4C Hair Type Guide: Best Care For Your Coily and Kinky Hair

Hair is the second-fastest-growing tissue in the human body; however, hair management remains a thorny issue. Many hair products have littered the market in an attempt to make hair management smooth. The overuse of hair products has led to the degradation of hair; however, knowledge of hair properties can help you get suitable products and develop a good hair care regimen.

Hair properties greatly rely on how well the hair curls under natural conditions. Hair curls depend on natural properties and the genetic makeup of the person and are thus immutable. There are four main types of hair classified on how the hair can curl: 1,2,3, and 4.

Depending on the hair you have, it will always have a variation in thickness, coarseness, and the amount of curl. The four types of hair are divided into three distinct categories A, B, and C.

You can, for example, have kinky hair as 4A, 4b, and 4C, with the “C” hair type being the kinkiest. The closer you understand your hair type, the better you can choose the right products for it and have more vibrant, shining, and moisturized hair.

What is 4C hair?

4c hair

Type 4 hair is a hair type that is prevalent in black people. It encompasses all the kinky types of hair. The hair type is the most curled of all hair; it is often called Afro hair. 4C hair has the most compact hair curls of all hair patterns. It forms a zigzag pattern that is almost unrecognizable by the human eye.

Hair strands are tight, spring, and often form ringlets. The hair is clumpy, especially at the ends, which results in the hair shrinking. 4C hair is voluminous, but it can lose up to 75% of its length or volume due to its shrinkage.

The hair has a very similar texture to 4B and was not initially categorized by Andre Walker in the hair type system due to its similarity. The main distinction in the hair pattern is that it is tightly coiled and more fragile.

How to Determine Your Hair Type

Knowing your hair type can open lots of doors to vibrant, healthy, and beautiful hair. Identifying hair is often difficult, with lots of confusing long articles that leave you more confused than you began.

Hair type is determined by the shape of your hair follicles. The flatter or more oval-shaped hair follicles are, the curlier your hair will be, while the more circular the cross-section, the straighten your hair type.

The curl type is not all you have to look at to acknowledge your hair type fully; you also must look at the shape of the individual hair strands. You will be able to note whether they kink, wind or curve. The best time to check your curl pattern is when your hair is sopping wet.

It is also worth noting that the hair type on the head may not be uniform, especially for people with textured hair. You can have a combination of kinky, wavy, or curl; in such a case, the most dominant hair type is regarded as your hair type. The A, B, and C classification is based on the diameter of each curl, wave, or coil pattern.

But why should you know your hair type and curl pattern? Well, the sweetest thing about classifying your hair patterns is that you can understand how to take care of your hair texture and get more versatility.

There are many misconceptions online on what 4c hair is and is not, and one misconception is that all black people have hair type 4C, so let us examine how you can determine the pattern in both men and women.

For Men

men with 4c hair

Men have the same hair texture patterns and texture as women, and the hair falls in one of the 12 major categories. Type 4 hair encompasses all kinky or afro hair types. The hair is often associated with blacks, and it is likely you have this hair but not definite if you are black.

4C hair is the most coiled hair pattern due to the round hair follicles the hair possesses. 4C has kinked hair curls; it is compact and can decrease to even a quarter its size. The hair strands form a zigzag pattern that can be noticed on a keen look.

Each hair strand has tight and springy ringlets. You should expect the hair in 4C to clump together, which makes it reduce its volume or length. The hair strands have a small diameter, making it weak and fragile as it has less cuticle than all hair types. It is often dry as it has less sebum, and the hair is coiled, which makes the air less likely to reach the roots.

For Women

There is little difference in the hair pattern between men and women. It is easier to determine that 4C has kinked hair curls compact and often decreases in volume. The hair patterns form a zigzag shape at a closer look. You can fully confirm that your hair is 4C if it forms tight and springy ringlets. 

Several ladies with beautiful 4C hair often embrace natural looks due to the beauty of the hairstyle. The most popular Hollywood celebrity with 4C hair is Lupita Nyong’o. She uses the right kind of products, and her hair has a natural shine; if your hair resembles hers, you have 4C hair.

Best Products for 4C

hair products

There are tons of hair products out there; however, not all hair products are suitable for your hair. You will often encounter false advertisements on hair products, with some claiming to be good for your hair, but the product ends up leading to hair loss of your fragile 4C hair. At times the lack of the actual curl pattern can be due to bad hair practices that can lead to poor-looking hair.

4C hair needs a product that can help restore its shine as the natural hair oil does not reach its tips. The hair is tender and needs a product that can boost its strength. Those with 4C hair must put a lot of care into hair and have the right product to reach natural beauty and reinforce strength.

It is wise to wash it less regularly to reduce drying. You should use sulfate-free shampoos for softer bouncier, and more manageable hair. You need oil products toned towards 4C hair that are neither lead to greasy hair nor hair drying. You will also need good hair conditioners and styling gels. Here are the best products you can use for your hair 4C hair.

Black Jamaican Oil and Styling Gel 

You should use styling gel hair against hot and humid temperatures by holding it in place. A good styling gel helps to keep hair from getting frizzes and hence a more rejuvenated look as this hair type is prone to frizzing in humid and warm temperatures. Castor oil in the gel is a natural humectant that helps keep hair moisturized.

The moisturizing properties of castor oil seed transfer from the hair to the scalp keeping hair healthy. It does not have a scent making it a good choice for those who want to have allergies to scented oils. It helps to promote natural hair growth with natural hold. Using it leaves hair smooth and shiny.

You can guarantee the best result by using the styling gel after shampooing. Just put a small dab on the fingertips, rub your hand to coat the hair evenly, and apply it to your hair. Style your hair as you desire.


  • It helps to eliminate tangles.
  • Suitable for humid temperatures
  • It does not have a scent.
  • It is natural.


  • Castor oil can cause mild irritation with the skin.

TRESemmé, Curl Hydrate, Leave-In Curl Cream

Leave in Curl Creme

TRESemmé is a leave-in conditioner that provides optimal hydration by targeting the driest section of your hair. It helps to moisturize delicate 4C hair, where moisturization is needed to keep a good hair profile. It is ideally designed for kinky 4c and 4b hair with advanced hydration technology and fortified with vitamin B1.

Regular use of the leave-in conditioner can help detangle hair and tame frizzies. The conditioner helps manage your strands, leaving them ready for styling. The conditioner keeps your hair refreshed and shining all the time.


  • Necessary for Moisturization, Straightening & Smoothening, Deep Conditioning, Daily Care, Frizz Control
  • Designed for zigzag 4C hair.
  • Detangles hair.


  • It is not suitable for those who do not need to flatten curls.

Pura D’or, Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo

pura d or

4C hair requires less cleansing and shampooing; it is recommended that one shampoo the hair twice a month. You can also co-wash the hair in between shampooing. This hair requires an excellent sulfate-free shampoo for softer and bouncier hair. Pura D’or, Anti-Hair Thinning Shampoo is a gentle light sulfate-free cleanser proven to reduce hair thinning.

The shampoo also doubles as a conditioner and contains Biotin and Argan Oil that help soften, strengthen hair while calming and promoting a healthy scalp. The shampoo is nutrient-rich and helps to hydrate dry hair and rejuvenate dull, lifeless strands for healthy-looking hair. It is easy to use in three simple steps: Apply the shampoo in the hair and let it stay for thirty seconds before rinsing and applying a leave-in conditioner.


  • Deeply cleanses hair.
  • It removes oils, dirt, and product build-up.
  • Reduces hair thinning.
  • It has many natural ingredients.


  • Overuse of this and many other shampoos can lead to dry and brittle hair.

Camille Rose Algae Renew Deep Conditioner

Deep Conditioning Mask

4C hair is loose, dry, brittle, and prone to frizzing, especially in moist and warm conditions. You can reduce or outrightly eliminate frizzing by deep conditioning hair weekly or bi-weekly after shampooing. A good deep conditioner can help improve elasticity, and create an improved overall look, feel, and texture of 4C hair. 

Camille Rose Algae Renew Deep Conditioner is designed to replenish hair and restore beauty from overprocessing, damage, and dryness. It contains over 65 vitamins, and Biotin extracted from algae is paired with cocoa and mango butter to stimulate growth and promote soft, manageable hair. It can help prevent and reduce thinning in 4C hair.


  • It protects the hair shaft.
  • It helps nourish hair through natural oils.
  • It strengthens hair and reduces thinning.


  • You often require lots of the product to see results.
  • It contains BPA.

Best Hairstyles for 4C hair

There is no limit to the number of hairstyles one can have with 4C hair. There are also plenty of hairstyles that men and women can have that resonate with 4C hair texture. It is easy to style this hairstyle, make it flatten and even curl it. It is possible to have any kind of style under the sun since 4c hair is quite malleable.

For Men

hairstyle for 4c hair

Only the sky’s the limit for hairstyle and haircut for this kinked hair type. The hair type is malleable and can be styled to any form of choice and still look incredible. It is up to you to decide what you think will work for you as you keep a regular regimen for your fragile 4C hair.

There is no argument that 4C hair has the widest and most funky of all hairstyles. Here are my top ten picks. The best part is you are never restricted to a single style; you can keep changing repeatedly. Try a mix of the following styles for better results.

  • Natural Afro
  • Relaxed Afro
  • Long Plaited Dreadlocks
  • Short Natural Curls with Fade
  • Sculpted Afro
  • Relaxed Afro
  • Dramatic Dreads with Fade
  • Short Flat Top with Buzzed Sides
  • Flat Top with Fade
  • Natural, Loose Curls

For Women

hairstyle for 4c hair

If you have got 4c hair, then you have got style for it. One of the most common styles that women with 4C hair love are cornrows and braids; however, the options are endless if you know how to spruce up your look. There are always trendy styles for 4c hair each season. All you must make sure is that the style is comfortable and does not lead to losing your hair. Here are the best hairstyles this year:

  • Tapered Tendrils
  • Puffball Ponytail
  • The TWA
  • A Braid Out
  • Bantu Knot Out
  • Pompadour
  • The Frohawk
  • Space Buns
  • Buzz Cut
  • Bantu Knots

How to Care for 4C hair

4c hair is parched, fragile, and hard to maintain due to breakages and tangling. Most people’s goals in maintaining 4C hair are increasing its length, increasing its shine, and boosting its strength.

4C hair is fine in texture but often lacking in oil as it is hard for oil to flow from the root to the tip due to its irregular shape. Here are some tips to help you keep the natural 4C hair for a long time.

  • The most important thing when working with 4C hair is to keep it moisturized. You can maintain its moisture by first having a good diet that helps strengthen hair with food and natural products full of humectants like castor oil.
  • Shampoo hair and wash it only twice a month to keep it hydrated to reduce drying and cutting your hair.
  • After two weeks, deep condition hair enables the deep conditioner to reach the section that regular conditioners cannot get.
  • Wash for 4C hair in sections for easy management and to reduce tangling.
  • Avoid using too many products; some may lead to breakage.
  • You should Pre-poo hair before shampooing to reduce tangling.
  • Only use sulfate-free shampoo.


Question: Is gel bad for 4C hair?

Answer: Styling gel contains alcohol that reacts with oil in 4c hair; it often lifts the oil from the hair and leads to drying. Dry kinked hair is more prone to breakage. While hair breakage does not stunt hair growth, it makes your hair growth journey come to a standstill. The best way to use gel, therefore, is to use it sparingly.

Question: Is it okay to put Styling gel in 4C hair every day?

Answer: The gel can impact hair growth and lead to hair loss. The use of hair gel does not cause hair loss; you can use styling gel for an extended period without any side-effects. You must use gel responsibly by washing your hair and scalp regularly and ensuring you never sleep with gel in your hair.

Question: How often should you wash 4C hair?

Answer: 4c hair is vulnerable to drying, and a daily wash can lead to dry hair, which breaks easily. It is therefore wise to sulfate-free shampoo hair weekly or after every two weeks. You should use a powerful shampoo that is gentle on your hair but remove any dirt in your hair.

Question: How do I make 4C hair curly?

Answer: It is possible to curl your 4C hair by doing any or a combination of the following actions:
– Moisturize to define 4C Curls. 
– Use the Maximum Hydration Method.
– Use the Shingling method for super-defined curls.
– Braid and Curl Method.
– Define 4C Curls using the Twist Out Method.
– Flexi Rods for Curl definition.
– Use Straw Sets to define 4C Curls.


4c hair type is unique, beautiful, and adorable. It is possible to maintain the best 4C locks by ensuring the hair is adequately moisturized and protected from breakages and drying. A well-maintained 4C hair can result in beautifully long and well-nourished hair.

The best regimen to keep4C hair moisturized is to use the oil regularly and regularly moisturize with conditioners to keep frizzes at bay. Carefully select products that go into sensitive hair, and you will enjoy beautiful results. If 4C hair is well maintained, it creates beauty and helps keep a good positive image.

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