Is 5C hair a thing? A new hair type on the charts?
Stay with me, I will explain everything.
Truthfully, there is a lot of uncertainty and confusion surrounding 5C hair type. And in fact not just 5C hair but there is also confusion around 5A and 5B hair.
Some people believe 5C hair should not rightfully exist and should therefore not be classified as one.
People holding this school of thought believe that hair types should only be restricted to the 4 main ones.
However, the 5c hair community has increasingly gained popularity over the years creating an identity, especially for people who have felt like they did not fit into the “traditional hair types” box.
The aim of this article is to look into 5C hair, specifically (i) what it is and (ii) how to care for it in order to keep it healthy and strong.
What is 5C hair?
5C hair is hair that has been straightened or chemically relaxed until it completely changes its previous curl pattern. This hair type is fully straightened to the point where the original curl pattern is non-existent.
Whether you have 5A, 5B or 5C hair largely depends on the curl pattern before the hair was straightened and the extent to which the relaxing is done.
5A and 5B hair types will usually maintain some of the previous curl pattern as straightening is only done to make the curls manageable.
5A hair results from mildly treating hair with S-shaped curls with a relaxer to further loosen the curls leading to smoother and more manageable curls.
5B hair is hair that previously had tight Z curls that is chemically treated to reform it for more manageable, loose and frizz-free curls.
How To Take Care of 5C Hair
Since 5C hair is overly processed and straightened, it can be brittle and prone to breakage. Therefore, it’s necessary to take extra care when handling it to minimize as much hair damage as possible.
Here are 5 tips on managing and caring for 5C hair.
This goes without saying, 5C hair needs to be well hydrated. All the times.
Owing to its tendency to get too dry, adding moisture through hydrating hair products and hair masks is one of the best ways to ensure its elasticity and minimize breakage.
An effective moisturizing routine begins with a hydrating shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in treatment with hair masks in between.
2. Incorporate a Protein Treatment
Protein in hair is essential for maintaining strength and elasticity and thus the hair is less likely to experience breakage.
For 5c hair, a protein treatment is one of the best ways to restore its health.
It is possible to make a DIY protein treatment using readily available home ingredients such as eggs
Protein treatments are as great as how mindful you are in using them.
Too much of it can cause hair breakage, therefore it’s important to follow any sort of protein treatment with hydrating hair products to bring back some moisture.
This also works to maintain a good protein-moisture balance which is necessary for good hair health.
Equally, do not over do this treatment, find a good balance.
3. Protective Styling
Because 5c hair is straightened and easier to manage, most people prefer to leave it out and style it often. Continuous styling of hair however has been found to contribute to hair breakage.
For 5c hair especially, these effects can be great since the hair strands are already weakened by the relaxer.
Therefore, periodically keep your hair in protective styles to protect hair strands and roots from breakage.
With protective styling also, care should be taken to not overly manipulate the hair as this can have the opposite effect and lead to breakage.
Some low manipulation protective styles to consider include flat twists, and braids.
When you prefer to leave your hair out, consider tying it away. This keeps the hair strands that are most susceptible to breakage from causing friction against collars, clothes, or other items that might contribute to breakage.
4. Protect Your Hair from Heat
Even though not as frequent as natural hair, keeping 5C hair may require a bit of heat.
In the case that you need to use heat on hair, always make sure to use a heat-protecting products to reduce as much damage as possible.
Exposure to heat can be drying and damaging to 5C hair therefore remember to take extra precaution.
If possible, it is better to keep away from heat as the damaging effects are going to be even more pronounced for 5c hair due to the processing it has gone through.
5. Minimize Manipulation to Reduce Hair Breakage
Apart from protecting hair from heat, there are several ways you can protect your 5C hair from breakage.
The first is to be careful when drying hair after cleansing. Some types of towels are too rough and can cause breakage to wet hair which is usually very vulnerable.
Instead, consider a soft fabric towel or a less used cotton t-shirt to dry your hair. These are made of more gentle materials that will reduce the chances and amount of breakage in hair.
Another great way to protect 5C hair from breakage is to consider switching to silk scarves, bonnets, pillows, and sheets which are softer and gentler to hair.
This will reduce any breakage that arises from friction caused by you lying down or sleeping.
Final Thoughts on 5C Hair
Regardless of the hair type you have, taking good care and showing our strands love is all we need to worry about.
Given that 5C hair is chemically treated, the more reason we should take extra care if you want strong, healthy hair.
The key take away from this is:
5C hair is hair that has been straightened or chemically relaxed until it completely changes its previous curl pattern. This hair is usually bone straight making it manageable but equally requiring lots of love to prevent breakage.
This is what you need to do in order to care for 5C hair:
- Keep your 5C hair moisturized
- Incorporate a protein treatment in your regimen
- Wear protective styles
- Be mindful when using heat
- Minimize manipulation
Finally, did you know hair porosity plays a key role in hair growth? Take this simple hair porosity test to determine if your hair is HIGH, LOW or NORMAL porosity.