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What is 4c Hair Type? (and 5 Tips to Care For it)

4C hair is a beautiful and unique hair type categorized in range 4 on the texture typing system chart created by NaturallyCurly. The hair has tight curls, which are either fine or coarse in texture. There are many unique characters that define type 4C hair, with the tight coiled Z or S-shaped curls being the most common. This type of hair is prone to breakage and shrinkage, so it requires more care. Read on to know what is 4c hair type and how to care for it.

So, What Is 4c Hair Type?

The 4c hair type is the curled hair common with black people. Its tight growth makes it too prone to shrinkable. The shrinkage rate depends on the texture and density of your hair. Caring for 4C hair type is not a walk in the park. This hair type isn’t found in the well-known Andre Walker hair typing system, though.

How to Tell if I Have Type 4C Hair?

You can find out if your hair type falls in the 4c category by checking various qualities. Indicated here are those characteristics:

  •  Tightly coiled hair strands
  •  The hair suffers frequent shrinkage. Be sure to check your hair shrinkage rate. If it’s more than 75%, know right away you’ve 4C hair type
  • It has a Z shape. If your hair strands have a Z shape, you likely have this type of hair.

While determining your hair type, it’s vital to remember that you may have several hair types throughout your head.

Additionally, don’t forget that the curls and coils in hair type 4C are either shingled, twisted, or braided.

What is 4c Hair Type – How Long Can it Grow

Hair can grow to any length provided you give it the best care and maintenance. Maintaining the hair properly minimizes breakage and enables it to sprout out longer while maintaining its attained length.

However, if you got 4C hair, caring for your hair should be a priority considering its high shrinkage rate. Improper handling, dryness, and tension affect the hair’s proper growth, so give your it sufficient attention.

Normally, hair type 4c looks shorter because it shrinks often, and its length is hidden in the coils and curls.

According to a 2005 study , race affects the hair growth rate. The estimated yearly growth in Asian women is around 15 centimeters, Caucasian women 13 centimeters, and African women 10 centimeters.

Since most African races have type 4 hair, it’s assumed that the 4C hair growth rate is 10 centimeters per year.

What Makes People Think that 4C Hair Doesn’t Grow?

According to hair experts, the follicles in type 4C hair have a thin diameter and twisted structure; the reason the hair strands are coiled.

The coiled and curled nature of 4C hair negatively affects the movement of oils from hair roots to the ends; this is the speculated reason that this hair type is more prone to breakage and dryness.

Not giving the hair the best care attention only means only one thing; breakage and dryness, leading to stagnated growth.

We’ve also written about 4c hair growth phases if you’re interested in the stages it grows in. 

How to Properly Take Care of the 4c Hair Type? 5 Tips

Considering the fragile and breakable nature of type 4C hair, proper care is a must for it to grow long and healthy with minimal breakage.

Quality care needs proper treatment and maintenance using safe and low-chemical products that don’t affect the hair and scalp.

Here are some our best care recommendations from people with type 4C hair:

Proper diet and lifestyle

Quality hair growth is determined by your lifestyle and diet. As a living, growing part of your body, your hairs health is purely dependent on what you feed it and how you live.

Increasing your intake of water, vitamins, nutrients, and minerals can boost your hair growth. So what should a proper diet include for quality 4c hair growth?

  • Iron—consider diets with higher iron content as lack of it can trigger hair loss
  • Vitamin A—Consider a diet rich in vitamin A to stimulate sufficient hair growth
  • Calcium – a diet rich in calcium cultivates the hair follicles, fostering growth
  • Zinc – Zinc is known to trigger protein synthesis, cell regeneration, and sebum production, all of which aid in hair growth
  • Iodine – iodine enhances the function of the thyroid, which supports hair growth.

Proper moisturizing and deep conditioning

4C hair suffers a deficiency of moisture and oil supply because of its coiled nature. So, it’s likely to break and fall if you don’t supply it with enough moisture and oils. Use high-quality and safe conditioners and moisturizers to achieve the best results.

Proper cleansing

Clean hair looks and feels fresh. Clean and well-maintained hair is more likely to grow and maintain its new length. Invest in premium shampoo products specifically for 4C hair and ensure you clean your hair often. Research for the best shampoos and cleansers suitable for type 4c hair.

Protective styles

The curly and coiled nature of the 4c hair type makes it not so compatible with many hairstyles. You’ve to identify the most effective hairstyles recommended by qualified hairstylists that protect the hair against damage and breakage.

There are many protective hairstyles you can choose from, but Bantu knots, bun style, and two-strand twists are the most recommended.

Protect your hair at night

One thing people rarely care about is protecting their hair while going to bed. Sleeping involves frequent turning and tossing of our bodies, which creates friction between the beddings and our hair, damaging the hair.

Cotton pillows are known to make hair lose its moisture, causing dryness and breakage.

Hairstylists advise you to wear a satin scarf or bonnet or even use a satin pillowcase to protect the air and preserve its moisture.

What is 4c Hair Type – Conclusion

Understanding your hair type is the first step to give it quality care and style it to your liking. 4C hair type is high in shrinkage, so for you to style it well, you’ve got to know how to blow dry and clean it.

Only use styles, moisturizers, and conditioners that are recommended for this hair type. Don’t manipulate or process the hair every so often (regular dyeing, straightening or other chemical processing) as that could lead to breakage. You will be amazed by how great your hair will look and how fast it will grow when you establish a working care routine and consider hairstyles suitable for your hair type.


About the Author Natasha Banks