If you’ve done any research on natural hair, you’ve undoubtedly come across the natural hair typing system. This system is used throughout the natural hair community to define the kinks, curls, and coils that represent the diversity of the natural hair spectrum. Many new naturals rely on the hair type system to help them find the best products, understand how to maintain their hair, and even to guide them through what styles they can achieve and how. And while, the hair typing system is extremely valuable, there are still so many women who are missing the important details when it comes to their curl pattern and the best products for them.
Type 4A Natural Hair
The first classification in the Type 4 natural hair category is 4A. The curl pattern of the type 4A natural resembles an “s” and the hair strand is heavier which allows the hair to fall or drop more than the other hair types. This works well for longer, stretched natural hair styles but, is difficult for this hair type to achieve bigger more voluminous hair. The curl pattern of Type 4A hair is naturally defined, so definition is easy to achieve and maintain. Most of the challenges with type 4a hair are related to its classic characteristic of low porosity hair, which makes choosing the right products that help to define the curl pattern and not weigh the hair down is can be difficult. If the wrong products are used, the curl definition can lean more wavy than “s” curl as the hair is weighed down by product.
While it’s almost second nature for many naturals to reach for gel to help define and hold their curls in place, for type 4A naturals leave-in conditioners and other cream based style products can help increase both definition and moisture. The Urbanbella No.97 Sunflower & Shea Hair Milk is a leave-in conditioner that is super lightweight which is essential for the type 4A curl pattern. For curl definition it can be used right after cleansing or a few days post wash day to redefine curls. Made with oils and shea butter, it is also able to hydrate and moisturize the hair which is essential no matter what hair type you fall under.
Other curl defining products that work well for type 4A naturals are styling creams. The Urbanbella No. 10P Stretch + Twist + Curl Cream is great for stretching the hair and reducing the shrinkage that all natural haired women have to deal with. For type 4A naturals that feel they must use gel on their curls, it’s important to use moderately. Overdoing will weigh down the hair, loosen the curl definition, and lead to product buildup. Urbanbella has a few different gels that would work well but the No.49 Cre’gel, a cross between a cream and a gel, is the perfect compromise to help give 4A type hair a little extra hold and a lot more shine.
Type 4B Natural Hair
The second classification of Type 4 natural is type 4B. Right in the middle between the looser curls of 4A naturals and the kinky coils of 4C naturals, type 4B hair gets the best of both worlds. The type 4b curl pattern resembles a “z” and the strands tend to be fluffier than type 4a. Because it is a bit kinkier, it’s more prone to dryness and shrinkage. It’s not unusual for type 4b hair to appear much shorter, especially when it’s able to achieve those big beautiful afros. The biggest challenge with curl definition for type 4b hair is maintaining the definition while stretching without overdoing it on products.
Type 4b naturals are able to use gels on their curls more often than their curlier counterparts. Especially when holding the curl pattern is the ultimate goal. But the best part is, naturals with type 4b can benefit from using both creams and gels with similar success. No. 49 Cre’gel is a great choice for type 4b naturals but for something a bit stronger, the Urbanbella No. 54 Stretch & Define Gel, is easy to use and allows the kinkier type 4 textures to achieve maximum curl definition without even going under the dryer. For type 4b curls that are thicker, using a styling cream like the No. 10P will give the hair the moisture it needs while adding a little weight to help stretch the hair.
Type 4C Natural Hair
The last curl pattern in the type 4 family is type 4c natural hair. At first glance it can look a bit similar to type 4b and has that same fluffy type texture however, this hair type is defined by its tightly coiled pattern with little to no defined curl. Type 4C has many tight bends and coils in the hair shaft and is notoriously prone to shrinkage and dryness. Moisture is key and so is stretching if you like to retain some of your length. It’s also the most fragile hair type so using the best products and techniques is essential for healthy type 4C natural hair.
Because of the twists and turns in the type 4c curl pattern, wash and go’s (along with the products being used) have gotten a bad rap in this curl family. For type 4C natural hair, sticking to good gels like the Urbanbella Cre’gel is the best way to get the most definition from your curl pattern. Creams don’t necessarily work well with the small tight curls of 4C and can wind up sitting on the top of the hair. The key is using a clear gel, that provides shine, and definition without flaking. Using cheap gels that are full of filler ingredients and synthetic dyes, is a guaranteed way to get crunchy hair with a flakey residue left behind. When choosing a gel for type 4C natural hair, it is extremely important that you are looking for one that is packed with high quality ingredients.
Urbanbella has been committed to creating gels that work effortlessly with 4C natural hair. Our gels work smooth the hair strands and lay in the bends of the hair instead of top. They also dry soft which is key because hard gel can make type 4C curls more susceptible to breakage than it already is. With the Urbanbella gels, type 4c naturals are able to achieve wash and go styles that last for days and retain moisture. They even help to improve elasticity in the hair strand which is a common struggle of 4C natural haired women.
Ready to get your Type 4 Curls Defined with the Wash-and-Go?
It’s Our most popular styling kit for Type 4 naturals, especially Type 4C!