I can’t remember the last time I wrote a post about my hair and that’s because it’s not an area of my beauty routine that I feel like I’ve mastered. For the majority of my life, I’ve had relaxed hair but I stopped chemically straightening my hair so long ago that I can’t even remember. I know it was over 6 years ago, if not more.
Many African Americans weren’t taught to properly care for our hair, so we turned to relaxers to make our texture more manageable. I decided to stop relaxing my hair right when natural hair YouTubers were on the rise but there wasn’t as much information and products dedicated to my texture as there is now. I made plenty of mistakes in my hair journey and learned some tough lessons when it came to my hair. I’ve experienced irreversible heat damage too many times and so much dryness that I’ve grabbed the scissors and cut my ends myself.
Now, with all of the new information out there, I’ve been able to do my research on how to properly care for my hair and I’m determined to nourish and grow my coils to become healthier, hydrated and longer. Today, I’m going to be sharing my 4c natural hair routine, what I’ve learned about my hair and what I’m going to be doing to grow it long and strong.
I know some people don’t believe in hair typing but for me, this is important to find the methods and products that work for my texture. My hair type is 4c, which means it’s the coiliest of curls. My curls are super tight, which means they’re super dry. The tightness of the curls make it hard for moisture and oils travel to from the root to the ends of my hair, so I have to take extra steps to make sure my ends of getting enough moisture.
I’ve also learned that I have low porosity hair, which means my hair cuticles don’t retain water and moisture, instead the water just sits on top of my hair. Because of this, I have to do extra steps to open up the cuticles, moisturize, and seal in the moisture. Having low porosity hair also means that my hair takes longer to dry and naturally has a lot of protein in it, so I have to avoid protein-rich products that can lead to my hair becoming even drier and breaking. If you want to find out your hair’s porosity, read here.
A 4c wash day is all about detangling, removing product build-up, and adding moisture to my hair. I normally wash my hair every week and will co-wash mid-week, if necessary. Here’s what a typical wash day looks like for me:
- Pre-poo and detangle my hair with African Pride’s Moisture Miracle Pre-Shampoo or their Black Castor Miracle Detangling Masque
- Wash with a sulfate-free shampoo like African Pride’s Honey & Coconut Oil Shampoo
- Deep condition using a protein-free hydrating deep conditioner. Cover hair with a plastic cap and sit under a dryer for 30 minutes (this is key)
- Rinse and dry hair 80-90% using a t-shirt
- Moisturize hair using the L.C.O. method (liquid, cream, oil)
- Finish with a protective style; Currently, I’m wearing curly clip-ins, so I usually braid or twist my hair underneath for the week.
- Oil scalp with lightweight, moisturizing oil like Jamaican black castor oil, almond oil, or grapeseed oil
This wash day routine ensures that my hair is moisturized and protected throughout the week. It’s a great routine for someone trying to grow out their hair as it has low-manipulation, which helps avoid damage and breakage. I’m working on getting the length of my hair back even so I’m able to wear my coils out.
Protective Styles I Love
Curly Clip-ins • Box Braids • Sew-Ins
Weekly Maintenance Routine
Since I mostly do protective styling, my weekly maintenance is really low-key and usually consist of me using an oil every few days to moisturize my scalp.
Favorite Hair Products
The majority of my favorite natural hair products are from African Pride because not only are they really affordable ($5 dollars per product) but they also cater to type 4 hair. I’ve had the best results with their Moisture Miracle & Black Castor Miracle lines. Here are some of my must-have products. Let me know if you recommend any others for 4c hair!
Now that you have the rundown on my hair, tips, and routine, let me know your thoughts. If you have naturally curly hair with a similar texture to mine, please leave your favorite products and tips in the comments! I’ll be sharing more hair updates on my journey to longer, stronger hair.