The Ultimate Guide to 4A Hair: Features, Haircare, and Styles
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.
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.
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.
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.
#1. High Knot
You can have fun with a versatile bun—add a cute accessory or leave your bangs out to make a statement!
#2. Pineapple Bun
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:
Introducing Cherie’s Spotlight! 🌟
Hi cherie fam! We've updated our Leaderboard into a new, more inclusive program now called Cherie Spotlight! Starting November 30th, every two-weeks, cherie will spotlight and award free beauty prizes to new and contributing users & creators in our community at random in an effort to show more diverse content and celebrate everyone in our cherie community. The first winners of Cherie's Spotlight will be announced on December 14th and every two-weeks, we will choose several winners for each category - New on Cherie, Cherie Convos, and Cherie's Picks! New on Cherie ￼Cherie will randomly choose several users who are new to the cherie community and have posted in the current round to win a free beauty prize! Cherie Convos ￼Cherie will randomly choose several users who have created into those week's Cherie Convos topics. ￼Each week's Cherie Convos topics can be found at the top of the Discover page in the banners and on @cherie! Cherie’s Picks ￼Cherie will award our top picks of the most engaging recent posts on cherie. There's no sign-up needed, just post to participate! Happy posting and good luck!! 🌟💫
The Organic Skin Co.
Have you tried this brand yet. This brand is The Organic Skin. THE ORGANIC SKIN Co. - Cheeky Lips • This product is a blush and lip product. Versatile, multi-purpose blush Designed to provide a perfect natural flush and the pout to match. • Cheeky Lips comes in eight bangin’, long-lasting, highly pigmented colors. • Whether you’re looking for a soft pink blush for your cheeks and lips. • Organic castor seed oil and supercritical extracts of rosemary, pomegranate and calendula will help to replenish your cheeks and lips, keeping them smooth and healthy. 💭 I wasn't sure how to use this product when I first received it. The color is very pretty. The texture is soft and smooth. I used this on my lips. The color is very pigmented and long lasting. I tried this on my cheeks and wasn't a fan. It was too greasy for my liking. #The Organic Skin - Natural Lipstick[products]#[TwoStars] • This lipstick comes in 12 colors. With the added benefits of calendula and rosemary supercritical extracts, as well as nourishing organic oils and carnauba wax. Shades: Coral & Ruby Red 💭 I really wanted to like these lipsticks. The packaging is so pretty. The issue is the texture. These lipsticks are a little rough. I wasn't able to wear it by itself. You Definitely have to apply a gloss before using or it will break. Unfortunately it became to stressful to use. lol They wouldn't apply the right way. #The Organic Skin - TASK FORCE NINECALENDULA AND TURMERIC CREAM [products]#[FiveStars] • Infused with 9 active natural ingredients – aloe vera, jojoba seed oil, lemon peel oil, calendula, turmeric, rosemary, honeysuckle, vanilla, and seabuckthorn – this multi-tasking treatment cream has moisturizing, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. 💭 This is a nice everyday cream. The texture is nice and light. It leaves your skin smooth and moisturized. It's non-greasy and smells amazing. This cream is good for all skin types including sensitive skin. #The Organic Skin - The Eyes Have it[products]#[FourStars] • With 8 colors to choose from you can mix, match and blend our cream eye shadows. Highly pigmented, long-lasting, multi-hued, and full of supercritical extracts. How to use: Using your finger or an eye shadow brush, apply to your eyelids. Shades: Greenstone & Silhouette 💭 These are really nice eyeshadows especially if you like cream shadows. It's easy to apply and the texture is smooth. Once these shadows dry down, they stay in place. My issue was on of the shadows was hard. It kept rolling up as I was trying to get it out of the package. The shades are very pretty especially greenstone. It's very pigmented. I'm not sure if I would purchase any of these products. Your thoughts? (Gifted) #whoisnee #cheriecreator
🧡Creator Roundup 🏷 Beauty Year-in-review
Check out these creators’ profiles to see their beauty journeys in 2020! Creator: @Ren14 “What Stayed🍾Cooluli - Classic 4 Liter Small Mini Fridge Cooluli Skincare Fridge: I adore my little fridge! It feels so good to have chilled serums, especially in the morning! I love it so much that I’m thinking I’m going to get a bigger one so I can add more products in! Truly a must have for a skincare lover! Also, the fridge can warm up products too!” Creator:@LindseyRR “2020 is the year I think we all will remember forever. Everything in our lives changed and things have been incredibly difficult. The entire world had a health crisis, so many of our loved ones are no longer here. I myself am taking a journey with a health crisis of my own but as hard as 2020 has been, it has also been INCREDIBLE.” Creator: @briordan2000 “This year has definitely been a wild ride. I’ve learned so much more about my hair and skin in this last year than I ever thought I would or needed to know!“
Let’s learn a no heat style! ￼Start by gathering your hair to one side ￼Begin a rope braid in the front by twisting two pieces. Add hair to each section and twist again. Continue this pattern until you reach your ear. ￼Split the remaining hair into two. While holding the section pop index finger and thumb through. Grab through the other section and repeat! Secure with an elastic. Xo
Why pH of skincare products is important?
The pH is defined as the negative logarithm (base ten) of the concentration of free hydrogen ions in aqueous solution. The pH of skin surface ranges from 4.5 to 6 making it slightly acidic. The acidic nature of the whole skin surface was first claimed by Heuss in 1892; however, the first scientific study was carried out by Schade and Marchionini in 1928, who called it the acid mantle. The “acid mantle” protects the skin by inhibiting the growth of pathogenic organisms, regulating keratinization, desquamation and wound healing. Any disruption in the acid mantle disrupts the activity of enzymes involved in barrier function and anti-microbial protection. The skin pH and the buffering capacity of the skin surface are made up of the components of the stratum corneum as well as the secretions from sebaceous and sweat glands. Sweat is an important contributor towards skin acidity owing to its content of amino acid, lactic acid, and urea, which supplement skin NMF levels. The formation of stratum corneum barrier requires enzymes that are pH dependent. Two lipid-processing enzymes β-glucocerebrosidase and acidic sphingomyelinase require a pH of 5.6 and 4.5, respectively. An increased skin surface pH activates enzyme serine proteases, which causes degradation of corneodesmosomes and affects the skin barrier. pH also has a big impact on the skin microbiome. The bactericidal activity, because of dermicidin and nitrites in sweat, occurs optimally at pH 5.5. The resident bacterial flora changes as pH increases causing increase in population and activity of P. acnes and Staphylococcus aureus which are responsible for acne and eczema. All these result in contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis, acne vulgaris and Candida albicans infections. Products with high pH cause swelling of skin follicles affecting the permeability of the skin making it dry, sensitive, and susceptible. Most of the skincare products are formulated within the pH range of normal healthy skin except the exfoliating products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA’s), Vitamin C products and chemical peel which work at low pH. Facial oils, cleansing oils, balms are not pH dependent.
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