Type 4 hair can be the most fragile hair type leading to breakage. But if you keep it properly maintain and moisturized, type 4 hair can be incredibly strong and versatile. Because of the structure of coily hair natural oils from the scalp can’t travel down the hair shaft leaving the rest of the hair dry. This means it’s important to find the right products to restore, maintain and seal in moisture. Here are some product suggestions that will help protect and moisturize your coils.
Sometimes a co-wash isn’t cutting it and your hair requires a good shampooing, but regular shampoos can dry out your hair. Many shampoos strip all the oils, good or bad, from your hair, pulling the moisture from your strands and leaving it prone to damage. A good way to combat this is by using moisturizing shampoos. They are gentle cleansers with moisturizing ingredients that nourish the hair while removing build-up.
Rinse out Conditioners
The best way to infuse your hair with some much needed moisture after shampooing is a good conditioner. The conditioner should be hydrating with good slip for detangling. Make sure that the conditioner is silicone and paraben free as these can cause build-up on the hair. Also avoid certain alcohols as these can be drying.
Since the biggest struggle with 4C hair is dryness a hydrating leave-in is essential for packing more moisture into your hair. Leave-ins moisturize and soften the hair keeping it supple and healthy. Make sure that your leave-in is water based as water is the most important moisturizing ingredient. For thinner hair look for spray leave-ins to add some lightweight moisture. If you have thicker hair a heavier cream based moisturizer would work better.
Nourishing Deep Conditioners
A deep conditioner can add moisture or protein to your hair depending on what your hair needs. They repair damage and keep the hair moisturized and strong, preventing breakage and split ends resulting in healthier, happier hair.
Not all oils are created equal. Some penetrate the hair shaft, making them perfect for infusing moisture into your strands, while others sit on top of the hair making them better sealants. Oils like olive, coconut and avocado are great for moisturizing because of their smaller molecular structures making it easier for them to penetrate and moisturize the hair. Other oils like jojoba, grapeseed and Jamaican black castor oil settle on top of the hair shaft, sealing in moisture and promoting shine.
With your styling products you want to find something that will give you a good hold making your twist outs and braid outs last longer. One popular product for styling, especially for wash n’ go’s, is EcoStyler Gel. While this will give you good hold, you run the risk of flakes from product build-up and the alcohols drying out your hair. Curling crèmes and lighter moisturizing gels allow you to still achieve your desired style without creating excessive build-up.