African American Hair Types (4a, 4b & 4c): Everything You Need To Know



African American hair is beautiful and unique. It comes in many types, each with its own special look and feel. Some people's hair is curly and springy, while others are more coiled and dense. But, did you know that you can care for your hair better when you identify your hair type?

This article is all about these hair types. You'll learn about the different kinds, from looser curls to tight coils, also known as 4a, 4b, and 4c hair types. We'll also explain how to tell which type you have. This knowledge can help you care for your hair in the best way possible.

Understanding African American hair

Most African-Americans have what's known as 'type 4' hair. This type is tightly curled or coiled, often called 'kinky' or 'afro-textured' hair. It's unique and very different from other hair types.

What makes African-American hair different? One key feature is its shape. It's more flat and ribbon-like, compared to the round strands in other hair types. This gives African hair its distinct texture and curl pattern. The texture varies, from soft curls (type 4a) to tight, zigzag coils (type 4c).

African hair is also different because of its structure. It's more fragile and prone to dryness. It has fewer cuticle layers, which protect the hair. That's why it needs extra care.

Over time, African-American hair texture can change. Factors like age, hormones, and health can influence this. It's normal and part of the body's natural changes.

Ever wondered why African-American hair is curly? It's because of the follicle shape. The hair grows from an oval-shaped follicle, causing it to curl as it grows. So, curliness is a natural feature of African-American hair.

What are curl types (4a, 4b & 4c)?

Curl types are labels that guide us in understanding the shape, texture, and pattern of our hair. Much like knowing your shoe size, understanding your curl type can make the journey to hair health and styling smoother and more tailored to your specific needs.

Why is it important to know what hair texture we have?

When you know your hair type, it's easier to find products and styles that suit your hair. It's like knowing your favorite ice cream flavor. Once you know it, you can always find what you love and what works best.

What are the different African American hair types: 4a, 4b, and 4c?

Each hair type, 4a, 4b, and 4c, is unique and tells a different story. These are commonly seen in African American hair types, each with its own set of strengths and needs.

Here’s what you might want to know.

Type 4a Hair

Type 4a hair is well-defined, with tight curls that form an "S" pattern. The curls might remind you of small, tightly coiled springs that are eager to bounce.

How to care for Type 4a Hair

The journey of caring for Type 4a hair is about fighting dryness and maintaining hydration. The tight coils can make it challenging for natural scalp oils to reach the hair ends. Key weapons for this battle are moisturizing shampoos, conditioners, and a regular routine with a leave-in conditioner. Also, to seal in the moisture, an oil like jojoba or coconut oil works wonders.

Type 4b Hair

Type 4b hair is a curly path less traveled. Rather than forming the usual "S" pattern, these strands form a "Z" pattern. It’s like a unique puzzle piece with sharp angles and bends instead of the usual curves.

How to care for Type 4b Hair

When caring for Type 4b hair, hydration is the main objective. Due to the tightness of the coils, this hair type is often thirstier than its Type 4a counterpart. The care package for 4b hair includes leave-in masks, cleansing conditioners, and lightweight oils. Hydrating serums also help to lock in moisture, reduce tangles, and enhance the definition of your curls.

Type 4c Hair

Type 4c hair is like a complex maze. With a tightly-coiled pattern that sometimes appears almost invisible to the eye, this hair type is the most fragile among the Type 4 categories. Knots and snarls can form easily due to the coils' interweaving nature.

How to care for Type 4c Hair

Caring for Type 4c hair is a delicate task. It's crucial to use the right products as this type doesn't retain moisture or absorb products easily. Overloading with heavy creams may leave an unwanted film. Instead, moisturizing hair masks with lightweight ingredients like argan oil are a better choice. These products can help to reduce frizz, enhance shine, and keep your hair looking healthy and vibrant.

The most popular black hair care products

Caring for type 4a, 4b, and 4c hair requires understanding the unique needs of these hair types and carefully selecting the right products. Africa Imports offers a wide range of popular all-natural hair care products tailored to meet these needs. They moisturize, nourish, protect, and encourage healthy hair growth.

Chebe & Karkar Hair Oil

Women in Chad, Africa have used Chebe & Karkar Hair Oil for centuries. This secret comes from Chad and it helps them grow very long hair. They live in an environment that's hot and harsh, yet their hair continues to thrive. This unique product, enriched with essential nutrients and anti-bacterial properties, is a popular choice for African American hair.

What it is: A combination of Chebe powder and Karkar oil.

What it does: It seals in moisture, prevents breakage, promotes hair growth, and protects the scalp from bacteria and irritants. This leads to longer and fuller hair growth.

Who it's for: People with 4c hair type, often dealing with dryness and breakage, find this especially helpful. But those with 4a and 4b hair types can also use it to better protect and grow their hair.

Price: $4.95

Pure Black Seed Oil

Pure Black Seed Oil is a one of the best natural remedies for hair, as it has antifungal, antiflammatory and antibacterial properties. These protect the hair and scalp whilst also locking in moisture in the hair shaft.

What it is: A 100% fresh, cold-pressed oil from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant.

What it does: Helps to hydrate hair and soften the hair, whilst protecting your scalp.

Who it's for: Recommended for all hair types (4a, 4b, 4c) to improve hair hydration and scalp health. Particularly beneficial for those suffering from scalp conditions or dryness.

Price: $9.95

Black Jamaican Castor Hair Oil

Black Jamaican Castor Hair Oil is a powerhouse essential oil enriched with numerous benefits for hair. It not only adds lustre and strength to your hair but also fights against common hair and scalp issues.

What it is: An oil made from the castor bean and specially processed for hair and scalp benefits.

What it does: It moisturizes, strengthens, and promotes hair growth. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help with skin and scalp conditions.

Who it's for: Perfect for all hair types (4a, 4b, 4c), especially those prone to dryness or seeking to stimulate hair growth.

Price: $3.95

Chebe Hair Pomade

Chebe Hair Pomade is a revered hair product made with Chebe powder, a secret from Chad in Africa known to stimulate hair growth and prevent breakage. Unlike other hair moisturizers, Chebe Hair Pomade penetrates deep into the hair shaft providing long-lasting moisture.

What it is: A pomade made from Chebe powder, a traditional ingredient from Chad, Africa.

What it does: It moisturizes hair, prevents breakage, and makes hair more manageable. It penetrates the hair shaft to prevent breakage.

Who it's for: Best suited for 4c hair type, which is prone to dryness and breakage, but also suitable for 4a and 4b types for added moisture and strength.

Price: $6.95

Organic Indian Hemp & Jojoba Hair Pomade

The Organic Indian Hemp & Jojoba Hair Pomade is a fantastic solution for styling and shining your hair, packed with beneficial ingredients that also promote hair health.

What it is: A hair pomade made from Indian Hemp and Jojoba.

What it does: It styles your hair, adds shine, boosts hair growth, prevents damage, and moisturizes your hair.

Who it's for: Ideal for all hair types (4a, 4b, 4c)

Price: $4.95

Get help selecting the right products.

At Africa Imports, we understand the importance of finding the right products for your hair. We offer a range of natural health care and hair care products suitable for all types of African American hair types. Whether you're looking for moisturizing oils, protective pomades, or nourishing shampoos and conditioners, our collection has something for everyone.

If you need any help selecting the right products for your hair, contact us in live chat for fast and easy support.