There are different products in the hair market and sometimes it can get overwhelming for a naturalista. The key to analyzing what will suit your 4C hair or even getting close to figuring out a regimen is looking at the following factors.
- Hair Porosity
This describes the ability of your hair to retain moisture. There are three levels of porosity. Normal porosity hair, which is bouncy and retains moisture inside the cuticle. High porosity, which refers to hair, that dries out fast and low porosity hair, which retains products for a longer time. Although this might seem like an advantage, it is not. The products build up weighing down the shafts and causing the hair to appear dull.
- Hair Elasticity
This is the ability of a hair strand to bounce back to its shape after stretching, without breaking. Analyzing your hair elasticity will help you determine if you should invest in protein-based products/treatments or not. Products with Keratin protein (protein treatment) add strength to your hair, improve elasticity and protect your hair strands reducing breakage. This will benefit someone who’s hair is prone to breakage.
On the other hand, too much protein will cause your hair to feel stiff, brittle and hard. Therefore, it is always wise to pay attention to how your hair feels. If your hair feels bouncy and looks healthy use products with small amounts of proteins balancing them with conditioners. However, if it feels limp, weak and lifeless, invest in protein treatments.
Products with protein will have ingredients like Silk, Keratin, Ceramides, Amino acids and hydrolyzed protein. Hydrolyzed protein is made small enough to penetrate the hair shaft, hence why your protein treatment should always indicate this in the ingredients.
There are three textures under the small curl, also known as the type 4 hair curl pattern. 4A, 4B and 4C. In order to buy products that will help you manage your curls effectively, analyze what your curl pattern needs. Do you need hair products with a great slip? Or is it easy to detangle your hair without too much effort? Ask yourself which products does your hair react to effectively?
For a 4C what’s Important is to always ensure that your hair is moisturized. That way your curls will not dry out forming tangles and hence breakage. This means that you will be on the lookout for products that provide moisture and those that help your curls attain that definition. Silk protein smoothes hair for a silky feel. Neem oil controls frizz while adding a brilliant shine.
- Hair density
This is the number of hairs growing on the scalp per square inch. Density is qualified as thin (low), medium or thick. Tie your hair in a ponytail, then measure its circumference. Hair volume that is more than 4 inches is considered thick, less than 4 inches is normal while below 2 inches is thin. Measuring hair density will help you determine the types of oils and products to add to your regimen. For instance, castor oil is a good antibacterial and antifungal for dandruff and scalp infections. It contains ricinoleic acid, which increases blood circulation on your scalp promoting hair growth. Therefore castor oil would be a staple for someone chasing thickness and aren’t we all?
- Growth patterns
If you are chasing length this is important in determining what prompts your hair to grow. Invest in different oils and vitamins that will give your hair that nourishment it needs. For instance, avocado oil is good for moisturising, repairing, strengthening and preventing breakage. Almond oil is good for treating damaged hair since it contains magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E. These healthy ingredients are good for preventing hair loss and nourishing your scalp. Neem oil tames frizz and tangles reducing breakage. Oils help in sealing in moisture for a healthier and lustrous looking hair.
- Hair treatment & Product ingredients
To address your hair issues effectively remember to note how your hair reacts to the different products you use and keep a diary. Since different types of hair require different treatments, prioritize on what your hair says then repeat successful actions.
Watch out for harmful ingredients in the products you buy. For example, your 4C hair will always feel dry and break if you are constantly shampooing with sulfates. So will your scalp. Your hair cannot attain definition if the moisturizing products you use do not moisturize your curls effectively.
Therefore, keep your products as natural as your hair and do your research on the ingredients in the products you use. This will give you a clear picture of how your regimen should look like and what you should avoid. Remember what you eat matters.
With that, out of the way, let’s look at The best products for 4C hair.
Feature image via NaturallyCurly