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Discovering Your Natural Hair Type

Hello guys. Today we are discussing hair types. Our main focus is African hair and our hair is type 4. There are 3 sections or sub types under type 4 hair. They are 4A, 4B and 4C. Each type is different and unique in its own way. And has certain ways it likes to be cared for. Lets get into it.

Type 4 hair is kinky, very tightly curled with a clear visible curl pattern, its fragile, dry. It can range from thin/fine to wiry/coarse with lots of strands densely packed together. It shrinks badly. Very annoying shrinkage. Up to 75% shrinkage of the actual hair length. Type 4 hair has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type (what you get for being black), this means it has less protection from the damage inflicted by combing, curling, blow drying, brushing and straightening.

Moving on to sub types. Type 4 hair has 3 sub types. 4A, 4B and 4C.

Type 4A:- Tightly coiled and has an S pattern. Has more moisture than 4B. Definite coil pattern. Spiral. It can be wiry or fine textured. It has fewer cuticle layers than other hair types, which means it has less natural protection from damage. Solange Knowles is a perfect example of someone with 4A hair.


Tips for 4A hair : co-washing (co-washing is washing your hair with only a conditioner), helps retain natural hair oils. Deep condition once a week. Always use moisturisers.

Type 4B:- Has a Z pattern , less defined curl pattern. It doesn’t really coil, it bends in sharp angles like the letter Z. Feels like cotton, tightly coiled and super fragile. Shrinks badly, up to 75% of actual hair length. Can range from fine to coarse. Its stubborn though. It needs regular moisturizing because it’s very dry. Lauryn Hill has 4B hair.


Tips for 4B hair : Detangle with conditioner in hair, never detangle dry, use a wide tooth comb or your fingers. Always use oils and sealants/butters eg shea butter. Moisturise daily. Deep condition regularly. Do hot oil treatments weekly or bi weekly.

Type 4C:- Is the complicated version of 4B hair. The curls are tightly kinked, and it shrinks more than 75% of actual hair length. Jill Scott and Erykah Badu have this hair type. It can range from thin to soft to coarse also. It has curl patterns that almost never clump without doing a specific hair style.


Tips for 4C : Co-washing!!!!! Let your cleansing involve only conditioners. Or limit to conditioners. Clarify once a Month with sulphate free shampoo. Use cream, oils and butters for moisturising and sealing. Deep conditioning should be your bestfriend. Deep condition twice or more a month.

More tips for type 4 hair: Use satin pillow cases or wear a satin wrap on your head to prevent loss of moisture and breakage.
Do not comb hair dry. Or wet. Wet hair is really weak and will break. Combing hair dry will hurt and cause breakage and headache. Comb hair damp. Detangle hair with conditioner in it. Finger detangle or use a wide tooth comb.
Extra and regular moisture because our hair type is very fragile.

Plenty tender loving care, and most importantly Love Your Hair!!!!!!

Kinky Paradise

Photo Credit: Naturally Curly

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