Type 4 hair is kinky and forms tight curls, this often leads to knots and difficulty in combing and managing hair. Type 4 hair is generally more fragile, which makes t more prone to breakage. This type of hair has lower moisture content when compared to other hair types, making it more prone to dryness. If you are struggling to take care of your type 4 hair, then these 13 tips will help you achieve beautiful, ofter and more manageable hair.
Wash your hair once every 1 to 2 weeks.
The more often you wash your hair, the more you strip it of its moisture. This results in dry, brittle hair. You should wash your hair every 7 to 10 days, but you can get away with washing it once every 14 days. This will help prevent dryness and product buildup.
- Stick to sulphate-free shampoos that will not strip your hair of moisture like the Eco Essentials Moisturising Shampoo. Follow up with a moisturising conditioner like the Eco Essentials Revitalising Conditioner.
- If you must wash your hair more often, dilute your shampoo with 50% water and 50% shampoo.
Consider washing your hair with just conditioner every 3 to 5 days
This is also known as "co-washing." It will help moisturise your hair, and keep it manageable. You can help further seal the moisture in with a natural oil of your choosing.
- Step things up a bit by using a deep conditioning mask once a week to twice a month.
- Focus the conditioner on the ends of your hair; avoid applying it to your scalp. Applying conditioner to your scalp will cause your hair to appear greasy.
Use a moisturising conditioner with lightweight, essential oils
Oils like grape seed oil, are more easily absorbed by hair than products like lanolin, which will only clog and weigh hair down. Lightweight oils will moisturise your hair and make it shiny, but they won't weight it down. Try a good light-weight moisturising spray like the Eco Essentials Detangling Hair Mist.
Apply some oil to natural hair every day and straightened/relaxed hair twice a week
Look for products that contain natural oils, such as almond, argan, coconut, and jojoba. A great Oil to apply on your hair daily is the Eco Essentials Hair Growth Oil. Skip products with petrolatum, lanolin, and mineral oils. They will only dry your hair out and stop moisture from penetrating the shaft.
- A little bit of oil goes a long way. Start with a small amount, and add more as necessary.
- After washing your hair, apply a moisturising leave-in conditioner, then add the oil of your choice. This seal in moisture and ensure that your hair stays healthy.
Try a protein treatment or mask
Protein will make your hair less prone to breakage and over-moisturising. Your hair will be a lot shinier too. Be careful not to overuse protein in your hair otherwise it will start to snap off.
Don't use products that contain silicones and sulphates
Silicones are great for making hair nice and smooth, but they can only be removed with sulphates, a harsh cleaning agent that leads to dry hair. If you don't remove the silicones from your hair properly, your hair will get too much build-up, and end up looking dull, greasy, and lanky.
- Fortunately, there are lots of ways to make your hair nice and silky without using silicones, including nourishing masks and coconut oil. These products are easily washed out of your hair, without any dryness or brittleness.
Comb carefully using a wide tooth comb
Always start from the ends of your hair first; never comb straight down from the roots. Avoid using brushes, as they will only make your hair frizzy. Lastly, avoid combing your hair everyday; detangle it when necessary with your fingers. Excessive combing will break your hair off.
Trim your split ends as soon as possible
Even healthy hair is prone to getting split ends, so be sure to check your hair for them regularly. The longer you leave them unchecked, the further the damage will creep up the hair shaft. Don't rely on "split end mending" serums, at they are only temporary fixes; they are not permanent and will not mend your split ends.
Avoid heat styling when possible, and use a lower temperature and a heat protectant spray when you do
Add the spray to your hair while it is still wet; this will help make it more effective. When styling your hair, hold the curling iron or flat iron slightly open while passing it over your hair. This way, you will avoid tugging and pulling your hair, which can lead to breakage Try to limit heat styling to two times a month maximum.
- Try to use the lowest temperature possible, and avoid going too hot. Heat protectant sprays can only do so much.
- Opt for ceramic flat irons over metal ones. They will be gentler on your hair.
- Heat protectants come in many forms, other than sprays, including: shampoo, conditioners, creams, and serums.
Avoid using high-stress hairstyles for long periods of time
Tight ponytails and tight braids can look chic, but they also put a lot of stress on your hair and scalp. Overtime, they can create crimps and breakage in hair. They can also stress the hair follicles, and cause thinning along the hairline.
- Braids, cornrows, and weaves should not hurt. If they start to hurt, they are too tight, and are damaging your hair.
- Avoid using rubber bands when styling your hair, as they can cause tears and breakage. Instead, use a ponytail holder without a metal clip.
Choose sewn-in weaves over glued-in weaves
They are much better at protecting your natural hair against heat styling and outdoor elements. Glued-in weaves can rip out your natural hair upon removal, thus damaging it.
- If you are using a weave, visit your stylist every 2 to 3 weeks to ensure that it stays tight. A loose weave can tug on your hair and damage it.
- Change your weave every 1½ and 2 months.
- Let your hair rest for a few weeks after two consecutive weaves.
Let your hair go natural every once in a while for a few weeks
This is especially important if you are using high-stress hairstyles, such as weaves, cornrows, and braids. While fashionable, these styles put a lot of strain on your hair. Let your hair go natural for a week or two in between styles so that it can relax.
If you must do something with your hair, consider wrapping a scarf or headband around it, or adding in a cute hair clip.
Sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase or wear a satin or silk bonnet to prevent frizz, breakage, and dryness
This way, your hair can stay healthy and won't break or tear. Cotton pillowcases and head scarves tend to snag hair and create tiny rips and tears. They also tend to suck the moisture out of your hair, which can make it even more frizzy and brittle
- Satin or silk pillowcases are also great for skin, as they don't draw out moisture the way cotton pillowcases do.
- If you can't get a satin or silk pillowcase, consider tying your hair up at night with a satin or silk bonnet instead