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Hair has four types: type 1, 2, 3, and 4. Type 1 hair is the straightest, while type 4 hair is the curliest. In its natural state, type 1 hair flows without any waves or curls, no matter how long it has grown. Type 4 hair is sometimes described as kinky and sometimes grows in Z patterns. Each hair type has a spectrum of its own, and type 4 ranges from 4A to 4C, with the lovely 4c hair being the most challenging to maintain. Unlike 4A and 4B, type 4C hair has no discernible curl pattern. It has no definition after washing and shrinks as much as 80%, which means that four inches of hair can look like one inch in its natural state.
Your 4C hair can be frizzy and challenging to manage — be careful when applying products as they can make it more brittle and prone to breakage. Your hands and fingers have grooves that can cause small tears in your follicles and hair strands as you apply various products. So, wear latex gloves when you apply conditioners and gels to protect your hair. Apply a moisturizing oil to your hair, and let it sit for 20 minutes before going into the shower to prevent your shampoo from stripping away your much-needed moisture. Almond oil, olive oil, and avocado oil are all acceptable.
Long thought of as sister hair types, 4B and 4C are easily confused with each other, but there are some marked differences between the two. While 4B hair tends to look more like cotton, many people have z-curls, which is a unique and noticeable feature.
And 4B hair shrinks less than 4C — it only shrinks up to 70% in volume while 4C hair can shrink up to 80%. There is no detectable curl type in 4C hair, and it’s much more coiled.
Growing it long can be challenging because it’s the most sensitive of all hair types. Creamier and heavier hair products work better on 4C hair for stretching and definition.
Take a look at the best creams and products to use on your sensitive hair.