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4A Hair Guide

4A Hair Guide

What is 4A hair? 

Under the category of type 4 Afro-texture hair, 4A hair is curly textured hair. Type 4A hair is one of the most common hair textures of black women. 4A hair is kinky-coily hair that is characterized by dense and tiny "o"-shaped patterns throughout the body. Its curly pattern is not as tight as 4C hair but also looks very thick and voluminous.
curly hair

How do you know if you have 4A hair?

As you can see in the picture, 4A hair has lots of tighter coils than type 3 hair. But it's difficult to tell the differences between 4A hair, 4B hair, and 4C hair with the naked eyes. It is most common to find more than one curly texture in the head. If your coily hair tends to shrink into tight "s"-shape coils when going from wet to dry, your hair is properly 4A hair.
afro textured hair

4A Hair vs. 4B Hair vs. 4C Hair

4A hair, 4B hair, and 4C hair are very close to the naked eye. It's difficult to tell their difference separately. But if you put these three hair types together, you will see their differences. 

4A Hair: 4A Hair is dense, thick, naturally voluminous kinky curly hair that is full of "s"-shaped curl patterns in the body. Compared with 4B hair and 4C hair, the curls of 4A hair are larger and tend to be looser. This is also why there is less shrinkage when it transitions from wet to dry. Type 4A hair is one of the loosest, thickest, and coarsest hair textures. If you strengthen the 4A hair, you will see it multiply in length. 

4B Hair: Type 4B hair also has dense and tight curls, but is not as tightly coiled as 4C hair. It's a fluffy, soft, and coarse hair texture. Unlike 4a hair and 4c hair, the curl pattern of 4b hair is easier to distinguish. Pulling a strand of 4b hair straight and letting it loose naturally will reveal that it tends to form tight and dense "Z" shaped curls with sharp angles.

4C Hair: Type 4C hair is a coarse, voluminous, and fluffy afro hair texture. When viewed from a distance, it looks like a bunch of fluffy springs. If you take a close look, you'll notice it's the tightest and densest "O" shaped coils. This tightly coiled texture looks extremely luxurious and charming, but is also more fragile and requires more maintenance and love.

afro texture hair

In summary, the curl pattern separates 4A hair, 4B hair, and 4C hair. 4A hair comes in relatively looser "S" shaped curls. 4B Hair comes in zig-zag "Z" shaped curls with sharp angles, while 4C hair is the tightest, densest, coarsest "o" shaped curls. But these differences are very undetectable to the naked eye. The same thing is that all these afro hair textures are full and thick but also fragile and easy to get frizzy. They require extra care and patience in daily routines.

Tips to care for 4A hair

For type 4 hair, detangling locks, maintaining moisture, and increasing shine is essential. Here are some tips for type 4 hair routines:

Tip 1. Wash Less: Shampoo your hair no more than 2-3 times a week. Washing frequently can bring out the natural oil that is used to protect your hair and lead to hair drying. Dry shampoo can be used between wash days as an alternative.

Tip 2. Condition Regularly: Deep conditioning your hair at least once a week can maximize the silky texture of type 4 hair and protect your hair from getting dry and fizzy. 

Tip 3. Moisture & Moisture: Moisture your hair with a leave-in conditioner, or natural oil to keep your hair soft and textured.

Tip 4: Detangle Regularly: Use your fingers or a wide tooth comb to detangle your hair every day, especially before taking a shower, heading to bed, and styling your hair.

Tip 5: Fewer Heat Treatments: Avoid over-using heat styling tools while styling your hair. Give your hair a heat protectant if necessary. Set your hair dryer on cool while blow drying.

Tip 6: Opt For Protective Hairstyles: Two-strand twists, flat twists, top-knot, cornrows, and box braids are all protective hairstyles for type 4 hair that can help to retain moisture.

Tip 7: Never Forget To Care For Your Scalp: Only a healthy and strong foundation can help with natural hair growth. So never forget to massage your scalp with your fingertips while shampooing your hair.

Tip 8: Protect Before Sleeping: Place a silky scarf on your pillow or wrap your hair up with a silky scarf before heading to bed.

Tip 9: Trim Regularly: Split ends will rob nutrients. It's necessary to give your hair a trim regularly to remove those annoying split ends so that to keep your curls bouncy and healthy.

Tip 10: Choose The Right Hair Care Products: Opt for a mild shampoo that doesn't contain sulfates and silicone for your daily routine.


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