Hydrating & Moisturizing 4 Type Curls

Hey natural babes! Let’s kick off this article with the understanding of two key natural hair words. Hydrating and Moisturizing. Many times we confuse the term hydrating and moisturizing. These two words can make a huge difference to the health and moisture of your hair. To be clear, hydrating your hair simply means allowing water to properly absorb and penetrate your hair strands. Water is the most important and natural component for hydrating and should always be a key part of any routine. Moisturizing on the other hand is a more temporary measure to achieve manageable hair throughout the week. It is also a crucial step in maintaining consistent and adequate moisture levels. Moisturizing entails spritzing the hair with water and adding water based conditioning products followed by sealing products to style and help manage your hair. Together, hydrating and moisturizing your hair play a vital role in your entire hair routine. Now that that’s understood, let’s get straight to it.

The structure of what we refer to as “type 4” curls is a tightly coiled or kinky curl pattern. With this curl structure maintaining moisture is a challenge for natural oils to travel from your scalp to your ends. Due to this fact,  type 4 curls take on a more dull and dry appearance and can also feel very dry. This being said, it’s extremely important to properly hydrate and moisturize this curl type. How do you do this? Your first step is knowing your hair porosity. Since water is such a crucial part of hydrating natural hair, it’s important that you understand your hair’s ability to absorb water. That ability to absorb water is referred to as your hair porosity.

 When you know your porosity, you can determine the type of products suitable to maintain moisture in your hair. When improving moisture in 4 type curls, you will need  a combination of products that penetrate the hair as well as seal moisture in. Water based products are your best friend and should be used first and most often in your routine. Water should also be the first ingredient in the majority of your moisturizing products or very high on the list of ingredients. Water based products penetrate your strands better thus increasing moisture.

So you’ve sprayed your hair with water, you’ve added your water based conditioning products and moisturizing products. What’s next? Sealing. Because 4 type curls have a tightly coiled pattern, sealing the moisture that you’ve  put in is the best way to maintain moisture in your hair longer. Sometimes naturals use products that only seal such as oils and heavy butters. The problem is if water and moisturizing products are not in your hair first, there isn’t any moisture to seal. Remember ladies, oils and  heavy butters seal moisture in. Not moisturize! Whether you are low porosity or high porosity, water based leave in conditioners and moisturizers are always the first step in your routine followed by your creams if low porosity or butters if high porosity. 

Next up is our most crucial tip. This tip applies to all curl types but it’s especially important for the 4 type curls. Yes ladies we’re talking about deep conditioning. Nope once a month does not qualify nor does every other week. For maximum benefits deep conditioning should be done once a week. As mentioned earlier natural oils from your scalp take longer to travel along kinky curls. Translation…your hair would usually be prone to dryness. Deep conditioning would provide a much needed weekly dose of hydration and moisture to thirsty strands to restore, repair and maintain your hair.

Lastly, protect your hair at night. This should be a given, but we’re going to remind you anyway. Your hair can loose a lot of moisture at night if you’re not protecting it with the right material . Cotton is super comfortable and  great for keeping us cool but not so great on your hair. The fibers in your cotton pillowcases suck the moisture out of your hair and creates breakage from the friction of your strands against the cotton fibers. Instead, substitute your cotton pillowcase with a satin case or simply cover your hair with a stain scarf or satin bonnet.

That’s it ladies! Four type curls are beautiful. Love it, take care of it and your hair will thank you for it.