There are different kinds of textures in curly hair, and 4C lies at the top end of the spectrum. 4c hair has a zig-zag curl pattern that gives it an attractive look (1). This pattern is often indiscernible to plain slight. It is often seen that 4C hair gets dry very quickly, and poor nutrition causes it to shrink.
To avoid letting such a situation take a toll on your overall hair health, you need to know how to use 4c natural hair moisturizer. To help you make better-informed decisions about moisturizing 4c hair, we have penned down some tested hair care methods. Check them out below!
In This Article
How To Moisturize 4c Hair Daily: Low Or High Porosity Hair
Most of us associate 4c hair with roughness and dryness. However, it is to be noted that your hair’s moisture retention ability plays a major role in effectively moisturizing it. Porosity is the property that determines how much moisture your hair will retain. Hair porosity is determined by genetic factors, stress, chemical treatment, and aging, among others (2).
- Low Porosity Hair
If your hair cuticles are flat and closed, it becomes difficult for moisture to seep in. This is what happens when your hair has low porosity. It is recommended that you use an emollient-rich daily moisturizer for 4c hair and stick to conditioners that do not contain proteins. Considering the role of heat in the opening up of cuticles, you must use a thermal heating cap while deep conditioning your 4c hair.
- Medium Porosity Hair
This is when you have a looser cuticle layer, and a moderate moisture flow occurs. While styling and coloring go well with this hair type, try to keep a tab on excess styling or chemical treatments. You may want to occasionally use protein conditioner-based moisturizing products for 4c hair. However, it is a good idea to restrict their usage in your daily grooming regimen.
- High Porosity Hair
The cuticle’s large gaps allow too much moisture into or out of it, making highly porous hair more prone to frizz. If you have high porosity hair, you must use protein-rich moisturizing products for 4c natural hair and cut down on heat exposure. This includes the usage of blowdryers, styling irons, and direct sun exposure.
When moisturizing 4c hair that is highly porous, you may want to go for layering multiple moisture-locking products wherein conditioners, moisturizers, and sealers are used in an orderly manner to ensure minimal moisture loss. The use of anti-humectant products such as palm oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and shea butter is highly recommended (4).
Best Ways To Keep 4c Hair Moisturized
The next step is to give your hair the hydration it deserves. You need to know where to draw a line, as over-moisturizing the 4C hair will do you more harm than good. As you look for the most effective ways of giving your hair the hydration it deserves, your focus should also be on how to retain moisture in 4c hair and give it a lustrous look (4).
- Drink Ample Water
Before you direct your efforts on finding the best creams and oils to moisturize 4c hair, you need to realize that the water you drink will reflect on your skin and hair. Ideally, an adult should consume about 3 liters of water every day. With every human body having its limits, you need to set your personal bar and drink as much water as your body permits (5).
- Condition Your Hair Regularly
Shampooing your hair strips it of its moisture and leaves the cuticles raised. Using a conditioner with natural ingredients helps your hair shaft regain nutrients and moisturize 4c hair, thereby helping it get rid of the dryness associated with it (3).
- Consistent Deep Conditioning
While you should regularly condition your hair, it is just as important to have a fortnightly deep conditioning regime. Here are the steps you should follow while deep conditioning:
- Choose a natural conditioner with olive oil and gently massage it on your scalp.
- Let it sit in your hair for at least half an hour before you rinse it off. The prolonged duration will ensure that the conditioner penetrates through the strands of your hair and gives it the nutrition it deserves.
- After rinsing it off, avoid the use of a blowdryer for a couple of days.
- Do Not Experiment With Hair Care Products
Understand that your hair is more sensitive than that of most others, and you cannot afford to experiment with it. Select your shampoo, conditioner, and other hair care products after due consideration, and ensure that you stick to them. Most such products need to be reintroduced a few times before they start showing results, and simply using them on a one-off basis will not yield any change.
Having realized that your efforts of keeping 4c hair moisturized involve sticking to your hair care products, you need to realize that there is one exception to this rule. Traditional Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) containing shampoos undo all your efforts at moisturizing 4c hair and leave you with dry and coarse hair (3). Make a conscious effort at reading the label of your shampoo, and if you find that it contains sulfates, do not hesitate to replace it.
- Use a Satin Bonnet
One of the major challenges in moisturizing 4c natural hair is the loss of moisture that happens as you sleep through the night. An effective way of avoiding such a situation is by using bonnets. While you can go for silk bonnets, satin bonnets are the best option for 4c hair.
- Spray Water On Your Hair
Purified water is the best moisturizer for 4c hair, and one of the best things that you can do is consider using a spray bottle to moisturize your hair. By ensuring that you just dampen the hair and not make it wet and dripping, you allow the 4c hair to retain moisture and get a bouncy look.
- Do Not Neglect Conditioner
Other than the deep conditioning regimen, make sure that you use a conditioner to moisturize 4c hair after every wash. Using a conditioner will help prevent roughening and tangling of the hair. You may even consider using a leave-in conditioner, as that will give your curls a more pronounced look (3).
How To Moisturize 4c Hair Daily With The LOC Method
If you are looking up how to moisturize 4c hair, you cannot ignore the LOC method. Here, you follow a three-step process in which the hair is first hydrated, then oiled, and steps are taken to keep a check on the moisture loss. Here’s what the process is all about (1):
Step 1: Liquid
This is the first step while moisturizing 4c hair with the LOC method, wherein a leave-in liquid is applied to the hair cuticles. Ideally, a true moisturizer with a high-water content is used at this stage. That way, the hair cuticles open up and allow the moisture to penetrate through the hair shafts. The moisture ensures that your hair is left soft and shiny, and there is a significantly lower risk of breakage and subsequent hair damage.
Step 2: Oil
The next step of the LOC process for moisturizing 4c hair is oiling, wherein you ensure that the moisture from the previous step is sealed. Avocado, coconut, or olive oil are excellent choices for this step as these can penetrate through the hair shaft and keep 4c hair moisturized. Understand that this is the most important stage of the LOC process, and your choice of hair oil will play an instrumental role in deciding the overall hair health of your curls.
Step 3: Cream
The final step is the one where you use a cream to further seal the moisture that was retained by the shaft. Spend time identifying creams that define your curls while also moisturizing them. Depending on the nature of your curls, choose a moisturizer for natural 4c hair that prevents the curls from getting weighed down.
The LOC process may seem complicated, but once you do it a couple of times, you will get the hang of it. The fact that you can do this either at night or during the day gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of incorporating it into your personal care routine. If followed properly, the LOC process gives you up to 3 days of well-hydrated hair. This is a boon for people struggling with maintaining the moisture of their hair even for a day.
The moisture retention achieved with the LOC method ensures that you do not have to worry about keeping your 4c hair moisturized even during the challenging winter months. Well-moisturized hair ensures lesser breakage.
4C hair is gorgeous and needs special care to maintain its luster. Understanding the moisture retention capability of one’s curls is the first step to identifying the 4c hair moisturizer and hair care method that is the most appropriate for you. Staying true to the self-care regimen will help give your hair the shine and help you need to look your gorgeous best.
- Hair Cosmetics: An Overview.
- True porosity measurement of hair: a new way to study hair damage mechanisms.
- Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know?
- Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage
- Water: How much should you drink every day?