Despite its coarse-looking nature, type 4A hair is pretty fragile. As such it needs to be handled with the most care.
To properly take care of 4A hair you need to:
Moisturize, moisturize… this cannot be said enough especially with type 4 hair.
While the natural oils produced by the scalp ought to keep 4A hair moisturized, the oils take long to coat the whole hair strand leaving the hair exposed to dryness. Therefore, keeping up with an effective moisturizing routine is very key.
Take advantage of nourishing, natural moisturizing oils such as Argan oil and Jojoba oil to help you keep your hair hydrated.
Another way to moisturize your hair is to stay hydrated from the inside. Drinking bout 2 liters of water daily will give your curls a big boost.
2. Have an effective washday routine
Your washday routine has a huge effect on how healthy your hair will turn out. It not only includes the products that you use but also the practices that you indulge in.
Before going ahead and washing your hair, be sure to pre-poo it first, to help protect it from the harsh, moisture-stripping, effects of shampoos.
Speaking of shampoos, you may not want to just pick the first one you come across.
Choose a shampoo that is moisturizing to your curls, but also does the job of cleaning your hair.
Due to the fact that your hair is prone to drying out, limit washday to once a week. If you must wash your hair in between washdays, utilize co-washes instead, they aren’t that stripping and leave your hair clean.
3. Use the right products & mindfully
The word right products may be relative from person to person.
This is because, despite the fact that you may all have type 4a hair, there may be small differences between your curls.
That being said you may copy someone else’s hair products, but they may not work for you as well as they work for them.
Listen to your hair. What products and ingredients does it respond well to? In addition, choose hair products that are made for natural hair.
“Products support routines and not the other way round” If So pleases. I couldn’t agree more.
Watch her full video to learn about the nuggets she shares about using products.
4. Deep condition
Deep conditioning allows 4a curls to stay healthy and well-moisturized.
When it comes to deep conditioning, there are a few tips that are crucial in ensuring that you end up with bouncy, frizz-free curls:
- Apply the deep conditioner on damp hair. Not soaking wet or dry hair.
- Use heat while deep conditioning. This helps get the deep conditioner into your hair shaft.
- Apply the right amount of conditioner, not too much and not too little. It will take you a bit of trial and error to find that sweet spot.
5. Do protective styles
Protective styles such as box braids or knotless braids are super essential as they help keep your 4a curls free from breakage from constant manipulation.
Protective styles also protect your hair from harsh environmental conditions such as high temperatures.
6. Wear a protective cover when sleeping
Yup, your hair still needs to be protected even as you get that beauty sleep.
When you sleep you twist and turn a lot, hence creating a lot of friction.
This may dry out your hair and cause other problems such as tangles and split ends.
To avoid all that, have a simple pre-sleep routine. Ensure that you also utilize fabrics such as silk and cotton for your pillows and sleeping bonnets and scarves.
7. Trim split ends
Split ends are develop when the ends of your hair shaft split into two or more parts, exposing the inner hair shaft. They are bad news as once they occur, they cannot be reversed.
When the split ends are not dealt with, the hair shaft continues splitting upwards, threatening to cause a considerable amount of damage. The only way to get rid of split ends, is to cut them.
While they may be bad news, they can’t quite be prevented. Trimming the ends prevents that from happening, and keeps split ends, at the end.
8. Minimize heat exposure
Using heat-styling tools such as blow driers and curling irons might have a negative effect on your hair.
Using high amounts of heat on your hair may permanently change your hair’s curl pattern and cause lots of breakage.
When you need to use heat on your hair, make sure you use a heat protectant and a low heat setting.
9. Limit use of chemical treatments
Chemical treatments include bleaches, dyes, and relaxers. All these products work to change the structure of your hair shaft in order to do what they are meant to.
When done wrongly these treatments may lead to the weakening of your hair shaft, and also cause hair loss. Visit a professional when you are about to get any of these treatments done, to ensure that nothing goes wrong.
10. Be gentle
Last but not least, be gentle when handling your hair.
Due to the relatively tight curls, your hair need to be handled gentle to prevent unnecessary tangling and breakage. Unlike straight hair, you can’t quite brush through it; it will take a bit of struggle and patience.
Moreover, your curls are fragile, and being harsh with them will only cause breakage.
In a nutshell, to take care of 4A hair you need to:
- Moisturize well
- Have an effective wash-day routine
- Deep condition
- Use the right products
- Protective style
- Wear a protective cover when sleeping
- Trim split ends
- Minimize heat exposure
- Limit use of chemical treatments
- Be gentle when handling your hair