Type 4 Hair: How to Master the Curly Hair Texture Chart

Say goodbye to all your curly hair texture confusions! Here’s everything you need to know about type 4 hair and how to care for it!

type-4-curly-hair-pattern-chart-textures-haircare-tips-hairstyles-curlsCurly hair is ever sexy, but not always the easiest to style. Until now! So, if you have gorgeous kinky curls and not sure what hair type they fall into, here’s a guide that breaks down the three different types of curly hair. ‘Cause once you figure out your curl pattern, it’ll be so much easier to know what products to use, how to care for them and what hairstyles to go for. Because different types of curls require different types of TLC. Being a curly-haired girl myself, I can totally relate to all these popularly asked questions. Questions like what are the different types of black hair and how to take care of each of them. So read all that and more below!

Type 4 Hair Texture Chart


In case you didn’t know, there are four main types of hair textures. Type 1 includes straight hair, type 2 is all about the waves, type 3 consists of curls and type 4 is natural African hair. Within type 4, curly hair is also categorized into 4A, 4B and 4C. So use our curly hair types chart below to figure out what natural curly hair pattern you’ve got!

4A Hair Type

type-4-curly-hair-celeb-hairstyles-natural-afro (2)-rihanna

4A hair is the the most defined among the three categories of type 4 hair. Unlike 4B and 4C hair, these curls have a visible S-shaped pattern.

How to Take Care of 4A Hair

By nature, curly hair types always tend to be dry and frizzy. So regardless of what your curly hair pattern is – 4A, 4B, 4C, the key is to keep your locks moisturized. You can do this by opting for sulfate-free shampoos and using hydrating conditioners that contain organic oils and butters.

Also read: Curly Hair Problems and Solutions: A Complete Guide to Curly Hair

In terms of hair care specific to 4A hair type, since the curls are already quite defined, why not enhance them? Using a good serum or spray to hold them in place and keep frizz at bay is a good idea. I did a li’l digging on Amazon and Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier by TIGI, a brand that I often buy curling products from, seems to be a hit among curly haired girls.

4B Hair

type-4-hair-celeb-hairstyles-natural-afro (5)-lupta-nyongo
Lupita Nyongo

Women with 4B hair have zig-zag or Z-shaped wiry curls. This type is less defined than 4A hair, quite fluffy and very dense.

How to Care for 4B Hair

Since this hair type is very fragile and easily breakable, not using much heat is recommended. Try wash and go hairstyles or protective hairstyles like crochet braids. As for curly hair care products, go for deep conditioning masks and treatments. Also, shampoos with coconut, jojoba or tea tree oil are great for retaining the moisture in your curls. All the curly hair products by Andre Walker, the man who introduced this whole system of categorizing hair types, are some good ones to try based on their customer feed back.

4C Hair Type

type 4c hair celeb hairstyles natural afro 4 solange knowles
Solange Knowles

4C hair is a more tightly coiled and kinky version of 4B hair. And it’s also the most delicate among other types of curls under type 4 hair. 4C hair has no specific pattern, the curls are tightly packed together and have little to no definition.

How to Take Care of 4C Hair

Out of the three type 4 hair curls, 4C requires the most care as they are extremely fine. Deep condition on a regular basis and avoid too much heat and excessive styling on your hair. Brushing out these curls may be a bit hard, even with a wide comb so I’d suggest using some detangler. The reviews for Knot Sauce Coil Detangler by Soultanicals on Amazon has a lot of women saying it works well for them, so that’s something you can try. And instead of shampoos, which can be quite harsh on type 4C hair, I’d recommend natural cleansers.

Also check out: Best Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: Make Those Highlights Last

Another good way to lock the moisture in is to try some at-home all-natural hair masks. My recommendation would be a paste made from avocados, honey and olive oil. It works like magic!

Curling Products For Type 4 Hair

Going natural is great but sometimes, to keep your curls looking their best, curling products are necessary. Here are the essentials every curly hair girl needs to tame her mane!

1. Hair rollers – Big and small, you never know what look you’re in the mood for!

2. Crimper – For when you’re bored of ringlets.

3. Cream or mousse – To enhance those natural curls and help make styling easier. L’Oreal Curve Taming Gel Cream and Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie are two products that apparently define your curls and keep them in place. From all the reviews I’ve seen for them, I might give ’em a try too.

4. Hairspray – Look for ones targeted specifically towards curly hair.

5. Straightener – ‘Cause sometimes you may wanna mimic a different curly hair type. So straightening before curling is a good idea.

6. Heat protectant – All that heat can do some serious damage on type 4 hair so using a heat protectant is a must.

7. Detangler – We all know how knotted it can get up there!

8. Wide tooth comb

Type 4 Hairstyles

We’re all for women embracing their natural curly hair but in case you wanna try out a different look, there are plenty of options. Firstly, hair relaxers or texturizers will help loosen your curls or straighten them depending on what kind you’re using. They can last for a good month and a half but you might need to touch-up once in a while.

Or you could just try protective hairstyles like braids, twists and weaves. This way, you can have different types of hairstyles without actually damaging your natural curls. This hairdo is the best option for women with 4C hair.

type-4-hair-celeb-hairstyles-natural-afro (4)-amadla-stenberg
Amandla Stenberg

If you wanna work with your natural curly hair, avoid tight hairstyles that’ll pull and strain your hair like high ponytails. Instead, try messy buns. Anyone with curly hair knows they’re the best ’cause you don’t even have to attempt to make them messy, it just happens naturally! They’re perfect for casual outings and dates.

Read next: Casual Date Outfit for Summer | Sexy Casual First Date Outfit Ideas

type-4-hair-celeb-hairstyles-natural-afro (8)-halle-berry
Halle Berry

Also, wash and go hairstyles are great for type 4 hair. They refer to hairdos that are done without using any heat, serum, creams, mousse, etc. Wash your hair, let it air dry naturally and try brushed out curls or a quick half up half down. Also, a half-up bun can be one of the best go-to hairstyles for 4A hair for college, casual dates or birthday parties.

type-4-hair-celeb-hairstyles-natural-afro-curls (6)-zendaya

Women with shorter type 4 hair can opt for a cute pulled-back afro look using bandanas, headbands or barettes! Great for parties!

 type 4 hair celeb-hairstyles-natural-afro (7)-amandla-stenberg
Amandla Stenberg

So that was everything you need to know about type 4 hair. Which of these different types of curly hair do you have? Let us know by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja!

You may also like:

– African Hair Braiding: Fascinating Styles & Different Types of Braids
– 35 Spectacular Crochet Braids Hairstyles from Cute to Casual to Badass!
– 50 Easiest Curly Hairstyles & Haircuts for Long Curly Hair
– Natural Hair Types with Our No-Fail Hair Texture Chart

2 thoughts on “Type 4 Hair: How to Master the Curly Hair Texture Chart”

  1. I reacted much the same way to this article. My “Wow” was at how ignorant this article happens to be. It’s amazing how the author used a bunch of women wearing WEAVES and judged their “HAIR TEXTURES” based on the WEAVES THEY ARE WEARING! I’ve NEVER encountered a “Black hair guide” where the author gave advice and guidance on Black hair using WEAVES as the illustrations of hair textures or types. How utterly odd. Solange’s hair texture is NOT an example of 4C Hair, not in the slightest. Beyonce’s hair is NOT an example of 4A hair, at ALL. Lupita’s hair is NOT an example of 4B hair, why does this writer seem confused about the advice she’s meting out?

    I truly wish people who are NOT well acquainted with African textured hair would stop attempting to PRETEND they know something they clearly know NOTHING ABOUT! It’s ok to stick with what you DO KNOW, but this is NOT IT! SMH


Leave a Comment

Discover the magazine


September 2022 Issue

The AI Art Issue AI Models Are Here! September 2022 Issue | ShilpaAhuja.com Cover art: Abhishek Sareen via Midjourney on Business Tenet Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Artists? by Editor-in-Chief Shilpa Ahuja Cover Story … Read more