If your hair looks anything like Lupita Nyong’o, you probably have Type 4C hair. Growing out the “coils” can be challenging and looks almost impossible. While some can boast of a longer length, it is not as long compared to our European and Asian counterparts.
Type 4C hair is a tightly coiled strand that is more fragile and has a very tight zig-zag pattern that is sometimes hard to see. This hair type experiences the greatest amount of shrinkage and dryness compared to other hair textures.
For us here in Africa, a back-length is considered a miracle and only a few can boast of it. It may not be as long but here are tips that will help to make it longer than it is now.
Do a weekly conditioning treatment
Type 4C hair needs to be kept moisturized. The kinks and coils of 4C curls prevent the distribution of the natural oils produced by your scalp throughout your hair. This makes your hair dry out easily. It also requires that you take extra precautions to keep your hair moisturized. Find a good moisturizer and a good sealant. Oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and then creams like Shea butter are effective at sealing moisture in your hair. And if you wear a protective style, don’t forget to moisturize regularly as well.
Do not overwash
Yes, you still need to shampoo regularly to keep your scalp and hair clean, but if you have 4C hair you can lengthen the time between washes to 2, 3, or even 4 weeks. Avoid shampoos that contain sulfates or any of these other harmful ingredients used in hair products, and opt for a mild, sulfate-free shampoo. If your hair gets dirty more often, alternate shampoo with an apple cider vinegar rinse. Wash your hair in sections to prevent tangles.
Sleep on a Satin Pillowcase or with a Bonnet
When going to bed, it is advisable to cover your hair with a silk or satin cap. This will help reduce the amount of breakage that occurs due to tossing and turning. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase dries out the hair as well because of its ability to absolve moisture. Therefore satin is the best when it comes to hair.
Watch your diet and try a supplement too
Hair like every other body part needs the right nutrition to grow. Eating a proper diet filled with good nutrients your hair needs to grow is very important. Your diet should consist of equal parts of:
- proteins e.g potatoes, eggs, etc
- vitamins e.g Vitamin B, C, E, and Iron
- vegetables e.g Spinach
Never comb when hair is dry
This is definitely a no-no. Combing your hair when dry will only result in extreme breakage and damage. When your hair needs combing, make sure you wet it properly with water, so as to make it softer and easier to comb through. Also, wide-toothed combs should be your preferred choice, this is because they help minimize hair breakage.
Resist the urge to always fix your hair all the time. The less you manipulate your hair, the stronger your hair becomes. It pays to simply wear it in protective styles, where its strands are tucked in and away from harsh conditions. e.g. cold. Some protective hairstyles include buns, cornrows, braids, etc. Minimal manipulation also ensures that your hair length increases consistently. Also, it is advisable that you use a creamy humectant on your hair to further give it more protection.
In all, making your type 4C hair grow longer is a full-time job that will pay off beautifully soon enough once you start taking adequate care of it.
Photo Credit: @type4kinksandcoils on Instagram.