Styling 4C Hair | Everything to Know pt.2


By Ari Edwards

 

So you’ve pre-pood, cleansed, deep conditioned and moisturized your beautiful 4c hair--now it’s time to style! When it comes to choosing a style for the week, you want to make sure that the style has longevity, meaning your hair is well moisturized and the integrity of the style will last until your next wash day. One key to length retention is low manipulation styling--styles that don’t require you to do your hair every single day--so you want to choose something that allows for easy maintenance.
Deciding if you’re a wash n go gal or a twist out dude comes down to trial and error. Maybe wash n gos take too long for you, or perhaps you can’t quite get the whole braiding thing down. It might take a few fails to find your go-to style, and that’s okay! That’s part of the fun of discovering your natural hair, what it does, ingredients it likes--it’s all a journey. Let’s dive into some tips that will make that journey a bit more smooth.

Wash n gos 

 

Though some folks think that only certain hair types can rock a wash n go, the truth is, this style can be achieved by anyone. Now, the thing about 4c hair is that those small kinks, coils and curls love to hang out, they’re besties and get love to mix and mingle. So in order to avoid tons of knots and tangles, remember to always thoroughly detangle your hair--this is true for any style, but especially a wash n go since the hair isn’t stretched.
  • You can start on wet or dry hair, but whatever you do, have a spray bottle near. This helps make manipulation easier and ensures that the products penetrate the hair strands.
  • Grab your leave in, cream, butter, oil, styler, whatever works for your hair. They key to a lasting wash n go is shingling. This method smooths and defines each curl, giving it long-lasting definition. It takes time, but it’s worth it.
  • Also, the banding method is great for stretching your wash n go!

Here’s a great visual example of shingling!

@NaturallyJibby

Twist outs and braid outs

 

To stretch the hair and ensure fewer tangles at the end of the week, opt for a twist or braid out--4c hair thrives being stretched. Again, deciding which you like best comes down to trial and error. Twists are quicker but braids provide more length. One great thing about both of these styles, though, is that they both lock in moisture. After applying your products and twisting or braiding your hair, all that hydration and moisture has nowhere to go, so it stays trapped in your hair, leaving it moisturized longer.
Okay, here are some tips for bomb results.
  • Let your hair dry completely before taking down your braids or twists. Take them down too early and you’re asking for frizz. If you welcome frizz with open arms, go for it, take your hair down whenever! But if definition is what you want, be sure to let the style dry completely before taking it down.
  • The more product you use, the longer your hair will take to dry. And remember, you don’t have to use a ton of product to moisturize your hair or achieve great results.
  • At night, re-twist your hair so that it doesn’t tangle while you sleep. Remember, 4c strands love to mix and mingle, so this helps make sure you don’t wake up needing to detangle your hair everyday.

 

Puffs 

Starting on either stretched or freshly washed hair, puffs are a super cute and incredibly easy style to achieve. And there are tons of variations--one sleek puff, two puffs for a fun vibe, half up--half down puffs. The possibilities are endless! One key thing to remember when styling puffs: don't put too much tension on your edges. That super sleek look is gorgeous but don't stress yourself or your edges by trying to get your hair as sleek and neat as possible. 

 

Check out this super helpful video!

@Gloria Ann 

 

Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a great way to stretch your hair with low tension. Say you need stretched hair for box braids or a twist out--bantu knots are the perfect option because they don't require heat to work! We know that 4c hair is susceptible to tangles, so though it adds an extra step, it's actually a great idea to do bantu knots on freshly washed hair before a twist or braid out, rather than twisting or braiding wet hair. This helps prevent breakage because it allows your hair and ends to be stretched, so they're less likely to tangle on each other. Simply let the bantu knots dry over night and then twist or braid your hair the next day. 

Or, rock the bantu knots as a style! They're so cute and keep you out of your hair for days. 

 

This take on bantu knots is so beautiful!

@olive chels

Heatless Blowout

We know that stretching 4c hair helps keep it from getting tangled, which helps with tremendously minimizing breakage. If you love the blown out look but don't want to use heat on your hair, try doing a heatless blowout. The banding method can help stretch the hair--you could do this on damp or dry/already stretched hair (like an old twist out, for example). You can do so much with your heatless blowout, it's such a fun look! A nice half up half down, a cute ponytail, or just out and free!

 

Ambrosia Malbrough has a great technique on heatless blowouts! 

 

Being natural is a journey, right? Don’t be discouraged if you can’t nail a moisture routine or perfect your chosen style right off the bat. If you’ve been natural for a while, there’s always something new to learn and try! That’s the beauty of our hair.

Friday we delve into the world of protective styling and get real.

Recommended Product

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