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Differences Between 4b and 4c Hair: Key Characteristics & Care Tips (2024)

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4b vs 4c hairAre you curious about the differences between 4b and 4c hair? You’re not alone – more than 60 percent of people have type 4 hair. While both types can be dry, brittle, and prone to breakage, there are key characteristics that make them unique from one another.

Key Takeaways

  • 4b hair has tight zigzags and is fluffy, while 4c hair has tight springy ringlets with maximum shrinkage.
  • Oils like castor, jojoba, and coconut enhance the mane for 4b hair, while shea butter and curl creams keep 4c hair hydrated.
  • Protective styling is important for both 4b and 4c hair to minimize breakage.
  • Finger combing is preferred over brushing for both hair types, and natural moisturizers like avocado and mask treatments can benefit both textures.

Distinguishing 4b and 4c Hair

Distinguishing 4b and 4c Hair
You may have heard of Andre Walker’s hair typing system – a four-level scale for curliness. Level 4b and level 4c are the two coarsest textures in this system, but there is often confusion about how they differ.

If you’re curious to learn more, read on! Level 4b has tight zigzags with a fluffy texture that can be soft or coarse; meanwhile, level 4c features very tight springy ringlets and maximum shrinkage when wet.

What is 4b Hair?

You may not have heard of 4b hair, but it has a tight zigzag pattern and is often softer or coarser in texture than other types. The curl pattern impacts oil distribution and dryness, so using natural moisturizers like avocado is beneficial for this type.

Washing your hair with shampoos formulated specifically for type-4, as well as avoiding heat damage, can help keep 4b locks healthy.

When trying to distinguish between 4b and 4c strands, you should look at them against the light. If they form barely visible coils, then they are probably 4c. However, if there’s no defined coil shape, just tightly packed ‘zigs’ or waves, then it’s most likely a 4b type.

What is 4c Hair?

Discovering your 4c hair type can be a journey of exploration, as these tightly packed coils are often barely visible and range from silky to cottony.

To keep curls healthy, moisturizing with natural oils like coconut oil is essential. Shea butter or curl creams such as Mielle Organics provide intense hydration and detangling benefits without weighing down strands.

Heat protection products help prevent damage when styling, while texture shifting serums help create various looks throughout the week!

With the right combination of protective styles, moisture-rich treatments, and low heat settings on tools, you’ll have beautiful 4c tresses that are soft yet full!

Hair Care Tips for Type 4 Curls

Hair Care Tips for Type 4 Curls
Caring for curly hair can be tricky. If you have type 4 curls, either 4b or 4c, it’s important to know the differences in care and styling so that your natural beauty shines! Here, we will discuss how to look after these two different curl types – from products and techniques used to keep them healthy and hydrated, as well as styles that flatter each individual texture.

Hair Care for 4b Hair Types

Take your 4b tresses on a journey of luxurious nourishment with the right hair care tips.

Protective styles are an excellent way to minimize breakage and keep your hair healthy.

Moisture is key. When time is limited, leave-in conditioners are great! Oils and butters can help moisturize dryness caused by curl patterns too – try the LOC method (liquid/leave in, oil, cream).

And don’t forget that maintaining length retention requires understanding your unique type of b curls.

With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to gorgeous locks!

Hair Care for 4c Hair Types

Unlock the secret to beautiful type 4c curls with these essential hair care tips! Curl pattern impacts oil distribution and dryness, making moisture key. Try mask treatments in protective styles, use natural oils for hydration, and low heat when styling.

Moisturize often with a natural moisturizer like avocado’s fatty acids – perfect for those with naturally curly or coily hair types.

So don’t forget to regularly nourish your tresses; take it step by step so you can enjoy beautiful curls without compromising their health or length retention.

Using Products for Natural Hair & Curls

Using Products for Natural Hair & Curls
Now that you know the basics of caring for type 4 curls, let’s move on to using products. It can be daunting to find the right products and techniques for washing and styling your hair, but don’t worry! With some simple tips, you’ll have healthy natural curls in no time.

To start off, make sure that whatever product or technique you use is tailored specifically for type 4 curls. Andrew Walker Hair Typing has made this easier than ever by categorizing different curl types into four categories: 1-4 (4 being the curliest).

When selecting your shampoo/conditioner combo, opt for one designed specifically for these types of curly patterns. They will better nourish and hydrate your curls without weighing them down or stripping away essential oils from your scalp and hair shafts like standard formulas may do.

In addition to choosing specialized shampoos and conditioners meant just for type 4’s coils and kinks, there are various other ways you can maintain your moisture balance while keeping your style intact.

Last but not least, styling tips play an important role here, especially since re-wetting every day isn’t always feasible. Twist outs work best when going longer between washes, or you can glam up those wash n go styles with gel setting creams easily found online.

Type 4a Hair

Type 4a Hair
Discover how type 4a curls differ from other curl patterns and the surprising statistic that more than half of all African American women have type 4 hair.

Type 4a hair is a tightly coiled, packed pattern with lots of shrinkage when wet. It has an S-shaped zigzag pattern resembling the shape of a Z or S and can be easily defined once moisturized correctly using oils such as avocado, olive oil, or coconut oil to get those coils poppin’.

Protective styling also plays an important role in maintaining the healthiness and definition for these curled tresses since it minimizes breakage while keeping your strands healthy.

When washing this curly texture, make sure you use shampoo specifically designed for natural types like yours. Then, section off your locks into four parts before applying conditioner – this makes it easier to cleanse thoroughly without tangles forming afterwards.

Finally, keep in mind that although some may think all curly textures look alike, there are actually subtle differences between each one.

Type 4b Hair

Type 4b Hair
Distinguish your 4b hair from other curl patterns and learn how to care for it with the right products and techniques.

Type 4b hair is characterized by tight zigzag-shaped curls that are fluffy, soft, or coarse in texture. Unlike type 4a, which has a pronounced S-shape pattern, this type lacks any real curl definition when dry but can be defined once you’ve prepped it correctly with natural oils like avocado oil or olive oil.

To keep your tresses looking their best, frequent moisturizing is key! Pre-pooing before shampooing helps break down dirt and buildup while also preventing tangles during the wash process. Detangling after rinsing out conditioner should be done using a wide-tooth comb, as finger combing is much gentler on these delicate strands than brushing would be.

When styling, opt for protective styles such as braids or twists to reduce breakage further. If time isn’t an issue, then try leaving some of your coils loose too! Heat tools should only ever be used sparingly, if at all, since they have been known to cause damage over time.

And finally, don’t forget about leave-ins. They provide quick moisture without compromising the integrity of each strand too much, making them an ideal solution when life gets hectic yet still wanting beautiful healthy locks 24/7 remains top priority! Embrace every kink & coil, knowing no two types are alike.

Celebrate natural beauty within each individual form, regardless of what category (4b/c) one falls under, because there’s nothing quite like embracing all its unique qualities head-on, especially through proper care & maintenance routines tailored specifically towards achieving optimal results day in and day out.

Type 4c Hair

Type 4c Hair
Unlock the secrets of your 4c hair and develop a tailored care routine to keep it looking its best – no two types are alike! Moisturizing is key for this type, as its very tight curls can make oil distribution difficult.

To avoid dryness, use quality conditioners and protective styles such as braids or twists. Finger combing is preferred over brushing when detangling strands since it helps reduce frizziness and damage.

Heat tools should only be used sparingly if at all, with heat protectants applied beforehand in case of emergency situations.

Identifying 4c from other textures isn’t always easy. Look closely at your strands against light to determine them accurately instead of relying on photos, which may not represent reality due to environment or products used affecting their appearance significantly already.

Coils may range in size from barely visible ones up until more pliant ones that have greater definition. Either way, embrace every kink & coil, knowing none are ever identical nor will require the same product usage levels, even within the same type itself.

In a Nutshell

In a Nutshell
Understand your unique 4b/4c hair type and create a personalized routine to keep it looking its best! Oprah’s stylist, Andre Walker, developed the iconic four-level hair typing scale, which is used today by people around the world.

Types 4b and 4c are characterized by their tightly coiled strands with no visible curl pattern (4b) or very small curls that appear as coils (4c). Moisturizing oils like avocado can help nourish these types of dry hair since curl patterns can impact oil distribution.

Protective styles such as braids or twists also minimize breakage, while finger combing is preferred over brushing when detangling strands for less frizziness and damage.

It may not always be easy identifying each type from others, but examining wet strands against light will reveal true strand patterns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the benefits of using avocado for natural hair?

Experience the power of avocado on natural hair! Its fatty acids and natural moisturizing properties can help reduce dryness, retain moisture, and support healthy curls.

What is the best way to determine my hair type?

Examine your wet strands against light to determine your unique hair type. It’s time to unlock the power of knowing and exploring what makes you beautiful! Don’t forget: no two curls are alike, so embrace it!

Protective styles for type 4 hair include braids, twists, buns, and updos. They help keep your locks healthy by reducing breakage and frizz while promoting curl definition.

What are the differences between 4b and 4c hair?

Discover the differences between type 4b and 4c hair: one has tight zigzags with no curl pattern, while the other has barely visible coils. Examine your wet strands to determine which you have – but don’t be fooled by texture alone! Environment, products, and health all affect appearance too.

How often should I wash my type 4 hair?

How often you wash your type 4 hair depends on its moisture needs. Generally, aim to cleanse every 10-14 days, but listen to what your curls tell you. If they feel dry, it may be sooner or later. Use products designed for type 4 and condition regularly for maximum health.


It’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between 4b and 4c hair. But understanding the key characteristics of each can help you determine your own hair type.

4b hair is characterized by tight zigzags and a lack of curl pattern, while 4c hair has very tight, barely visible coils. Knowing your hair type can help you choose the right products and styling techniques.

When it comes to caring for type 4 curls, oil is essential. Natural oils like avocado help to moisturize and nourish the hair. Finger combing is also important for reducing frizz and breakage. Protective styling also helps to keep hair healthy and minimize damage.

Overall, taking the time to assess your hair type and understand what works best for it is essential for managing 4b and 4c hair. With the right products and styling techniques, you can enjoy healthy, happy curls.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.