These are the hair care techniques that I found are most beneficial in order to maintain 4c hair and retain its length.
1. Wash in sections
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP TO FOLLOW WHEN WASHING 4C HAIR! Washing your hair in sections helps retain length because 4c hair has a tendency to shrink and tangle easily. Sections make your hair less stressful to wash because you only have to focus on one section at a time. Section your hair in big twists or with clips in order to prevent breakage.
2. Be patient and gentle
Take your time and handle your hair with care in order to prevent tangles in the shower. Don’t pile your hair on top of your head and scrub away. Instead, smooth shampoo along your hair shaft in a downward motion. Although at times this process may drag on, it makes the post-detangling process much easier.
3. Avoid shampoo with Silicone, Sulfate, Surfactants
Along with removing dirt from your scalp, sulfates simultaneously strip away all the natural oils that your hair needs to stay healthy. The absence of natural oils causes dry and frizzy hair. 4c hair is already dryer and more brittle than other hair textures so sulfate shampoos do more damage than good. Some good shampoo options are:
–Aubrey Organics White Camellia Ultra-Smoothing Shampoo – $10.48
–Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisturizing Shampoo– $13.00 (love this product but it’s expensive)
–Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo– $9.99 (my favorite)
–Giovanni Smooth As Silk Shampoo– $6.97
–Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Shampoo– $2.99
4. Avoid harsh tools when detangling
Wide tooth combs or fingers are the gentlest tools for your hair because they will keep your hair from snagging. Too much combing, over-stretching, and manipulating can cause your hair to snap in the middle of the strand (mid-shaft splits). 4c coils are fragile making it more prone to mid-shaft splits. Do not comb your hair while you shampoo it because the extra pulling will cause stress on your hair. Instead, wait to detangle with a wide tooth comb when the conditioner is on your hair.
5. Moisturize and seal
Although all naturals can benefit from this tip it is particularly important for 4b/4c hair types. Moisturize your hair often so that it doesn’t become dry and break off. Always moisturize with a leave in conditioner and seal it with an oil. After you wash your hair deep condition by either sitting under a hair dryer, or letting the conditioner sit in your hair for at least 15 minutes. DO NOT SKIP CONDITIONING because YOU WILL experience breakage. It will also be hard to maintain your hair if it’s dry.
6. Rinse with cold water
Start by rinsing your hair with warm water for 2 minutes in order open your pores and loosen the dirt residue in your hair. This technique allows you to use less shampoo to wash your hair. At the end of your wash routine rinse your hair with cold water to close your pores back up and prevent dirt from accumulating on your scalp. This method seals in moisture from the conditioner that you applied to your hair by closing the hair cuticle. The cold water leaves your hair “frizz free” by retaining moisture.