what is 4c hair? : an ultimate guide to 4C kinks & coils

being  “natural” is the hot topic these days. seems like everyone and they mama is showing off their natural curls and getting all the praise.

 but let’s be real for a sec, more often than not, 4c hair is left out of receiving any of the same praise and love that other hair types get. 

even with all the talk around embracing every curl type, there's still a serious lack of info on how to care for, love on and style 4C hair.

so we want to clear up a few things and address the most common questions about 4c here and now.

 what exactly is 4C hair?

4C hair is beautifully unique. it doesn't follow a single curl pattern but showcases a stunning mix of waves, coils, curls, and zigzags.

each strand is a masterpiece of its own, adding to the versatility and beauty of 4C hair.

but let’s keep it real—this uniqueness comes with its own set of needs.  the most crucial of these is moisture—4C hair craves it, thrives on it, and simply can’t get enough!

without the right amount of hydration, 4C hair can become dry and brittle, making moisture an absolute must in your hair care routine.

so keeping it well-moisturized is key to maintaining its health and vibrancy.

 

how do you know if your hair is 4A, 4B, or 4C?

 each type has its own unique characteristics. 4C hair shares similarities with both 4A and 4B, but it stands out with distinct traits.

while 4B hair boasts tight, Z-shaped curls, 4A hair showcases more defined, S-shaped ringlets.

On the other hand, 4C hair tends to appear more textured, with a blend of waves, coils, curls, and zigzags throughout.

heres a quick break down:

4A Hair: this type typically features well-defined S-shaped curls that create a visible ringlet pattern. the curls are looser compared to 4B and 4C hair types, offering more defined coils with a noticeable spring.

4B Hair: known for its tightly coiled Z-shaped curls, 4B hair forms sharp angles that may not always have a distinct curl pattern. instead, it tends to show more of a zigzag or crimped appearance, often appearing densely packed.

4C Hair: the most tightly coiled of the three, 4C hair has a mix of textures including waves, coils, curls, and zigzags throughout the strands. it tends to have less defined curl patterns compared to 4A and 4B, giving it a highly textured and voluminous appearance.

is 4C hair a lot to deal with?

not at all!

While 4C hair tends to be naturally dry and brittle due to the tight curl pattern that makes it challenging for scalp oils to reach the ends, it's far from hard to deal with.

It just requires a bit more effort and intention than other hair types.

honestly, regular trims and moisture treatments are the way to go when keeping 4C hair healthy and strong.

consistency is also key when caring for 4C hair— staying on top of moisturizing, trimming, and showing it love are your best bet.

 

is my 4C hair, good hair??

first of all, good hair isn't about texture or curl pattern—it's about the health and vitality of your strands.

having loose, fine curls doesn't automatically mean your hair is “good.”

and having coarse hair that takes a moment to absorb moisture doesnt mean your hair is “bad.” 

"good hair" is strong, hydrated, and resilient. it feels smooth and reflects the care and attention it receives, free from split ends and breakage.

"bad hair" shows signs of neglect and damage. It looks dull, split ends are common, and it lacks luster.

All hair textures have the capacity to be bad it all comes down to care, and not the beautiful texture youre blessed with, PERIOD! 

curious if your hair is 4C? 
take our quiz and find out now!

how do I care for my 4C hair? 

okay, so far we've established the importance of moisture in our 4c hair routine and how keeping it healthy is oh so important.  

heres a few things you can do ensure you're properly taking care of your 4c kinks:

start your routine with moisture

Start with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner formulated for 4c hair to ensure your hair gets the hydration it craves.

Look for products loaded with ingredients like aloe vera and grapeseed oil to deeply nourish and rejuvenate your strands.

These ingredients penetrate deep into your hair, replenishing moisture and leaving your curls feeling fresh and vibrant.

 

show your scalp love

a healthy scalp is the foundation of hair vitality.

if you like rocking tight styles (protective styles, slick backs etc), show your scalp some extra love with a soothing serum to reduce tension and prevent breakage.

look for serums with rosemary, peppermint or tea tree oil to keep your scalp cool and refreshed.

pro tip: avoid using serums on wet hair; apply them to damp or dry hair instead to seal in moisture and prevent dryness.

take the time to do it right

make sure you’re getting the most out of your products by sectioning your hair when applying them. this method ensures even distribution and helps you reach every strand.

 proper application is key to maximizing the benefits of your hair care routine.

 deep condition often for strength

next, give your hair some extra love with a deep conditioning treatment.

choose a conditioner thats thicke and creamy full of hydrating ingredients like glycerin and slippery elm.

apply it generously from roots to ends, making sure every coil is coated.

let it sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes to allow the nutrients to penetrate your strands, strengthening and fortifying your hair.

Be intentional with your styling products

for styling, use a hydrating cream-based product that not only enhance your kinks and coils once styled, but also provide nourishment.

pro tip:  twist-outs and braids are perfect for stretching your hair and keeping it tangle-free, helping to maintain moisture and health.

seek help when you need it 

regular salon visits are a must for maintaining the health of your 4C hair when you havent fully grasped how to manage it yourself.

work with a licensed professional stylist to determine the best trimming schedule and in-salon treatments for your hair’s needs. 

wanna know a bit more? check out
"The FREE Kinks Guide" 
& learn some unique characteristics of 4C hair, essential care tips, and more...
 

here are our top 5 styles for 4C hair 

 

 twist-Out & braid outs

These styles are super low-maintenance, and easy to do with the right products. simply part your hair into sections, apply a styling cream, and create two-strand twists or 3 strand braids.

allow them to dry COMPLETELY, then unravel for soft juicy curls.

 

locs

natural locs are a beautiful and protective style that celebrates the unique texture of 4C hair.

 locs require minimal manipulation, reducing breakage and promoting length retention.

we highly recomment that you refresh and hydrate locs with a Refresher Spray, to add moisture and keep locs looking fresh.

  

 

bantu knots

part your hair into sections and twist each section into a knot. secure with bobby pins or small elastics.

bantu knots can also be used to create heat-free curls.

 

 poof

create a voluminous poof by picking out your hair and using a firm hold edge control to lay your edges. 

gather your hair on top of your head and secure with an elastic band.

 

 protective style braids, crochet & faux locs

protective styles like braids, crochet or faux locs are perfect for keeping your kinks secure and stylish.

make sure you properly prep your hair before installing them to keep your hair hydrated and manageable.

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