Whether you did a big chop or you transitioned from relaxed hair, going from super straight hair 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 it 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. Mielle’s Babassu Oil Conditioning Sulfate-Free Shampoo gently cleanses while softening the hair. Follow up with an extra boost of moisture with our Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner for a dose of protein to strengthen your strands! Type 4 hair often thrives with weekly deep conditioning.
Continue with the method of moisturizing that works best for you. The LOC (liquid oil cream) method 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 – and the makeup of your hair, like its porosity – plays a big role in your natural hair journey, so if one routine or method doesn’t work, try another.
Type 4 hair can shrink up to 80 percent of its actual length. This can be discouraging when you have been trying to grow out your hair, and the results are 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. Check out our blog post on stretching natural hair to learn more!
We may sometimes think that our hair just isn’t growing, and shrinkage doesn’t help! Unless there are other issues that prevent growth, hair is always growing, but we may not be 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 the dryness that leads to breakage. Our Mint Almond Oil is lightweight yet effective for all textures and types in reducing breakage and split ends so you keep the hair you grow! Our new Rosemary 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 lower the chances are that you will experience breakage. Regular trims can also help you keep your length by nipping damaged ends in the bud before they get out of hand.
Type 4 hair, compared to other types, is more prone to fairy knots or single-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 prevent larger tangles from popping up.
Start wash day by sectioning and gently detangling your hair, and continue to work in sections from shampooing to styling. Try to incorporate protective styles to keep manipulation down — stretched styles like twist-outs 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.
Were these tips helpful? Is there anything we forgot to address? Let us know! We’re here to help you on the road to healthy hair!