As relevant as natural hair has been, there’s so few depictions of naturalistas with 4C coils flaunting or teaching How to Take Care of 4C hair.
Why is it that elongated curls are praised more than the solidified or defined afro? We may never find out but what will figure out is how best to take care of the 4C that the media neglects.
Many of us are product obsessed and have tried anything that had ‘for Natural Hair’ on the label without conducting much research. You may have done the big chop thinking your fro would grow back softer, longer and more defined. You may have washed your hair with eggs to add protein and strip the perms that once ruled your roots. You most likely have three different brands in your cabinet that cost you nearly $100.
This isn’t a bad thing, it’s a learning phase.
But, STOP IT!
4C hair isn’t for the lazy.
Let me say that again, 4C hair isn’t for the lazy!
To tend to your fro and be consistent with your coils it’s a must that you take the necessary precautions to ensure healthy growth, natural shine, high definition and elasticity.
It’s important to research a products history before using. What type of hair does the person reviewing the product have? How long has the company been manufacturing the product? Who owns the company?
When trying a new product, you should wait until after the second wash or two months in between to avoid unnecessary breakage. Allow some time for your 4C hair to adjust to the chemicals in the product to see how work for your hair type over time. Just as you trained your hair to wrap and unwrap into its silky straight blowout, you must train your hair’s pattern.
To aid in the growth of your fro I recommend using Jamaican Black Castor Oil on your roots and edges (front/back) pre and post wash. Raw Natural Shea Butter should be used with your twists outs, if you’re not allergic to it. Sulfate free and non-foaming shampoo is the only shampoo for 4C hair. You can wash as much as necessary or as little as needed.
Do not fear the shears! Go get your dead ends clipped quarterly, and you may need to go more often than that. Unless you decide, after consistently using a product/brand, to go a year or so without a cut. That part is solely up to how fast your hair grows and how quick your ends split.
Once you’ve seen how well the product works on your hair, stick to it.
Don’t add another brand that promises to assist in the enhancement of the other. (Unless they both become a part of your regimen). Stick to the brand consistently: the curl pudding, the curl activator, the conditioner, the shampoo, the mousse, the co-wash, the leave in conditioner, the detangler etc. It matters more than you know.
Tips: Cantu is the best brand of products for soft, thick 4C hair in conjunction with natural oils. Mostly mixed girls with 4C stand by this brand because it dries out the extra oil that is in their hair and gives them the power to control how much oil is being added.
Mielle is great for all black and brown naturalistas! The owner has a variety of lines and concoctions that are tailored for specific coils and curl patterns.
If you use Cantu on a regular basis then I recommend:
Shea butter, Cantu curling cream and a natural oil for twist outs. For defined coils in an up-do puff you shold use: Cantu curl activator and a lightweight gel to seal the coils. (For next day bounce back or a two day old twist out, use the Cantu Curl revitalizer).