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Four categories identify hair texture. Type 1 describes straight hair, type 2 and 3 represent progressively curlier hair, and type 4 includes coily and kinky hair. While there are slightly different textures within each type, the three hair textures in the type 4 category vary the most. Here’s how you can tell the difference:
Small coils are a hallmark of type 4A hair. Many people define these coils using a variety of gels and moisturizing hair products. When styled appropriately, this hair type can hang down toward the shoulders.
People with type 4B hair may notice that their hair strands resemble a zigzag shape upon closer inspection. Some people refer to this hair texture as kinky.
The texture of 4C hair is the tightest of all. While the hair tends to take a coily shape, these coils are incredibly small and tight. This hair type is often represented in the media with big afro hairstyles.
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Hairstyles For Type 4 Hair
When it comes to styling type 4 hair, there are many fun and stylish options to choose from. Each of these techniques works on all three textures of type 4 hair.
Wash & Go
Many people with type 4 hair work hard to perfect the wash-and-go hairstyle. After a fresh wash, apply a leave-in conditioner throughout your hair. Either finger comb or use a wide-toothed comb to distribute it evenly. Then, repeat this process with whichever styling products work well in your hair. Some people apply gel, moisturizing cream, mousse, or other products. Different people require different products based on what their hair responds to. Once you’re done applying your hair products, you can either air-dry your hair or use a diffuser or hooded dryer to speed up the process. Now you’re ready to hit the town with freshly styled curls and kinks.
Some people prefer a style that lasts longer, like two-strand twists. You can put these twists in wet or dry hair. Part the hair into small, even sections. Apply your products of choice, such as leave-in-conditioner, mousse, or moisturizing cream, and separate the section of hair into two even pieces. Twist the two pieces together to create neat twists. Once you have twisted all of the hair, you can apply mousse to make the twists plump up for a fuller look. If you twisted the hair while it was wet, sit under a hooded dryer until it dries.
Twist Outs & Braid Outs
If you’re trying to increase the longevity of your hairstyling efforts, a twist out or braid out can be exactly what you need. Following a two-strand twist, flat twist, or braided hairstyle, you can apply a small amount of oil to your hair and hands to take the style down. Should the hair gather in uneven clumps, you can carefully pull the curls and waves apart to make smaller sections. If done patiently and without causing a lot of frizziness, the resulting curls and waves can make you look and feel amazing!
After wearing a twist out or braid out for several days, it can start to frizz and lose its uniform waves and curls. This is the ideal condition to style the hair into a high puff on top of your head. Apply gel and/or edge control to your edges around your hairline. Brush the product into the hair, then spray a little water and apply a little moisturizing cream to the ends. Use a hairband to pull the hair back and you’re done!
Sometimes a faster hairstyle is necessary to get you out the door. A blowout can allow you to quickly dry and style your hair. After washing your hair, apply heat protectant and blow-dry your hair with a comb attachment on medium heat. Once the hair is mostly dried, quickly go over it again with the blow dryer on high heat. When the hair is just about dry, apply leave-in conditioner, moisturizing creams, and any other products you choose. Then you can leave your hair out in an afro, or style it with braids, twists, puffs, or however you prefer.
You can wear any of these styles for several days without rewashing. Moisturizing the hair at night and covering it with a satin scarf or bonnet will prevent it from drying out and tangling. If you need more tips and tricks for styling type 4 hair, check out our previous blog about hair products for natural hair.