How To Love And Care For Your 4 C Hair

Disclaimer: People of all shades, colors, ethnicities and backgrounds have 4 C hair. Do not assume because someone is of a lighter complexion they should not have 4 C hair. The beauty of the human experience is the diversity of the human race. This article is to be used as some insight on the care of a special type of hair that when  well cared for is stunning, awe- inspiring and beautiful.

How to care for 4 C Type Textured Hair

If hair is a woman’s crown and glory, then 4 C hair also known as Afro-textured hair is the most glorious of them all. It’s beautiful but fragile. It can be high maintenance depending on how course it is. The healthier 4 C hair is the stronger and more resilient it is.

“Each strand of this hair type grows in a tiny, angle-like helix shape. The overall effect is such that compared to straight, wavy or curly hair, afro-textured hair appears denser.”(Loussouarn, 2001). 4 C hair is curly and can range in denseness, thickness, and length.

Have a Moisturizing Routine

4 C hair needs to be kept moist because when it is dry, it can be more prone to breakage. When this type of hair is healthy and moisturized it is more manageable than when it is dry. Unnourished 4 C hair is dry and can be brittle and hard to groom. If you find that your hair is rough and dry it may mean you need to add more moisture to your hair maintenance.

Leave in conditioners

Leave in conditioners are super great to use on 4 C hair. A good leave in conditioner should be light enough to be used often without causing a noticeable build up of product between shampooing. An example of a good leave in conditioner for 4 C hair is, “Luster’s Pink Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion”.

I have included a link for more information that is online:

Products that infuse moisture and or oil, should be used when styling afro- textured hair.. Depending on the style you may want to coat the scalp with a light to heavy oil or pomade. Freshly washed then lightly oiled 4 C hair is particularly striking to the eye, especially when in the sun.

Coating your scalp with oil or pomade helps with dryness of the scalp and has the added effect of also softening the hair. You can achieve this effect by using your fingers to spread the pomade or oil throughout the hair after the coating of the scalp is achieved.

There are a lot of oils and pomades that work well with the afro- textured hair. Lighter oils or hair pomades will not make the hair heavy. Heavier pomades can be used with water to soften and smooth 4 C hair into ponytails or pulled back styles.

If the hair is natural and unprocessed the use of pomade will not take away from the curl pattern or thickness of the hair. But if you use a thick pomade and then tie the hair down with a wave cap for short hair and scarves for long hair, you can maintain a certain pattern in the hair.

Examples of the correct way to use heavy pomade to style 4 C hair

Short hair

If you have a fade and have your hair cut extremely close to the scalp, you can use a heavy pomade to lay the hair down and show a wavy pattern in the hair. Use a brush to lay the hair in the direction you want it to go then tie the hair down with a wave cap.

Also helpful for fades with longer hair or afros left at the top, you can use oil sheen to care for the top. Oil sheen brings shine to 4C hair. Oil Sheen can also contain vitamins and essential oils that will help to nourish dry afro-textured hair.

Longer hair

If you have longer hair you can wear your hair pulled back or in a ponytail, you can use heavy pomade to guide the hair into a slicked back style or into a pony tail holder. Comb then brush the hair in the direction you want it to go then tie the hair down with a scarf.

Silk scarves are great to use on 4 C hair. If you use a wave cap or scarf make sure you tie the device tight enough to lay the hair down, but not tight enough to hurt your head.

Edge control can also be used to style afro-textured hair. It is especially useful for slicking back hair or sliding it into ponytail holders. It can also be used to smooth down 4 C hair and sculpt it as well.

Unlike pomade which is oil based, some edge control can be problematic when used in 4 C hair. Make sure you wash edge control completely out of your hair each time you shampoo your hair. There are some edge control products that can be used sparingly and are not as drying to the hair.

Have a Shampooing Routine

Because you want to keep moisture in, if you have afro-textured hair you should not wash it frequently. Depending on your hairstyle or the level of cleanliness of your hair you can wash 4 C hair three times a week, weekly, bi- monthly or monthly as appropriate.

Keep whatever schedule is acceptable and within reason. It does not have to be a hair washing day that you have scheduled. If hair becomes dirty, it should be washed.

It’s just important to remember 4C hair is temperamental and prone to drying out. This makes limiting shampooing necessary to maintain a good balance of oil in the hair.  Hairstyle plays a part in this as well.


Shampoos should be leaning more towards the oily side. You can also use shampoos that keep the balance of oil in the hair naturally. A good shampoo for 4C hair should cleanse the hair without stripping the hair of all its natural oils.

Do not forget to use a good conditioner. Make sure the conditioners you use have a high vitamin and oil content and use it each time you shampoo your hair.

Growing out 4 C or afro -textured hair?

Because 4 C hair is fragile it can be sometimes be hard to maintain length. You should treat it with care and invest in good products. Use styling tools made specifically for afro- centric hairstyling such as wide tooth combs.

In the end what are some things to avoid when trying to grow 4 C hair:

Over shampooing, pulling hair into tight hairstyles, excessive heat, chemical use, bleaching, coloring, perms, relaxers

In the end what are some things to do routinely when trying to grow 4 C hair:

Cut split ends, condition, groom for loose hair, massage scalp, use care and treat hair delicately.

Here is a product that can help with growing out 4 C hair:

Start early with the 4 C hair love. There are a number of women, men and children who dislike their hair.  One of the reasons often stated is that it is a difficult texture of hair to care for. It helps to find resources about the hair texture and to use products that help impart moisture into the hair.

If you teach young people that all hair textures are beautiful then the dislike of a certain hair texture will cease.

Remember to tell little girls with 4 C hair how special they are and even though their hair may need different care than the mainstream, their hair makes them unique and beautiful. Show your 4 C hair some love!

What are your thoughts?

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Loussouarn G (August 2001). “African hair growth parameters”. Br. J. Dermatol. 145(2): 294–7. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2133.2001.04350.xPMID 11531795.

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