Coily hair has tightly packed, wiry coils. Type 4 hair is often lacking in moisture, fragile, and prone to breakage.
Type 4A hair has wiry, “S” shaped small coils with minimum shrinkage. Often has some 3c curls, these curls can lose definition and moisture quickly. A tip for caring for your curls are to include some curling gel for finger coiling.
Type 4B has a “Z” shaped coil that bends sharply into various angles with up to 70% shrinkage from wet to dry hair. When it comes to definition, type 4B hair has less definition than type 4A hair without specialized products and has the appearance of a spring from a ballpoint pen. This type is more prone to shrinkage and dryness than 4a. Including a leave in conditioner and elongating gel are just a couple of products that will give more definition in styling finish.
Type 4C has a tight, undefined coil with a sharp zigzag pattern and the highest shrinkage from wet to dry. It has fewer layers of cuticle than any other hair type. The cuticle retains moisture and can protect the hair strands from damage. This hair type needs extra moisturization in order to avoid dryness and breakage.
Including a leave in conditioner, hair butter and protective oils to lock in moisture are super important tips for length retention. Washing with Co-washes which contain mild surfactants such Decyl glucoside which are good for more regular cleansing but only use a clarifying shampoo when necessary to remove product build up and make the scalp squeaky clean.
The most popular complaint about coily hair is styling: type 4 hair is often undefined and relies on dense product to improve coil definition.
The truth is when it comes to Type 4 hair it is extremely versatile and can be manipulated in so many different ways. From a silk press to being set in different sizes and types of curls by using flexi rods, flat twists or just simple finger coiling. It looks neat in braids and locks and can be left in its pure natural state to rock the undisputed afro. This hair type should be appreciated for its versatility.
Most important when dealing with any hair it is necessary for each individual to experiment with different products, practices and remedies to finally get the results that one is looking for. Always consider your hairs porosity while looking at which products to utilize. Porosity is about your curls ability to be moisturized and stay that way.
If your hair is high porosity it will drink a lot of moisture but it won’t last too long so your routine will need to include more regular moisturization and heavier oil based products. If hair has a low porosity then it has a hard time absorbing products, light weight moisturizing products to keep hair hydrated. Regular deep conditioning and using protein less often will assist in caring for low porosity types.