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How to Care for 4A Curls

Easy-to-follow tips for having healthy 4A curls
Curly hair can be tricky, especially navigating what tips and tricks work for your specific hair type. If you have 4a curls, your dense coils have specific needs that other curly girls may not. The good news is, once you’ve got a good routine in place, your 4a curls will turn heads everywhere you go.

4A hair is the first of the type 4 curl patterns, and it may be one of the most challenging to diagnose. The look of 4a hair can range drastically, depending on products you use and how you style it. If you have 4a hair, you may feel like some days your hair looks like 3c curls and other times it looks like 4b curls. If that’s you, chances are you have 4a curls.

To learn more about 4a hair, how to care for 4a curls and how to keep your curls looking defined and healthy, keep reading below.

How do I know if I have 4A hair?

4a curls are densely packed, just like the commonly referenced 4c hair type, but the major difference is the shape of the curl. 4c curls are hard to identify, since the coil is so tight it’s often unnoticeable. But 4a curls are actually defined. 4a curls are s-shaped and in most cases very springy coils.

Like all curly hair, 4a hair is naturally very dry (more on that below) and is subject to major shrinkage. But if styled and cared for properly, you can have swoon-worthy, defined ringlets every single time.

What are some tips for how to take care of curly 4A hair?

Like all curly hair types, developing a well-rounded and healthy curly hair routine with steps is key to having your best hair yet. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to care for 4a curls.

Don’t skip cleansing. It’s sometimes said that shampoos aren’t necessary for type 4 hair, but that’s just not true. Sure, type 4 curls, 4a included, can go longer in between wash sessions, but you certainly shouldn’t skip them altogether. The first step to learning how to care for 4a curls is properly cleansing your hair and scalp. Reach for a moisturizing conditioner that won’t strip strands of natural oils and leave it feeling dry and hay like. The Wash Day Delight Sulfate Free Shampoo for Curly Hair is a water-to-foam shampoo infused with micellar technology that lifts away dirt and buildup without creating a strong lather that leaves hair feeling like hay. Plus, it helps to minimize tangling, too. For a complete set, try the Black Vanilla Conditioning Hair Set.

Use a hair mask weekly. Deep conditioners are a curly girl’s friend. Not only do they impart major moisture into our already dry curls, these rich conditioners are often reparative, too. The Monoi Repairing Hair Mask has been clinically tested and proven to reduce breakage by 98% after just one use. You can apply it after shampoo and conditioning for 5-7 minutes and then rinse out. Or if you prefer a deeper treatment, allow it to sit on your hair for 30 minutes to deeply penetrate and hydrate your 4a curls.

Make sure your styling products are rich. Sure, some hair types flourish with thin formulas, but that’s not a go-to for 4a hair. Your densely-packed coils need moisturizing, rich and buttery products, especially if you’re a fan of wash-and-go’s. The Black Vanilla Moisture and Shine Hair Smoothie works for all hair types, 4a included, and keeps curls smooth, defined and hydrated thanks to the blend of oils, honey and agave nectar. It’s basically your secret to a flawless wash-and-go in minutes.

Don’t forget to moisturize. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, but moisture is a curly girl’s best friend. 4a hair types should make sure that every product, from shampoo to styling creams, are uber moisturizing. If you find that your curls need an extra dose of moisture after a cold, winter day or a sweat sesh at the gym, try adding a dollop of Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp and Hair Oil to your strands, giving your ends a little extra TLC. A blend of castor and black seed oil moisturize and strengthen the hair, making this oil ideal for 4a curls.

Have fun with styling. The beauty of 4a curls is there really is no style you can’t sport. Wash-and-go’s look great with perfectly coiled 4a hair. The key to a perfect wash-and-go is finding your fool-proof curly cocktail. We recommend a leave-in conditioner, styling cream and gel to keep curls in place, no matter the weather. The Wash Day Delight Hair Gel to Foam Styler gives natural-looking hold, so your 4a curls are perfectly defined sans the crunch and stiffness. It also provides up to 48 hours of frizz protection so you can keep your coils picture-perfect for longer.

And as with all curly hair types, protective styles are a great idea for protecting 4a curls. From sporting a pineapple to twist outs to braided updos, the options are endless.

Don’t skip trims. Even though the thought of cutting our curls can seem scary, regular trims are essential for healthy hair and hair growth. Keeping old ends just means more split ends, breakage and thinning ends which are never hair goals. It’s best to schedule routine trims every six to eight weeks. This will also make detangling a whole lot easier and keep knots and tangles at bay.

For more information on type 4 hair, check out Hair Oil for Coily and Natural Hair Growth.

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