How to Care for 4B Hair

Esperanza Spalding wears her 4b hair beautifully at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Thanks to celeb stylist Andre Walker (yeah, Oprah's guy), all hair types belong to a class system determined by texture and curl. If your hair is super coily, and your wiry curls form a “z” pattern, your hair falls into the 4B category. 4B hair shrinks up to 75 percent when it goes from wet to dry. One of the driest hair types, 4B hair has a cottony feel, requiring some extra help to give it some sheen. Special care is not a suggestion; it is a requirement if you are a 4B!


Shampoo your hair no more than once each week if you are a 4B. Too much shampooing will strip away what little scalp oils you have. Use a moisturizing shampoo and don’t forget to condition afterward with a moisturizing conditioner.


Spray your hair with a detangler after washing. Layering the detangler with a leave-in conditioner is also a good idea. Pick your hair while wet – don’t comb or brush! Use the hair pick to remove tangles and knots, but do it gently. If your hair is the 4B type, it is not only the driest; it is also the most fragile.


Forget about blowing your hair dry if you have 4B hair. The heat from the blow-dryer will really do a number on your hair. Your dry, fragile locks will fare much better if you allow them to air-dry. After drying, pat your ends down with a small amount of moisturizing hair shine gel, which will give your hair some sheen.

Things You'll Need


1.Moisturizing shampoo and conditioner

3.Hair pick

2.Spray detangler and leave-in conditioner

4.Moisturizing hair shine gel


Tips & Tricks


If your hair falls into the 4B category, choose a hairdo that is very low maintenance such as twists or knots. Remember, your hair breaks easily so you don't want to have to do much picking. A satin night cap or pillowcase will reduce friction and moisture loss while you sleep.

Stay away from heat stylers. Just like blow-dryers, flat irons and curling irons will dry out your hair and exacerbate any breakage problems.


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