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4A Hair: All You Need to Know About This Hair type

If you’ve got that gorgeous African skin, with a head full of bouncy coils, and you’ve been told your texture resembles a corkscrew, chances are you have the 4a hair. It’s part of the hair typing system that categorizes different hair textures based on their curl pattern, density, and thickness. 

Picture of a lady wearing the 4a hair type

This hair type is a true masterpiece with its curls and incredible volume. But let’s be real, managing 4a hair is one journey filled with trial and error, frustration, and a whole lot of hair love. 

While it may be tasking, knowing the unique characteristics of your hair type lessens the burden. Hence, we wrote this guide to show you everything about 4a hair, including style ideas and hair care routines for your gorgeous mane.

What is the 4a Hair? 

Full view of a lady rocking  the 4a hair

The 4a hair is a sub-category of the Type 4 category of Andre Walker’s hair typing system. The hair texture is defined by its S-shaped tight coils resembling corkscrew or pencil-sized coils. The strands are fine and packed together, giving it a dense appearance.

However, compared to 4B and 4C hair types, 4a is the loosest of them. And it demands special care and attention, too. So, if you follow its maintenance routine to the T, you’ll enjoy those coils. Also, this hair type is incredibly versatile. You can style your hair in so many ways, whether twists, braids, weaves or leaving them bouncy. The styling possibilities are indeed endless. 

ALSO READ: 3B hair: All You Need to Know About This Hair Type

Why Should You Learn About Your 4A Hair? 

Picture of a lady flaunting her stunning curls

Different hair types have different needs regarding moisture, protein, and styling techniques. So, knowing the nitty-gritty details of your 4a hair will help you avoid damage and achieve healthy, well-moisturized hair. It’ll also help you develop an effective hair care routine while opening your mind to the gorgeous ways you can style your hair.

Characteristics of 4a Hair

Back view of the  gorgeous curl  pattern of the 4a hair

Here are the unique traits of the 4a hair type to help you identify  if this resonates with your mane:

Curl Pattern

This hair type has a tight, coily texture with well-defined corkscrew-shaped curls. However, its curls are the loosest compared to other hair types under the type 4 category. The coils are small, giving the hair its dense appearance.

Strand Size 

4a hair strands are usually fine or thin, making them more prone to breakage.

Shrinkage

This is one of the most notable traits of the 4a hair type. When the hair is dry, the coils tighten up, causing the hair to appear shorter than its actual length.

Dryness

Due to its tight curl pattern and fine strands, this hair type is prone to dryness. The natural oils from the scalp have a harder time traveling down the hair shaft, which can lead to dry and brittle ends.

Volume

When you care for and properly style this hair type, it can have an impressive volume and fullness due to its coily texture and density.

Hair Care Routine for Type 4a 

Picture of a girl rocking her gorgeous curls

Washing

Wash your 4a hair once a week or every two weeks to avoid over-stripping its natural oils. However, ensure you adjust this frequency based on your hair’s needs and lifestyle.

Use Gentle Cleansing Methods

Harsh sulfate shampoos can strip your hair of its precious moisture. Instead, use gentler cleansing methods like co-washing (using a conditioner to cleanse) or low-poo (sulfate-free shampoos).

Deep Condition Your 4a Hair

Conditioning is a non-negotiable step in any 4a hair care routine. It helps replenish moisture, strengthen strands, and improve manageability. It also prevents dryness and breakage. While regular conditioning is okay, deep conditioning takes the hydration to the next level, restoring elasticity to your dry strands.

ALSO READ: 2B Hair: How to Maintain & Style this Hair Type

4a Hair Ideas to Try

Picture of a girl wearing her 4a hair type

While 4a hair is incredibly versatile for styling, it’s also very delicate and prone to dryness and breakage from excessive manipulation. This is where protective styles come into play. They offer a much-needed break from daily styling while keeping your hair tucked away and shielded. Here is a look at them:

Bantu Knots 

Picture of a girl wearing the gorgeous bantu knots

The Bantu knots not only protect your hair but also create a beautiful look when you unravel them for that stunning knot-out.

Box Braids 

Picture of a lady wearing gorgeous braids

Box braids are a classic go-to. They can last for several weeks and give you a break from constant styling.

Cornrows 

Picture of a lady wearing the gorgeous cornrows

The cornrow patterns look stunning and keep your hair neatly tucked away.

Twists 

Picture of a lady rocking twist

They come in different forms, from the two-strand twists to three-strands, Senegalese twists, and so much more. You can rock this look for weeks and slay. It is one of the perfect protective styles for that gorgeous 4a mane.  

Wigs 

Picture of a lady wearing  wig for protection and style

Wearing a high-quality wig can give your hair a complete break from manipulation while still allowing you to switch up your look.

Faux Locs 

Picture of a girl wearing the stylish faux locs

These crochet or braid-in locs mimic the look of dreadlocks. They’re a fun and low-maintenance protective style.

ALSO READ: 2C Hair: Everything You Need to Know About This Hair Type

Product Recommendations for Your 4a Hair

Picture of a lady posing for a picture with her gorgeous 4a hair

When it comes to 4a hair, not all products are created equal. Your hair’s unique texture and porosity level play a role in determining which products will work best for you.

However,  since your 4a hair needs moisturizing, look for products that are rich in ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, and glycerin. They’ll prevent your hair strands from drying. Also, honey and aloe vera are great for attracting and retaining moisture.

On the flip side, avoid products that contain alcohol, as they can strip your hair of its natural oils. Also, include in your hair care regimen a gentle cleanser, a deeply nourishing conditioner, and a styling product that provides hold without weighing your curls down.

Maintaining a Healthy 4a Hair

Picture of a girl posing for a selfie  with her bouncy curls

Here are some tips to maintain your 4a hair:

Adopt Healthy Habits for Hair Growth  

Note that healthy hair starts from within. So, nourish your body with foods for hair growth. This includes a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein. Furthermore, sleep well and stay hydrated always. These healthy habits contribute to healthy hair growth and vitality.

Trim Split Ends Regularly

Those split ends can travel up your hair shaft and cause further breakage and damage. So, trim them regularly to maintain the health of your strands.

Use Satin Bonnets or Silk Pillowcase 

Even with the best care, your hair can still face common concerns like breakage and dryness. So, minimize them by using silk pillowcases or satin bonnets as they protect your hair and reduce frizz, thereby helping it retain moisture.

Embrace Your Gorgeous  4a Hair 

Picture of a girl taking selfie with her curls

Your 4a hair is unique, beautiful, and deserves to be celebrated, so embrace it. While we know it can be high maintenance, embracing your gorgeous coils is an act of self-love. 

Start by caring for it by following the regimen we shared in this post. Also, wear it as a beautiful hairstyle that protects your strands from damage. With patience, the right techniques, and an arsenal of nourishing products, you will wear your hair proudly and slay.

ALSO READ: Buzz Cut Fade: 26 Stunning Ideas to Inspire Your Next Haircut

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Blessing Otoro

Blessing Otoro is a writer passionate about crafting fashion, hair, and beauty content. With years of experience writing content across various niches, I weave together stories and articles that resonate with fashion enthusiasts looking to elevate their style.

Fashion writing is not just a profession for me; it's a way of life. I live and breathe style, and my personal choices reflect my approach to fashion expression. From curating chic, sophisticated ensembles to embracing edgy and statement looks, I strive to inspire readers to step out of their comfort zones and turn heads effortlessly.

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