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How to care for type 4 hair


If you have type 4 hair (coily hair) you will know that maintenance is an everyday occurrence to ensure that your hair stays healthy and defined.


These super tight curls, identified as type 4a, 4b and 4c, is often a mix of Z- and S-shaped curls and can be very delicate. A gentle technique that focuses on moisture is ideal for all type 4 styles.


Understanding what your hair needs and how to take care of it is incredibly important. Check out our top tips for looking after your coily locks.


Maintaining type 4a hair

These kinky curls have a clear ‘S’ shape and is often fine and soft, meaning that it can be easily damaged. A high moisture shampoo is incredibly important for your hair routine as it sets the foundation for keeping your hair hydrated.


However, you want to make sure you’re not washing your hair too often and try to only wash your hair two or three times per week.


To keep your curls nourished and fizz-free, a deep conditioning treatment should also be part of your routine. Dedicate time twice per month to do this and you will find your hair has increased elasticity and feels softer.


Don’t forget to plop! Towels can be abrasive on fine hair that is prone to damage and we advise to tightly wrap your hair using a cotton t-shirt after washing. This will help to cut down on drying time and help keep frizz to a minimum. Plop for 20 minutes and then air-dry your hair, or use a diffuser. Though do keep heat to a minimum to protect your curls. If you do use heat, apply a good heat protector beforehand.


Maintaining type 4b hair

Type 4b presents as zig-zag curls, although the curls aren’t very defined. Hair that is 4b can have a coarse texture and is prone to shrinkage as the hair can coil quite tightly.


To help keep your locks luscious, use your fingers to separate and detangle wet hair. A good leave-in conditioner will help to nourish and condition your hair, and help keep the ends hydrated. Due to the nature of the curl, the ends can become dryer, so don’t neglect the lengths during your routine.



An oil (coconut or castor for example) treatment, left in for several hours is beneficial for 4b hair, and then washed out using a moisturising shampoo. Follow this with a similarly moisturising conditioner. We suggest conditioning your hair each time you wash it, and like type 4a, fewer washes and air drying should be your preferred routine.


Stay away from hairbrushes and stick to using your fingers or a wide-toothed comb. Similarly avoid any products that include silicone or sulphates as these will dry your hair and increase frizziness.


Maintaining type 4c hair

Densely packed and prone to shrinkage, 4c hair dries out quickly and like other type 4 styles, struggles to retain moisture, so to keep these tight coils with a defined ‘Z’ shape looking healthy and soft, there a few things you can do.


Invest in a good hair oil that can keep the moisture in, and a moisturising shampoo. Try not to shampoo too often – some people can go weeks without washing their 4c hair if it’s properly maintained!


Keeping styling to a minimum can improve the quality of your hair as over-using products, touching and using tight hairstyles can lead to your hair being damaged. Stick to gentle techniques and only detangle when wet, and keep hairstyles natural.


Regular trims are best for 4c hair as the ends need to be regularly maintained and looked after to encourage growth and healthy hair.


Silk scarves/bonnets or pillowcases are great investments for this hair type as it helps to reduce friction, stopping your hair from getting tangled while you sleep.




Kevin Murphy Killer.Curls

If you’re not convinced the current products you’re using are working for your type 4 hair we recommend using the leave-in cream by Kevin Murphy. It’s great for styling coarse, curly or frizzy hair, leaving it smooth, rehydrated, and defined. It also offers heat protection and, as it’s a smoothing and defining cream, it helps to reduce friction, making styling curly hair effortless.


Speak to our team about how best to use Keving Murphy Killer.Curls and add it into your hair routine.


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