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How to Wash 4b Hair: a Step-by-Step Guide for Type 4B Hair (2024)

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Hey there! If you’ve been searching for the perfect guide to help care for your 4b hair, look no further. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to wash and maintain type 4b natural hair.

We’ll cover pre-pooing, shampooing, conditioning techniques as well as some of our favorite products that are specifically designed with type 4b hair in mind. We’ll also share tips and tricks on how best to detangle your curls while minimizing breakage or shedding so that you can keep those gorgeous coils looking their best at all times.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s jump right in and get started learning about caring for your beautiful natural tresses!

Key Takeaways

how to wash 4b hair

  • Use sulfate-free shampoo or cleansing conditioner to wash 4b hair every 1-2 weeks.
  • Detangle on damp hair with a moisturizing product and use fingers or a wide-tooth comb gently.
  • Section hair while detangling and remove knots from ends to roots.
  • Use a Hot Head thermal cap for deep conditioning treatments to increase moisture retention.

What is 4b Natural Hair?

What is 4b Natural Hair?
Hey there! You have type 4b natural hair, which means you have a Z-shaped curl pattern with sharp, angled bends. Your hair can also be fine and wiry or more coarse and experience shrinkage – both signs of a healthy moisture-protein balance! To keep your curls looking their best, it’s important to follow an effective wash day routine for 4b hair that includes pre-pooing, shampooing (every two weeks), conditioning, deep conditioning/protein treatment; as well as styling with hydrating leave-in conditioners and creams.

Natural Hair Type

You have 4b natural hair, which is characterized by its Z-shaped curl pattern and sharp angled bends. To keep your curls healthy and hydrated, use a moisturizing leave-in conditioner with cream or oil/gel for styling.

Avoid using serums or glosses containing silicones; opt instead for plant oils that provide nourishment.

Every two weeks, try shampooing followed by hot head thermal caps to deep condition. Along with weekly aloe vera treatments, this can prevent high porosity hair breakage from water evaporation due to shrinkage.

Try the LOC method (liquid-oil-cream) when detangling on damp locks in sections. Banding styles as needed while sleeping nightly helps maintain moisture levels too!

Natural Hair Texture

No matter the texture, 4b natural hair requires special care and attention to keep it hydrated, healthy, and vibrant. For instance, the Q-Redew handheld steamer is a great solution for detangling curls without causing damage or breakage.

Meanwhile, Aussie Moist conditioner keeps locks moisturized all day long. It’s important to find the right balance of moisture and protein to prevent shrinkage while providing heat protection from styling tools.

Protective styling with low porosity products, such as plant-based oils, helps maintain angular coils of this curl type, which have a unique z-shaped curl pattern – just like Willow Smith, who is an iconic great example of this natural hair type! To achieve optimal results, incorporate oil mixtures into your routine that are tailored towards your individual needs for maximum moisture retention.

How to Wash 4b Hair

How to Wash 4b Hair
Hey there! Washing 4b hair is essential to keeping your curls looking their best. To do this properly, it’s important to follow a wash day routine that includes pre-pooing, shampooing (every two weeks), conditioning, deep conditioning/protein treatment, and styling with hydrating leave-in conditioners and creams.


Start your wash day routine by pre-pooing with a nourishing oil or cream! Pre-pooing helps to hydrate and protect 4b curls. Try running warm water over the hair first. Then, use Mielle’s cult classic Pomegranate & Honey Twisting Soufflé as a pre-poo treatment.

Add in some tea tree oil for added benefits and massage into the scalp before rinsing out with cool water.

To reduce breakage and shedding, use essential plant-based oils like coconut, avocado, or olive while detangling. Detangling can be tricky for type 4b naturals. Finally, follow up with deep conditioning treatments such as hot head thermal caps to get maximum moisture retention.


After pre-pooing and detangling, begin shampooing your 4b natural hair with a sulfate-free cleanser to refresh the scalp without stripping away moisture. Aim for every two weeks or even alternate between a cleanser and cleansing conditioner.

To get maximum results from this step, consider using hot head caps as an alternative to steamers for deep conditioning.

Avoid using serums or glosses containing silicones and mineral oil when washing natural hair. When it comes to wash day routine success, use gels like Camille Rose Aloe Whipped Butter Gel or Earthtones Naturals Curl Enhancing Jelly along with the Wash Day Delight Shampoo from TGIN.


After shampooing, apply a conditioner to your 4b curls that is specifically formulated for natural hair. Choose one with ingredients such as amla oil extract and castor oil to provide hydration and nourishment.

Detangle using techniques like finger detangling or Aussie Moist conditioner before applying the product. Use moisturizing routine products like creams, oils, and gels in combination with hydrating leave-in conditioners to style the strands while avoiding breakage due to tangles and knots.

Finally, occasionally use protective styling; regular shampooing and moisturizing will help maintain healthy hair growth between protective styles.

Deep Conditioning

To keep your 4b curls healthy, use a deep conditioner or hot head thermal cap once every two weeks to strengthen and moisturize them. Deep conditioning is a fantastic way to add hydration back into the hair without using heat-based treatments.

Choose products that contain ingredients such as alma oil extract and vitamin E for maximum benefit.

Additionally, incorporate oiling with a tangle teezer brush prior to wash day for extra moisture retention during the washing process.


Once you’ve deep conditioned your 4b natural hair, it’s time to give those curls some love with styling! To get the best results, use a leave-in conditioner and cream for hydration while using an oil or gel to lock in moisture and define.

For protective styling, try banding techniques or low maintenance styles when leaving hair down. Avoid serums with silicones and mineral oils; stick to plant-based oils instead. Consider using hot head thermal caps for deeper conditioning treatments than steamers provide.

Detangling is important too—try finger detangling followed by plastic cap therapy before washing out all the product buildup from protective styles in sections of fours under lukewarm water.

Recommended Products for Washing 4b Hair
Hey there! Washing and caring for 4b hair can be a challenge, but with the right products, it’s easy to keep your curls looking their best.

When it comes to shampooing, try TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate-Free Shampoo or As I Am Coconut Cowash. For deep conditioning, reach for Mielle Rosemary Mint Strengthening Hair Masque or Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner.

To moisturize, use something like Mielle Moisturizing Avocado Hair Milk along with styling products such as Earthtones Naturals Curl Enhancing Jelly and Camille Rose Aloe Whipped Butter Gel.


When it comes to shampooing your 4b hair, it’s important to use a sulfate-free formula every two weeks and opt for cleansing conditioners in between. Choosing the right shampoo is key for maintaining moisture balance while still achieving curl definition and gentle detangling.

Product selection is also important as you want to avoid product buildup that can lead to dryness or limp curls.

A water-based leave-in conditioner after washing will help lock in hydration, giving you wash day delight! To ensure success with your natural hair wash regimen, pay close attention when selecting products and follow the best tips from experienced naturalistas.

Deep Conditioner

Use a deep conditioner regularly to nourish and strengthen your 4b curls, giving you the beautiful definition and hydration you crave! Consider using products like TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask, Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner, Mielle Rosemary Mint Strengthening Hair Masque, or hot head thermal caps for an affordable alternative to steamers.

When selecting oil mixtures for your hair care routine, opt for plant-based oils such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

Don’t forget exclusive newsletter subscribers get access to deals on rich creamy formulas tailored specifically towards Type 4 naturals’ needs – sign up now! Remember that heat is the best form of protection against breakage, so make sure you are using appropriate protective styling methods when utilizing heat tools.

Moisturizing Products

To maintain your 4b curls’ definition and hydration, make sure to keep them moisturized with products like Mielle Moisturizing Avocado Hair Milk, Camille Rose Curl Love Moisture Milk, or TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer.

For oil mixtures, opt for plant-based oils such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Use a hot head thermal cap to help restore moisture balance. Those with low porosity strands can use Aussie Moist conditioner and Q Redew steamer.

Sign up for our email list to receive exclusive deals on rich, creamy formulas tailored specifically towards Type 4 naturals’ needs! Trapping shed hair in the conditioning process is a sign of healthy moisture-protein balance, so don’t forget about great natural hair routines that include protective styling using low maintenance styles when leaving down and banding wash & go’s.

Styling Products

Try Camille Rose Aloe Whipped Butter Gel and Earthtones Naturals Curl Enhancing Jelly to give your 4b hair definition, shine, and hold.

For extra moisture, use hot head caps or protein treatments with plant-based oils like Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

To enhance curls further, add a dollop of Flaxseed gel on the right side of your head when styling different hair textures.

Keep it simple by experimenting with products that work best for you while protecting natural curls from damage.

Tips for Detangling 4b Hair

Tips for Detangling 4b Hair
Hey there! Detangling 4b hair can be tricky, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s possible. One great tool to have is a Q-Redew handheld steamer – it helps break down tough knots without damaging your strands.

Additionally, keeping your hair moisturized is key for detangling success; try using Aussie Moist conditioner or Q-Redew after shampooing to keep your curls hydrated and manageable.

Using the Q-Redew

The Q-Redew is an invaluable tool for detangling 4b hair. It’ll help you get through those knots in no time! As a 4b natural, your curls are likely experiencing shrinkage, so they need some TLC with this device.

The Q-Redew offers specific techniques like a continuous mist spray bottle that ensures less product is used while still achieving desired results. You can also use its warm steam setting to open up cuticles for deep conditioning treatments and stimulate blood circulation, as well as increase elasticity at the root level resulting in healthier strands overall.

The Q-Redew has revolutionized how we care for our curly coils, making them soft, shiny, and easy to manage! From moisture retention to protective styling, the Q-Redew allows you to create product blends and low maintenance styles.

It’s a game-changer for those with 4b hair, helping to keep your curls healthy and beautiful.

Keeping Hair Moist

Maintaining moisture is key to keeping 4b curls healthy and bouncy, so use hydrating leave-in conditioners, creams, and oils regularly. A nightly pineappling routine helps preserve the shape of your curls. Detangling can be done with a Q Redew steamer or hot head caps before shampooing for maximum hydration retention.

Oiling mixtures, such as a mixture of olive oil and sugar cane or neem, are also beneficial when added to your current routine.

Maintaining Twist Outs on 4b Hair

Maintaining Twist Outs on 4b Hair
Hey there! Maintaining a twist out on 4b hair can be tricky, but with the right techniques and products, you can achieve beautiful results. Tips for keeping your curls defined include washing in sections to prevent tangles, sleeping with a bonnet and silk pillowcase nightly to keep moisture locked in, and using light oils such as avocado oil or jojoba oil for sealing the ends of your strands.

Tips for Maintaining Definition

To maintain your 4b curls’ definition, use plant-based oils and cream to hydrate your strands while avoiding hair serums and glosses with silicones and mineral oil. Try the banding technique for wash-and-go styles – divide the hair into smaller sections, starting from the crown of your head.

Apply an oil mixture depending on your individual needs or based on what works best for you.

Avoid using ingredients like silicones, mineral oil, and alcohols to prevent buildup that will weigh down natural patterns and inhibit curl formation.

Sleeping With a Bonnet and Silk Pillowcase

For a better night’s sleep and to keep your curls looking their best, slip on a bonnet and lay your head down on a silk pillowcase! Protective styling is crucial for maintaining healthy 4b hair. Poor detangling methods can lead to breakage, so opt for Q Redew usage or loc stands instead.

Pineappling hair at night will help maintain definition, while moisturizing products like Aisha Beau’s wash and oil mixtures will nourish strands. Don’t forget the benefits of sleeping with silk – it reduces frizz, split ends, and dryness in natural hair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should 4b hair be washed?

You may have heard that washing 4b hair too often can strip it of its natural oils, but the truth is that everyone’s hair is different. It’s important to listen to your own scalp and adjust your wash schedule accordingly.

Aim for washing every 1-2 weeks with a sulfate-free shampoo or cleansing conditioner, alternating between the two.

What are the benefits of using a hot head thermal cap for deep conditioning 4b hair?

Using a hot head thermal cap for deep conditioning 4b hair can provide numerous benefits, including better product penetration and increased moisture retention. The gentle heat also helps to open up the cuticle, allowing for maximum absorption of nutrients.

What is the best way to moisturize 4b hair?

To moisturize 4b hair, start with a hydrating leave-in conditioner. Follow it up with a cream and oil or gel to seal in moisture. Use plant-based oils and avoid silicones/mineral oil for best results. Pineapple at night and use silk pillowcases to maintain hydration levels.

What are some effective protective styles for 4b hair?

Protective styles for 4b hair are diverse and delightful. Braids, twists, cornrows, wigs, and weaves can be easily styled with accessories like scarves or beads. These hairstyles help retain moisture and length while giving you a break from daily manipulation.

What is the best way to prevent breakage and shedding when detangling 4b hair?

To prevent breakage and shedding while detangling 4b hair, start on damp hair with a moisturizing product. Section the hair and use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to gently remove knots from ends to roots.


Your journey with 4b hair is sure to be a unique and fulfilling experience. Whether you’re new to the natural hair world or a seasoned pro, it’s important to keep your hair hydrated, nourished, and detangled.

With the right products and a consistent routine, your 4b hair will be the envy of your peers. Take the time to experiment with different products and techniques to find what works best for you.

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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.