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8 Things Women with Type 4 Hair Must Never Do

All textures are not meant to be treated equal. What I mean by this is….you can’t do the same things to a Type 3 texture that you would do to a Type 1, 2 or 4 hair texture. They are all extremely different and require different handling and care.

Now I know that hair typing is taboo in the natural hair community. Say what you want. I believe that hair typing is necessary so that we can be better educated as to how we should care for our hair. The overall goal for hair typing is to help us. Not to divide us.

With that being said, I want to list my top 8 things that women with Type 4 hair must never, ever do, if you are hoping to maintain healthy hair.

1. Comb through dry hair with a fine tooth comb.
I cannot stress this enough! This is a definite path to breakage and unnecessary shedding. Type 4 hair should ONLY be combed through while wet and saturated with conditioner….preferably under running water. I would even add that I am a strong advocate for finger detangling. This is a great pre-wash strategy that not only minimizes shedding but ,for me, cuts my wash day time down by 75%.

2. Go several days without applying moisture.
Type 4 hair has extremely high porosity. This means that our hair tends to lose moisture more easily than other textures. You must listen to your hair. Depending on the type of moisturizers you use, you may need to hydrate your hair more often than not. If you have a really good moisturizer, you may only need to moisturize every few days. I like to do the scrunch test with my hair. I scrunch a hand full of hair (in the palm of my hand), near my ear. If I can hear the crunchy sound, then my hair is too dry.

3. Use any old shampoo.
Some shampoos are extremely harsh. Most shampoos are made for Type 1 or 2 hair. Those hair textures need their hair stripped more than ours. Most shampoos are designed to do so (strip hair) and are not a good fit for our thicker textures which actually need more moisture. While it is good for hair to be clean, if your shampoo leaves your hair feeling dry and straw-like afterwards, then it may be time to find another shampoo.

4b/4c hair

4. Brush through dry hair.
No, no, no and NO! This is just as harsh as combing through hair with a fine tooth comb. The bristles on brushes are typically very dense. With extremely fragile and wiry hair, the bristles on a brush can and will cause additional tangling and excessive shedding.

5. Wear twists too long.
I only recommend wearing twists for an extended period of time if you are WANTING them to loc. Your twists need to remain moisturized and you may need to check them by unraveling a few here and there to ensure no locing has occurred. I would recommend 2-4 weeks, depending on your hair and regimen.

6. Wearing any style that causes stress on the hair and scalp.
As thick as our hair is, it is still extremely delicate. Styles that are too tight can cause breakage. These styles are usually ones that cause stress due to the stretching and pulling of the hair and scalp.

7. Wash hair using a circular motion.
Hair should be washed in a downward motion. A circular motion (hair gathered in your hands to the head) will cause unnecessary and often unrepairable knots and tangles. Speaking from experience.

8. Have unrealistic expectations of what you hair can do.
Not all hair is wash and go hair. Type 4 hair has 100% shrinkage. Most of us do not have an actual curl pattern. You may never achieve certain looks or get certain products to work for you. Your hair may never reach your waist. There. I said it. LOL. With some things we need to just admit, accept and more forward. We often see so many other hair textures and lengths on others that it can become easy to experience hair envy. Every hair texture is beautiful. Whether it’s straight, curly, wavy, kinky, coarse or coily. Embrace what’s yours and know that it’s beautiful.