How to Wash 4c Hair

How to Wash 4c Hair and Take Care of It For Long Lasting



17 MIN READ | February 18, 2024

4C hair is no ordinary hair, so you have to wash and take care of it keeping that in mind. You can’t even deep wash it now and then for its light and thin texture. Again, keeping it entangled for a long time will prevent additional hair growth. 

So, how to wash 4C hair and take care of it for a long-lasting? Washing your 4C hair should be of a decent routine and condition. Because you can’t wash 4C hair just like that. From correctly sorting the hair to applying proper and recommended essentials and conditioners, everything has to be done accordingly.

Also, taking care of your 4C hair is important as well. Overdoing anything or experimenting too much on it might worsen its condition. Deeping dive into the whole book of 4C hair, here you have a brief discussion regarding its washing and taking care.

What is 4C Hair?

what is 4c hair

4C denotes the type of a certain kind of hair. The digit “4” denotes the level of the curl of a hair and “C” denotes the density of the curl. As the number progresses, the level of curl increases. So, 4 is said to be curlier than 2 or 3 and 4C is curlier than 4B.

The curl of 4C is usually Z-patterned. Its coiling is tighter and denser. But the hair of this type is thinner than most other ones. So, with a slight pull, there are chances you might break them from the roots.

When 4C hair is wet, it generally shows a shrinking tendency. At that moment, it is kind of difficult to get it straight or make it comforting like usual. So, you need to try it out as it dries fast due to its thin texture.

Step-by-Step Guide to Wash 4C Hair

step by step guide to wash 4c hair

Now you already know how is 4C hair and how it might result in full growth. So, your washing method and formula should be accordingly suitable.

Here you have our recommended and proven ways to wash up your 4C hair to make it long-lasting active and fresh.

Step 1: Make groups of your 4C hair

When you make groups of your hair and keep it in different separate sections, it becomes easier to deal with them. You’ll find it easier to detangle it and wash it at its root level.

Generally, it is recommended to make 4 sections before you go on to wash it. Then, tangle them up and keep them in a stable state. Once you wash and untangle them, you won’t find any hassle there.

Step 2: Pre-treat your hair

Pre-treat or pre-pooing your hair will help a lot, especially for the 4C hair. The technique implies adding a protective layer to your hair and making it suitable for further washings.

So, once you’re done making the section and pre-pooing, the ingredients be it shampoo or other stuff will go inside to essential areas of your hair and do their functions.

Otherwise, there is always the risk of damaging your hair as the shampoo might not reach as deep as it should after pre-treating. As a result, you might result in certain hair fall and whatsoever.

Step 3: Pre-detangle your hair

With every essential already applied to your hair, you can detangle your sections of hair. That means the essentials or other chemicals being applied can be mixed and spread from section to section as you detangle the hair.

This will prevail to make a suitable condition of your hair, not being confined to a specific area or region. When you are about to take a bath or wash your hair, you can do it suitably without any hassle.

Step 4: Apply shampoo to your hair

Finally, comes the time when you have to apply shampoo to your hair. This means you are approaching to wash your hair in no time.

Don’t just apply the shampoo in haste. Rather, take time and use your finger to insert it into the hair soils and roots.

Remember, shampoo is used to cleanse up your scalps. So, you need to wait for a while, maybe 10 minutes after applying the shampoo. In the meantime, your scalps will be cleaned and cleared perfectly as per the function of the shampoo.

Step 5: Deep condition your 4C hair

After rinsing out the shampoo, now comes the ultimate step for 4C hair, deep conditioning. Yes, deep conditioning is important to nourish your hair from the inside out. The deep conditioner penetrates the base surface of the hair cuticle and provides it with the necessary protein to keep it active and strong.

4C hair being so thin and weak requires deep conditioning by default. You can it as a must to have. So, applying the deep conditioner is important after shampooing your hair.

Keep the deep conditioner on your hair for 30 minutes. After that, proceed to the steaming step.

Step 6: Steam up your hair

Keeping the deep conditioner as it is, steam up your hair. When you steam your hair with the conditioners still on, the cuticles open up and make room inside the hair cuticles.

Moisturization becomes perfect and your hair tends to work better and stronger than ever.

In case you’d like to skip steaming up your hair, you can wear a hair cap and leave the deep conditioners to settle inside. As they remain in a vacuumed condition, the essentials go inside the cuticles nicely.

Step 7: Rinse and finish

Finally, rinse your hair with water and let all the essentials flow out from your 4C hair. Now, while the hair is wet and undried, detangle them using your hand. Do it gently and take time for that.

Once you’re done, you’ll feel your hair well enough for strong and active health throughout. In this way, you can maintain your hair well while washing.

Tips to Maintain 4c Hair

Your task doesn’t end after washing your 4C hair only. You have to maintain it for feasible growth and potential strength of the hair. For that, you have to maintain it accordingly.

Here you have some tips to maintain your 4C Hair accordingly and provide better health to it than ever.

1. Keep your hair moisturized

The coils and curls of 4C hairs allow them to dry out faster. Thus, the moisture inside the hair doesn’t retain and stay that much. For that, you have to moisturize your from time to time to keep the strands standing up.

Using coconut oil or other moisturizers for your hair might work well. There are vitamin tablet essentials for the purpose as well; you can use them. And for the protective style of your hair, you have to moisturize regularly.

2. Don’t over shampoo!

Overdoing anything is bad, and so is shampooing. Your 4C hair is thin and weak by default, so over-shampooing it will break it even and lessen the strength provided to it.

Especially, avoid any shampoo that contains sulfate in it. If needed, you can go with apple cider vinegar rinse for further validation.

3. Detangle your hair frequently

Just keep on detangling your hair frequently from time to time. It will allow your hair to make more space and room among themselves.

You can use conditioner or oil for the purpose as well. It’ll make the hair more compatible and smoother.

4. Avoid fancying your hair

Doing styles to your hair is good, but overdoing won’t bring any virtue. Like the same thing that goes there, too much experimenting will damage your hair eventually.

4C hairs being weaker by default have less strength on them by default. As you apply different styles on them from time to time, the hair exerts pressure on themselves and tends to become weaker.

At times, you might experience hair fall. That’s why, doing fancy styles on 4C hair is not recommended. If you have to do that, do it after giving it breaks after certain styles.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should 4c hair be washed?

4C hair should be washed at least twice every month. For a better texture and health, 4C hair should be washed once every week in a routine manner.

Does 4C hair grow slower?

Yes, 4C hair can make your hair grow slower. It is because of the tangling and coiling structure; that the natural flow gets hampered and kind of delayed. No worries, moisturizing the hair and detangling it frequently can resolve the matter.

Should I comb my 4C hair every day?

No, you don’t have to comb your 4C hair every day. You need to comb your hair just to detangle it and keep it in good shape, nothing else. The rest depends on your desire and style, otherwise, there are no obligations regarding combining them.

Final Words

Washing 4C hair is no difficult task now. But yes, you have to be patient and assured that you are doing it properly. Like c’mon, you’ll be washing it like twice a month in this manner, so why not spare a handsome time for that?

Don’t forget to maintain your hair as well! You have to ensure proper health and the required proportional essentials for long-lasting survival. Remember, it is important to maintain and treat your hair once in a while, especially when it’s about 4C hair.


Dylan Mustapich is a NYC-based lead esthetician who has been featured in New Beauty, Teen Vogue, Wired, and The Huffington Post. With a lifelong love of all things skin, he is incredibly knowledgeable about skincare ingredients, routine refinement, and personalized skincare, and follows emerging technology closely.

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