4C hair is beautiful and easy to care for as long as you know how to properly clean, moisturize, and maintain it. The best advice you can get on maintaining 4c hair is from women who have plenty of experience with it. Although everyone’s hair is unique, watching others’ trials can reduce the stress of finding what works for you. So we reached out to community favorites, 4c vloggers Lulu, Kriss, Jessica, and Jenn to share their hair care do’s and don’ts that have been successes and failures of their regimens.
- Follow the directions on your products. The idea of deep conditioning overnight sounds great, but it really doesn’t do much for your hair.
- Work your product into your hair to make it easier to detangle and give it extra stretch before styling.
- Don’t wash hair that hasn’t been detangled. Semi-stretched knotted hair is bad enough as it is. Try removing the knots from perfectly shrunken kinks.
- Don’t comb dry or soaking wet hair. Lightly moisturize or spritz to make it pliable. Fingerdetangle each time that you can get away with it.
- Use moisturizing products. 4C hair is usually very dry naturally, so using anything harsh won’t be beneficial when it comes to retaining moisture.
- Cleanse your scalp thoroughly. 4C hair is known for having lots of shrinkage. As soon as water hits the tightly coiled strands, up it goes! Be sure your products/fingers are reaching your scalp to properly cleanse away dirt and product buildup. A good tool to try is the Vanity Planet Scalp Massaging Shampoo Brush. It works great on wash days.
- Don’t pile your coils on top of your head and rub products on your hair. This can cause excessive tangling, single strand knots, and frizz. Not to mention, it can be a nightmare to detangle and style later!
- Use a product that has lots of slip. Whether you fingerdetangle or you like to use hair tools, slip will not only save time, but it will allow most knots and tangles to unravel easily without excess strain. A great inexpensive detangler is Silkience Silky-Smooth Conditioner.
- Don’t rip through knots and tangles! If you feel a knot with your fingers/hair tool, stop and use your fingers to gently remove strands from the knot. Doing so will prevent unnecessary breakage. You may find that the root of the entire knot was only a couple strands.
- Don’t overuse styling products. This can lead to crunchy, greasy, weighed down, stiff, and or frizzy hair. Most of the time, a little product goes a long way.
- Wash your hair often! Water is a kinky girl’s best friend.
- Don’t think negatively about your texture. Embrace it and your hair will love you for it.
- Trim your hair regularly. Trimmed ends make styling easier.
- Don’t use lathering shampoos too often. These type of shampoos dry kinky hair out and can result in breakage.
- Deep condition every week. If you want healthy hair, don’t skip this step.
- Don’t limit your styling because of your texture. Explore as many options as possible and have fun with your kinks.
- Wash your hair with conditioners or creamy shampoos. This will give your
hair the added moisture and slip needed for kinky textures.
- Explore a stylish cut and shaping. This will give your kinks a whole new life.
- Minimal manipulation is key for my hair to thrive. I am very gentle with my strands so I make sure to wash my hair in twists and finger detangle over 90% of the time. This has made a tremendous change in my ends. In addition, deep conditioning is an absolute must. 4C hair craves moisture, but don’t expect to achieve maximum moisture retention overnight. Moisture is a journey. You have to be consistent to achieve moisturized hair so I deep condition every week.
- Avoid drying products such as hard gels and daily styling. Typically, I will do a style that I know can last at least a week such as twists and updos.
Top 4c Hair Tips for 2023
1. Deep Condition Like a Pro: Deep conditioning is your 4C hair’s best friend. Make it a non-negotiable part of your hair care routine. Opt for deep conditioners with nourishing ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, and honey. Use heat (a warm towel or a hooded dryer) to help your hair absorb the goodness even better.
2. Moisture is Key: Keeping your 4C hair moisturized is a top priority. Use a daily leave-in conditioner, hydrating spritz, or hair oil to maintain moisture levels. LCO (Liquid, Cream, Oil) or LOC (Liquid, Oil, Cream) methods are excellent ways to seal in moisture and keep your hair hydrated for longer periods.
3. Gentle Detangling is a Must: Handle your 4C hair with care when detangling to minimize breakage. Start at the tips and work your way up, using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers. Consider detangling while your hair is saturated with conditioner (and under the running water stream) to reduce friction and make the process smoother.
4. Protective Styling for Growth: Protective styles like braids, twists, and updos can help retain length and protect your hair from daily manipulation. Ensure that your styles aren’t too tight, as this can lead to tension and breakage.
5. Trim Your Ends Regularly: Regular trims help keep your ends healthy and prevent split ends from traveling up the hair shaft. Don’t be afraid to visit a professional stylist for a trim, or you can do it yourself if you’re confident. Just be sure to use sharp, clean scissors.
6. Low Manipulation Styles: Consider embracing low manipulation styles to reduce daily wear and tear on your hair. Buns, twists, and protective styles can help maintain your hair’s health and length.
7. Heat Styling with Caution: If you choose to use heat on your 4C hair, do so sparingly and use a heat protectant to shield your strands. Low to medium heat settings are your best friends to prevent heat damage.
8. Embrace Your Shrinkage: Shrinkage is a natural characteristic of 4C hair, and it’s a sign of hair health. Learn to love and embrace your hair’s versatility, whether it’s shrunken or stretched, and don’t feel pressured to constantly manipulate it to achieve length.
9. Scalp Care Matters: A healthy scalp is the foundation of healthy hair. Regularly cleanse your scalp, and consider incorporating scalp massages with nourishing oils to stimulate blood flow and promote hair growth.
10. Patience and Persistence: Finally, remember that your hair journey is unique to you. Be patient and persistent in your efforts to understand and care for your 4C hair. Celebrate your progress and cherish every curl and coil along the way.