In this blog post, I’ll go in depth and in detail to explain 4a, 4b, 4c hair types as best as possible.
You’ve probably seen some other blog post or article about type 4 hair and they leave you feeling even more confused with all the information.
It’s overwhelming and I know how you feel because I’ve been there.
You might be a newbie to all this having just gone natural recently or you’ve been natural for long but you just wanted to check online because you’re confused of your hair type.
Or you’re part of those people that just want to see what the fuss is all about.
Whichever natural hair category you are in, you’ve come to the right place.
• We are all unique individuals and with that every strand of hair on our head is unique too.
With that in mind, your hair can consist of more than one type and that’s totally normal.
For me I have a combination of 4b/4c hair type. And hopefully by the end of this article you’ll know yours.
• If you only look at the pictures given, it is very easy to wrongly determine your hair type.
Don’t rule out any particular hair type because your hair doesn’t look like the pictures given below.
Table of contents
a. hair typing system
b. hair types
2. Type 4 hair(kinky)
a. Curl pattern
i. Type 4 hair types ( what are 4A, 4B ,4C hair type)
ii. What is type 4A hair
iii. What is type 4B hair
iv. What is type 4C hair
b. Natural Hair density
i. Thick hair
ii. Thin hair
c. Natural Hair texture
i. Coarse hair
ii. Fine hair
d. Natural hair porosity
i. High density
ii. Medium density
iii. Low density
3. Products that are good for type 4A, 4B, 4C hair types
4. How to style type 4A, 4B, 4C hair types
Hair typing system
It is important to note that there are various hair typing systems which include the Andre Walker Hair Typing System, LOIS, and FIA’s Hair Typing System.
The André walker hair typing system is widely recognized and communicated more than the other hair typing system.
This does not mean that it is the best or most accurate. Personally I don’t say that you must follow a particular hair typing system.
Andre walker in the 90s came up with his own hair typing system.
This hair typing system was originally created for his hair care line but quickly became widely popular. André walker classifies not one but nine different types of hair.
In the André walker hair typing system, it all comes down to how curly your hair is naturally;
1. Type 1hair (Straight hair)- perfectly straight with no type of curls
2. Type 2 hair (Wavy hair)-a little wavy but nothing crazy
3. Type 3 hair (curly hair)-very curly with a strong S shaped pattern
4. Type 4 hair( kinky hair)- tightly curled and kinky hair
Each of this hair types are divided into three sub types A, B and C leaving us with;
Please note: originally André walker did not include 3c or 4c in his hair typing system but later on other people included it.
You might also like: natural hair tips for beginners;lazy girls guide to virgin hair maintenance
Type 4 hair [kinky]
Here we are going to be exploring
• Curl pattern, Hair density,Hair texture and Hair porosity
In the beginning of this blog post, I already listed all the hair types but we’ll just be focusing solely on type 4 hair.
Type 4 hair types [what are 4A, 4B, 4c hair types.]
Have in mind that everyone is not going to be specifically every detail said but this description will fit the majority of people reading this blog post.
What is type 4A hair?
Type 4a curl is a medium curl and it does not break as easily.
This is because the hair curl of this pattern is loose so that means that it is independently spiraling or curling away from other neighboring curls.
This means that there won’t be a lot of interlocking within the curls but there can be exemptions.
Type 4A hair has an s shaped pattern if you stretch it and it tends to be thin, fragile and brittle.
Due to the fact that the curls are loose and they don’t interlock, this significantly reduces the hair breakage.
Type 4a hair doesn’t break as often or easily and this is a very good thing when it comes to length retention.
With type 4A hair, hair shrinkage is actually close to your hair length when straightened out.
For example; if you have 10 inch long hair, when you get your hair wet, your hair to the naked eyes will look 8 to 6 inches on average.
Meaning that 4A hair doesn’t shrink as much the other hair types which would be type 4A, type 4B and type 4C hair
What is type 4B hair?
Type 4B hair bends with really sharp angles and often has a z shape and zigzag like patterns.
Just like type 4A hair, this type is pretty fragile as well.
When it comes to type 4B hair it resembles tight curls. These curls are tighter than and not as wide as type 4A hair in diameter.
When comparing the both of them, there’s a clear distinction in that type 4A hair is looser and wider in diameter and type 4B curls are tighter and a little bit narrower in diameter.
Type 4B hair has a tendency some times to have moderate breakage when you are neglecting your hair, meaning you’re not properly washing, detangling or moisturizing your hair on a regular basis
With type 4b hair shrinkage, the hair usually looks 50% of the true hair length.
For example; if you have 10 inches long type 4B hair, when your hair shrinks after it is wet, to the naked eye it will look 5 inches long.
What is type 4C hair?
Type 4c hair is the hardest to style and take care of.
It doesn’t have a definite curl pattern and it’s extremely hard to comb but a big pro is that it holds the longest style compared to 4B or 4c hair types.
When it comes to type 4C hair, this hair looks like a fro to the naked eye, but when you take a closer look you’ll see very tight small coils or springs throughout your hair if you have type 4c hair.
One of the biggest differences between a curl and a coil Is that with curls, the diameter is usually wide and can be seen with the naked eye while with coils, it is very small and hard to see with the naked eye unless you’re very close.
Type 4C hair is chronically known to break; I’ve also had this experience with my 4C hair.
One of the reasons for this breakage is because the coils are so small and they wind around each other all the time even after detangling.
It is also very difficult to keep it moisturized for a long period of time because it is kinkier in nature.
It also has the greatest shrinkage out of all the type 4 hairs. Only 25 % of your length shows in your hair when it’s not straightened.
If you have a 10 inches long 4C hair, but it reverts back to its curly state, your hair will literally look 2.5 inches long.
Now that you’ve understood curl patterns, leave a comment below on your own hair curl pattern keeping in mind that no one has only one type of curl pattern, so you might have 4a/4b, 4a/4c, 4b/4c or a combination of all three.
Natural hair density
There are two types of hair density that most people usually have and that is thick density hair or thin density hair.
Hair density basically is a visual representation of how easy it is to see your scalp through your hair
1. Thick density hair – if it’s very difficult to see your scrap through your hair no matter where you look unless you’re only looking very closely to your hair line ,then you have thick density hair
2. Thin density hair- just looking at your hair without touching it, if you can see your scalp through your hair then you have thin density hair.
If this doesn’t clear your doubt about your hair type then you can try the hair tie test.
• You get an elastic hair tie and put your hair in a pony tail,If the ponytail holder can wrap around your hair at least 3 times then your hair is thin hair.
• But if you cannot wrap a regular ponytail tie around at least 3 times then you have thick density hair.
Natural hair texture
1. Coarse textured hair: run your hands through your hair, if you can feel every strand and your strands feel thick and full then your hair is a coarse textured hair.
It usually feels dry to touch even when you have moisturized your hair and your hair absorbs the moisture.
2. Fine textured hair: this hair is softer to touch than coarse hair and it is very difficult to count how many strands of hair in your hands when you touch it without looking at it because the strands are very small in diameter.
There are only four different combinations when it comes to hair density and hair texture’;
Natural hair porosity
1. low porosity ; hair that actually takes a lot longer to fully feel saturated with water i.e. it is hard for moisture to enter the cuticle to moisturize the hair.
It takes very long to dry low porosity hair usually about an hour or longer and it can takes hours when you add oils for your hair to properly dry.
2. Medium porosity; moisture enters through the cuticle and it is absorbed and retained in the core of the hair.
It has the best of both because it is easy for water to go in and out of the hair shaft but it doesn’t dry as fast when compared to high porosity hair.
3. High porosity; moisture enters easily and passes through the cuticle without being retained for long.
It tends get wet very quickly and dry very quickly and moisture is lost all the time.
Still confused and tired of guessing, then all you have to do is conduct the water test.
• Get a regular cup of water which is at room temperature.
• Take a couple of strands of your hair that is product free. Also don’t snip the hair off, but instead wash your hair then take the hairs that naturally came off and air dry.
• Then you’ll take the few strands of hair and put into the cup and leave it for only five minutes. Make sure you’re using a clear glass so as to see where your hair falls.
• If your hair stays at the top of the cup after 5 minutes then you have low porosity hair. if it stays in the middle then its medium porosity but if it falls to the bottom of the cup then your hair is high porosity.
Products that is good for type 4 hair
For type 4a hair, a lot of woman say it’s very easy to keep their hair moisturized by just using a little bit of light oil or just using some small pimps of leave in hair conditioner to give them lasting moisturizing effects with their style.
Heavier butters or cream for low porosity hair
Either heavier or light creams for medium porosity hair
Light oils should be use for high porosity hair
Use humectants; humectants are ingredients in products that help to draw moisture from your environment.
A great humectants is aloe Vera gel
I know it can be a ruckus trying to find all this products and trusting an online vendor.
How to style type 4 hair
you can stye your 4C hair in a Two Strand Twists,Twist Braid Updo, Box Braids.,Bantu knots,Afro,Puff,Buns or Space Buns
A big negative to 4A hair is that it’s very difficult to keep styles for a long time usually not more than two or three days, again there are exceptions out there.
Type 4B hair can actually hold a style for a couple of days without having any issues usually around the mark of a week and some days.
for 4c hair types, they hold the longest syle.
keep in mind when wearing protective styles that you should go to a hair stylists that braids well and does not put tension on your hair.
but if you happen to get your braids done but its tight then read this : how to loosen tight braids fast;proven and effective tips
My hair is a combination of type 4B/4C, it is a thin density hair with fine texture and my hair porosity is low
With everything mentioned above, I would love if you gave me a profile of your hair in the comment section below!
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