4c Hairstyle

4C Hair Type: Styles, Tips & Care Routines

You might often ponder over this question: what is 4C Type hair? Well, the general idea is that 4C has traits of both type 4A and 4B – curly like the 4A but is more condensed like the 4B.

Curliest and kinkiest of them all – the Type 4C hair is as coily as it can get. Most dense and textured among all the hair types, Type 4C is significantly challenging to maintain and style.

The hair strands in this type are tightly coiled and they don’t have any significant coiling pattern or texture type. It is the most fragile among the three Type 4 hairs, with a higher breakage rate as well as springiness, and a lower porosity level.

4C Hair Chart

4c hair


Type 4 hairs are not always easily distinguishable due to their resemblances since all of them belong to the kinky/curly group. But there still are differences that signify each from the other.

To better understand your curly hair, you should take a look at this 4C hair chart. With this, you’ll be able to differentiate your 4c hair type from the rest and realize its unique features.

Andre Walker is a hairstylist who created this hair chart. It helps us to identify our type precisely and receive specific care routines and product guidelines with ease. Let’s see how to distinguish the hair type 4C from this chart:

Hair typing system

From the chart, you can see that the type 4A hair curls are shaped like ‘S’ while the type 4B are bent like ‘Z’. Type 4C however is shaped like ‘S’ but much denser and tighter than both.

How to Determine Hair Type 4C?

4c Hair Example


After the initial examination based on the chart, you can determine whether you have a Type 4C hair by following these steps:

Shape: Look for tightly coiled hair strands

  • Grab a few strands of your hair and try to braid, twist or shingle through them.
  • While doing so, you’ll have to notice the pattern and density of your hair.
  • If the pattern is ‘Z’ like bends, then you’re most likely to have a 4B Type hair.
  • If it’s ‘S’ curls, dense, tightly curled and the curl radius is thinner than a pencil, then you can assume that your hair belongs to the Type 4C group

Texture: Type 4C hair can have varying textures based on hair nutrition and condition

  • It can have both fine, cottony, thin texture to a rougher wiry and coarse texture

Density & Strength: Hair Type 4C is the densest and most fragile of all

  • Density: This type of hair is usually tightly packed and dense; it lacks a defining character like its fellow hair types
  • Strength: Fragility and breakage is one prominent characteristic of this hair type

This test will not give you a 100% accurate result as it is based on general ideas on hair types, but you’ll get a deeper understanding of your hair. With this identification, you’ll be able to pick up hair products and subscribe to relevant hairstyling guides.

How to Check the Hair Quality for Type 4C?

Before getting into styling your Type 4C hair, you must determine the quality of your hair strands. Based on the health of your hair, you can set the intensity of your hair care routine. It is also necessary to know before trying out a new hairstyle so that it doesn’t harm your hair.

In order for you to determine the Type 4C hair quality, you have to pluck out a strand of hair and submerge it into a pot of water. Based on the following examinations you’ll be able to determine

Moisture Retention

Once the hair strand is left inside the water pot, you’ll notice whether it sinks or floats.

If it sinks, then it’s a good sign that your hair can in fact absorb water and has a higher porosity level. It means you have some healthy hair.

If it floats, however, it suggests that your hair is unable to hold moisture in and is probably prone to breakage. It means that your hair requires more care than you usually do.

Springiness of Hair

The springy nature of your hair tells you about the health of your Type 4C hair. While your hair strand is still wet, pull it straight and then let it loose. If it springs back to its former shape, it implies that your hair is healthy and it is retaining moisture.

Hair Breakage

When your Type 4C hair is all tangled and knotted up, you should keep an eye out for broken hair as you detangle them. The breakage of hair during detangling suggests that your hair health level is below natural.

Nutrition Balance

Pick out a hair strand from your hair Type 4C and hold it straight. Check for the thickness level from top to bottom. If it is evenly thick, then you have healthy hair. And if the root is thicker than the tip, then you’ll most likely face issues like breakage or lack of moisture.

Type 4C Hair Problems

4C Hair Problem

Hair Type 4C is one of the most unique hair types out there. It has its own defining quality with natural curls, but it comes at a cost.

This high-maintenance hair type often causes troubles if left untreated. Let’s find out the most common Type 4C hair problems!


Hair breakage is one of the most common problems of hair Type 4C. Due to the coily nature and inability of holding moisture, this hair type becomes prone to breakage.


Shrinkage is another hassle you have to face if your hair type is 4C. As the hair strands are naturally curly and kinky, they generally tend to maintain the springy trait.

This type of hair shrinks back up to 75% of its length, thus it seems to be quite short and volumetric. For this, they can’t be brushed straight or laid back at full length.

Tangled Hair

Waking up with tangled hair is another common issue that people with hair Type 4C have to face regularly. This takes a lot of time and effort to de-tangle. It can easily delay your plans for the day.


The texture and coily nature of Type 4C hair restrict it from retaining moisture in each strand. This incapacity of absorbing or maintaining moisture leads this hair type vulnerable to multiple types of damages.

Styling Limitation

Type 4C hair is not always very easy to control and handle, and definitely much more challenging to style outside the curly/kinky trends. Straightening would permanently damage the natural curls or coloring might increase hair dryness so much that they break off even easier than before.

Also, it requires some care and the right products to shape the hair into a particular style. If not met with proper hair care and styling guides for Type 4C hair, then you can find it quite restricting in terms of styling.

Requires Intensive Care

The dryness and springiness of hair Type 4C need quite an amount of catering. Also from the tangled hair after waking up to the health of your hair – all of these demand proper and intensive care routines to be kept in good shape.

Type 4C Hair Care Routines

Hair Type 4C may sometimes intimidate you but be assured that you’ll stop feeling this way once you scratch up a care routine for your hair. This routine might require some work to figure out.

But once you’re there, it’ll ease all sorts of pain you’ve been facing with your Type 4C hair. Let’s check out below a standard Type 4C hair care routine that you can follow:


Regularly washing your Type 4C hair is a necessity for keeping it pliable. Washes tend to cleanse the natural oil and dirt that are stored on the tight curls. This solidifies the hair strands and causes breakage.

If washed regularly, then your 4C Type hair should become lighter and come in contact with moisture. Use moisturizing products during the showering process.

In terms of shampoo, pick out sulfate-free shampoos for your Type 4C hair for a better result. Also, try deep conditioning weekly as it helps to hydrate and soften up your tight and coily hair.

Leave in Conditioning

Leave in conditioning is an alternative method to a shower for your Type 4C hair. If it’s a hassle for you to take shower, apply shampoo and conditioner every day, then using a leave-in conditioner before going to bed should give you similar results on non-shower days.

Note: try avoiding leave-in conditioners with mineral oils for your Type 4C hair

Oil & Cream

Applying hot oil therapy to your Type 4C hair after conditioning is highly recommended by experts. It adds strength to your natural curls and reduces the chances of breakage.

You can try out a few different types of oils to figure out which one suits your hair texture the best. You can make your choice from the range of Castor oil, Coconut oil, Jojoba oil, etc.

Before applying, you need to heat your oil to a lukewarm temperature. Then oil your hair strands properly from the root to the tip. Then wear your shower cap, wrap a towel around it and wait for at least 10 minutes.

This oil therapy should consolidate the result from the deep conditioning. Hair cream for hair Type 4C can be used as an alternative to serving the same purpose.

Best Edge Control

The best edge control you can get for your Type 4C hair is by combining a few of the procedures in proper sequence. LOC/LCO are two hair care methods that work on most 4C hairs.

Here, L=Leave in conditioning, O=Oil therapy, and C=Cream application. Following the LOC method the leave-in conditioning lasts longer with oil therapy and the cream application works as a sealer.

On the other hand, the LCO method focuses more on shiny and strong curls. Leave in conditioning softens the hair edges and the cream holds it in. Then an oil treatment over these works both as a sealer and a shiner so that you can flaunt your naturally coily Type 4C hair at any place!

Silk Sleeping Cap

To spare yourself the pain of detangling your Type 4C hair in the morning, wear a silk sleeping cap while sleeping. It not only prevents tangled hair but also prevents your hair from breakage. It also helps ease your leave-in conditioning process.

Detangling Brush

Use a detangling brush specially made for Type 4 hair. It offers better results than regular brushes and causes less breakage and damage to your precious hair.

Best Products for 4C Hair

Picking and applying hair products for any type of hair is a necessity to keep the hair healthy. And 4C Type hair requires precise products to keep healthy and fashionable.

Natural Hair Products for 4C Hair

The most natural hair product for Type 4C hair would be the different oils. Castor oil usually works best for this hair type as a natural remedy and prevents hair breakage while adding moisture to the scalp.

Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil is a mixture of Castor and black seed oil that strengthens weak and breakage-prone Type 4C hair. It moisturizes the scalp, saves from split ends, and provides strong, healthy-looking kinky hair for you.

Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Leave-In Conditioner is another natural product for 4C hair that you can use. The organic elements in this conditioner reduce the risk of chemical-based damage in longer and regular application time. It adds moisture to the hair strands that prevents frizziness and tangling of Type 4C hair.

Best Shampoo for 4C Hair

Before committing to a single shampoo product for your Type 4C hair, you should explore and try out a few different options. Because even though you might belong to a particular type of hair, still there are unique aspects that can work better with one shampoo than the other.

With this in mind, we suggest the SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Shampoo that should help you hydrate and regenerate your dry, damaged Type 4C hair. This shampoo is sulfate-free and consists of honey and Mafura oil. It could be the beginning of the organic journey to your hair products.

Deep Conditioner for Hair Type 4C

The Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist deep conditioner is something you can consider for your Type 4C hair. Paraben-free, fused with avocado and Australian Jojoba oil, this deep conditioner will soften your coily bends. It’ll also add moisture, a shine to your curls while smelling fantastic coming out of the shower!

Best Gel for 4C Hair

Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Shine Pomade is the gel that delivers in all fronts for Type 4C curly hair. This gel is made with oils, Shea, and Cocoa butter with beeswax and herbal extracts.

This natural gel controls the flyaway hair and manages frizz. Magically it keeps the hair light and provides moisture without getting sticky and heavy like the other pomades out there.

Best Moisturizer for 4C Hair

Using moisturizing creams can ease the pain of controlling your Type 4C hair before going out. The tgin Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer not only adds moisture to your hair daily but also provides nourishment and nutrition to your hair strands.

Curl Enhancer

One of the best natural Type 4C curl enhancers out there in the market is the SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Based on coconut and hibiscus, it gives your kinky hair smooth curls.

This product doesn’t use chemical substances like sulfate or silicone, thus adding a natural silky feeling to your Type 4C hair without any damage.

Styling Tips for Hair Type 4C

Styling with Type 4C hair requires patience and knowledge about the hair type. You must study this type well before diving into styling, or simply visit a hairstyling expert for a safer approach.

If you feel you can style your hair on your own, then that is of course encouraged. And for the self-styling processes, we offer you a few 4C styling tips that you might find handy.

Don’t Overheat

Type 4C hair is very fragile as you already know. Applying heat without protectant, or excessive heat can do permanent damage to your hair strands.

While applying hot oil, make sure not to heat it too much. Do not blow-dry for longer than necessary, take 5-second breaks after every 20 seconds of blow-drying.

Try to avoid using straightening irons. If you do, seek expert opinions. If you’re determined on straightening, play towards your natural curls.

Go Natural

Kinky/curly Type 4C hair is easily damaged. And although sulfate-based products clean well, they tend to damage your hair more in the process. So either wash your hair once a week or pick out a product based on natural elements.

In the case of other care or styling products, try to select from natural element-based ones. This way, you’ll be able to follow frequent hair routines without putting your hair in harm’s way.

We have provided you with a few products as such. Continue reading this blog to find out what we think to be the best ones for your Hair Type 4C and generate significant results.

Kinky Hair is Beautiful

All the Type 4C kinky hair or tightly coiled hair are unique and are very beautiful to look at. You shouldn’t lend your ear to anyone who would say otherwise.

There are hundreds and thousands of people now over the world who’d die for curly hair. They go through expensive curling processes just to get the hair type you already naturally have.

Wear your curly hair with pride and style according to your curl patterns. If you start loving and flaunting your beautiful Type 4C hair, the world will soon follow you.

Don’t Use Excess Products

Your 4C hair requires intensive care and it leaves you with no option but to use hair products. This is something you have to integrate as a part of your life.

But it doesn’t mean you must use hair products every day of your life. Like you, your hair needs rest too. Give it chemical-free days once in a while.

And even when you do apply products, try to ensure that you’re doing what is necessary. Do not overdo, and do not overuse products. Because using more products and ingredients than necessary might backfire and do more harm than good.

Some Popular 4C Hairstyles

Your kinky hair can be kept short yet still be styled in a number of ways. Or you can let it grow and find even more diversity in your styling.

4C Type hair does not fall into the general category of hairs, as a result, the hairstyles it produces are extraordinary and unprecedented.

Here we have shortlisted a few strikingly beautiful 4C hairstyles for you to gain inspiration from!

Multi-colored Braids

Multi Colored Braids

Take it from Lalah Hathaway and her eccentric braids of multiple colors. Hair sections must be colored beforehand anticipating the braid patterns in the final look.

The natural curly black hair should be braided in smaller groups. The colored portions have to be braided separately for the effect to work. Once all done, you’ll look fabulous with your hair like this famous singer!


4c Hair Buns


For an easy and stylish look, you can create buns with your 4C Type hair. You can place it on top or back of your hair, or you can even make two buns on each side should you prefer!

Curled Braids

Curled Braids

Ledisi’s curled braids with her 4C hair are as strong of a look as her voice. Hair divided into smaller portions, you can create braids that you’ll curl up and lock into place with clips.

If you dye your hair beforehand, this could uplift your look even more. After completion, you’ll have hair as beautiful as Ledisi’s.

Curly Tips

Curly Tips

You can trim your sides and keep a higher volume on top with short 4C hair. With gel, you can twist smaller groups of hair into curls. Once done, you’ll have a curly tips hairstyle.

Short Afro

Short afro

Afro is one of the most iconic curly hairstyles. With your short 4C type hair, you can wear this look with ease. You can even dye your afro to add a modern edge to your look.

Twisted Sides

Twisted Sides


Keep your hair Type 4C to a medium-short length and twist out the sides. You can tuck them over your ears or use clips as both holder and decoration. This can be worn in fancy parties as well as group outings.

Dyed 4C Hair

Dyed 4C Hair


Your hairstyle speaks for you. If you believe this with your heart, then you’ll feel your hair to be your canvas. You can put all the color of the world (with caution of course) on your hair and produce unseen, unique styles.

You can dye your afro red, your dreads blue, or your afro-buns with all the colors of your personality. Here are a few ideas you can follow, or you can follow your heart and be creative.

4C Hair for Men: Hairstyling Ideas

Men’s 4C hair type is often overlooked and not talked about as much as it should. Some prefer to just trim the hair down to scalp level to spare themselves the supposed hassle for hair care and styling.

But we are here to change your views. Let’s take a look at some of the celebrities to gain some ideas on Type 4C hairstyles for men. It’s time for you to rock the world with your long and curly hair!

Jaden Smith

Jaden Smith

Style your 4C hair the way Jaden Smith does! With trimmed sides and long hair on top, he creates braids and ties them together with a band.

The braids hang over his head covering a portion of his face. You can add ornamental rings to individual braids to make your look more aesthetic!

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa 4c hair

Wiz Khalifa’s stylistic approach with his Type 4C hair is an inspiration for men. Just like him, you can coil up a few groups of your medium-length hair into braids.

The tip of each braid can be gelled to keep it in place, or you could tie ribbons around for the same result. Additionally, you can add subtle highlights to your hair for a fancy effect!

Richard Sherman

Richard Sheman


This famous NFL player carries his long 4C hair on the pitch and lets them fly. Styled by rolling braids and tying the ends with a knot, Sherman’s loose braids are an iconic sight on any Buccaneers game!

For hair care guides, you can follow the same guide we’ve provided above as the Type 4C hair textures and patterns don’t vary much in males or females.

4B vs 4C Hair: Let’s Assess

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Differentiating between hair Type 4B and 4C is important in the case of following hairstyling guides and particular care routines. But in hindsight, it can seem like there’s no significant difference.

Our chart below will help you identify the unique characteristics of your respected hair types. With this, you’ll be able to learn what signifies your hair type from the very next.

I hope with the help of this table, you’ll be able to distinguish your Type 4C hair from 4B. This distinction will save you from all the confusion before buying products for your particular hair type.


Listed below are some of the questions we’ve found on the internet regarding Type 4C hair.

Is 4C the worst hair type?

Ans: It most certainly is not. Type 4C hair is one of the most naturally curly hairs there can possibly be. It is authentic, it is beautiful, and it is a token of your proud identity that you get to carry around on you. It just requires a little more care than other hair types due to its fragility.

Why does my 4C hair stay at the same length?

Ans: 4C hair is one of the most coily hair types out there. So when your hair grows, the length gets minimized in the curls and instead of growing the length, it ends up growing the volume.

Final Thoughts

Good things come at a cost, and naturally curly Type 4C hair is something as such. It is naturally beautiful, it just requires some maintenance and care. Once you get acquainted with the routines, you’ll feel them to be as convenient as brushing your teeth every day.

I hope this post has helped you figure out your 4C hair type and the necessary care routines. No matter which product you pick for your hair, we’d suggest you pick something natural. Because your hair is as precious as you are, and you should style and flaunt it with pride!

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