For women with naturally coily hair, we know just how much love and care our crowning glory needs. Truth be told, it can sometimes get a little complicated and confusing to manage our curls—from trying out product after product to see what fits us to creating a routine dedicated to our 4C hair. Because of the many things we have to take into consideration, we might even find ourselves falling back into some of our unhealthy habits sometimes.
No need to fret, though! As you take on your journey to joining the naturalista movement and completely embracing your beautiful curls, you will quickly realize that you’re not alone as you go through this entire process of unpacking and understanding everything about your hair. From product reviews to 4C haircare advice, all the information you need to take better care of your kinks is at the palm of your hand. In fact, here are seven tips that I hope will guide you in managing and maintaining your glorious 4C hair. I use these same tips for my natural hair and it’s being a game-changer.
Choose The Right Products.
Keeping your 4C hair healthy requires effort, patience, and a whole lot of trial and error. Finding the proper products with ingredients that won’t damage your hair might take time for some and no time at all for others. It will all depend on your kinks. Some ingredients to be wary of, though, are isopropyl alcohol and sulfates. Isopropyl alcohol has a drying effect that will weaken and cause breakage to your hair and sulfates can strip it of its natural oils.
Speaking of oils, choose products that have ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil, and argan oil as these will help in moisturizing your 4C hair. However, much like everything in life, don’t use too much! This may block out hydration, resulting in dull and dry-looking coils. For oils, it’s best to apply them directly to your scalp once or twice a week.
The thing about the kinks and coils of 4C hair is that they dry out pretty quickly. Just like your gorgeous skin, don’t forget to hydrate your hair frequently so that it has more elasticity and remains soft and easy to detangle. Finding a good moisturizer and sealant that your hair will love is not a walk in the park. Look for products with ingredients like aloe vera or glycerin. You can also opt to create a concoction of water and aloe vera in a spray bottle. Make sure you’re moisturizing your 4c hair the right way to prevent it from breaking. For sealants, use oils such as almond oil or creams like shea butter to seal moisture in your hair effectively.
No To Overwashing.
One big don’t for 4C hair is overwashing. While you still need to shampoo your hair to keep it and your scalp healthy and clean, overdoing it will just dry it out. Dry and brittle hair doesn’t suit anyone!
Lengthen the time between your washes to 2 weeks. As for products, opt for a mild and sulfate-free shampoo. If your hair tends to get dirty, try an apple cider vinegar rinse right after you shampoo or you can alternate shampoo with co-wash. Also, pre-poo before you shampoo. This reduces the stripping and drying effects of some shampoos on natural hair.
Another thing that causes breakage is over manipulation. Too much combing, styling, and brushing will make your beautiful natural hair become unmanageable and uncontrollable. This is called hand in hair syndrome. If you don’t have to restyle your hair, then try to keep your hands out of your hair. Click HERE to learn about hand in hair syndrome and how to stop it.
Give It A Good Detangling.
Tangles are bad news! These can lead to breakage which isn’t a good thing when you want your hair to grow. Opt for finger detangling or finger combing! This will help you avoid yanking on your hair as it’s easier to work through tangled areas gently with your fingers. While a wide-toothed comb is a great alternative, nothing beats your fingers’ gentle touch. However if you feel finger detangling takes a lot of time especially if you have very dense hair, you can always detangle with a comb but make sure you are very gentle and you detangle from the ends of your hair to the roots. Click HERE to see how to properly and gently detangle 4c natural hair.
Satin While You Sleep.
Taking care of your 4C hair is a day and night affair. Wake up with your coils intact by sleeping with a satin scarf or bonnet on as this will help retain moisture as you drift off to sleep. You can also opt for a satin pillowcase. Their cotton alternatives tend to soak up all the oils from your hair shaft leaving your hair dry and brittle. This will worsen over time and will have negative effects on the health of your tresses.
Style With Protection In Mind.
We all know how fragile our 4C hair can be so just embrace its natural beauty. Excessive styling will only lead to breakages. But if you want to do something different with your hair, install a protective hairstyle. These are styles that do not cause any tension to your scalp and hide the ends of your 4C hair to avoid leaving it exposed to natural elements. Protective styles include braids, 4C hair extensions, twists, and wigs.
As with any type of hair, our 4C curls require us to show it lots and lots of TLC. Caring for your 4C hair is a journey worth taking and trust us, it’s only going to get easier as you apply the tips above day by day. With a little bit of patience and a whole lot of effort, you’re going to find the perfect hair care regimen that your gorgeous kinks and coils will love.
Also, there are countless mistakes a lot of women with 4c hair makes when caring for their hair. Please do not make them. I have compiled 40 of them into an ebook and it is a must-read to avoid had I known. Click HERE to get your copy.
What challenges are you having in your natural hair journey? Please share them with me in the comments section below. I might as well dedicate another blog post to it! Share this post as well.