Natural Hair

Knowing your hair type | type 4 hair

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Eki ogunbor @thechameleonblogger
Eki Ogunbor – @thechameleonblogger

Many of us do not really know our hair type. When asked, we come up with things like soft, elastic, full, stubborn, hard etc. Knowing your hair type gives you control over your hair. You will find it easy to style and manipulate, you will know what styles will make it glow and you have it easily managed despite the set backs of every particular hair type.

Apart from the 4 series we are going to see and learn about today, we also have the type 3 series. I’m not going into the 3 series because it is not our hair type here in Nigeria.

So, let’s dive straight in.



4a hair has a defined curl pattern almost like a “s” shape. Generally speaking it retains moisture fairly well, but as with most curly hair it is still prone to dryness.

Being that this hair type has a naturally defined curl pattern wash n’ go styles may be a great option as it can be easily achieved with the right product and technique. Gentle sulfate free shampoos, conditioners and rich creamy products or butters will be helpful for keeping hair moisturized.


4b hair has a “z” shape pattern and has a more fluffy cottony appearance. Due to the bends and curves in the hair strand it is highly susceptible to dryness and breakage. This hair type shrinks up to 70% so without stretching out the hair it will appear shorter than it actually is.

Naturalists with this hair type will benefit from protective styles (buns, twists, braids) and low manipulation styles (roller sets, ponytail puffs, twist outs) to protect the hair from damage. A lot of moisture, gentle cleansers and frequent deep conditioning will be helpful for naturalists with 4b hair.


4c hair is similar to 4b hair type only it is more tightly coiled. In its raw state (no products added and freshly washed) it does not have a defined curl pattern. Coils have to be defined by either twisting, braiding, or shingling through the strands. Many 4c naturals have shrinkage up to 70% or more.

So while your hair may be 10 inches long it may appear like you only have 3 inches of hair if you do not stretch your hair out. It is the most fragile hair type, so if you desire to grow your hair long protective styles like twists, braids, or buns should be your go to style choice.

These styles do not require daily manipulation (combing/brushing) giving hair less chances to break off. You can then wear your hair out for a couple of days in a low manipulation style (puffs, roller sets, twist outs) and then repeat the cycle for a balanced routine.

It’s quite common for us to have more than one texture in our hair. Your edges may be 4b while the majority of your hair is 4a type. This post will help you know what hair type you have, either single or combined.

In my next post I’ll do an exposition on caring for the different hair types.

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