Everything You Need to Know About Coily Hair and Why We Love It!

Jul. 23, 2020
Are you one of the lucky few that has coily hair? Awesome! It may not always feel like it when you’re battling with the frizz and looking at other women with smooth, straight hair, but you’ve got hair most of us envy! 
Coily hair is a rare and beautiful hair type, but it has to be understood to be cared for best and to love you in return! In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about coily hair, the different types of coily hair, why we love it, and how to care for it. 
The Different Types of Coily Hair 
There are four types of coily hair depending on the way the hair curls:
Type 4A - Curls are s-shaped and tightly coiled. Hair can be wiry or finer in texture, but the head of hair is thick and springy with defined curls.
Type 4B - Curls are z-shaped and less defined. Hair is soft and very fragile and prone to major shrinkage. This type of hair looks great in short dreads.
Type 4C & 4D - Curls are z-shaped again, but with little definition and more shrinkage. This type of hair is extremely delicate and best left to grow the way it is. Extremely tight curls are 4D. 
So, What is There to Love About Coily Hair? 
  • It’s voluminous, unique, and stylish, not to mention versatile. Those with coily hair have plenty of options when it comes to styling – you’ve just got to step outside your comfort zone! 
  • It’s easy to maintain the volume of this hair type. Coily hair usually stands well on its own (that is, with the right products), because each strand forms a dense, springy S-shape or Z-shape coil, hence the name! 
  • Other hair types can’t do what coily hair can – those with naturally straight hair can use all the crimpers and perming products in the world, but they won’t achieve the same volume and shape as you! 
How to Care for Coily Hair 
Whether you have coily hair yourself, and you’re still unsure how to get the most from your beautiful locks, or you’re interested in learning more about hair maintenance for friends or clients, here are some of the best ways to care for coily hair: 
  • Be sure to detangle your hair frequently (and carefully)! The tight curl pattern of coily hair means that it’s really prone to knotting. Tangles lead to split ends, which makes the growth process take much longer. Try not to brush or detangle your hair when it’s dry – the best time to do it is in the shower when it’s covered in conditioner. Leave the conditioner in for 2- minutes and run a comb, brush, or your fingers to ease through your hair as you stand under the shower. Don’t touch it once you’re out! 
  • Don’t scrub your hair dry! Pat dry your hair dry with a towel and leave it to air dry whenever possible. If you rub it vigorously with a towel, it will just knot or worse, break. 
  • Try to lengthen the time in between shampooing. If possible, aim to wash your hair no more often than every 2 weeks, and only use conditioner on your hair when you wash it in between. 
  • Pay attention to the products you use on your hair. Generally, coily hair is texturally more fragile than less curly, wavy, and straight hair as it has fewer cuticle layers. For this reason, you may want to avoid using shampoos that contain sulfates (and anything cheap or anti-dandruff, as they can be harsh on hair). Coily hair looks its best when it’s hydrated and conditioned, so look out for coconut oil, shea butter, and argan oil.  
  • Keep your hair hydrated. As with any hair, dryness leads to breakage and long term hair damage, but this is particularly relevant to those with Type 4 coily hair. Above all, coily hair really needs to be kept moisturized, and while this may involve a little trial and error with various products, once you find the one, stick with it and establish a routine. Although you should limit shampooing to once or twice a month, do a deep conditioning every two weeks using a cleansing conditioner and make sure it goes through all your hair.
  • Take care of your hair when you’re sleeping! It’s common for those with coily hair to sleep with their hair in a bonnet or a silk scarf, or sleep on a silk pillow to keep hair from tangling.
  • Remember that shrinkage is a sign of healthy, hydrated hair. It can be frustrating to spend so much time taking care of your hair, and making sure it looks beautiful, only to see it lose length. But stick with it! There are so many gorgeous hairstyles that can stretch your hair out, without having to apply heat. Try styles like bantu knots, twist outs, two strand twists or the timeless classic: the afro. You shouldn’t have to damage your hair in order to achieve a stunning look.
  • Finally, be proud of your hair! Your hair is a huge part of who you are, and it’s more important now than ever that we all acknowledge our own beauty! Hair can be an expression of creativity, culture, and personality, so enjoy the time you spend tending to your hair – it’s part of your identity, and a beautiful one, too!
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