Type 4 Curls and Coils: Choosing the Right Products

Type 4 Curls and Coils: Choosing the Right Products


Understanding Type 4 Hair

Type 4 hair is divided into three subcategories - 4A, 4B, and 4C, each with distinct characteristics:

  • 4A: Defined, springy coils with an "S" pattern.
  • 4B: Z-shaped curls with a less defined pattern.
  • 4C: Tightly coiled strands that may not have a visible curl pattern.

Despite these differences, all Type 4 hair shares common challenges, including susceptibility to dryness and breakage. The selection of hair care products should, therefore, prioritize moisture retention, gentle cleansing, and damage prevention.

Moisturizing Products

Hydrating Shampoos: Choose sulfate-free shampoos that cleanse without stripping natural oils. Look for ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera, or shea butter, which provide additional moisture.

Deep Conditioners: A staple in Type 4 hair care, deep conditioners penetrate deeper into the hair shaft, offering intense hydration and repair. Regular deep conditioning can significantly improve hair health, elasticity, and manageability.

Leave-In Conditioners: These provide a moisture barrier for the hair, keeping it hydrated throughout the day. Opt for creamy leave-ins rich in natural oils and butters for lasting hydration.

Strengthening Products

Protein Treatments: Type 4 hair benefits from periodic protein treatments, which help to reinforce the hair's structure and prevent breakage. However, it's crucial to balance protein treatments with moisturizing products to avoid protein overload, which can lead to stiffness and breakage.

Oils and Butters: Natural oils (like castor, coconut, and jojoba oil) and butters (such as shea and mango butter) are excellent for sealing moisture into Type 4 hair. They also provide nutrients that promote hair health and growth.

Styling Products

Curl Creams: Look for styling creams that offer both definition and moisture. These products should be rich enough to provide hold for styles like twist-outs and braid-outs without flaking or causing buildup.

Gels: For more defined styles, a good gel can offer hold and definition. Choose gels with natural ingredients that won't dry out your hair or flake.

Edge Control: A non-flaking, moisturizing edge control can help smooth edges and complete styles without causing dryness or breakage.

Tips for Choosing the Right Products

1. Read the Ingredients: Always check the product ingredients. Avoid harsh sulfates, drying alcohols, and unnecessary chemicals that can harm Type 4 hair.

2. Prioritize Moisture: Moisturizing products should form the backbone of your hair care routine. Even styling products should offer some level of hydration to keep hair healthy.

3. Be Wary of Protein Overload: While protein is essential for hair strength, too much can make hair brittle. Use protein treatments sparingly and always follow up with a moisturizing product.

4. Patch Test New Products: Before committing to a new product, do a patch test to ensure it doesn't irritate your scalp or cause an adverse reaction in your hair.

5. Listen to Your Hair: Pay attention to how your hair responds to different products. What works for one person's Type 4 hair may not work for another's. Be willing to experiment and adjust your routine as needed.


Caring for Type 4 curls and coils demands a thoughtful approach to product selection, with a focus on moisture, protection, and gentle handling. By choosing the right products, you can nurture your hair, showcasing its natural beauty and strength. Remember, the journey to healthy Type 4 hair is personal and ongoing. As you learn more about your hair's specific needs, you'll become better equipped to choose products that support its health, growth, and vitality, allowing your curls and coils to flourish.

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