Natural hair queens are admired by many people. If you want the look, learn how to grow 4c hair. With the right regimen and knowledge, growing your 4c hair shouldn't be that hard. Developing long, healthy 4c natural hair is very much possible with consistency and patience. Here, you will learn exactly what 4c hair is, how to care for it, and how to grow your 4c curls long.
Before you can fully grasp the 4c natural hair growth tips, you want to know the stages of natural hair growth. This will give you more insight into what can work for particular hair types. There are 4 categories of hair starting from type 1 all the way to type 4c and maybe 4d. The hair typing concept was founded by Andre Walker, a professional hairstylist who has served prominent people including Oprah Winfrey. Sometimes, decoding your curl pattern can be daunting. Note that it is possible to have different kinds of texture on one head. But when styled, they somehow look cohesive.
Sometimes you ask yourself, 'Why can't I grow my hair into curls like my friends?' Your type of curl depends on the shape of the hair follicle. This is the anchor from which the hair shaft sprouts. Oval shaped and flat follicles produce curlier hairs. Circular follicles give straighter shafts. The curl pattern is also subject to the cumulative shape of your hair strands. The strands can kink, wind, or curve around to form spirals. If you have textured hair, you are more likely to have a combination of patterns e.g. wavy, coiled, curly, and kinky. You can better understand your pattern(s) when the full head is sopping wet. Simply put, here is a breakdown of the patterns:
- Type 1: Straight
- Type 2: Wavy
- Type 3: Curly
- Type 4: Coily
Then there are sub-categories of each type based on the diameter and widths of the coil, curl, or wave pattern.
- Sub-class A: Wider pattern
- Sub-class B: Medium pattern
- Sub-class C: Smaller pattern
The secret to better natural hair care starts with understanding your hair type. When you pinpoint your texture and identify the right products for your hair, you start realizing more versatility and options for your hair.
What's Special About 4c Natural Hair?
Hair type 4C was once thought to be the toughest to manage. Some people are even reluctant to start the 4c hair journey. But when they learn how to treat their hair right, their 4C comes out flourishing. You will know you have reached 4c when each strand becomes harder to see and closer to a Z or S pattern. It is tightly coiled and doesn't have any defined curl when freshly washed. If you want to define the curls, you must braid, shingle, or twist the strands. Most natural beauty hairs have a 70% maximum shrinkage rate. That means that even when your hair is shoulder length or bra length, your afro may look pretty short. Using shampoos and conditioners that help elongate your curls and gels that hold the curls will make your hair look longer. The best products for this hair are the creamier and heavier types. One important thing though: you must be gentle because it is fragile. Avoid any chance of tangling and breakage as much as possible.
Dryness and shrinkage are some of the common hair challenges for 4c hair. Even the most tightly coiled hair faces the same risk. You just need to learn the protective hairstyles and regimens to evade these tripwires. When growing 4c hair, a slight increase in length may not be noticeable. But you finally realize the full length by pulling a section of it.
What are the Secrets to a Fast Natural Hair Journey?
The first secret to 4c hair care is water. Forget hair greasing for moisturizing the hair.
Water is the best hair regimen. Moisture increases hair growth. Remember that 4C hair is prone to drying very quickly so it's of utmost importance to keep it hydrated and moisturized. Moisturizing should be a daily routine. Spritz your head with water before styling.
Make a habit of applying a moisture-retaining gel like aloe vera. Mix it in your spray bottle and apply it every morning. Maximize the hair length with a curl pudding as well.
Oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, Castor oil, and Jamaican black castor oil help to seal in the moist. Before styling, use leave-in conditioners and moisturizing butters such as mango or Shea butter. This is the famous LOC method (Liquid, Oil, and Cream).
You can also do the LCO (Liquid, Cream, and Oil) applied in this order. Always keep the strands fresh and do not bog them with endless products. From time to time, use a clarifying shampoo to remove product buildup and harsh deposits.
How Often to Wash and Care for 4c
There are two ways to keep your hair moisturized:
Shampoo/Wash Your Hair - Do it 1or 2 times every month
If you are committed to growing your 4c hair, limit the exposure to shampoos. Wash it one or two times per month. The problem with shampoo is that it erodes the nutrients and oils that are already present in the hair. With 4C hair, it can be difficult to retain moisture. So, do not make the situation worse by washing it off more often with a drying shampoo. Sulfate-free shampoos are highly recommended if you want to grow 4c hair fast. Ditch sulfate shampoos especially if your hair is dyed and kinky. Such products are very harsh and may strip off your hair color. Sulfate-free cleansers help to retain oils leaving your scalp and hair smooth with moisture. If you are sensitive to sulfates, you will also reduce scalp irritation and eczema with gentle shampoos. Similarly, use hair care products specifically designed for natural hair as they are less likely to dry your hair.
Co-washing- Use a deep conditioner every two weeks
While conditioning, make sure that the product seeps into every strand in the best way possible. This often means applying a heat cap while the hair is wet and conditioned. Keep in mind that too much washing is dangerous. You might start experiencing split ends followed by breakages. But, if you do not wash enough times, dirt will accumulate, leaving your head in a bad state. Product build-up causes bad smell and unhealthy strands and may create yeast overgrowth on the scalp.
Deep conditioning is the best way to handle shrinking, frizzing, and breakages. It refreshes the hair in a way that a typical conditioner cannot do. Because your 4C hair is prone to tangling, it is advisable to wash it in sections. Finger detangling makes it easier to manage and control the knots when washing. Divide the entire hair into 4-6 manageable sections. You can pre-poo by adding hot oil treatment or a regular conditioner. Wash every section separately. Use wide-tooth combs for combing and detangling your hair. Never comb the hair when dry. It is both painful, frustrating and causes frizz. As you pass the fingers through the hair, be gentle, and reach the tight spaces. Only do this when you have attained minimum dampness. Never use it when the hair is dry.
More Hair Growth Tips
Managing your 4c hair fast is not all about washing. The natural hair journey is said to be the most delicate. And so you must put more effort when conditioning, combing, trimming, and styling.
Trimming Your Hair
Initially, trimming healthy hair may seem counterproductive. But the long term benefits are great. Split ends must be trimmed as a way of protecting your hair from unnecessary breakages. Note that the split ends can extend up the whole shaft, causing more damage. Hair tips grow fast and healthy when trimmed off. If you are not sure of how to trim, consult a stylist who will use professional scissors. Consider trimming the hair two times per year.
Massaging Your Scalp
Scalp massages are part of the hair care routine. They enhance blood flow through the scalp. With sufficient blood and nutrients flowing through the scalp, the hair receives the necessary food for growth. Even if you don't visit a professional masseuse, you can simply massage yourself. Combining scalp massage with the inversion method can also stimulate hair growth.
Embrace styles that protect and maintain a natural growth curve. Even with styling products like extensions, you still need to keep the hair moisturized. You don't want it to break your beautiful hair in the name of styling. Wash-and-go is one of the best natural hair styles. If you prefer to keep the hair off your face, create a jumbo top knot. For this style, make sure your hair roots are smooth and the baby hairs are kept down using a brush dips in edge control before designing that big bun. It gets easier when you try the ponytail. Simply brush down your hair and secure the tail with a beautiful scrunchy. You might want to have some volume by fluffing the curls. The other incredibly cute style is the fauxhawk. You just need some pins to hold together your shorter hair on both sides of the head. With these hairstyles, you will be able to keep the hair outstretched without experiencing the tangles.
Protect Your Hair During Bedtime
Did you know that bedtime is when your hair sheds the most? Do you have the right plan to keep your hair protected? Remember that your hair has to deal with the friction and movement of the head. Never go to bed with tons of tangles because they only get worse as you toss and turn. If wearing a twist-out, re-twist after spritzing and applying a little moisturizer oil. Wrap in a silk scarf or satin bonnet for protection. Always wrap it in a soft material like satin bonnets or silk scarves. Additionally, your pillowcases and sheets should combat the loss of moisture. So the fabric ought to be soft. If you have treated your hair with color, get a moisturizing mask and a heat protectant. Avoid overheating your head. Use a scrunchy rather than an elastic band.
To care for and grow 4c hair, many people try various natural hair tips. The inversion method involves inverting yourself while lying on your back with the head hanging over the edge of a bed. An inversion table can work as well or you could sit on a sofa and bed forward with the head hanging between the knees. Alternatively, stand and bend over while touching your toes.
You can apply some oil while in that position. Some of the best natural hair growth tips include the use of rice water, grapeseed, coconut, and jojoba oil. Massage the treatment into the scalp and repeat the inversion method two or three times a day. Leave the oil for 2-3 hours and condition as desired.
Choosing Natural Hair Products
A lot of people think that with natural hair how to care should be simple. But it takes experience to nail the right strategies to grow your hair. There are three objectives of DIY hair:
- Finding the right hair products
- Utilizing hair growth treatment optimally
- Stay away from styling tools and chemicals that damage hair
No matter how good a product is to your friend, you must find your own because no two hair types are created the same. One of the best tips for 4c is to find a secret natural hair regimen with a combination of quality products. A good treatment plan grows natural hair fast and cures thinning hairlines and constant hair loss. It is hard to find it in the local beauty stores. Avoid using too many treatments as they could be doing more harm than good. It might be hard to identify the root cause of your hair issue when applying too many products. When you find one that works for you, stick with it for some months before trying another one. Generally, these are the factors to consider before making a purchasing decision.
This refers to the volume of strands on your head. It is the thickness of your hair and can be low, medium, or high. As mentioned earlier, natural hair growth depends on the moisture content. Your wash day should follow the LOC method. If you have an extremely thick hair, go for heavier a moisturizer and leave in conditioner. For thin hair density, avoid heavy creams as they can weigh down your hair. Simply put. Low-density hair requires lightweight products.
This is the ability of the hair to absorb moisture. When you drop some hair strands in water, they can either float or sink. Low porosity is when the strands float. Bit highly porous hair sinks easily. When your hair is less porous, it means it can resist moisture to some extent and also takes longer to lose the same. It is also susceptible to product build-up. Too much protein on the strands can give you brittle and dry hair. Consider deep conditioning for tightly coiled hair to help it absorb the ingredients better. Normal hair porosity lets in the moisture and retains it for longer. Highly porous hair quickly absorbs water and loses moisture very fats. So it is very prone to damage and may look frizzy no matter how much you treat it. To make it stronger, get more protein treatment, and use the LOC method.
Your choice of hair product should align with the prevailing climate. Some treatments are good for certain weather and times of the day. For instance, glycerin can give you a frizzy look during a humid day. In hot weather, make natural oil to be your best ally. Argan oil and castor oil are among the best tips for 4c hair when you want to instantly add sheen no matter the weather. When buying a shampoo to wash your hair, check out for these natural components.
The 4C Hair Growth Cycle
Different types of hair including 4c hair grow at different rates. There are 3 main stages of hair growth.
Phase 1: Anagen
It is the first stage that takes 3-10 years depending on several aspects. On average, a hair shaft grows 1 inch longer every month. It is the phase when the strands are in close contact with blood vessels and so they absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from the body. If you are looking to grow natural hair, this is a time to apply growth tips for type 4c. About 88% to 90% of your hair is normally at this phase.
Phase 2: Catagen
It is the middle stage that is a bit shorter and so is called the resting phase. For the at catagen stage, the strands are somehow stagnant. They retain length such that they are neither falling nor increasing. It can last about 4 weeks as the scalp gets ready for the final stage
Phase 3: Telogen
The final phase is the shedding phase. At least 11% of your hair at any given time is at this phase. The strands can get lost by themselves or can be pulled during washing, combing, or braiding. It is possible to lose up to 100 strands every day. If you have dreadlocks, you don't lose much and so you can attain longer hair. Shedding of hair at this stage should not be confused with breakage. Length retention is challenged by breakages and split ends.
It is normal for hair to grow at least 6 inches every year. Suppose your anagen phase takes 6 years. Then you should have a maximum hair length of 36 inches. Only a few people with 4c type of hair attain such lengths due to external and internal factors. Since all your hair shafts can never be at the same stage, there is no way you can shed the entire head at once. Some will be at anagen while others at telogen.
Are you wondering why your hair is not growing? First, know your hair type so you can take the right steps to deal with it. As you have seen, you should always keep it moist for easy management. Stop envying beautiful curls on the streets because 4c hair growth is only a step away with the right products and hair care routine.