Taking care of natural hair, especially for new naturals can seem difficult and overwhelming. 4c hair in particular, if not properly taken care of can become very dry, brittle and prone to breakage. Part of the issue is that 4C hair doesn’t get enough love. There are a few great YouTubers like GlamMzMore and NappyFu that are great sources for 4C naturalistas, but even with these options, it can still be hard to find info on how to properly care for your hair. Here are a few tips on how to care for your 4C hair and make it easier to manage:
Keep your coils moisturized
Moisture is key for all natural types but it is especially important for type 4 hair. Rather than reaching for your go-to leave-in, instead opt for water. Water absorbs into your strands moisturizing them from the inside out, but in order to keep the moisture locked in you do need to use other products. The LOC method works best to help type 4 hair retain moisture. Apply a water-based leave-in conditioner to wet hair then apply an oil like avocado or Jamaican black castor oil to seal in the moisture. Then use a butter based cream like shea or mango butter for added moisture. Try this method with the products that work best for you and mix nicely without causing too much build up.
The less you put your hands in your hair the better. Constantly twisting and pulling your hair into different styles can put stress on your hair and can lead to breakage. Low manipulation styles and long-term protective styles that last at least a week allow you to look cute while also giving your hair a much-needed break. Styles like finger coils, twist/ braid outs, and perm rod sets are all great options. All you need to do is fluff and go making maintenance easy with minimal manipulation.
Detangle damp hair
It is important to keep manipulation to a minimum but it is also important to occasionally detangle your strands to avoid knots and tangles. Detangling either with a wide tooth comb or your fingers will do. It is best to detangle 4C hair while soaking wet and using a conditioner with a lot of slip. This will allow the comb to glide through your hair easily avoiding unnecessary breakage.
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Love your texture
Many naturals can get frustrated with caring for 4C hair, seeing it as more difficult than other hair types, but that is simply not true. 4C hair just has different needs. When you think of your texture negatively you see it differently. You start comparing it to other textures and complaining that your results don’t look the same as in the tutorial. The best thing you can do is stop the comparing and start embracing your beautiful coils. Start following YouTuber’s that share your same texture. This will help you discover products that work best for you and allow you to see all the amazing styles you can achieve with 4C hair.