Looking for ways to grow long 4c natural hair? Here are some amazingly easy to follow tips for 4c hair growth with insanely good product recommendations!
It’s no secret that 4c hair has taken the brunt of many negative misconceptions, misjudgments and racial stigmatisms for literally centuries. Due to racism, many people were conditioned to believe that 4c hair growth was impossible, that 4c hair is untidy looking or unprofessional and that it is the hardest of all hair types to maintain and manage.
While all of that couldn’t be further from the truth, many naturalista’s during the natural hair movement with 4c hair in particular, were unequipped for years on how to care for their unique and exquisite tresses. Before this movement, many of us in the Black community (regardless of hair type/texture), were using chemical relaxers to remove every kink and coil there was to fit the European standard of beauty. Aside from the sleek and silky look we all wanted to achieve by chemically processing our hair, the goal was also to have easier manageability with styling our relaxed hair as well.
Not only did the chemical relaxers wreak havoc on our hair by weakening it and causing breakage over time, but we would also soon learn the increased health risks associated with such chemical processing. These health risks (seen disproportionally in Black women when compared to any other demographic) include Cancer, Fibroids, Endometriosis, Alopecia, etc.
With the natural hair movement sweeping the community by storm in recent years, many people were left wondering how to properly maintain their natural hair when deciding to return natural. And due to the fact that 4c textured hair was seen as the most difficult hair type to grow by societal standards and opinions rooted in racism, there was a bit of a steeper learning curve for people with this beautiful hair type.
This is due to the fact that there weren’t many natural hair products on the market to begin with, the ones that were available on the shelves weren’t as moisturizing or as accommodating to textures that needed a little more love and the lack of knowledge on caring for our own hair in its natural state. Not to mention the fact that most of us were conditioned to believe that Black hair just couldn’t grow beyond a certain length… especially the coarser more kinkier hair textures!
I’m here to reassure you that growing healthy, long 4c hair is indeed possible just like any other hair type out there! For accelerated 4c hair growth, it is important to narrow in on a hair care regimen and amazing products that suit your 4c hair and your lifestyle!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
This post is all about how to grow 4c hair.
What Is 4c Hair?
4c hair is known as the tightest curl pattern with hair that is densely packed and has less definition when compared to other hair types. Many people with 4c hair experience more shrinkage than usual as well, with 4c hair being capable of shrinking up to 75% or more of its actual length! It is the most delicate amongst all other hair textures and strands can range from being super fine and soft, to wiry and coarse.
Why Knowing Your Hair Porosity Is So Important?
Just to refresh, hair porosity is you hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. Knowing your hair porosity is important because it helps you to learn which products to use on your hair and what regimen will be best for your lifestyle. Overall, its a great piece of information to know because hair porosity will help you to understand your hair for better product selection when reviewing ingredients on product labels.
The porosity of your hair affects how well moisture (a.k.a. water) and other products pass in and out of the cuticle layer of your hair. The cuticle layer is the outermost layer of your hair and protects the inner layers of your hair from damage.
Low Porosity 4c Hair
The cuticles on the hair strands are densely packed together. It is best to use natural hair products that contain humectants in the ingredients list, as they help to facilitate moisture intake to the hair. Examples of humectants are Glycerin, Panthenol and Honey.
Low Porosity Hair Characteristics
Since the cuticles are tightly packed and positioned very close together, this makes it somewhat difficult for moisture to penetrate through the hair shaft.
- Takes an extremely long time for hair to dry, sometimes even days
- Hair products tend to sit on the hair, rather than be fully absorbed
- Water will often bead up on the hair, making it take longer for your hair to actually be saturated if not using warm water to lift the cuticle layer first.
The cuticles on the hair strands are loosely packed together. It is recommended to use products that contain anti-humectants so that your hair has a better chance of retaining moisture, without allowing moisture from the air to penetrate the hair, in warm and humid climates. Examples of anti-humectants are coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil.
High Porosity Hair Characteristics
High porosity hair allows for moisture to penetrate into the hair shaft a lot easier, but it is unable to hold onto the moisture for long periods of time.
- Your hair is prone to breakage very easily
- The hair appears frizzy and very dry
- Water is quickly absorbed into the hair
- Hair dries very quickly
How To Grow 4c Hair Tips
1. Create A Hair Regimen That Suits Your Hair Needs
Creating a healthy hair regimen is important because it establishes a familiar routine that can eventually be tweaked as your hair, product knowledge and lifestyle evolve. A healthy hair regimen provides structure, consistency, balance and repetition that your hair will thank you for later.
Let’s get into what a good hair regimen consists of below!
A. Cleanse: Use A Moisturizing Clarifying Shampoo
It is highly recommended to use a clarifying shampoo that also has moisturizing properties as a way to keep your scalp clean and your strands from feeling too dry. Cleansing your hair should be a routine event, as product buildup can be your worst enemy. By using a clarifying shampoo, you are allowing your scalp to breathe and push new hair growth through. By properly cleansing your hair and scalp, you are allowing the cuticle layer on the hair to be free of debris in order to lift and let moisture in. Try using clarifying shampoos that cleanse the hair, but don’t completely strip it down to its core such as Alodia’s Black Soap Wash, Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo, or the As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo.
B. Deep Conditioning Is A Must
Remember that deep conditioning is your hair’s BEST friend! After we have thoroughly clarified and cleansed our beautiful 4c hair, we want to focus on replenishing the moisture back into the hair. Deep conditioning is extremely beneficial to the hair as it helps to promote moisture into the strands, increases hair elasticity, can work to mend damage and help to promote shine over time.
For my naturalista’s on the low porosity end of the spectrum, reach for deep conditioning hair masks and treatments packed with humectants and other moisturizing ingredients, such as the Mielle Organics Babassu and Mint Deep Conditioner, TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask and the Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Hair Mask.
Don’t worry, I’ve got my high porosity babes covered! Remember to try to reach for deep conditioning masks that help to coat the hair strands with moisture and oils that will also help to seal it in. Try using Soultanicals Afrotastic Curl Elastic Treatment, Carol’s Daughter Coco Creme Curl Quenching Moisture Mask or The Mane Choice Type 4 Leaf Clover Mask.
2. Use A Moisturizing Leave In Conditioner
It is a great idea to incorporate the use of a water based leave-in conditioner that will act as an added layer of moisture before going in with styling products. Leave-ins are typically water based and by adding a layer on the hair before styling, you are ensuring that the water will have a slower time evaporating out of the hair, which results in dryness a lot faster. Some great options for leave-in conditioners are Camille Rose Coconut Water Leave In Conditioner, Mielle Organics Pomegranate and Honey Leave In Conditioner For Type 4 Hair, and the Soultanicals Mango Dip Detangling Slip.
3. Protective Styling
Try utilizing hairstyles that are only kept in for no more than 3-4 weeks at a time. You don’t want to go overboard with the protective styling, as you still want to be able to thoroughly cleanse your hair and scalp at least every other week. If you’re curious about what other styles there are to try, try incorporating hairstyles like Twist Outs, Braid Outs, Buns or even Twists/Braids without the use of hair extensions, to give your hair a break from being bound and gripped tightly by synthetic hair.
4. Trim Your Hair Regularly
Having a schedule to help you stay on track on when it’s time to trim or dust your ends regularly, is a great help. This ensures that you are removing all split ends and fairy knots regularly for optimal hair growth. The frequency in which you feel comfortable with will entirely depend on you and your hair’s needs. If you start to notice your hair being easily tangled or breaking off at the ends, you may have to break out those hair shears out sooner than later and more often.
5. Protect Your Hair At Night Using A Satin Scarf For Natural Hair
Be careful with allowing your hair to rub up against fibers that absorb moisture like cotton. Choose a Satin Scarf, Satin Pillowcase and/or Satin Lined Cap in colder months to protect the hair and prevent friction, which can lead to dryness and breakage.
And there you have it! Growing and caring for your 4c hair can be made very simple with just these few simple steps. Comment below your hair type and what products work best for you!
This post was all about how to grow 4c hair.
Other Posts You May Like
How Dr. Gaby Longsworth Is Changing The Way We View Curly Hair Products & Their Connection To Our Overall Health