If your kinky hair were its own man, would it be riding confidently down life’s highway toward its next adventure, catching the eyes of awe-struck admirers? Or, racing frantically from shop to shop, hair store to hair store, begging for answers and searching the shelves for products that never seem to exist? If you’re a man lucky enough to have textured hair, Zenore has what your hair has been asking for.
We offer gentlemen with kinky Type 4 hair the best in natural, organic hair care products that are expertly crafted for men with textured hair. But, even the best shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care products have limits when you’re at a loss of how to maximize their benefits. Knowing how to care for your textured hair is as important as knowing how to dress for the right occasion. And the truth is, learning some basics about “Type 4” hair and how to manage it isn’t all that complicated.
The following is a guide explaining some of the unique features of Type 4 hair, and products & practical care tips for the modern man with kinky hair.
What is Type 4 Hair?
Often referred to as kinky, coily or afro-textured, Type 4 hair is curly hair on steroids. It is robust appearing and sexy as hell…if it is cared for well. While Type 4 hair may seem healthy and strong on the surface, it is perhaps the most delicate and fragile of all hair types. It is spongy to the touch and has the fewest cuticle layers to protect it from becoming dry, making it prone to breaking. When wet, kinky hair shrinks considerably.
Type 4 hair strands form tightly compressed spirals or zigzag-shaped coils, ranging in texture from very soft and fine to coarse and wiry. While some people believe that Type 4 hair grows slower than other hair types, that is a misconception fueled by breakage and extreme shrinkage. Type 4 hair grows at the same rate as other types of hair.
But, not all Type 4 hair is the same. In fact, it is broken down into three distinct subtypes, each with defining characteristics that will aid you in knowing what products to use and how to care for your hair. These unique features are not complex, but understanding them will save you time and money and leave you with a confident swagger knowing you’re caring for your hair properly.
The ABCs of Type 4 Men’s Hair
Type 4A men’s hair is fine or wiry with coils that are thick, springy, and patterned in an S-shape. The circumference of the coils is approximately the same as that of a chopstick, and the coils are somewhat loose. Compared to the other subtypes of kinky hair, the 4A type has the highest moisture holding capacity. Type 4A hair can be a challenge to maintain without the correct products, but it is also perhaps the most versatile of the three hair subtypes.
Type 4B men’s hair is densely compressed and can be fine, wiry, or coarse. The curl pattern is wider (about 1.5 cm – 2 cm or the width of a finger) and less defined, bending in Z-shaped sharp angles. Its density and Z-shape sometimes make the length of the hair seem shorter than it actually is.
The coils of Type 4C men’s hair are less defined than the other subtypes. The texture of Type 4C is similar to that of Type 4B and, because it is a delicate type of hair that breaks easily, some men find it challenging to grow their hair out. Hair strands for this type of hair are tightly packed (more so than Type 4B) in a zig-zag pattern, giving it plenty of volume. Shrinkage for Type 4C hair is approximately 75 percent greater than other hair types.
Once you determine whether you are a 4A, 4B, or 4C hair type, you're already well on your way to being the guy that feels great about their hair and turns heads wherever they go. The next step is to implement some fundamental hair care tips into your routine.
How To Care For Your Kinky Hair
Thankfully, you don’t have to be an expert on hair types to care for your Type 4 hair; but, knowing a little can go a long way. Most of what you need to know to have healthy, strong hair comes down to habits, routines, and products. Master these with the tips below, and your healthy hair will be consistently ready for your next date night or important business meeting.
Tip #1 – Treat Your Hair Like You Treat Your Body – Naturally!
Just like you try to eat healthy by avoiding processed foods and chemicals that are bad for your body, your hair will be much healthier if you avoid shampoos and conditioners that poison your hair in the same way. Hair products with sulfates and other chemicals damage your hair, causing healthy hair to dry out and be stripped of beneficial natural oils. Zenore’s collection of Type 4 hair products are natural, organic, vegan-friendly, and specifically formulated for textured hair. The citrus-scented moisturizing shampoo is perfect for dry scalps and ensures you’ll be itch and flake-free, while the non-oily conditioner moisturizes your hair and promotes growth.
Related Article: Lather Does Not Matter: The Truth About Sulfate-Free Shampoos
Tip #2 – Use A Daily Moisturizer
Dry hair is unhealthy hair that breaks easily and looks dull. Moisturizing your hair daily will not only feel better but also look better. Moisturizing is essential for all three Type 4 men’s hair types, but those with Type 4B hair should be particularly concerned about lack of moisture. The tighter coils prevent natural sebum from reaching the entire length of your hair strands.
Lock in moisture and prevent a dehydrated scalp with Zenore’s Daily Hair Moisturizer. Infused with babassu oil and monoi, mango, and shea butters, this daily moisturizer is absorbed through the roots of your hair, strengthening and hydrating to keep your hair robust and growing.
Tip #3 – Protect Your Hair From Extreme Conditions
Extreme heat can damage your scalp, drying out your hair and causing unnecessary breakages. Rain can not only make your hair frizzy but also displace moisture. Whenever you can, make a point of protecting your hair from the elements, just as you might protect your skin from the same. Wearing a hat or bandana is a simple solution that multiplies your efforts to keep your hair healthy.
Related Article: 10 Ways To Protect Your Hair From The Summer Sun
Tip #4 – Eat & Drink With Your Hair In Mind!
A balanced, nutritious diet can go a long way in supporting the health of your kinky hair. Avoid processed foods and instead eat an abundance of vitamin-enriched foods with healthy fats and oils. These may include things like nuts, whole grains, fish, avocados, and vegetables. Because some vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss and other scalp issues, you should also consider boosting your diet with supplements. Vitamin B, for example, promotes overall hair health, and vitamin E stimulates scalp circulation. Vitamin C promotes hair growth, tissue renewal, and aids in iron absorption, which distributes oxygen to your hair follicles. Of course, don’t forget to keep your body and hair hydrated by drinking plenty of water!
Tip #5 – Make Hair Trimming Part Of Your Regular Routine
Type 4 hair can become very dry and coarse, so regular upkeep is essential. You can remove stray hairs with clippers after fluffing out the shape with an Afro pick. If your hair is short, a number one or two clippers will work best. Remember, you can do the simple trimming on your own, but anything beyond that is a risk you don't want to take – leave it to your barber! Never underestimate the power of a simple trim or shape-up at the barbershop to make you look and feel better instantly.
Related Article: Mainstream & Modern, Good Looks Never Fade With A Fade Haircut
Tip #6 – Just Say No To Heat
Dryers can damage and break hair, especially fragile Type 4 hair. Heat is not your friend, so you are much better off drying your hair with a towel and immediately following up by applying Zenore’s Leave-In Conditioner once per week. It protects your follicles using keratin protein, essential oils, and nutrient-rich vitamins and keeps your hair strong and healthy.
Tip #7 – Avoid Gels And Embrace Style Cream
Gels are counterproductive when it comes to styling your hair; they tend to get crunchy and dry your hair out instead of adding moisture. Natural styling creams, such as Zenore’s Curl & Style Cream, seal in moisture while providing an all-day hold that can keep up with your busy lifestyle. The mango and tangerine butters combined with bergamot and wheat protein are absorbed quickly by your hair, leaving it with a satin, healthy look that isn’t overshined.
Tip #8 – Consider Co-Washing
Some men choose to opt-out of the traditional method of washing their hair with shampoo. Instead, they prefer only to wash their hair with conditioner. This can be particularly helpful to men with Type 4B or 4C hair, especially when they use a natural conditioner like Zenore’s Moisturizing Conditioner. This type of conditioner cleans just as well as shampoo and protects the natural oils of the hair. Of course, Zenore’s Moisturizing Conditioner also keeps hair from tangling and leaves a smooth, hydrated finish.
Tip #9 - Invest In Quality Hair Tools
Many men go to the trouble of learning what products are best for their hair or discovering what hairstyles look best, but often forget that the type of hairbrushes or combs they use is equally important. Knowing that there are different hair types should suggest that some hair tools might work better on some heads than others. Men with kinky hair, for instance, will want to avoid thin combs that can easily damage their hair. A good wide comb will move through the hair naturally without causing damage.
Tip #10 – Use A Monthly Hot Oil Treatment
Once a month, give your hair a boost of moisture and elasticity by applying heated oil. Start by applying a small amount of heated oil (jojoba oil, shea butter oil, emu oil, etc.) to your hair and gently massage it into your hair and scalp. Be sure to apply the oil evenly with your fingertips. Leave your hair covered in a shower cap for 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Hot natural oil treatments are a gift to yourself and moisturize and nourish your hair effectively.
Tip #11 – Comb Your Hair While It Is Wet
Because Type 4 hair is already prone to breaking, combing it while dry is practically an act of war. You'll avoid a terrible headache and making tangles worse by first applying a leave-in conditioner or moisturizer to your already wet hair. You can divide your hair into sections and gently comb through each. Start with the ends of your hair and carefully make your way up the hair shaft until your tangles have disappeared.
Tip #12 – Fight Friction While You Sleep
One would think that going to bed at night and sleeping while doing absolutely nothing would be good for your hair. After all, getting a good night's sleep is vital to your overall health, right? Well, think again. Hair damage is sometimes caused by moving around while you sleep and by sheet and blanket fabrics that draw moisture out of your hair. If you’re serious about keeping your Type 4 hair healthy and reducing friction, wrap your head with a satin-lined accessory – like our Satin-Lined Turban Head Wrap. Additionally, you can replace your cotton or polyester pillowcases with silk or satin.
While kinky or Type 4 men’s hair has its challenges, learning about its different subtypes and what that means to you can be inspiring. Many of the qualities that make this type of hair unique also make it dope and sexy. When you begin thinking about your hair as an extension of your overall health and well-being, you’ll become proactive in how you care for your hair and will ultimately find simple ways to make it a part of your regular routine.