4A hair is a type on the hair chart that indicates a very curly hair type—think tight coils. There are many women, primarily Black women, with type 4A hair.
Because of its tight coil shape, 4A hair can be more susceptible to dryness. When properly cared for with the right products and hair care regimen, the end result is a head full of soft, shiny, well-defined, bouncy curls.
Follow these tips to help maintain healthy, natural hair. Whether you have been a natural gal your whole life or you are transitioning from relaxed hair to your 4A curls, this guide can definitely point you in the right direction. Read on:
What is Type 4A Hair?
Not quite sure if you have type 4A hair? Learn more about this natural hair type.
All About Type 4A Hair
Type 4A hair is a type of natural hair that is made up of dense, thick coils. These coils are very soft and have the most “S” shape to them, compared to other kinds of type 4 hair. The “S” shape is actually very beneficial because this specific 4 type hair experiences less shrinkage when your hair is wet, then dries, as opposed to other 4 types, which have a lot of shrinkage.
Even though this type of hair is the softest type of 4 hair, it is prone to frizz and dryness because it is difficult for the natural oils to travel down the hair shaft to the ends. Moisture is key for this hair type, and products like leave-in conditioners, hair masks, and oils can help you achieve this.
4A Hair Maintenance Tips
4A hair can have a super fine or thick texture with an S pattern. As with most very curly hair types, it also tends to be extra dry. Maintenance of 4A hair revolves around keeping your curls moisturized and avoiding damage.
Since 4A hair is naturally dry and has a texture that’s prone to damage if not well-moisturized, make sure your shampoo is super hydrating to start off with. Suave Professionals Sulfate-Free Cleansing Shampoo helps cleanse and penetrate your strands with moisture.
Before shampooing your hair, you may want to detangle with your fingers. After your hair has been fully soaked in the shower, gently detangle your hair starting from a few inches from the ends, then carefully moving up the length with each tug. This can help prevent your curls from getting matted while you shampoo your hair. Also, focus shampooing your scalp and roots only, and allow the suds to gently wash through the middle to ends of your hair as you rinse.
We always recommend that dry, curly hair types should condition (or deep condition) after shampooing. Conditioners replenish the moisture that your hair needs to have springy curls, minus the frizz. To replenish your curls with moisture after shampooing, condition it by using Suave Professionals Moisturizing Curl Conditioner.
3. Daily Moisture
4A hair may need to be moisturized every day or every other day. You can use an oil if your hair is particularly dry. Coconut oil works well for adding moisture while you shape your curls because of its ability to penetrate the hair shaft, unlike most oils. If you need just a bit of moisture to refresh your curls, consider using serums for natural hair. You can apply as little or as much as you need to get your curls springy and frizz-free. Alternatively, opt for Suave Professionals Nourish & Strengthen Leave-In Conditioner for Natural Hair. You can use this whenever your hair needs moisture.
4. Pre-Sleep Care
To avoid frizz and breakage, sleep with your hair in a silk scarf or use a silk pillowcase. Cotton can pull and tug on your curls, resulting in more frizz! Silk and satin don’t produce as much friction, making them ideal fabrics (Bonus: We hear they help prevent bedtime wrinkles, too).
Another tip: You may find it helpful to protect your curls by sleeping with your hair up in a pineapple ‘do. Read our tutorial for pineapple hair and try it yourself at home.