SERVING HUMANITY THROUGH CONSCIOUS HAIR CARE

Kinky Hair (Type 4)

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If your hair falls into the Type 4 category, then it is kinky, or very tightly curled. Generally, Type 4 hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very, very fragile. Like Type 3 hair, Type 4 hair appears to be coarse, but it is actually quite fine, with lots and lots of this strands densely packed together. Healthy Type 4 hair won't shine, but it will have sheen. It will be soft to the touch and will pass the strand test with ease. It will feel more silky than it will look shiny. Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg and the actress Angela Bassett are all Type 4s.

Type 4 hairs looks tough and durable, but looks can be deceiving. If you have Type 4 hair, you already know that it is the most fragile hair around. Why? Type 4 hair has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type, which means that it has less natural protection from the damage you inflict by combing, brushing, curling, blow-drying and straightening it. The more cuticle layers in a single strand of hair, the more protection it has from damage. Each time you damage your hair – fire up the curling iron, fry it with chemicals – you break down a cuticle layer, robbing your hair of much-needed moisture. I cannot emphasize this enough. It's like taking a wire and bending it again and again. Eventually, it's going to snap and break.

Many women with Type 4 hair rely on chemical relaxers to make hair easier to control. In its natural states, sometimes Type 4 hair doesn't grow very long because every time you comb it, it breaks. (Of course, if you have dreadlocks and never comb them or keep them braided, your hair can and does grow quite long.)

There are two subtypes of Type 4 hair: Type 4A, tightly coiled hair that, when stretched, has an "S" pattern, much like curly hair; and Type 4B, which has a "Z" pattern, less of a defined curl pattern (instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter "Z"). Type 4A tends to have more moisture than Type 4B, which will have a wiry texture. But what if your hair has been chemically straightened? How can you tell which subtype you belong to if your hair is relaxed? You'll need at least one inch of new growth to tell. Pull at the roots. If you can see a definite curl pattern, then it's an A, if not, then it's a B.

Addendum:
Type 4 hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/coarse strand texture. Generally, this hair is densely packed to give the appearance of very thick but fragile hair. 4A hair has a clearly visible curl and wave pattern that ranges from pen size curls to pen spring size coils. 4B hair has a tighter wave pattern and kinks of various size. This texture does not exhibit the shine or silkiness of looser type curls, but instead has sheen, and a soft, almost cotton-like feel. As with other types of curly hair, showing the true length can be an extra challenge, as the hair may grow “up” or “out” before starting to hang down. In its unlocked/unbraided state, type 4 hair is known to shrink up to 75% of the actual hair length. With the proper care and technique, type 4 hair is indeed resilient, manageable, durable, growable and easy to control.


Thanks to NaturallyCurly.com

Hair Care Tips for Kinky Hair:

1. Wash your hair once per week. Do not wash it very often as it will dry the hair out. Use a moisturizing shampoo and apply deep conditioner from root to tips. For a deep conditioning treatment, pre-treat your hair with our VATA Baobab & Burdock Root Hair Rescue Oil, then cleanse with our FOUNDATION Pumpkin & Pomegranate Shampoo.

2. Pat dry your hair with a towel. Handle your hair with care.

3. Comb your hair only when it is wet while the deep conditioner is still in it.

4. Air dry your hair. Try not to use any direct heat as it will dry out the hair.

5. Apply our Shikakai Hair Growth Elixir (with peppermint and rosemary oils) directly to the scalp to help stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth. Also apply it to your edges and roots daily to keep them smooth and moisturized.

6. Use our Shea Amla Whipped Butter Cream as a moisturizer for the hair itself, as needed.

7. Braid your hair at night and sleep with a silk or satin cap or pillow.

8. Get a professional trim on a regular basis.