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Let's discuss how to care for 4C hair daily, shall we??? :-)
Whether you’re considering going through with a big chop, or you’ve been natural for years, it’s important to know how to care for your natural hair on a day-to-day basis.
People may tell you that you have to use the most expensive 4C hair products or complicated tools to care for your hair, this simply isn’t true.
In this "how to care for 4C hair daily" article, we’ll be sharing the bare basics of 4C natural hair care.
Knowing the basic tenets of washing and conditioning your hair is vital to proper hair care.
If we don’t regularly wash our hair, we’ll find clogged pores, product buildup, and our hair will become easily matted – and no one wants that.
The first thing you need to discover when figuring the best way how to wash 4C hair is how frequently you have to wash your hair. If you have low porosity hair, you have a difficult time getting moisture into your hair.
It may take you up to ten hours to properly air-dry your hair. With that being said, washing your hair every other day may not be beneficial for you.
Now, for those of you with high porosity hair, washing your hair every other day may be perfectly fine for you. But you still need to make sure that it doesn’t strip your hair of those natural oils that protect your hair.
Choose shampoos and conditioners with your needs in mind. There are some shampoos and conditioners perfect for adding hydration and moisturization while other 4C hair products are made to specialize in strengthening hair like Moroccanoil Restorative poo and condish COMBO. Consider what your hair care goals are and get products that support those goals.
Many 4C hair naturals like using OGX and Shea Moisture because they’re always clear on what is in the bottle and what it supports.
Also, these brands are very affordable and gentle on every hair type. BTW, check out my article about finding the best protein treatment for 4C natural hair.
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Anyone not focused on moisturizing doesn't understand how to care for 4C hair daily.
Moisturizing your hair is maximally important because this is the part that stimulates growth and strengthens hair.
There are so many methods and techniques to adding moisture into your daily and weekly routine, but one of the best (and simplest) ways is the LOC method. The LOC method stands for liquid, oil, and cream.
The reason that it’s in this specific order is due to the way your hair absorbs these substances.
Water is ALWAYS going to penetrate the hair shaft and add moisture to your type 4C hair faster than oil can. Understanding the importance of water and hydration is a key to understanding how to care for 4C hair daily.
Oil usually penetrates within the hair but also coats your hair as a protective barrier. Finally, the cream will always sit on top of your hair and scalp as the last barrier of defense.
So what oils and creams do you use? It depends on your hair goals and needs.
If you’re looking to grow thicker, longer hair then I recommend using oils like jojoba and Jamaican black castor oil. If you’re concerned about dry scalp and dandruff, add coconut oil, peppermint, and tea tree oil to your hair care routine. If you need protein and strength turn to rice water for 4C hair growth.
Once you know what your hair likes you're closer to figuring out how to care for 4C hair daily, I recommend creating your own mixture of hair care oils. You’ll save money and you won’t have to worry about recipe changes.
As for creams, I recommend starting with light creams before grabbing gels and other heavy products. Try curling products that use the word "pudding", “smoothie” or “custard”. This implies a light, fluffiness to the quality of the curling cream.
It also decreases the chance that you’ll find a product that will get hard and add flakes to your hair too.
The ingredients in a premium deep conditioner are designed to hydrate and soften 4C hair damaged by chemical processing (like hair color, perming or chemical straightening), heat exposure (to include curling tools & flat irons and the damaging effect of the sun), and even medications, because even some medication can leave your 4C hair feeling rough and dry.
And hey, forget how to care for 4C hair daily, let's talk about the night, because...
Some 4C naturals also wonder… “Should I deep condition overnight?”
Deep conditioning overnight isn’t necessary as most premium deep conditioners are formulated to work within 20 minutes.
However, should you feel that your natural 4C hair gets the most benefit from overnight deep conditioning treatment, you can leave the deep conditioner in your hair while you go to bed if you prefer.
There isn’t any major danger to leaving a deep conditioner in your hair longer than the recommended time provided on the bottle.
Deep conditioning also helps to improve hair elasticity by restoring moisture that allows the hair to better resist stretching and tension.
Think of your hair like a rubber band, the more elasticity (or flexibility enabled by good hydration) it has, the longer it can resist tension or stretching before it breaks.
In addition to making the hair look healthier and feel softer, good 4C hair deep conditioners are essential for preventing and combating hair breakage. They are essential in mastering how to care for 4C hair daily.
The essential ingredients offered by premium deep conditioners are intended to mend and nourish your 4C hair, so you’ll need to leave the deep conditioner in your hair a bit longer than a traditional conditioner before rinsing so that it can really penetrate the hair.
Some of the deep conditioner hair ingredients we love for 4C naturals are:
Whenever talking about how to care for 4C hair daily, we have to talk protective styling.
Styling your hair is arguably the best part of the 4C hair care process. This is where you get to express yourself and choose styles that work with your lifestyle.
Since I’m a writer and I occasionally go out, I like to choose protective styles that keep my hair out of my face. Styles like buns, puffs, and plats have always appealed to me. However, when I know that I’m going to visit friends or spend the night out, I usually go with a 4C twist-out style or wear a headwrap.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you change up your look every now and then to make sure that you don’t stress one particular side of your hair. For example, if you always do a side part style, your hair will become fatigued on one side. So change it up!
Use hair tools that will be gentle on your hair. Look for wide-tooth combs with round ends, seamless hair ties, and sharp professional scissors.
These will make manipulation easier for you as well as your hair. I also recommend to most curly girls to avoid using blow dryers because it can be too aggressive on your 4C natural hair.. Air drying is the best way to go if you can, but if that’s not doable then dry your hair on a cool, low setting.
When it comes to protecting your hair, it’s important to always wrap your head before bed. This will reduce the amount of friction your hair experiences as you sleep.
Now, if you can’t use a scarf or bonnet, I highly recommend investing in a silk pillowcase. They’re great for reducing friction and keep your head cool too. And if you’re into wearing hats, headwraps, and beanies, you can always wear them with a bonnet underneath.
I have a Curl Cap brand hat that is lined with silk and leaves an open space for a puffy ponytail. Wearing an extra layer of protection will keep your hair safe from harmful rays and keep it moisturized under the summer heat.
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Now that you know the basics of how to care for 4C hair daily, you can go out and create a type 4C hair care routine of your own.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new oils, products like leave-in conditioners, and different protective styles. Just remember to be gentle on your hair and have fun.
What are some great natural hair care tips that you’ve learned on your journey? Comment below and let us know your tips on how to care for 4C hair daily and nightly.
[RELATED ARTICLE: See 37 BEST Protein-Free Hair Products!]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melissa Lee
Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.