How To Grow And Take Care Of 4C Hair (Tips & Tricks)

A few simple hacks can nourish your type 4 hair, making it grow into lovely and healthy locks.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dr. Shruti Chavan Dr. Shruti ChavanMBBS
Written by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
Edited by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Experience: 4 years

You are off the mark if you think it is hard to grow 4C hair! This stunning, tightly coiled hair type can be grown healthily with the right care tips. However, due to its spring-like structure, 4C hair is vulnerable to shrinkage and damage such as drying out, breakage, and splits. Protecting and nourishing your type 4 hair is key in growing beautiful and healthy locks. Read on to learn how to nourish your 4C hair by incorporating some important steps into your hair care routine.

What Is 4C Hair?

4C hair has tightly coiled strands with a tight zig-zag pattern. This natural hair type does not have a defined curl pattern as it experiences the maximum shrinkage.

4C hair is fragile and hard to manage, and that is why many people shy away from growing it. However, with the right care and love, 4C hair can flourish and grow like any other hair type.

A blogger, Tracy shares her experience of taking the wrong path with natural 4C hair. She explains how she loved curly hair like the YouTubers and decided to grow her hair and use curly hair products. She wrote, “Little did I know, I was in for a big surprise. The hair texture that I have can not curl the way I want it to, if I had known that my hair texture was a 4c before, I would be more prepare but I did not (i).”

How Long Can 4C Hair Grow?

Hair grows at a rate of half an inch per month. This means that the hair strands grow six inches per year. As 4C hair is prone to dryness and shrinkage, its growth depends on how well the strands retain moisture.

It also depends on your genes. If your previous generation had long hair, you would too. However, if your family does not have a good hair growth rate, you might need to put extra effort to get the desired length. Here are some tips and tricks to help you grow 4C hair.

How To Grow And Take Care Of 4C Hair

1. Use A Gentle Shampoo

Shampooing your hair cleanses the scalp and hair and removes product buildup to promote proper hair growth. Avoid frequent washing and shampoo every 2-4 weeks. This ensures your hair strands retain essential moisture.  Use a mild, sulfate-free shampoo specially developed for 4C hair to prevent tangles and breakage.

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You can mix ingredients like coconut milk and aloe vera gel into your shampoo for their moisturizing and hydrating properties.

2. Follow A Proper Hair Care Regimen

A proper hair care regimen is an absolute necessity, irrespective of your hair type. Use nourishing and hydrating products that are specifically developed for 4C hair.  Moisturizing hair products help seal moisture into the strands and reduce frizz and breakage. You may use products that contain moisturizing ingredients like shea and cocoa butter, jojoba, macadamia, coconut, and avocado oils.

3. Trim Your Hair

You might think trimming would shorten the length of your hair. On the contrary, trimming the ends eliminates split ends and prevents hair breakage. Regular trimming also allows a healthy hair growth rate.

4. Finger Detangling

4C hair tends to clump together and tangle and might break easily when you try to comb it. Hence, the best way to detangle your hair with your fingers. It may take longer, but detangling with the fingers ensures less hair breakage, fewer tangles and knots, healthy hair ends, less pain, and healthy hair growth. Use a detangling product to give enough slip to minimize the damage and make detangling easier.

5. Try Scalp Massages

Massaging boosts blood flow to your scalp and hair follicles. This nourishes the roots and promotes healthy hair growth. Massage your scalp for at least five minutes every night to get the desired result.

340 respondents completed a survey to understand the effect of scalp massages in people struggling with hair loss. The survey revealed that 327 of 340 individuals had tried standardized scalp massages that involved a daily massage for 11-20 minutes. 68.9% of them reported hair loss stabilization or regrowth.

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Trim your hair every six to eight weeks to avoid split ends and keep your curls bouncy and defined.

6. Deep Conditioning

A deep conditioning treatment provides intense hydration and nourishes the hair. It keeps the hair healthy and shiny and prevents tangling and breakage. Deep conditioning once every two weeks or once a month will help maintain the hair health and retain its length.

7. Protective Hairstyles

Protective hairstyles are great for 4C curls. They keep your curls safe from damage and breakage. Styles like braids, twists, and updos with head wraps shield the curls from harsh weather, pollution, dirt, and tangling. This helps maintain moisture levels in your strands and reduces the risk of split ends. There are many variations of braids and twists that you can try like Ghana braids, box braids, the regular three-strand braid, Marley twists, Havana twists, and more. Another protective hairstyle commonly used to protect 4C during night time is the pineapple updo. The two-strand twist is a popular and easy protective hairstyle for curly hair. Detangle your hair beginning at the bottom and work your way up. Then divide all your hair into smaller sections, preferably 1×1 cm per section. Apply a curl cream to each section and clip them up, leaving out one section of hair. Divide this section in two and twist them together from the roots down. As you move closer to the ends, keep applying edge cream to the twisted sections. Once you twist the whole section of hair, carefully dip the ends in hot water to seal them. Whatever protective hairstyle you use, make sure to sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase to preserve it and prevent frizz.

The tight zig-zag growth pattern makes 4C hair difficult to manage and grow. But, following the right hair care tips and maintenance regimen can strengthen and replenish your hair. The best advice from our end to grow 4C hair is to use natural hair care products. Stay away from products containing harsh ingredients and chemicals. Consider adding leave-in conditioners and masks to your hair care regimen as they can moisturize your hair and scalp. Protective hairstyles, such as braids and twists, may aid in hair growth and maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does rice water help 4C hair grow?

Rice water may potentially help 4C hair grow. Studies have shown that rice water is beneficial for hair growth and regeneration (1). Therefore, the proteins and nutrients in rice water may be beneficial for 4C hair growth.

Why won’t my 4C hair grow past my shoulders?

The reason why your 4C hair is not growing past a certain length is probably because of breakage due to excessive manipulation. Also, it may only seem like it is not growing due to shrinkage.

How long does it take to grow 4C hair after a big chop?

The speed with which your hair grows back depends on your genetic makeup. Generally, it takes about 1.5 to 2 years for visible growth in 4C hair.

Key Takeaways

  • 4C hair is difficult to manage and needs constant nourishment. Its growth rate depends on genes and the moisture-retaining capacity of the strands.
  • Do not wash your hair frequently. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and products containing moisturizing ingredients like shea butter.
  • Trim your hair regularly to get rid of split ends and improve the growth rate of your hair.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Rice bran mineral extract increases the expression of anagen-related molecules in human dermal papilla through wnt/catenin pathway

Watch the following video to witness the creator’s personal journey on growing 4C hair swiftly. She shares some effective strategies, insights, and tips for nurturing long 4C hair growth to achieve long, beautiful hair.

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