Afro Hair - Type 4A, 4B, 4C
Coily hair and afro hair is one of the most delicate types of curly hair.
It is usually classified as Hair Type 4A, 4B, or 4C which translates to; Kinky, 'Coily' or Afro.
Coily or afro hair has a very tight curl pattern and there isn't much space between the coils. This hair type can often be very dry, brittle and is easily damaged.
The good news is that 'Coily' hair is also very versatile. Whether you rock your natural texture or style it in braids, Coily and afro hair looks great no matter what you do with it.
Below we'll explain each type of Coily/afro type in detail.
Afro Type Hair
Afro type Hair is generally classified into 3 curl types,
4A - Your curls are packed in tight with a spiral pattern.
4B - Your hair is prone to dryness and breaks and has a zig-zag shape and experiences shrinkage.
4C - Your coils are dense and can range from fine and soft to coarse and wiry, your hair strand will have a "Z" shape and will experience significant shrinkage.
What Afro Hair Do You Have?
Type 4A Afro Hair
Your coily 4A curls can sometimes be mistaken as a Type 3C as your curl clumps are prone to opening up.
Your curls are continually craving moisture as your natural oils will struggle to coat your entire curly hair follicle.
Heat will cause dryness and frizziness to your coils so you will want to protect your coily hair from heat.
Add hair products for curling that are created to bring maximum moisture into your hair.
Type 4B Coily Hair
Having a "Z" shape zig-zag texture your coily curls are dense and tightly coiled.
Your 4B curls are susceptible to breakage and dryness, this is because of the kinks along your hair strand.
Your coils require protection to be able to grow out to length alongside nourishing oils and lots of hydrating hair products.
With an abundance of volume, your coils will have what can be described as horizontal growth.
Type 4C Afro Hair
4C curls are the most tightly coiled curly hair type.
You will have had to figure out what works best for you and your hair as 4C type curls are a personality, and like with most big personalities they require a lot of attention.
Your curls can be fine and soft to coarse and often are susceptible to breakage and dryness. Your curls have the most amount of shrinkage of all the curl types.
Your hair generally lacks a natural shine and can become tangled very easily.
Afro Hair Care and Maintenance
Your Afro curls are incredible and like all hair types, they need to be treated and cared for correctly.
Below are some ways to care for and protect your curly hair.
✔️ Do not heat style your type 4A-C curls as your curls are very prone to heat damage.
✔️ Protect your hair with hair oil, our Hush hair oil not only smells divine but is great for your hair, scalp, and even face.
✔️ Wear a Curly Hair Sleep Cozy when you sleep or are lounging. Your curls don't need to be rubbing against pillows and lounges all night. That creates frizz from all that friction. So protect your curls when they aren't on display so you can quickly show them off when you're to go out.
FAQ's for Type 4 Afro Hair
Why does my Type 4a hair often feel dry?
The tight pattern of any Type 4 hair makes it challenging for the scalp's natural oils to travel down the entire length of the hair strand. This can leave the hair feeling dry and may require additional moisturising products to maintain hydration.
How can I reduce breakage in my 4B and 4C hair?
Regular deep conditioning, gentle detangling using a flexi brush or wide-tooth comb, protective styling, and sealing moisture using oils or creams can help in reducing breakage. Also, minimise the use of heat and chemical treatments.
How do I handle shrinkage with Type 4 hair?
Shrinkage is a natural characteristic of Type 4 hair and indicates healthy elasticity. If you prefer to showcase your hair's length, you can use techniques like banding, twist-outs, or braid-outs. However, always handle the hair gently to prevent breakage.
What are the best products for Type 4 hair?
Look for products that are moisture-rich and formulated for kinky or coily hair types. Ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera can be particularly nourishing. Avoid products with sulphates, as they can strip the hair of its natural oils.
How often should I wash my Type 4 hair?
Washing frequency varies based on individual needs and lifestyle. However, given the dry nature of Type 4 hair, many find it best to wash their hair once a week or even bi-weekly. **Co-washing (washing with conditioner only) can also be an option between shampoo sessions.
Can I straighten my Type 4 hair without damaging it?
While it's possible to straighten Type 4 hair, frequent use of heat can lead to heat damage, which can permanently alter the curl pattern. If you choose to straighten, always use a heat protectant and limit the frequency to reduce potential damage.