelly and this is not the result we want for our hair.
So how do we get the balance that the hair needs? We’ll be putting it into stages;
- Deep conditioning.
Shampooing is washing the hair with shampoo to cleanse the hair and take away the dirt in it. However, for type 4C hair, although shampoo cleanses the hair, it also rid it of its natural nutrients and oil. Because of the nature of the hair and it’s quickness to dry out, washing the hair often with shampoo will damage it and cause breakage. Hence it is advisable to wash the hair with shampoo once or twice in 4 weeks.
If you feel your hair is dirty and you need to wash it, there is an alternative to shampooing which is co-washing.
Co-washing is the washing of the hair without the use of shampoo. Co-washing doesn’t dry out the hair, it keeps the moisture in and allows the natural oil cleanse, nourish and hydrate the hair and scalp. co-washing leaves the hair smoother, softer, and shiny. Because of the natural dryness that kinky hair has, co-washing is the perfect alternative to shampooing the hair.
Note: there is still the need to shampoo the hair once or twice a month, co-washing is just an alternative to keep your hair clean a bit without completely drying it out.
Deep conditioning should be done once in two weeks. The 4C hair doesn’t retain moisture and dries out fast, this means that the hair needs to be moisturized as often as possible. Deep conditioning keeps the moisture locked in.
The 4C type of hair is very unique in the looks and the care, there may be a lot of misconception going around about it, but first, knowing your hair type and taking proper care of it will give you the desired outcome and make you fall in love with it over and over again.