When you have 4c hair, you know you are special and a proper wash day routine for 4c hair is a must. Those blessed with 4c hair, are aware that what may work for others, doesn’t really work for them. If you want to rock an awesome 4c mane, you need to put on the work. A good starting point is a correct wash-day routine for 4c hair.
Understanding the needs of 4c hair is the best thing you can do for your mane. Women with 4c hair have a unique curl pattern, which derives from a tight, dense texture, and also has a natural lift. As you may already know, 4c hair demands the right products and a specific hair care regime.
Having this type of hair gives you a lot of indication as to what will and will not work for your hair. Among the things you need to keep in mind about your hair is that 4c hair coils need to be hydrated as often as possible, so you want to make sure you don’t go ten days without a wash day.
It is then important that you make it a habit and come up with the correct wash day routine for 4c hair. This will make sure your hair gets everything it deserves frequently and definitely gives you the results you desire. If you have no idea where to start you are in the right place. Keep reading and find the ultimate guide to 4c hair wash day, and more useful tips.
4C Hair Type Intro
The 4c hair type lies within the broader type 4 hair category of the hair typing system. Type 4 hair is also referred to as Black, kinky, or coarse hair and is characterized by its tight, dense texture and natural lift. The volume that comes with type 4 hair is caused by its unique curl pattern.
4c hair type has the tightest curl pattern of all the curly hair types. Strands are formed in tight, springy, ringlets. 4c hair tends to clump more at the ends and is even more prone to shrinkage than 4B hair.
4B Hair vs. 4C Hair
4B hair is easily distinguished by its zigzag pattern. Unlike 4a or 4c, 4b has tight “Z” shaped strands with a little definition in curl shape. Often, 4b hair is fluffy and can be soft or coarse depending on hair texture.
4C textures are similar to 4B textures, but the tightly-coiled strands are more fragile and have a very tight zig-zag pattern that is sometimes indiscernible to the eye. This hair type experiences the greatest amount of shrinkage.
Like 4B hair, a 4C hair type is also prone to dryness and requires regular moisturization to maintain a consistent pattern of hair growth and keep hair healthy.
Hair Care Routine for 4C Hair Types
- Moisturize Before Styling. Wet your hair with water or mild moisturizing spray before you put it in an updo. This keeps strands pliant and decreases breakage.
- Condition. Try the LOC method (liquid, oil, cream) for prolonged moisturization. After you shower, use coconut or almond oil, followed by a natural curl cream like cocoa or shea butter. You could also try a leave-in conditioner for curly hair if you don’t have time to style your hair before you leave the house.
- Wash and Condition in Sections. Instead of tackling your whole head at once, section off small areas to wash individually. This keeps tangles to a minimum and guarantees full cleansing and moisturizing.
4C Hair Washing Day Steps
Step 1 Pre-poo
The first step in your wash day routine for 4c hair is protecting your hair from the drying effect of shampoo. To pre-poo use penetrating oils, and conditioner, and apply them to your dry hair to restore moisture & create a protective layer.
We recommend African Pride Moisture Miracle Aloe & Coconut Water Pre-Shampoo. It moisturizes, cleanses, and detangles hair using the natural benefits of Aloe Vera & Coconut Water to condition, protect & nourish natural coils and curls.
Enriched with Aloe Vera: Nourishes, conditions, and protects against breakage; Coconut Water: Helps strengthen hair and restores moisture.
The ingredients within African Pride products are free of harmful components, including parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, & petrolatum.
How to use African Pride Moisture Miracle Aloe & Coconut Water Pre-Shampoo:
- Before cleansing, apply a generous amount to dry hair & distribute
- Use fingers or comb to detangle, rinse thoroughly
- For dry or tangled hair, leave it on for 15-30 min before rinsing
Step 2 Detangling
Detangling is a never skip a step during wash day routine for 4c hair. To properly detangle use a detangler or instant conditioner with a good slip, use your fingers, a wide tooth comb, or detangling brush, and start from the ends upwards to the roots.
Try Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Detangler Comb. Easily detangle wet or dry hair with the Detangler Comb. This wide-tooth comb is designed to painlessly glide through hair without pulling and avoids annoying breakage.
Wide-tooth comb easily detangles wet or dry hair. Glides through hair painlessly and prevents breakage. Use to detangle wet or dry hair.
Step 3 Cleanse
For 4C hair, it is recommended that you avoid shampoos that contain any type of sulfates. Apply a clarifying shampoo to your scalp, section by section.
Another important consideration is that you should use warm water to wash your hair as it will open up the pores in your scalp, allowing the shampoo to thoroughly cleanse it of dirt and build-ups.
With cleansing, wet your hair until dripping wet, apply shampoo on your scalp, massage the scalp with your finger balls or a scalp massager to get rid of dirt and build then rinse off thoroughly with warm water.
Try Love Beauty And Planet Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo. This detox hair shampoo and cleansed hair care, is infused with coconut oil for hair. The sulfate-free purifying shampoo is infused with bamboo charcoal, known for its detoxifying properties.
Lock in moisture and let your strands keep flowing strong and free with our Coconut Oil Infused Charcoal & Bergamot Shampoo for a cleansed scalp. This sulfate-free shampoo is designed to remove buildup for clarified hair and a scalp detox.
This hair shampoo scrub uses coconut husk and naturally derived menthol for a deep, cooling clean.
How to use Love Beauty And Planet Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo:
- Simply squeeze, lather, and rinse
Step 4 Deep Condition
A moisturizing deep conditioner is a must use on every wash day while a protein treatment can be done after every 4-6 weeks depending on how much you manipulate your hair and use heat.
You can try Marc Anthony Deep Conditioning Hair Mask. Marc Anthony Grow long anti-breakage hair mask, to prevent future breakage. The longer the hair, the older and weaker the strands, and the more prone to damage and breakage it is.
This anti-breakage mask instantly corrects damaged strands to improve texture and manageability by infusing nourishing proteins back into dry, weak, and damaged hair, reviving the hair as elasticity and reinforcing strength from the inside out.
Hydrolyzed keratin smooths the hair by filling in the cuticle, while caffeine and ginseng condition the hair to enhance the appearance and feel of longer locks. Avocado oil and Argan Oil offer hydration.
How to use Marc Anthony Deep Conditioning Hair Mask:
- Apply generously to wet hair after shampooing
- Leave on for 3-5 minutes
- Rinse hair thoroughly
Step 5 Dry your hair
After rinsing out the conditioner, dry your hair. You can do this with a T-shirt or a microfiber towel. However, you must not rub either of these against your hair because this can cause frizz in your hair.
Instead, wrap the T-shirt or microfiber towel around your hair so it can absorb the excess water.
Step 6 Oil, moisturize, and seal
Finally, after you have applied your leave-in conditioner, you should oil, moisturize, and seal your hair. First, oil your scalp with any lightweight natural oil of your choice to prevent it from drying out.
We love Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, this naturally infused, nourishing oil adds long-lasting hydration and shine; addresses breakage, damage, and split ends by keeping the hair and scalp moisturized, fortified, and healthy for optimum growth potential.
Features Cocoa Butter to soften and add healthy shine with rich moisture that shields hair from dryness and over-processing; Color safe for all hair colors, curl patterns, and textures.
Biotin helps optimize the healthy hair growth cycle while strengthening strands and preventing hair from becoming brittle and fragile to reduce breakage for beautiful, long, shiny hair.
How to use Palmer’s Cocoa Butter:
- Spray directly onto damp or dry hair and scalp
- Massage gently
- Do not rinse, style as usual
Wash Day Routine For 4C Hair Additional Tips
- 4C type hair is very delicate therefore before you need to hydrate it as much as possible especially before you start your routine. This is because hydrated hair is stronger and easier to work with. It will also help detangle and soften your strands before cleansing.
- You can double cleanse by using the same shampoo twice. First focus on your scalp and roots then second focus on strands.
- The best and easiest way to detangle 4C hair is while it’s soaking wet and covered with conditioner. Water and conditioner help ensure gentle detangling without tension on hair strands. Tension could cause hair breakage therefore do not detangle your hair while it’s dry, oily, or shampooed.
- To section your hair, make sure it’s wet with conditioner first. Next, do a middle part to separate it into two sections. Then further divide the two sections into smaller equal parts. Finally, add products to each section and tie or twist them.
- The hydration you get from the shower isn’t enough therefore continue by moisturizing your hair before completing your routine. You could do this by adding a leave-in conditioner to keep your strands hydrated for days.
Common Question About Wash Day Routine For 4C Hair
How often should you do your wash day routine for 4c hair?
4C hair should be Shampoo-washed once or twice a month and Co-washed in between. Shampooing is important in maintaining a clean and healthy scalp. However, washing your 4c hair with shampoo too often strips the hair of its natural oils and moisture which may lead to damage.
Should I wet my 4c hair every day?
Yes, you should absolutely wet your 4c hair every day, especially if you have dry natural hair.
How do I moisturize my 4C hair after washing it?
The practice of using oils after washing your hair is called sealing; this reduces the rate of moisture depletion. People will use oil as a part of their LOC method to prevent dryness, reduce frizz, and stave off wash day. You can use pure oil or create your own blend.
Should you do your 4c hair wash routine with cold or hot water?
If you wash your hair with cool water, you’re missing out on softer, shinier, more hydrated, cleaner, healthier 4C hair. In other words, everything. Hot water has more energy, it penetrates the strand better, which means you get more moisture and more flexibility.
What should you avoid in your routine for 4c hair?
Avoid over-styling 4c hair and just appreciate its natural beauty. If you want to do something different with your hair, it is easiest to do a protective style.
Styling 4c hair excessively can lead to breakage as it’s very fragile. Braids, wigs, twists, and 4c hair extensions can all be great options.
How can you hydrate before your routine for 4c hair?
Water is the best way to hydrate your hair so start by rinsing your hair in running water most preferably in the shower.
What is the best shampoo to incorporate in your 4c hair wash day?
Clarifying shampoos are the best solution to getting rid of the buildup caused by heavy products like shea butter and castor oil. Therefore be sure to shampoo your hair with clarifying shampoo so your hair can able to properly absorb the moisture it needs.
Can you condition during your 4c hair wash routine?
The function of a conditioner is to lock in moisture after cleansing your hair. This will help to strengthen and soften your hair by smoothing your strands’ cuticle layer. It also helps to prevent breakage, slow formation of split ends and lubricates your hair hence easier detangling.
For application, use a deep conditioning treatment since it has the added benefit of penetrating your hair strands.
How to do a pre-poo on wash day routine for 4c hair?
A pre-poo will help protect your hair from the harsh ingredients that are present in a shampoo. Keeping your hair and scalp hydrated, a pre-poo will leave your hair strands feeling soft even after you have shampooed.
- First of all, part your hair into smaller sections and braid loosely. Doing this will help in getting an even distribution of your (leave-in) conditioner or oils into your hair.
- Next, apply your (leave-in) conditioner or oils in each section from roots to tips so that your hair is fully coated.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it in for between 5 – 10 minutes.
- Then, rinse out thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Wash Day Routine For 4C Hair Video Tutorial
Products Mentioned In This Article
- African Pride Moisture Miracle Aloe & Coconut Water Pre-Shampoo
- Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Detangler Comb
- Love Beauty And Planet Clarifying Sulfate-Free Shampoo
- Marc Anthony Deep Conditioning Hair Mask
- Palmer’s Cocoa Butter
Disclosure: The Hair Products recommended in this article are our top favorites because they have a great combination of quality, features, and affordability. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through the links as a way to support this site. If you buy a qualifying product, you’re not charged anything extra, but I’ll get a small commission to help pay for my expenses. I hope you find our advice helpful and discover the Best Hair Products for your needs on this list.