4C Hair Guide: How To Identify & Care | Elfin Hair
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4C Hair guide: How to identify 4C hair & How to care for it?

What is 4C hair?

Type 4C hair is under the category of type 4 Hair, one of the most common Afro-textured hair. 4C hair looks very thick, springy, and full. Each strand is full of small springs or tight coils. It is the tightest kinky-coily texture of all Afro hair textures and comes in very tight "o"-shaped patterns, sometimes with tiny "z" shaped kinky patterns up close.
Afro hair types

How do you know if you have 4C hair?

4C hair
As you can see in the picture, 4C hair comes in the tightest, coily, helical patterns. You can examine your hair after it has been wet. If your hair tends to be a very tight "o"-shaped pattern, and even prone to shrinkage when drying, then your hair is probably 4C hair. It seems simple but is often confusing. Cause it is very close to 4A hair or 3C hair in naked eyes.

It can be a formidable task to figure out which hair type you have, even if you're a veteran. Because, commonly, a black woman can have more than one texture in her hair. Sometimes the edges are type 3 hair while the crown is type 4 hair or other hair types. So you don't have to think too much about which hair type you are. 

The point is to maintain your hair in a healthy and strong state, right?

How to care for 4C hair?

Due to 4C hair's tight and thick coily shape, it is prone to shedding and breakage. Too much tension or heat may lead to damage to 4C hair. Therefore, the maintenance of 4C hair requires more patience and skills. Here are some tips for you:

  • Tip 1: Detangle your 4C hair regularly with a wide-tooth comb, especially before diving into the shampoo process. Detangle your 4C hair thoroughly once a week, if you are not in a hurry. Apply some conditioner to your damp 4C hair, and then gently run your fingers through it to remove knots and massage the hair before combing.
  • Tip 2: Use a mild silicone-free and sulfate-free shampoo for your hair cleaning. 
  • Tip 3: Shampoo regularly but not too often. We suggest you wash your hair every one to two weeks if your hair is not so dirty. 
  • Tip 4: Never neglect your scalp while shampooing hair. Only a strong and healthy scalp can grow healthy hair.
  • Tip 5: Wash your hair in small sections. Gently rub and clean your scalp with your finger pulps instead of scratching with your nails.
  • Tip 6: If you are not in a hurry, pre-poo your hair with conditioner or coconut oil before taking a shower is a wise choice to add extra moisture to your hair.
  • Tip 7: Apply a small amount of natural oil, such as coconut oil and avocado oil to the hair tips to seal in moisture and add an extra shine.
  • Tip 8: 4C hair is not a reliable candidate to maintain moisture. So deep condition your 4C hair weekly to seal in the moisture. Apply thick nourishing conditioner to your 4C hair and let it sit for more than 30 minutes. Putting on a heating cap can add a finishing touch to the deep conditioning process! Then the magic happens.
  • Tip 9: Avoid over-styling 4C hair. Heat styling tools or styling products that contain harsh chemicals can damage your fragile 4C hair. If a heat treatment is necessary, spray a heat protectant before styling to protect hair.
  • Tip 10: Wrap your hair in a silk scarf or sleep on a silk pillowcase before heading to bed.
  • Tip 11: Trim the split ends regularly. We suggest trimming your 4C hair every 6-8 weeks.
  • Tip 12: Go for protective styling that requires no heat or glue. Such as two-strand twists, cornrows, Bantu knots, box braids, wigs, faux locs, etc.

4C hair FAQs:

Q: How often should 4C hair be washed?

A: 4C hair is typically prone to dry, so you'd better wash it regularly but not too often to retain the moisture. We suggest you wash your hair every one to two weeks if your hair is not so dirty. 

Q: How long does 4C hair grow in a month?

A: Since 4C hair is very tight and thick coils and is prone to shrinkage, it looks to grow more slowly than straight hair or wavy hair. 4C hair grows about 0.5 inches per month. With proper maintenance of the scalp, 4C hair can grow faster.

Q: How often should 4C hair be trimmed?

A: If your 4C hair has split ends or is damaged in the texture, we suggest trimming your 4C hair every 6-8 weeks. For healthy hair, it doesn't need a trim up for 6-8 months.


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