In this article:
The diversity of human hair is a famous field of study. Very often, your hair type and morphology can help identify your cultural roots and evolutionary status. (1)
Hair comes with a wide range of textures and patterns that contribute to everyone’s uniqueness and individuality. This is why scientists have put a system in place to categorize hair into various types based on its pattern and texture.
Among all the very distinct varieties of hair textures, 4C hair often stands out for its unparalleled spiral design and fragile nature. 4C hair is a hair type that is distinguished by its tightly twisted and densely compacted curls.
The 4C hair type is part of the widely acknowledged hair typing system, where “4” portrays the type of curl pattern and “C” denotes the tightness of the coils.
This article seeks to supply you with a thorough insight into the world of 4C hair, focusing on damaged 4C hair, its characteristics, common causes of damage, and indications of damage and the efficacious methods that can rehabilitate the hair and discourage further damage.
Before diving into the details of damaged 4C hair, it’s important to know the distinctive characteristics of 4C hair.
4C hair is distinguished by compressed curls that create a specific z pattern and have an increased shrinkage point, meaning it seems shorter than its real length when dry.
Also, 4C hair is very delicate and grows to be fragile, demanding appropriate care to support its health, which is why it is very much inclined to damage.
- The coils are tightly wound and can vary in size, creating a very intricate, hard-to-manage design.
- The coils are inherently delicate because of the multiple twists and turns. (4)
- The natural oils secreted by the scalp have a more challenging time traveling down the tight coils of 4C hair, making this hair type more prone to dryness. (3)(5)
Different Types of Hair
|Hair Type/ Category||A||B||C|
|1||1A - Fine texture, very straight, tends to be oily||1B - Medium thickness, straight with slight volume||1C - Coarser strands, straight with volume at the roots|
|2||2A - Loose waves, fine texture, easy to style||2B - More defined waves, slightly thicker hair strands, frizzy||2C - Distinct S-shaped waves, thicker texture, prone to frizz|
|3||3A - Large, loose curls with a well-defined S-shape||3B - Springy, tighter curls with more volume||3C - Coiled curls, densely packed, may experience shrinkage|
|4||4A - Well-defined S-shaped coils, distinct curl pattern, dry||4B - Z-patterned coils, less defined curls, experiences shrinkage||4C - Extremely tight coils forming a distinct "z" or "s" pattern, high shrinkage, delicate strands|
Signs of Damaged 4C Hair
The signs of damaged 4C hair are:
- Split ends or frayed hair ends
- More hair breakage than usual upon combing or brushing
- Lack of natural luster, making the hair appear lifeless
- Hair that has gotten stuck at a certain length and struggles to grow longer
Certain hair care or styling habits can make you more prone to having damaged 4C hair. These include:
- You comb or brush your hair a lot and follow intense styling practices that may include heating tools or excess tugging on the hair. (6)
- Your hair care regimen lacks proper conditioning or moisturizing ingredients, making your hair feel excessively dry.
- You do not use heat protectants when you style your hair, which can cause irreversible damage to the hair’s protein structure. (6)
- You have undergone chemical treatments such as relaxers, perms, and hair dyes that can damage the hair cuticle.
- Your hair is constantly exposed to harsh weather, the sun’s harmful rays, and pollution, which can strip the hair of its natural oils.
If you have damaged 4C hair, you should know it is not a losing battle. There are things you can do and steps you can take to restore and rejuvenate your damaged 4C hair: (7)
- Regular trims can help remove any split ends and prevent the fraying from extending to the remaining length of the hair strand.
- Since damaged 4C hair tends to be on the drier side, intensive moisturizing treatments such as deep conditioning treatments can aid in replenishing lost moisture. (7)(8)
- Go for protective hairdos that require minimal traction or pressure to minimize any breakage induced by styling.
- Protein treatments can help support the hair by temporarily sealing in gaps in the hair shaft.
- Refrain heat styling and continuously use a heat protectant when required to prevent heat damage. (8)
- Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to carefully detangle your hair when wet without tugging on it.
- Make sure you use a good amount of conditioner after every hair wash. (7)
Here are a few simple easy-to-do home remedies that may work for your damaged 4C hair:
1. Coconut oil treatment
2. Aloe vera gel mask
3. Banana and avocado mask
So, a combination of the two can be used as a weekly or monthly hair mask for damaged 4C hair, depending on your hair needs.
4. Egg treatment
Eggs are rich in protein, which helps repair damaged 4C hair by strengthening the hair shaft.
Whisk 1 eggs and apply it to your hair. Cover your hair with plastic wrap for an hour before washing it off. (13)
5. Olive oil treatment
6. Tea rinse
Rinsing your hair with tea before or after washing it is a great way to rejuvenate damaged 4C hair. The antioxidants in tea can help safeguard your hair from environmental damage. (15)
|Deep-condition regularly.||Avoid excessive styling.|
|Keep hair moisturized.||Don't skip trims.|
|Use gentle detangling methods.||Minimize heat styling.|
|Opt for protective styles.||Avoid harsh chemicals.|
|Use silk/satin accessories.||Maintain a balanced diet.|
|Be patient and consistent in your hair care.||Shield hair from the elements.|
How can I restore moisture to my damaged 4C hair?
Deep-condition your hair regularly to replenish moisture.
Does heat styling worsen 4C hair damage?
Yes, excessive heat styling can weaken the hair’s structure.
Can I use chemical treatments on damaged 4C hair?
It’s best to avoid harsh chemicals such as relaxers and dyes on damaged hair.
How often should I wash damaged 4C hair?
Wash every 1-2 weeks using sulfate-free, moisturizing products.
4C hair is beautiful and versatile, but its fragile nature calls for appropriate care to avert and address damage. By understanding the causes and signs of hair damage and the useful restoration techniques, you can begin your journey to healthier, more vibrant locks.