All You Need to Know About 4A, 4B, & 4C Hairstyles

Today one hashtag on social media has become a global phenomenon and that is #BlackGirlMagic. This hashtag has become a repository of images of gorgeous black girls flaunting their natural hair in all its glory.

One of the most attention-seeking hair types is type 4 coily hair. After centuries of being told and being oppressed that kinky hair is not beautiful, black women are conquering back the power, standing up against Eurocentric beauty standards to embrace their beautiful natural hair.

In this blog, we have discussed in detail about 4 hair type and all of its categories. Type 4 kinky hair is referred to be tightly coiled hair that has a fine texture and is often wiry.

Type 4 hair tends to be quite dry and fragile by nature owing to the fact that the kinky texture obstructs the distribution of natural oils throughout the hair.

It is also prone to getting damaged and breaking quite easily. This type 4 hair is also divided into 3 subcategories; 4A, 4B and 4C.

What is 4A Hair Type?

4A hair is tightly coiled and has an ‘S’ shape. These cylindrical coils are well defined and have the width of a pencil. These coils are stretchable.

Having cork-screw texture, 4A hair retains moisture well but is still prone to dryness. Although 4A hair type is tighter than 3C hair the two get mixed up more often than not. This is because, sometimes, 4A hair opens and appear looser than it is, thus ends up looking like 3C hair.

Since caring for kinky hair takes time, therefore, it is imperative to have a regular hair care regimen. The curl pattern of 4A hair is well-defined this is the reason why most women choose a wash n’ go look.

But 4A needs regular maintenance to make it look naturally beautiful. Here are a few tips to get the best out of your 4A luscious curly locks.

How to Take Care of 4A Hair?

#1: Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!

If you have kinky hair, moisturization is a foremost care routine that you need to follow and it should be on the priority. Your 4A hair can be prone to dryness and this results in hair damage and breakage.

The natural oil from your scalp is not able to coat the entire hair strand due to its shape. So, it is important that you moisturize your hair regularly.

Avoid washing your kinky hair every day. Shampooing your hair every day can strip it of its natural oils. Use a cleansing conditioner like ORS curls cocoa butter to cleanse your hair without stripping it of its moisture.

Additionally, condition your 4A hair deeply to maintain its health.

#2: Heat protectant

Heat can easily damage your hair. So, try using a heat protectant whenever you are heat styling your hair. Apply it strictly just before you straighten or curl it.

Also, sometimes let your hair air dry or blow dry on a low setting. If you are used to using a blow dryer, use a diffuser with it. It helps in spreading the heat evenly through your hair and defines your curls beautifully.

If you keep straightening your hair, regularly, it will lose its natural curly texture.

#3: Shampoo and conditioner

Use a cleansing shampoo like Avlon normalizing shampoo. These shampoos make sure that your hair is clean without stripping off the moisture. You can also use sulfate-free shampoos.

Use shampoos that are specifically made for damaged or hair as curly hair dries out fast.

4 Stunning Hair Styles to Suit 4A Hair Type:

Style #1: Mohawk Curls

Mohawks are the best hairstyles for 4A hair type and it is considered to be a badass. It is very stylish yet so easy to maintain.

Style #2: Bantu Knot Curls

Why leave your hair loose when you can get playful with it and celebrate your beauty of joy? The double Bantu knot hairstyle is easy to do and manage. For this hairstyle you need to divide your hair into two sections and tie them into half buns, leaving the ends to hang down.

Style #3: High Bun with Curly Bangs

This is a uber kind of hairstyle and is perfect for any occasion. Bun up your hair and leave out some hair in front to fall like bangs.

Style #4: Threaded Twists and Coloured Ends

One of the best ways to style your hair is accessorizing it. For this hairstyle, you need to take some hair on one side and divide it into four sections or multiple sections as you wish. Then twist each section while adding threads to them.

You can use the threads to tie a knot to keep the twists from untangling. The collared ends help in face-framing and make your jawline appear lean and beautiful.

What is 4B Hair Type?

If your coily hair is angled Z-shaped pattern, then you have 4b hair.

The coils of 4B hair type are usually not very well defined and is as wide as a ballpoint pen. When it comes to texture, 4B hair type can go either way. You can have rough, coarse textured hair or fine, wiry textured hair.

The sharp Z-shaped pattern of this hair type acts as a major hurdle for the natural oils from the scalp to travel down the length of the hair. The best way to take care of it is to massage it with castor or coconut oil before washing it to help it retain some moisture.

How to Take Care of 4B Hair?

4b hair, with its propensity to drying out, delicate texture, and tendency to shrinkage, needs some very special tender and special care to maintain its health. So, here are the tips to help you maintain such hair:

#1: Moisturization is key:

4B hair also has a strong tendency of drying out due to its tightly coiled texture. So, the primary focus of your hair care routine has to be on retaining and restoring moisture in your hair.

Now, shampooing your hair will definitely add moisture to it. But, you need to take extra care to really hydrate your hair and prevent it from damage and breakage.

#2: Wash your hair in sections:

This simple tip may sound a bit easy but strange to some of you, but it really makes life a lot easier for anyone with 4b hair. Wash your hair in different sections to prevent it from getting tangled up and breaking.

This also aids in stretching out your hair and retaining its length. You could section your hair in twists or chunky braids or even with the help of sectioning clips.

#3: Detangle with fingers:

It is very painful to struggle with a brush or comb to detangle your hair only to see it come away with a clump of your hair.

Since 4b hair type is quite delicate in nature, the best way to detangle it is with a wide-toothed comb or with your fingers right after you have washed it like your hair is more pliable when damp.

4 Stunning Hair Styles to Suit 4B Hair Type:


If you’re wondering to have a simple 4b hairstyle, you should go for this layered look. Getting your hair cut in layers will help your 4b hair coils to unfurl nicely as well as prevent them from getting tangled too often.

Undercut Cornrows

Now here’s a style that’s a great combination of natural and protective styles. For this hairstyle, you need to part your 4b hair in some thin cornrows on one side and a side-parted pixie on the other to come up with this total ‘Don’t mess with me’ style.

Frosted Highlights

Whoever said you couldn’t highlight or color kinky coily hair is dreadfully wrong. The rich natural brown shade of the curly 4b hair can be accentuated with the help of caramel frosted highlights at the periphery of the hair to make it look more appealing.

What is 4C Natural Hair?

Type 4c hair follows the Z-shaped curl pattern same as type 4b hair, but it is a little bit more tightly coiled. When you wash it freshly or it is free of all products, it lacks a very defined curl pattern.

Therefore, women of color with this delicate hair type have to resort to methods such as shingling, twisting, or braiding to add perfect definition to their curls.

4c hair can come in a variety of textures from wiry and coarse to fine and soft. But regardless of its texture and nature, it is still the most delicate hair type of all.

This is the reason why women with 4c hair go for protective hairstyles like weaves and braids to protect their hair from getting damaged.

How to Take Care Of 4c Hair?

Deep conditioning:

The tightly coiled pattern of 4C hair type is one of the main reasons why it dries out so quickly. These tight curls act as hurdles for the natural oils from your scalp to travel down the length of your 4C hair, thus leaving your ends stripped for moisture.

Conditioning your hair deeply at least once in every two weeks is a great way to moisturize it and make detangling the painful tangles and knots in your hair easier.

LOC in moisture:

Since type 4c hair dries out quickly and struggles to retain moisture, it is important that you not only moisturize it generously but also take important steps to lock the moisture in the hair.

The best way to do so is by following the method of LOC (liquid, oil, cream). But you need to start by spritzing your hair with water.

Then apply olive oil or coconut oil to lock in the moisture. Then finally, finish off with a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair hydrated and moisturized to the core.

Protective styling:

The biggest struggle for women with natural 4c hair is growing the length of their hair. This is because shrinkage steals their hair of its length.

On top of that, it breaks and gets damaged quite easily. To protect this hair from all kind of damage and help it grow out, it is very important to wear it in a protective style.

Styles like weaves, cornrows, crochet braids, box braids, and Bantu knots not only lend your hair some great protection but also look immensely gorgeous.

Moreover, you can style this hair looks any way you want to match your personality and sense of style.

Get rid of split ends:

Split ends can be the curse of your existence when you’re trying to grow out your 4c hair that shrinks a lot.

Therefore, it is important that you trim your hair and get rid of its split ends once every 6 months to maintain the health of your hair and help it retain its length.

4 Stunning Hair Styles to Style Your 4C Hair:

Trendy Fauxhawk

Summer days are hard as it is without your hair falling all over your neck and face and irritating you. So, here’s a completely cool way that all you 4c hair type ladies out there can deal with this issue.

You need to collect all your curls and tie them up in ponytails vertically down your head to make it look similar to a cool mohawk!

Badass Pixie

Now here’s a badass hair look if there ever was one! You may associate cutesy pixie cuts with straight hair, but you couldn’t be more wrong.

4c hair looks super edgy and cool when cutting in this style, especially when parted on one side and paired with a super chill denim jacket.

Brushed Out Afro

You can brush out your hair like Solange Knowles in a super crazy and voluminous afro style. This hairstyle can make you stand out of the crowd and can add unique punch to your look where ever you go.

Side Parted Bob

This is said to be a chic and feminine hair look. This short bob style is very trendy and super cute.

For this hairstyle, you need to part your hairs deeply on one side and you will end up with the hottest 4c hairstyle of the season. Natural 4c hair may need delicate care and effort to maintain but the end results are gorgeous and are well worth it!

Hope you now have a clearer picture of what natural 4A, 4B and 4C hair is, how to maintain and style it. If you have any more questions, let us know in the comment box.

Flaunt your beauty with your wavy and gorgeous coils!! 🙂

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