What’s the Difference Between 4A, 4B, and 4C Curl Types?

Okay, so you know you have type 4 hair, but what’s your curl pattern?

Just when you thought you’d gotten your head of Afro all figured out, you’re slammed with a seemingly irrelevant and unnecessary hair type classification system!

Except, it’s very important.

Thanks to Andre Walker, the hairstylist who’s worked with the likes of Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Halle Berry, naturalistas can now discover where their dense, kinky, coily hair lies on the tightness to looseness scale.

Understanding your hair’s curl patterns can be instrumental in finding the perfect hair care and styling products for a head full of healthy strands.

Want to find out where you stand in the curl world? Rebe Hair is here to help.

The wholesale lace wigs supplier gives you the rundown on how to differentiate between the 3 subtypes plus tips on how to maintain each to improve length retention.

Type 4A Hair

4A hair has larger, tight, visible coils with a clear, defined S pattern. It has the least amount of shrinkage when stretched and a high density, which makes your hair appear darker than it is. The size of each curl is about the diameter of a standard crochet needle. While it looks coarse, it is soft and delicate. It has 2 to 3 layers: cortex, cuticle and medulla, which makes it no stranger to the woes of breakage.

Fortunately, its springy texture can absorb and maintain moisture well, so getting voluminous coils is easy—even when there’s no natural protection to back you up.

How to care for it:

  • Protect your hair while you sleep using a stain cap to minimize tangles.
  • Use sulfate-free, nutrient-rich shampoos and conditioners and natural emollients like shea butter to keep it in its prime.
  • Thicken your hair with almond, jojoba, or coconut oil.
  • Air-dry your hair to minimize the risk of damage.

And yes, make wash-and-go styles your BFF. You can thank us later!

Type 4B Hair

Type 4B hair is soft, cotton candy-like, and fluffy. Its densely-packed coils resemble a crimped Z shape though it’s not very clearly defined. Because the zigzag shape has sharp edges, the natural oils that keep your strands hydrated may have difficulty finding their way to the shaft, making it prone to dryness, tangles, and breakage.

This hair type has a very high level of shrinkage, taking as much as 50-70% of the actual length of your strands, meaning it will look a lot shorter once dry.

How to care for it:

  • Nourish your hair with coconut oil or milk before shampooing. Packed with nutrients, the coconut will hydrate your hair and minimize shrinkage.
  • Apply a leave-in conditioner post-wash for moisture.
  • Use styling products to get more defined curls. You can also use aloe vera to make your hair look and feel great.

Experiment with protective styles for best results. They’ll protect your hair from tangles and single-stranded knots while fostering hair growth.

Type 4C Hair

Type 4C hair has extra-tight, close coils with the least amount of definition in the curl pattern. The cotton-like hair ranges from soft to wiry to coarse. Because it’s so densely packed and tightly coiled, it’s delicate and extremely prone to dryness.

It has the most shrinkage—taking as much as 75-90% off your length! This can cause the curls to clump together, so grow it out to make it more manageable.

How to care for it:

  • Use sealants like oils and butters to replenish your curls with moisture.
  • Skip anything with silicone and sulfates as they inhibit healthy hair.
  • Go easy on heat styling. Get permanent treatments if you must.

And don’t forget to help your hair grow with protective hairstyles for 4C hair!

Elevate Your Strands With Rebe Hair

We’re a top-rated hair supplier who offers wholesale hair extensions at a price that won’t break the bank. From Afro kinky curly to coily hair and lace wigs, we’ve got it all (and then some) available through our website. Buy your faves today!

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