Type 4 (Coily) hair hair texture is defined by high degree of strand density: tightly coiled and wiry with each strand having an “s” or “z” pattern when stretched. It’s also the most delicate and fragile hair texture, and has fewer cuticle layers than other hair textures. It’s prone to dryness and requires a tender touch. This texture may appear coarse, but is, in fact, fine and densely-packed. Type 4 hair is the most common hair texture found in people of African descent.
Type 4A hair is a defined pattern of curls that when stretched shows a coiled S pattern. This is tightly coiled hair with more moisture than Type 4B. The hair is usually fragile with high density and fewer cuticle layers than other texture types. It has a medium to low luster. This a perfect wash-n-go texture that can be teased for greater volume. Moisturizing is key to ensuring this pattern’s beauty. Use creamy conditioners after shampooing or for co-washing. Add water to your favorite conditioner and 2-3 drops of jojoba oil to a spray bottle and hydrate hair daily. Note that this hair doesn’t perform well with excessive manipulation: combing, brushing, curling, blow-drying and straightening.
- Use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners every two weeks.
- If you co-wash, use a clarifying shampoo every other week. Add a couple of drops of jojoba oil to shampoo.
- Use rich, creamy butters for moisture every 2-3 days: try shea or mango butters.
- Use a t-shirt to pat hair dry after washing; terry cloth will strip its natural moisture
- Twirl small sections of damp curls around your finger to stimulate definition.
- Twist or braid before bedtime. Use a curl defining custard and cover your hair at night with a silk or satin cap .
Type 4B hair has a less defined pattern of curls and looks more like a “Z” as the hair bends with very sharp angles. This hair is tightly coiled and densely packed and often experiences shrinkage up to 75% of its length. Type 4B is defined by low luster and a coarse texture which means steps need to be taken to combat excessive frizziness.
- Use a creamy humectant as a leave-in to maximize protection from the elements.
- A curl defining custard or gelee can stretch the coil safely for twist-outs and braids.
- Cover your hair at night with a silk or satin cap to protect your hair and prevent breakage.
- Use a detangling co-wash.
- Co-wash with a moisturizing sulfate-free cleanser. Add a couple of drops of jojoba oil to shampoo.
- Use a creamy humectant as a leave-in for moisture every 2-3 days.
- Use a t-shirt to dry hair after washing; terry cloth will strip its natural moisture
- Use coconut or castor oil to moisturize strands and your scalp.
- Twist or braid before bedtime. Use a curl defining custard and cover with a silk or satin cap to protect hair from breaking and matting.
- Use a detangling co-wash once every 2 weeks.