How To Wash 4b Hair & How Often?

Yvonne NyamongoHair CareLeave a Comment

how to wash 4b hair, how often to wash 4b hair

If not washed properly, 4b hair will be prone to breakage and excessive tangling. It is therefore crucial that you learn how to properly wash your 4b hair.

How to Wash 4b Hair

Step 1: Pre-poo

Pre-poo is a very important step when washing 4b hair.

Due to this hair’s texture and curl pattern, moisture retention is the main goal.

Jumping right into shampooing may deprives the hair of moisture making it drier than usual.

A pre-poo will therefore protect and strengthen the hair from any harsh effects of shampoo. The hair will also become softer hence is easily manageable when detangling.

The good news about pre-pooing is the array of products you can choose from. You can go with oils, DIY masks or even your regular conditioner.

There are also pre-poo products you can buy over the counter, if you have no time to DIY.

Some of the best oils to use for pre-poo are avocado oil, coconut oil, argan oil, or almond oil.

You can also use pre-poo butters such as mango butter, Shea butter and cocoa butter to give the hair shine and strength.

4b hair benefits the most from products that are moisture intensive.

It’s better to pre-poo the night before you shampoo however you can still pre-poo minutes before shampoo.

How to pre-poo 4b hair

  • Start off with damp hair
  • Coat each section with your favorite pre-poo treatment working gently from the scalp down to the hair ends.
  • Cover the hair with a plastic cap or heat bonnet if you are leaving the treatment for a short while. However, pre-pooing will reap maximum benefits if left overnight as the longer you leave the pre-poo products on your 4b hair, the shinier and softer your hair will be.
  • Wash off the pre-poo products properly before going to the next step.

Step 2: Shampoo

Before you apply shampoo, ensure the hair is damp, use warm water to open up the cuticles and make it easier to apply the shampoo.

Although this is entirely optional, sectioning the hair decreases hair breakage and makes is much easier to thoroughly clean the scalp.

With sections, the hair sheds less. Nobody likes working with tangled hair, especially when washing it.

Proceed to apply a shampoo of your choice focusing mainly on the scalp. The shampoo will get rid of any build-up and dirt on the scalp and hair.

Step 3: Massage

Massage the shampoo on your scalp to ensure it is evenly distributed. This will also allow blood circulation through the scalp which enables the product to work effectively.

Step 4: Rinse

Rinse the shampoo from your hair strands with cold water to preserve the hair’s natural oils.

Step 5: Condition & Detangle

4b hair tends to be a bit dry and conditioner will work magic on softening the hair.

Apply conditioner to reduce any friction between the hair strands and retain the moisture lost from shampooing. The main goal of the conditioner is to bring back moisture to your strands.

Leave the conditioner in for 3-5 minutes and then proceed to gently finger detangle your hair before you rinse off the conditioner thoroughly.

Step 6: Dry and Style

Air dry the hair to protect it from any extra dryness and breakage from using a blow-dryer.

However, if you have no time to air dry and must use a blow dryer, ensure it has a diffuser or use it on a low heat setting.

This will protect the 4b hair from frizz and dryness. Style your hair as desired after drying.

The best 4b hairstyles are the protective ones such as box braids, Bantu knots, knotless braids or two-strand twists.

Video Tutorial on How to Wash 4b Hair

If you scroll through Youtube you will realise some people skip the pre-poo stage and others detangle before shampooing.

Try different options and see what your hair loves!

Here are an example of a 4b wash day routine without the pre-poo step:

How Often to Wash 4b Hair

Depending on the build-up on the hair, you can stick to washing the hair once a week or every 2 weeks.

You can increase the frequency of your washes by incorporating co-washing. This will limit your exposure to shampoo while keeping the hair clean and moisturized.

Washing 4b hair type often may cause the strands to dry out more leading to hair breakage and damage in the long run. 4b hair is naturally dry so you would not want to dry it out more than it already is.

In between washes, treat the hair to a hot oil massage with oils such as jojoba, castor, argan, almond, or coconut to lock in moisture. You can also alternate shampooing with co-washing depending on your hair’s needs.


Washing your hair properly and having a good wash and moisture routine will keep your 4b hair hydrated, well oiled, and stop any hair damage.

Minimizing breakage when it comes to 4b curls is the key to retaining the hair’s length and strength. 

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