Difference between 4a 4b and 4c hair

Difference between 4a 4b and 4c hair

Ever wondered what’s the difference between 4a, 4b, and 4c hair? Or how to tell which hair type you have? Knowing your hair type lets you curate a custom hair routine that is texture- tailored to elevate and showcase the best features of your unique hair type. Read on for the definitive guide to identifying type 4 hair and how to care for your unique, natural curls and coils. 

What Is 4a, 4b, and 4c Hair?

Do you have tight s-shaped or z-shaped curls? The chances are you have type 4 hair. 

Hair types are categorized in a widely used system to differentiate between the different textures of hair, and to highlight the different care methods used to keep each type in top condition. The system consists of numbers (1-4) and letters (a-c). The numbers note how curly the hair is, while the letters are used to determine how tight those curls are.

Type 1 hair is very straight, while type 2 has loose, undefined waves that show some texture but there are no obvious curls. Type 3 hair is noticeably curly - with textures ranging from loose ringlets to tight coils. 

But type 4 hair has the most texture - and is the most prone to dehydration. It can be soft or coarse but is usually defined by z-shaped strands that can appear kinky and tightly coiled. If you have type 4 hair, you’ve probably noticed that your hair appears much shorter than it is - because of the tightness of your curls.

  • Yodit For Kurls Wefted Hair 20 Bundle 4a hair is springy, bouncy and the curls form a tight ´S´shape. The curls sit somewhat loosely together compared to even tighter curl patterns like 4b and 4c. However, 4a texture is still a tightly curled s-curl pattern with the most definition amongst the type 4 hair types.

  • Yodit For Kinks Wefted 20 Bundle 4b curls are more densely packed together, the hair forms a z-shape when gently pulled, and the curls appear less well-defined than 4a hair. Hair textures vary from fine to wiry, making the curls appear much more voluminous as the curls bend in many directions. And while the overall appearance is of natural beauty, this hair is more prone to breakage. It tangles easily and can quickly dry out as the scalp oils are unable to reach the ends.
  • 4b Hair texture 4c hair is the coarsest - the kinkiest - of all hair types. This is the thickest and most vibrant afro hairstyle that is made of incredibly tight spring-like coils. This hair type is the most prone to breakage and needs gentle care during washing and styling for a full and healthy hairstyle.


Maintaining Type 4a, 4b, And 4C Hair

The most important part of maintaining your richly textured type 4 hair is hydration. Tightly curled or coiled hair gets dried out quite easily. Natural oils are produced on your scalp, to nourish and protect your hair from the elements. But, when hair curls, loops, and coils around, those oils can't reach the ends of the hair. If your hair becomes dried out, rejuvenation can be a whole process in itself. It’s far easier to maintain healthy and voluminous hair by simply adding some extra nourishment to your wash day routine, and by using shampoos designed specifically to look after your hair texture. Heat Free Hair’s sulfate-free Fresh Kept Secret is ideal for maintaining your natural curls and kinks. 

Want to give your hair a boost? Following a strategic care routine is the fastest and easiest way to have a great hair day, every day.

Washing your every day might be a commitment you’re just not willing to make. It’s time-consuming and unnecessary. If this sounds like you, then there’s some good news! Daily washing with shampoo actually strips the natural protective layer from your hair, leaving it weaker and more prone to disaster. Making the switch to washing every 2-3 days instead will help you keep your hair in fantastic condition.

Using a good shampoo and conditioner is top of the list when it comes to caring for type 4 hair. But adding a few easy steps to your maintenance routine can have some jaw-dropping, show-stopping effects too.

  • Gently detangle hair before washing to prevent pulling or snapping the strands while you work those suds. 
  • Use an oil or leave-in conditioner to add an extra nourishing layer to your hair, locking in moisture and preventing it from becoming too dry, too quickly.
  • Use a brush - such as Heat Free Hair’s High Definition Curlbrush - designed to work with your type 4 hair, and not against it.
  • Avoid overuse of chemicals, and heat styling tools. Excessive use of products can also be disastrous for your hair in the long term. Choose to embrace your natural and beautiful hair rather than using hair techniques that cause dryness, dullness, and weakened hair.
  • Use a satin pillowcase or silk sleep bonnet to prevent your curls from tangling as you sleep for that Hollywood look from the moment you open your eyes.
High Definition Curl Brush - Shop Now

Tips For 4a Hair

Enhance your vivacious curls by adding nourishing oils to your scalp after washing your hair. You can use shea butter, coconut oil, or almond oil to encourage the glossy, healthy shine you and your hair deserve.

Combatting dryness can feel like a full-time job, but the results are so worth it. Adjusting your hair care routine to work with your hair makes styling afterwards so much easier. Washing 2-3 times a week, using a sulfate-free shampoo each time, prevents the natural moisture from being washed away. Using lukewarm water is kinder and gentler than very hot water which can cause unnecessary damage to your hair.

If your 4a hair is prone to tangling, take care to gently detangle before washing. You can use your fingers or a specialised comb - whichever you choose, this step will save you some frustration during and after washing. To encourage curl definition after washing, use a wide-toothed comb on wet hair and apply a conditioning product that will help the curls to separate and take the desired shape.

Heat tools do cause hair damage, but if you do choose to use them on occasion, we recommend using a protective spray to mitigate as much of the damage as possible.

Tips For 4b Hair

Type 4b - the z-shaped curl - has sharp bends rather than spirals. Natural scalp oils have a particularly hard time getting from the root to the ends of this hair - so preventing dryness is a major concern.

Because of the curl shape, moisture doesn’t get locked in quite as efficiently as the other hair types (1-3) and can become exceptionally frizzy. Regular shampooing, with a deep conditioning treatment, can help you keep on top of your 4b hair. Deep conditioning locks in as much moisture as possible, which is perfect because of the tendency for moisture to escape quickly and easily.

Conditioners that provide a protective, moisturizing coating to your hair are ideal. This allows the hair to glide more easily preventing excessive breakage that can cause frustration and disappointment. A deep conditioner also adds a touch of vitality to your hair. 4b hair can become dry and lose its lustre - but you’ll proactively combat those signs of dullness and give your hair what it needs to look fantastic every day of the week.

Tips For 4c Hair

Maintaining natural 4c hair means taking the time every few weeks to treat yourself to a deep conditioning treatment. Use a nourishing oil like castor oil or even invest in a hair treatment designed to support 4c hair from the root to the tip.

If you wash your hair daily, you may have noticed that it makes your hair very dry and more prone to breakage. If you would rather not wait a few days between washes, simply skip the shampoo occasionally and wash only with conditioner. Co-washing like this adds extra moisture and nourishment without stripping your hair of natural, protective oils.

Find The Routine That’s Right for You

Whether you’re rocking 4a,4b, or 4c hair, there is a variety of steps you can take to support your texture for maximum moisture and a bold, glamorous look. Let bad hair days be a thing of the past by adjusting your haircare routine to match your hair type.

Not all hair behaves the same, however. Finding the routine that boosts your shine and enhances your volume might take some trial and error while you nail down the perfect combination. But the final results are absolutely worth it.

Plenty of moisture and a good detangling brush that encourages your curls rather than blowing them out are key to turning lifeless locks into flowing, eye-catching, extravagant curls. Using oils such as almond oil, castor oil, or jojoba oil can help combat dull, dry hair that breaks easily. If you do opt for protective styles such as braids, please keep the maximum length of time in mind to prevent excessive strain on your roots. The tension can weaken hair, often resulting in some hair loss. 

Once you’ve discovered the routine that works for you, you’ll save time and energy on maintenance. Say goodbye to bad hair days with the right support system for your hair.

Check out Heat Free Hair’s complete haircare system created to be a one-stop support system for 4a hair. We offer shampoos, conditioners and curl-enhancing definition sprays that keep your hair hydrated and nourished. Whether you have a big day planned at the office, or whether you’re out with the girls this is the hair support system that keeps your curls going strong all day long.

Find the Right Hair Extensions for your 4a, 4b or 4c hair

At Heat Free Hair we also stock a wide range of hair extensions suitable for different hair types including 4a hair bundles, 4a & 4b clip ins and more. 

Explore our range and find the perfect match for your curl pattern. 

4A 'For Kurls' Hair - Shop Now4B-4C 'For Kinks' Hair - Shop Now

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