Whether you did a big chop or you transitioned from relaxed hair, going from super straight to tight coils and kinks could be a bit of a culture shock. But we’re here with a few tips to help you care for your highly textured hair, better known around the natural hair world as “type 4” hair. Let’s break things down into some of the issues type 4 ladies often experience and how to deal with them.
Type 4 hair is typically drier than most textures because of the shape of the strand. The natural oils produced by the scalp are not able to travel the length of the hair strands as easily as they do in looser textures. So we need a little help to retain moisture.
We recommend starting with a sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse the hair and scalp without completely stripping them of moisture. OurBabassu Oil Conditioning Sulfate-Free Shampoogently cleanses while softening the hair. Follow up and boost moisture with ourBabassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner for a dose of protein to strengthen your strands! Type 4 hair tends to thrive with weekly deep conditioning.
Continue with the method of moisturizing that works best for you. TheLOC method (Liquid Oil Cream) is popular but you may find the need to adjust to LCO or just the L and O part of the regimen. Re-moisturize as needed throughout the week. Trial and error plays a big role in your natural hair journey, so if one routine or method doesn’t work, try another. Yourhair porosity will also play a role in your regimen.
Type 4 hair can shrink up to 80% its actual length. This can be discouraging when you have been trying to grow your hair yet it’s not as visible. So, many of us type 4 girls do everything in our power to fight it. The reality is, shrinkage is a sign that your hair is healthy. But if you want to show off more of your real length, there are methods to do so without sacrificing your hair health. Read about themhere!
We may sometimes think our hair just isn’t growing and shrinkage doesn’t help! Unless there are other issues that prevent growth, hair is always growing but maybe we're not retaining the length - hair is breaking off just as fast as it grows.
Moisturizing and sealing the hair, especially at the ends, will help prevent dryness which leads to breakage. OurMint Almond Oil is lightweight yet effective for all textures and types to reduce breakage and split ends so you keep the hair you grow! Our newRosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil also supports length retention.
Tucking your ends away in a protective style is also helpful … the less you touch your hair, the less chance of breakage.Regular trims will nip damaged ends in the bud before they get out of hand & help you keep your length.
The strands of type 4 hair is more prone to fairy knots orsingle strand knots where a strand loops around itself. These are not totally avoidable with kinky-textured hair but you can lessen the chances of them and larger tangles from popping up.
Start wash day withsectioning and gently detangling and continue to work in sections from shampooing to styling. Try to incorporate protective styles to keep manipulation down. Stretched styles like twist-out and braid-outs also help. Remember that type 4 hair is the most fragile so you must take great care when detangling to prevent breakage and split ends.