The Ultimate Guide to 4A Hair: Features, Haircare, and Styles

Aug. 3, 2020
4A hair is the curliest type of African tresses. We share how to take care of 4A hair and the best styles for you to try.
The right hair care strategy and styles for your 4A curls can help you achieve locks that look healthy and lit.
Find out if you’re a 4A girl and educate yourself about the three types of African hair. 


Types of Natural Hair: Identify Yours 
To start with, let’s break down the four different hair types. It’s pretty simple—each variety is classed according to the texture.
Types 1 and 2 are straight and wavy: think Billie Eilish for the former and Blake Lively for the latter. Types 3 and 4 are curly and kinky, like Nathalie Emmanuel or Willow Smith, respectively.
Now, within types 3 and 4, there are three different subsets: A, B, and C. Each letter represents a distinct type of curl.
If this is starting to sound like college algebra, bear with us—you’ll understand your curls better, which is important. 
Before we dive into classifications, bear in mind that you can have more than one hair type. For example, some strands might be different from the rest—and that’s totally normal.
Here are the basics about 4A, 4B, and 4C hair:


What is Type 4A Hair?
4A natural hair has characteristically defined curls that hold their shape without styling. Tresses are tightly coiled in an S-pattern, like spirals.
Your locks likely don’t have much trouble retaining moisture. Still, as with the majority of curly or kinky hair, dryness can pose an issue. 
What’s the Difference between 4A, 4B, and 4C Hair?
4B curls tend to hold a Z-pattern rather than an S-pattern. These tresses are usually more prone to dryness and breakage. Shrinkage can make your locks appear a lot shorter than they are. 
As with 4B hair, 4C hair is prone to shrinkage. It usually doesn’t have a visible curl pattern. It’s the most fragile out of the three and requires extra care to avoid damage.
How to Care for 4A Hair
Now that you know what your hair type let’s discuss how to treat it. Achieve bouncy, lush curls with these tips:
Condition and Moisturize 
We can’t emphasize this enough—a gentle approach is essential. 4A hair isn’t quite as fragile as 4B and 4C, but it still requires a light touch.
Due to the texture of your hair, your scalp’s natural oils won’t distribute well through your tresses. That means going heavy on the leave-in conditioners, using hair masks, and moisturizing daily. 
Be Super-GentleWe know you know, but we have to mention it: avoid heat styling if you can. If that’s not an option for you, use protective products when you straighten or blowdry. 
You should also steer clear of styles that put pressure on your stands. High, tight ponytails are cute every so often, but shouldn’t be your daily go-to. 
Avoid Overwashing 
Conditioners are a must-have, but overwashing with shampoo can destroy your hard work. If you’re in need of a refresher, opt for a cleansing conditioner rather than shampoo.
Sleep Silky-Smooth
Tossing and turning your pillow all night can be rough on your strands. Wear a satin or silk bonnet to protect your curls, or invest in a luxurious silk pillowcase.
Oil it Up 
Natural oils can work wonders on your hair as well as your skin. Look for nutrient-packed oils such as almond and jojoba oil that are ultra-hydrating and can penetrate the hair shaft.
Comb Carefully
If you have kinky hair, allowing tangles and mats to form isn’t an option. Gently comb your hair when it’s wet with a comb built for kinky manes. Brushing is a no-no, as you can damage your curls.
Use 4A-Friendly Products
Always use products that are 4A-friendly. Look for labels that read hydrating, moisturizing, and gentle.For instance, shampoos for natural hair or damaged hair. Products for fragile tresses aren’t usually as harsh as regular shampoos.You can also invest in a quality protein mask to treat your curls.
Don’t Forget Your Scalp
A healthy scalp equals healthy hair. When you’re applying your oils and conditioners, take the time to massage your head. You can help promote thickness and growth!
Best Hairstyles for 4A Hair 
Since these curls already have definition, the best styles for 4A hair are low-maintenance looks. You don’t need to go overboard here: less is more to accentuate your tresses.


You can have fun with a versatile bun—add a cute accessory or leave your bangs out to make a statement!


Chic, elegant, and a simple way to show off your gorgeous curls—what’s not to love?
If you’re searching for a cute, feminine look that you can whip up in a flash try pigtails:


Best Reviews
Do It All Toner 🍃🍃
Do It All Toner 🍃🍃
I have been loving the brand Truly lately ✨ I recently purchased this: 🍃TRULY - CBD Jelly Toning Solution 🍃 And it’s by far one of my favorite toners. Ingredients: 💚100MG CBD 💚Glycolic Acid 💚Tea Tree Oil 💚Organic Aloe 💚Rose Petal Extract This brand is also: 💚Vegan 💚Cruelty Free 💚Clean I use this every other night and it as tremendously helped my skin barrier and acne. I was really concerned about the glycolic acid irritating or drying my skin but it didn’t at all 🤩 I highly recommend this to combo and oily , acne prone skin. This will be a toner I keep in my night routine. I got it from Ulta (of course) for $24 (I paid $15 after coupons) Do you use CBD products? 🍃
Okay guys as I have said before I am guilty of rarely ever wearing sunscreen. I just never liked the feel of it on my skin. I always felt like it made me greasy & clogged my pores. However, once I heard about this product I was very intrigued. NIOD - Survival 30 It actually isn’t sold in the United States for some reason so I had to purchase it on a UK website. (Beauty Bay) It is an antioxidant serum with SPF 30. At first, it appears to be tinted but it’s actually not. On NIOD’s website they state: “The slight tinted appearance is derived from the active technologies including Lutein, Fractionated Melanin and Pycnogenol.” It blends in with your skin so easily & does not leave a white cast like some other SPF products. However this serum literally makes my skin tone soo even & perfect! It also contains silicone so it completely smooths over my pores. AND besides all that great stuff, it’s a mineral sunscreen! So it protects against environmental & lifestyle issues. Like UV rays, blue light, etc. I have never loved a product as much as this one! I literally cannot believe how good my skin looks while using this stuff! For a 30ml bottle, I paid $33 on the Beauty Bay site. For me, that is completely worth it! It comes in this adorable packaging & pretty glass bottle. It also has a pump dispenser & squirts out the perfect amount for a single use! I really can’t recommend this stuff enough guys! It’s wonderful!! @cherie@Cheriebeauty@CheriePick
Black Owned Makeup Look
Black Owned Makeup Look
So I decided to use the products I pictured in my first photo (minus my highlight shade and lipstick) I used the #Ace Beaute - Nostalgia Palette[products]#[FiveStars] for my entire eye look. I definitely enjoyed these products. My only advice is to shake the UOMA BEAUTY - Say What?! Foundation before use (because it can come out watery) but the coverage is absolutely flawless. I was shocked with the consistency the coverage I got. What’s your favorite black owned brands? (I do not own right to the song)
We’ll Miss You!
We’ll Miss You!
To our cherie fam who has inspired us deeply over the last year and a half: thank you. We are so grateful to have been a part of your beauty journeys and the community you created with us was nothing short of amazing. It's with sadness that we announce that cherie will be closing our doors on April 8, 2021, and your posts will no longer be available. While our platform will no longer be available, we encourage our community members to continue finding ways to create and allow their authentic voices to be heard.
I was so excited to try these out because I love moisturizers & I am always in search of a good one! These looked & sounded very promising! They’re from a woman owned company, completely natural, vegan, & cruelty free! However, I was quite disappointed. EARTH HARBOR - MERMAID MILK Nutrient Glow Moisturizer This moisturizer claims to give you a glow right away & it contains spirulina + matcha. I was excited about the matcha because it has so many amazing benefits for skin. It has a very whipped consistency which I like. However it always contains essential oils that were strong, although not toooo strong for my liking. But I’m really just not a fan of essential oils in my face creams. The moisturizer did make my skin appear a little brighter but the cream just sat on my face. All day long I could touch my face & still feel the cream sitting there! I hate that feeling! It also almost gave me a greasy appearance after a while? Not a fan. EARTH HARBOR - SIREN SILK Multi-Tasking Hydration Creme This one was absolutely awful. If I could give it 0 stars I would. It says to use it at night time & the apply it at least 5 minutes before bed so it can absorb on your face & not your pillow. It contains Sea Retinol + other Superherbs which normally make me love a product! But that just wasn’t enough here. First, when I put it on my face my eyes started to actually burn & I felt suffocated from the scent. It was THAT strong. Guys, I’m not being dramatic at all. The smell like attacked me it was crazy! I have never had something like that happen with a face cream! I couldn’t believe how strong the fragrance was. & to top it off, it wasn’t even a pretty smell. My husband described it as smelling like floor cleaner. But I powered through. The longer I had it on, the more “used” to the smell I got. So, I wore it overnight. But then I woke up even more upset with it! I had pilling all over my face. It almost looked like my face was peeling but it wasn’t, it was jus the cream. One thing I cannot stand about a moisturizer is pulling. That’s enough for me to throw it out! It also didn’t really even moisturize my face that well! All in all, I hated this experience. But if you want, you should try them out for yourself, don’t let my experience deter you from trying something new! I however, will be sticking with my Youth To The People Dream Mask & Superfood Whipped Moisturizer! Love those two!! YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE - Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE - Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream 💗💗💗 @cherie@Cheriebeauty@CheriePick