Why is it necessary to have a wash day routine for 4c hair? Does this regimen really keep 4c hair healthy? Growing up, Big Mama, Aunties or our Mothers may have done our hair. Now that we are grown, the baton has been passed to us!
These are legitmate questions you may have asked. Understand, though, if you have 4C hair, you know how difficult it can be to maintain your curls. Not only that, but washing your 4c hair can be intimidating. The struggle is real for anyone with this hair type, but there are ways to make it easier. Know that success is possible. As the Hairlooms Brand ofen says, “change may not come over night, but it will come over tiime.” If you want to learn how to take care of your strands, keep reading!
We’ll walk through all the different aspects that go into a wash day routine for 4c hair and discuss why they’re important.
Washing 4c Hair Schedule
Washing 4c Hair Schedule
How often should you wash 4c hair? This is a great question to consider.
The frequency at which you should wash 4c hair can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the individual’s scalp oil production, daily activities, and personal preference. Some people with 4c hair may see that washing their hair once a week — or less –while others may wash their hair every few days. A general guideline would be to start with once a week, adjust the schedule if hair seems too oily or dry, and see what works best for you.
It is also important to highlight the benefit of using a pre-poo or co-wash routine before shampooing, to avoid over-stripping the hair of its natural oils. Also using moisturizing and gentle hair care products can also be beneficial.
Porosity and Natural Hair
Before we start talking about washing hair, let’s understand our hair a bit more. It’s not uncommon to hear certain natural hair terms and not know what they mean. This can impact how we care for our hair. One term that floats around in the natural hair community is: porosity.
Just is porosity , and what does it mean realtive to your hair?
Porosity has nothing to do with how your hair feels in the morning versus at night. This term refers to the ability of hair to absorb and retain moisture. In the context of natural hair, it is a measure of how well the cuticles of the hair are able to open and close. Hair with high porosity can easily absorb moisture but also lose it quickly, while hair with low porosity has tightly closed cuticles that do not easily absorb moisture but can retain it for longer periods of time.
In general, people with high porosity hair may find it difficult to keep their hair moisturized and may experience issues such as dryness, brittleness, and breakage. Those with low porosity hair may find it difficult to get their hair to absorb moisture at all and may experience issues such as build-up, dullness, and difficulty in styling. It is possible to have normal porosity hair that has healthy hair, it is not too dry nor too oily. It can absorb and retain moisture well.
Different hair treatments and hair care products are formulated to target specific levels of porosity, so identifying your hair’s porosity level can help you choose the best products for your hair type.
Porosity Natural Hair Testing
Porosity Natural Hair Testi
How do you know the porosity of your hair?
Here are some ways to determine the porosity of your natural hair:
- The Float Test: Take a strand of clean, dry hair and place it in a cup of water. If the strand floats, your hair has low porosity. If it sinks, it has high porosity. If it takes a while for the strand to either sink or float, it has medium porosity.
- The Elasticity Test: After washing your hair and towel drying, gently pull a small section of hair and release it. If it bounces back quickly and easily, your hair has high elasticity (and likely low porosity). If it stretches and takes a long time to return to its original state, your hair has low elasticity (and likely high porosity).
- The Slip and Slide Test: Run your fingers through your hair. If it feels smooth and slippery, your hair has low porosity, if it feels rough and tangles easily it has high porosity, and if it feels like it has a mix of the two it has medium porosity.
For many women, they may find that they have different levels of porosity on different sections of hair, so it’s best to test a few sections of your hair in order to get a general idea of your hair’s overall porosity.
General Hair Washing Tips for 4c Healthy Hair
The best wash day routine for keeping 4c hair healthy typically includes the following steps:
- Detangle: Use a wide-tooth comb or Denman brush to gently detangle your hair while it is still dry. This will help prevent breakage when you wet your hair.
- Pre-poo: Apply oil or conditioner to your hair before washing to help protect your hair and add moisture. You can also use a mixture of oils like castor, olive, coconut, or avocado oil
- Shampoo: Use a sulfate-free shampoo that is specifically formulated for curly or kinky hair. It is possible that when you use sulfates they can rob the hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle.
- Deep Condition: Use a deep conditioner to add moisture to your hair and help to repair any damage. You can use a store-bought conditioner or make a homemade one with eggs, honey, and olive oil.
- Leave-in conditioner: After rinsing out the deep conditioner, apply a leave-in conditioner to help detangle your hair and add extra moisture.
- Style: Use a leave-in conditioner or styling cream to style your hair. It’s best to use a comb with wide teeth or a Denman brush to gently detangle your hair.
- Seal: To lock in the moisture, use oil or butter to seal the hair after styling. You can use natural oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or shea butter
- Dry: Allow your hair to air dry or use a diffuser on low heat.
It is also important to regularly trim your hair so that you can remove split ends and keep your hair healthy. Remember to also minimize the use of heat tools and other hair products, including hair dyes, which can be harsh on the hair.
Note that the routine can vary based on the individual, so it’s always good to test and see what works for you specifically.
Wash Day Routine for Low Porosity Hair
Here is a possible wash day routine for keeping low porosity 4c hair healthy:
- Pre-poo: Apply a moisturizing oil or treatment to the hair and cover it with a plastic cap for 30 minutes to an hour to help the hair absorb moisture.
- Shampoo: Use a sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse the scalp and hair. One that doesn’t leave the hair without its natural oils is a great choice.
- Deep condition: Apply a moisturizing deep conditioner and cover with a plastic cap for 30 minutes to an hour. Use heat if possible to help the conditioner penetrate the hair.
- Detangle: Carefully detangle the hair with a wide-toothed comb or your fingers, working from the ends to the roots.
- Style: Apply a leave-in conditioner or styling product to the hair and style as desired.
- Seal: Use an oil or butter to seal in moisture and protect the hair from the elements.
It’s equally essential to remember that low porosity hair may need to be steamed or use heat in general for conditioning treatments for better absorption and Hydration. Also, it may require products with a higher concentration of oils and butters.
Also, it is recommended to avoid products that contain silicones and mineral oils that can cause build-up and block the absorption of moisture in the hair.
This is just a general routine and you may need to adjust it to suit your own hair’s specific needs and texture.
Never forget that everyone’s hair is different and does not respond the same way. There is never a cookie-cutter solution. What can work for someone else may not work for you.
Wash Day Routine for High Porosity Hair
A wash day routine for keeping 4c high porosity hair healthy may include the following steps:
- Pre-poo: Apply a moisturizing treatment, such as coconut oil, to dry hair before washing to help protect the hair from the harshness of shampoo and to add moisture.
- Shampoo: Use a sulfate-free shampoo for cleaning your hair. These shampoos may be less damaging and help your hair keep its natural oils — which is always a good thing.
- Deep condition: Apply a protein-rich deep conditioner to help strengthen and repair the hair. Use heat to help the conditioner penetrate the hair shaft.
- Detangle: Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to gently detangle your hair while it is still wet and full of conditioner.
- Style: Once the hair is dry, style as desired, keeping in mind that 4c hair types may require more styling products, such as gels and creams, to define and hold curls.
- Moisturize: Keep your hair moisturized throughout the week with a leave-in conditioner or oil-based moisturizer and seal with a heavier oil or butter, such as castor oil or shea butter.
It is important to note that hair type and porosity can vary from person to person and it’s never one size fits all! If something works for one person, that same regimen may not work for another. It may take some experimentation to find the best products and techniques for your specific hair type. Additionally, it’s important to always keep an eye out for the state of your hair and scalp, and adjust the routine if it’s required.
Wash Day Routine for Short 4c Hair
Here is a general wash day routine for short 4c hair:
- Start by detangling your hair with a wide-toothed comb or your fingers while your hair is dry. This will help prevent breakage and tangling during the wash process.
- Wet your hair thoroughly and apply a pre-poo treatment to your hair. This can be an oil or conditioner that will help to protect and moisturize your hair before shampooing.
- Next, use a sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse your hair and scalp. Apply the shampoo onto your scalp and work it through the length of your hair. Make sure to be gentle.
- After shampooing, apply a conditioner to your hair and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. This step will help you remove any snarls and tangles — while adding moisture.
- Use cool water to rinse your hair. This step will help seal the cuticle and lock in moisture.
- After rinsing, use a leave-in conditioner or a moisturizer to add more hydration to your hair.
- Lastly, style your hair as desired.
As always, it’s important to note that hair care routines are tailored to individual hair types, you may need to adjust this routine accordingly to what works best for you.
Wash Day Routine for Long 4c Hair
A wash day routine for long 4c hair may include the following steps:
- Pre-poo treatment: This step involves applying a moisturizing product, such as coconut oil or castor oil, to the hair before shampooing to help prevent dryness and breakage.
- Detangling: Use a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush to gently detangle the hair. Never start at the roots. The best method is to begin at the ends. Then, you can work your way up.
- Shampoo: Use a sulfate-free shampoo that is formulated for curly or coily hair types. Be sure to thoroughly cleanse the scalp, but be gentle when washing the length of the hair to avoid causing breakage.
- Conditioner: Use a conditioner that is formulated for curly or coily hair types, and pay extra attention to the ends of the hair. Detangle the hair again with a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush while the conditioner is still in your hair.
- Deep condition: Apply a deep conditioning treatment to the hair, and cover with a plastic cap or steamer for 20-30 minutes.
- Rinse: Rinse out the deep conditioner thoroughly with cool water.
- Leave-in conditioner: Apply a leave-in conditioner or styling product to help detangle, moisturize, and define curls.
- Style: Style your hair in small sections, using a curl defining product such as a gel or custard, and then diffuse or air dry your hair.
Note: This routine is a general idea and may vary depending on the individual hair needs, but the above steps are a good starting point for healthy hair care.
How to Wash 4c Male Hair
Washing 4c male hair can be a bit tricky but with the right approach, you can keep it looking healthy and vibrant. Check out these tips to help you out:
Start by detangling your hair with a wide-tooth comb while it is still dry.
Use lukewarm water to wet your hair and apply a deep conditioner. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
Rinse out the conditioner and then apply a moisturizing shampoo. Focus on the roots and scalp, then rinse out.
Apply a leave-in conditioner and then a curl defining cream.
Use a microfiber towel or the best way to dry 4c hair-shirt to gently squeeze out excess water, then allow your hair to air dry.
The best way to dry 4c hair is to use a t-shirt or microfiber towel to gently squeeze out the excess water. Avoid using a traditional terry cloth towel, as this can cause friction and breakage. After squeezing out the water, use a leave-in conditioner and/or styling cream to help lock in moisture and reduce frizz. Let your hair air dry. You may also choose to use a diffuser on a low-heat setting. Finally, seal in moisture with an oil or butter. Following these steps can help keep 4c hair healthy and looking great! By following these steps, your 4c male hair should be looking clean, healthy, and hydrated.
Looking for more ways to grow and love your healthy natural 4c hair, click here to buy the Hairlooms Book series featuring hair stories from Hollywood’s Nicole Ari Parker and renowned poet Maya Angelou!