Hair Type 4B

4B Hair Type: A Beginner’s Guide

One of the most challenging aspects of life for people with textured hair is taking care of our hair. More than often, we tend to mess things up and damage our hair because we fail to learn about our hair type. If you want to have a head full of fine and healthy hair, it is vital to identify and understand your hair type.

According to Andre Walker’s hair typing system, hair can be categorized into 4 main types with 3 subcategories under each. Today we will discuss hair type 4B, which is a subcategory of hair type 4.

Thus, let us dive right into the discourse about 4B and everything you need to know about it. So that next time you go to the salon or purchase hair care products you will know what your hair needs. It must be noted that this discussion is valid for people of every gender with 4B hair types, so do not think we have forgotten any of you.

What Is 4B Hair Type?

Are you wondering if you have 4B curls? The easiest and surest way to ensure your hair is 4B is by looking out for the hair pattern. You can do that by simply observing your wet hair. If your hair strands form sharp Z-shape patterns, 4B is your hair type. Furthermore, your hair will be either fine and wiry or coarse and rough. To those of you who were able to check off both the above conditions, be rest assured that your hair is 4B.4B Hair Type

A Step-By-Step Maintenance Guide for You

Now that you are confident about your hair type, the next step is to know how to properly care for and maintain it. Your aim is to attain and retain a healthy scalp and hair. This is because the 4B hair type is prone to be damaged easily as it can become quite brittle and dry. The hair also tends to shrink making them look shorter than the actual length.

Therefore, we are here to help you. We have collected the information below after extensive research and trying out the procedures ourselves. So, be certain when we say the guide will work superbly and help you have beautiful hair.

Moisturize and Wash Religiously

As we have mentioned earlier, 4B hair can get damaged pretty easily due to the texture. Furthermore, as the hair follows a Z-shape pattern, it can be difficult for the natural oil to seep from the scalp down the hair. Consequently, to avoid drying out and breakouts, you must moisturize your hair properly and thoroughly.

An effective method is to use castor or coconut oil or any pre-poo oil to massage your scalp and hair down the length. Afterward, when you wash your hair, it will have been nourished and the moisture will be retained. You can do this twice a week for the best results.

Another tip to avoid breakage is to wash your hair in sections. This will prevent your hair from tangling, and you can stretch the hair out too to prevent excessive shrinkage.

Additionally, when you wash your hair, do not forget to condition it every other day. Conditioning hair goes a long way and helps with the moisture more than you can possibly imagine. You can also try deep conditioning twice or thrice a month. If you want to go one step further for better moisture, you can also apply a leave-in conditioner every morning.

Detangle with Gentleness

One of the easiest ways to cause breakage is when you detangle your hair. So, it is crucial you must detangle as gently as possible. We recommend you to use your fingers as a comb can be quite harsh on 4B hair at times and cause frizziness. Hence, it would be in your best interest if you use your fingers to detangle your hair with much-needed kindness and patience. Our favorite method is to comb through our hair with fingers while conditioning. It works like magic, we promise!

Don’t Hesitate to Get Protective Styles

Now, are you tired of tangling and breaking your hair every time you try on a new hairstyle and comb through the hair? Believe us when we say, we understand the struggle. We have been there, and we know how exhausting and frustrating it can get. However, we do not struggle with that issue anymore because we have embraced the life of getting protective hairstyles.

Here’s a fact, the 4B hair is at its best and healthiest when it is being manipulated the lowest. But how can you ensure to retain and sustain healthy hair without minimal manipulation? The answer is simple: crochet braids and other methods of faux hair or extensions, which will serve to protect your natural hair and scalp while you enjoy a new hairstyle every time.

Getting protective hairstyles also allows you to experiment widely with various styles and colors, which you might never have dared to do with your natural hair.

Healthy Sleep Routine

You have spent the entire day taking all the necessary measures to guarantee your hair is at its best and is getting the highest quality treatment. However, now that you are going to sleep, you know you will wake up with frizzy hair that does not look great. So, what can you do? Take proper measures, of course.

Contrary to popular belief, your hair care routine does not come to a pause ever – not even when you go to sleep. There are safety measures that you can take to make certain all the work and time you are investing will be worth it.

First things first, switch all your pillowcases and bed sheets to silk. Silk helps to prevent frizziness and breakouts. Next, get yourself a cape or a bonnet with silk lining, you should cover all your hair with that before tucking in for the night. You will wake up the next morning with hair that is still soft, moisturized, and smooth.

Our Favorite Products for 4B Hair

Fortunately for us, there are plenty of incredible and effective products available in the market now that will keep our hair type healthy. Nonetheless, we understand the struggle of choosing the right product out of so many great options. Thus, to make your life slightly easier, we will walk you through some of our go-to hair care products.

  • You must get yourself a pre-poo oil, which is basically any oil that will moisturize your hair. We usually opt for coconut oil and olive oil. Of course, you can choose any others you prefer such as castor, almond, or Avocado. They all work perfectly well.
  • Next, you need a shampoo that will treat your hair correctly, i.e., keep it hydrated. We love the Clarifying Shampoo as it keeps our hair smooth and moisturizes it further.
  • Do you know who will be the best friend for your curls? A leave-in conditioner. That’s right! We advise using such a conditioner every morning as it will replenish the moisture in your hair. If you don’t know which one to pick, why not try our favorite, the Strengthening Leave-In Conditioner. You can also opt for a spray conditioner, such as Conditioning Detangler, if that’s more up your forte.
  • Now that we’ve got the daily or weekly conditioner situation covered up, you need a deep conditioner. This is because it is vital to deep condition your 4B at least twice a month, so try out the EDEN BodyWorks Deep Conditioner.
  • We are sure you understand by now the importance of keeping your hair moisturized and hydrated all the time. Therefore, we have a hair butter recommendation whose only purpose is to moisturize your hair to the fullest. The Mielle Moisture RX Hair Butter will make your hair shiny and smooth too.
  • Do you know what else you need? Professional Styling Gel, and a curling cream, Cantu Shea Butter Curling Cream, and we promise these products will make dealing with those kinky coils a million times better.

Top 5 4B Hairstyles You Must Try Today

As fun as protective hairstyles can be, there are times we simply want to stick to our natural hair. We want to flaunt and play with them, try out different looks. In this section, we will discuss five of our top favorite 4B hairstyles that we wear more often than we would probably like to admit. We are not ashamed because they make us look unquestionably gorgeous!

We hope you will find comfort or a favorite hairstyle from our list and try one out as soon as possible. It must be noted these hairstyles are for all of our audience, i.e., both women and men.

A Classic Afro

Classic Afro


Hair type 4B has what one would call the afro texture hair. This means if that is your hair type, you are practically destined to keep an Afro. You can grow an Afro of any size, and bask in the beauty of having such a piece of crown adorning your head.

Afro with Layers

Afro with layers


If you already have an Afro, or let’s say you want something a little bit more stimulating, you could get an Afro with layers. This will allow you to have more texture on your hair and give it the extra oomph you were seeking.

Heavenly Dreadlocks

Heavenly Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks will always be one of the top badass hairstyles in history. They are the perfect blend of chic and casual, which is suitable for any occasion and event. When done correctly, dreadlocks will also protect your hair from unwanted damage, and help to sustain healthy hair.

Twixie Pixie

Twixie Pixie


The pixie style will never go out of fashion. For decades now, women and men of every social and economic background have been wearing the pixie cut proudly and quite handsomely. It is a stunning and reliable hairstyle for people with a 4B hair type. No matter when and where you go with a pixie hairstyle, you will look smart and exquisite.

Headband Jazz

Headband Jazz

Wearing a headband or scarf will never be a bad idea. Not only will the accessory work as a gorgeous adornment and fashion statement, but will also protect your hair and hairline. It is an easy go-to hairstyle that anybody can pull off, and wearing a matching headband or scarf with your outfit is always a bonus.

Celebrities with 4B Curls

Celebrities who embrace their roots and flaunt their natural hair will always be our favorites. Given below is a list of celebrities who rocked their 4B curls at one point or another, setting examples for us. If they can look unbelievably splendid, why can’t we? So, we hope you will find some inspiration from the pictures below and become excited about everything you can do with your hair.

Willow Smith

Willow Smith

Issa Rae

Issa Rae HairStyle

Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding

The Weeknd

The Weeknd

Erykah Badu

Erykah-Badu Curly Hair

Yvette Nicole Brown

Yvette Nicole Brown

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah

Jill Scott

Jill Scott

Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some most frequently asked questions about hair type 4B.

What products should be used for 4B hair?
  • Pre-poo oil
  • Shampoo
  • Gel
  • ButterLeave-in conditioners
How to avoid 4B hair from frizzing while sleeping?

Sleep on silk pillowcases and wear a silk bonnet. Silk will protect your hair from frizzing, drying out, or breaking.

What is the curl pattern of the 4B hair type?

If you have 4B hair, your hair strands will form a sharp angle Z-shape pattern. It will also be tightly coiled.

Is it safe to crochet braid 4B hair?

Yes, it is completely safe to crochet braid your hair. In fact, opting for protective hairstyles is encouraged for people with this hair type as it will lead to low manipulation of natural hair resulting in fewer breakouts or damage.

How often should 4B curls be conditioned?

We suggest you condition your hair weekly, i.e., every other day. It is also recommended to deep condition your hair at least twice every month. Conditioning will ensure the moisture in the hair is locked leading to minimal to no amount of hair drying out.

What is the shrinkage rate of 4B hair?

Hair type 4B tends to shrink up to 75 percent, which means your hair will look much shorter than the actual length. Some of you must find that frustrating, so you can try to stretch your hair while conditioning.

Is it wise to comb or brush 4B hair regularly?

No! Absolutely not! In fact, you must brush or comb your hair as rarely as possible. Use fingers while conditioning to detangle your hair and air dry your hair. The sad truth is the more you comb your hair, the more you will damage it.

To Conclude

Overall, hair type 4B has a lot of pros and cons, but those of us who were naturally bestowed upon by this hair type, must embrace it and love it.

Yes, our hair is more prone to damage and breakouts, however, with proper care and maintenance we can turn our hair into gorgeous locks that could work out as our best feature. As cliché as it may sound, in all fairness, if you only have the will to have beautiful hair, you will find a way to invest sincerely and acquire your desired result.

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