How I Keep My 4C Natural Hair Laid and Moisturized Without All The Drama

4c hair gets a bad rep for being dry, hard  to manage, and being loads of maintenance. While 4c hair is definitely not a get up and go hair type, it doesn’t have to be a hassle to maintain. In fact, I am positive when you find a way to keep moisture in your hair most if not all of the manageability issues you face will be a thing of the past. Here is what has kept my hair laid and moisturized:

Moisturized 4C Natural Hair

Co-wash or Rinse Only With Water 

Of course there are just sometimes where I have to shampoo my hair to get rid of buildup, however now a days I prefer to co-wash or simply rinse my hair only with lukewarm to cool water. I find that afterwards my hair is not so dry and 200% easier to get through and detangle. This is because the oils and nutrients in my hair are not being completely robbed, but I have cleansed my hair just enough so my scalp is being refreshed and buildup from products are not preventing my hair from getting moisture.

I use loads of moisturizer and Eco styler on damp toweled dried hair

In order to prevent the moisture from just dripping off, I wait until my hair is damp and not saturated. I then apply my favorite moisturizers and to create my go to style I use the black Eco Styler Gel for hold.

To stretch my hair I put it in a high ponytail

For some reason braids and twists don’t give me as much stretch and the ponytail method just happens to be easier. It is also my favorite style.

Did I mention I moisturize? I do it everyday.

Being that I am wearing a puff as opposed to a bun, I run out of moisture more rapidly so I need to moisturize everyday. This usually goes by pretty quickly I just add a bit of moisture in the morning smooth out my hair and go.

When I feel like my hair is looking dry even though I have put product in it and it feels sticky it’s time for a wash 

When your hair seems like it won’t stay moisturized no matter what you put in it, this may be a sign of product buildup. Cleanse your hair and you will notice a big difference.

This is what has kept my tresses moisturized and looking sleek, without too much work. Aside from wash day, maintaining my hair is pretty simple. For me I had to come to realize that shampooing on a regular basis is just too drying for my hair. Once I found the culprit of my dryness,  I have seen a major difference in my hair’s manageability.


UPDATE 9-25-14: My Hair is 4c all the way, this is what my hair looks like without product and without using product. In the picture above, I still have some curls remaining from an old rod set, and my hair is loaded with moisturizer and gel. For more info on my technique check out my latest post: Yes I Have Naps and My Hair Can Still Get Laid.

4c natural hair

How do you keep your 4c hair moisturized?


Ariane (Editor-in-Chief)

I am Ariane, full-time curly crusader, wife and mom. On this website we offer natural hair products, FREE natural hair tips, style ideas and support. More about my hair journey can be found here.

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  1. Danyelle says:

    I truly love the articles and helpful information about natural hair. I have done the big chop and may need to redo it. I obtain so much information from you but I must say that the photo above does not accurately depict true 4c hair. Did I click onto the wrong article or photograph? No harm intended. Just wondering.

    1. That is what my 4c hair looks like saturated in moisturizer and gel. The curl pattern that you see, is from a twist out that I never combed out, I will be doing a post today to further explain.

      1. Not 4c my dear

  2. How can I find out the texture of my hair? I think I’m 3c to a 4a… not kinky yet….it curly…..what products is good for me to use?

  3. I totally agree! I have 4C hair and am newly transitioning with braid extensions. My hair is rough, resistant. I have a zig-zag coil so my hair feels hard naturally. I’m about 5 months post relaxer. I have 5C hair actually.,…and what I noticed and knew my hair loses moisture quickly so I can’t be lazy with a moisture regimen. I also strive to soften my hair. I find products that say they soften. I’m not sure if this is the same as moisturizing but softener products work for me.

    I find that my hair responds well to JBCO and StaSofro Spray, so in addition to using that to massage my scalp, I combine it with my favorite moisturizer for staying power. I also pay very close attention to my scalp and strands…when my hair starts to itch I feel my scalp to test the condition of it, if it’s tight or rough….when it doesn’t itch I do the same so I’ll know what to keep doing. I often test the condition of my new growth my taking a braid out that can’t be noticed to see what’s going on after a few weeks, is it knotting, is it rough, is it thriving and growing? From there I determine if I need a deep conditioner, hot oil treatment, GHE treatment or all the above. For me, I have to moisture every other day at a min. and everyday if needed.

  4. Kylie Horton says:

    Hi, I would like to go natural but I do not want to do the big chop. Is the big chop a MUST? And how should I treat my hair if I don’t do the big chop? And what products will help my hair when I go natural because I have hair that looks like I never grease or moisturize it no matter how much I grese and moisturize it.

    1. No, the big chop is not a must, you can just be transitioning and cutting your permed ends gradually until you’re comfortable with the length of your natural hair. Hope that helps! 🙂

    2. quanda says:

      Just a regular person responding. Speaking from.experience, the big chop really depends.on how well you of your hair during the transition. sometimes it becomes a hassle trying to take care of two different textures . the hair becomes really fragile at that point where the relaxed hair meet the natural hair. And will easily break off. . I tried to transition , at the time I didn’t have the money to spend on protective styles like braids or twist . I eventually got frustrated with dealing with the straight hair and my 4 C hair (the difference in the 2 textures is extreme). so I just went ahead and did a big chop . If your new isn’t as tightly curled, you may be able to transition with ease.
      Water is the best way to get moisture. And a good sealing oil.

    3. NUbianPrize says:

      Looking at her hair in the photo, She DOES NOT have 4C hair !! Look how her hair waves back in the front. Looks more like a 4a mix. Maybe she just has very dry 4a/b hair, but it’s definitely not the cotton candy very kinky 4c hair that makes such great twist outs. I can see curl definition in the puff.

      1. angel of merci says:

        There is a very strong possibility that it is; because I have 4C hair and my hair waves back. I think moisture, moisture, and more moisture and using/finding the correct products that are better suited for your hair type.

        1. 4 c doesn’t wave my dear

          1. NUbianPrize says:

            I was thinking the same thing. I don’t see any 4C in her hair at all; they say 4C has no curl pattern; no curl pattern means no wave pattern either. See how it waves back from her edges? I’ve had students whose pulled back hair looks like that when they wear a high ponytail & the puff is kinky looking but has a definite curl pattern that’s just frizzed out into a puff. It can look very kinky & undefined depending on what products were used & whether the hair is fine,medium, or coarse. Then there’s the porosity issue. When they wore twists their hair would have little waves in it & the ends would curl. I’d say it’s more of a kind of coarse 4a. This is why I don’t put much credence in hair typing beyond the basic types 1,2,3, & 4. We black folks have waaayyy too many variations in hair type & texture !

          2. Agreed. There are so much variations within black hair. My latest post shows what my hair looks like without products in it:

            Also the curls that you see were created using my technique, I don’t have waves or curls naturally.

      2. She insists she has 4c hair…I guess the rest of us have 4z….The important thing though is that she knows what works for her hair and we can all learn from each other.

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