4A Hair: The Ultimate Guide for 4A Hair Type

4a hair girl

Welcome to our ultimate guide for 4A hair type! In this blog, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about 4A hair, from what it is and what it looks like, to the best hair care routine tips and how to style it.

We’ll also be answering some of the most frequently asked questions about 4A hair, so be sure to read through to the end! We hope that after reading this blog, you’ll have a better understanding of your 4A hair type and how to take care of it.

What Is 4A Hair Type?

4A hair type is a term used to describe the natural hair texture of people of African descent. The “A” in 4A stands for “African”, and the “4” refers to the fact that this hair type is characterized by its tight, coiled curl pattern. The curls may be Z-shaped or S-shaped with some strands being wiry, while others are springy and soft. 4A hair is often described as being fine, thin, and delicate. 

It is also known for being very dry and prone to breakage. Because of these characteristics, 4A hair requires special care and attention. If you have 4A hair, you may find that certain hairstyles are more difficult to achieve than others. 

For example, 4A hair does not always hold curls well. However, with the right products and techniques, you can still achieve any style you desire.

What Does 4A Hair Look Like?

If you’re wondering what 4A hair looks like, you’re not alone. This is a common question among those with kinky, coily hair. While there is no one definitive answer, there are some general characteristics that tend to be true for most 4A hair types. Generally speaking, 4A hair is very dense and tightly coiled. The individual strands are usually thin and delicate, which can make this hair type prone to breakage. Because of the tight coils, 4A hair often has a lot of natural texture and volume. It can range in length from short to very long, although longer lengths may require extra care to prevent damage.

4a hair is very much like 4b hair, except the curl pattern is tighter and more closely resembles a zigzag pattern. The curls are more tightly coiled than in 4b hair, and the diameter of the individual hairs is smaller. It has a visible curl pattern with a medium amount of shine, giving it a distinctive look that you’ll be able to easily recognize. While some 4a hair will appear closer to curly (like 3c), others will have looser curls that are more reminiscent of wavy hair (like 2c).

3C vs 4A vs 4B Hair

There are so many different types of hair out there, and it can be hard to keep track of all the different terminology. Here, we’re going to break down the differences between 3C, 4A, and 4B hair. 

  • 3C hair is characterized by tight curls that are close together. This type of hair often has a lot of volumes and can be difficult to manage. 
  • 4A hair is also curly, but the curls are looser and more spaced out. This type of hair is usually more manageable than 3C hair. 
  • 4B hair is similar to 4A hair, but the curls are even looser and more undefined. This type of hair can be very frizzy and difficult to manage.

Type 4A is the second most common hair type in the world (after type 3C, which is only found among African-American and Asian people). This makes it extremely popular to curl, considering that it’s also one of the easiest types to work with.

If you’re a type 4A hair person, you have pretty much three looks: curly brunette, curly black woman or man, or wavy Caucasian-Asian woman. If your hair is neither curly nor wavy (for example) then you are not a 4A person but rather a type 3C person. Your shape will be defined by your choice of hairstyle; if you want to look like a brunette/black woman/man then curl your hair using heat or perm rods.

4A Haircare Routine Tips

Your 4A haircare routine will help you keep this type of hair well-moisturized and prevent some of the shrinkages you may be experiencing. Here are a few helpful tips for your 4A haircare routine:

Start with a good shampoo and conditioner

This will help your hair to stay hydrated and healthy. Healthy hair starts with a good shampoo and conditioner. Shampoos and conditioners are an important part of a healthy hair routine as they help to keep your hair hydrated and prevent any damage.

Choose sulfate-free shampoos when possible; sulfates have been shown to cause irritation and dryness in some people’s scalps as well as contribute to damage along the length of hair strands. If choosing a more natural shampoo, make sure that it doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients like vinegar or alcohol (both can be drying).

Be gentle with your hair 

Avoid using harsh shampoos and conditioners that can strip your hair of its natural oils. Instead, opt for products that are designed specifically for 4A hair.

Use a detangler on your wet hair

Detangle carefully with a wide-toothed comb beginning from ends up towards roots; avoid tangling by brushing down first then working through sections starting at the bottom layer until reaching scalp level before moving onto the next part underneath the previous layer already detangled! This way all parts get equal attention without causing breakage during the styling process which could lead to split ends later on! If desired once fully untangled use fingers instead of a comb.

Deep condition your hair regularly

Invest in an effective deep conditioning treatment—preferably one containing shea butter or mango butter to keep your new growth moisturized without looking oily. Apply this treatment at least twice per month for best results; every two weeks would be ideal for extra moisture protection during high heat seasons or cold months when humidity is low indoors due to central heating systems! Consider adding a little olive oil onto damp ends before applying conditioner if you’re going out into snow/rainy weather so that they stay hydrated when exposed outside!

Don’t over-style your hair

Avoid heat styling whenever possible, and if you do use heat, be sure to use a heat protectant product first.

Protect your hair at night

Sleep on a satin pillowcase or wrap your hair in a silk scarf to prevent breakage and keep your hair healthy and smooth.

Use a leave-in conditioner or cream

This will help to keep your hair moisturized throughout the day. I know you’re probably thinking that this is a ridiculous suggestion, but hear me out. If you use a leave-in conditioner or cream on your hair, it will help to keep it moisturized throughout the day. This can be especially helpful during the winter months when our hair tends to get dry and brittle.

Finish with an oil or serum

This will help to protect your hair from heat damage and give it a healthy shine. You may be wondering what products to use after using a hairdryer, curler, or flat iron. The general rule is to finish with an oil or serum to protect your hair from heat damage and give it a healthy shine. These products work by closing the cuticle of the hair follicle and protecting against environmental damage and product buildup.

How to Style 4A Hair

The number one mistake many 4A hairdressers make is not washing and conditioning their clients’ hair regularly. We’d rather not need to tell you how important it is that you follow this rule, but we’re going to anyway: If you don’t wash and condition your 4A hair regularly, it can lead to weaker hair, which in turn can lead to damage. Your 4A texture should be treated with the same care as other textures when washing and conditioning. Here are some tips for keeping your clients’ 4A hair healthy:

  • If your client’s natural texture has a lot of split ends, consult with them about getting a trim. Trimming at least once every six weeks will make the difference between looking great or looking like you have a perm!
  • When selecting shampoos and conditioners for 4A hair types, go for ones that have low or no sulfates or silicone. These will help keep the cuticle of the hair closed so that the product doesn’t dry up before it can be absorbed into the strands. For example, if your client wants volume in their roots only, then they might want to choose a shampoo like Kanechom Haircare’s Volume Shampoo without Sulfates & Silicone which won’t dry out their scalp while providing volume benefits all over! (This shampoo is perfect for those with hard water too!)
  • Using moisturizers on 4A hair extends the life of its shear curl pattern by ensuring that moisture doesn’t get trapped on its surface during styling so that it can easily fall back into place after being washed out by rinsing. This helps maintain a soft appearance at all times.

Hairstyles for 4A Hair


Frequently Asked Questions about 4A Hair

Is 4A Good Hair?

As a general rule, 4A hair is considered to be good hair. This is because it is relatively easy to manage and style, and it also has a nice, natural shine. Of course, every head of 4A hair is different, so you may need to experiment with different products and styling techniques to find what works best for you. But overall, most people with 4A hair are happy with their texture.

Is Shea Moisture Good for 4A?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as each person’s hair is unique. However, many people with 4A hair find that Shea Moisture products work well for their hair type. Shea Moisture offers a wide range of hair care products, from shampoo and conditioner to hair masks and stylers, so you’re sure to find something that works for you.

Is 4A Hair Soft?

4A hair is not always soft, but it can be. The amount of curl pattern definition and the tightness of the curls can make 4A hair feel coarse. But with the right products, your 4A hair can be soft and manageable.

Should I Wet My 4A Hair Every Day?

Yes, it is possible to wet your natural hair every day. To maintain moisture, it is advised to rinse your hair with water or spritz it with water every day. Keep in mind that when we say wetting your hair, we don’t mean washing it. We simply mean rinsing your natural hair with water or spritzing water over it to keep it hydrated. Hair that is not properly moisturized can become dry and brittle. Frequent moisture in the hair can make your curls more defined, bouncy, and less frizzy.


In conclusion, 4A hair is naturally curly and has a defined S-shape. It’s one of the most common hair types. 4A hair needs moisture to stay healthy. As we have discussed, there are many things you can do at home to help keep your 4A hair type healthy, like using deep conditioning treatments, moisturizing shampoos, and styling products with natural ingredients. Another way to keep your 4A hair from drying out is by having regular trims to get rid of split ends that make your curls look frizzy and unhealthy. Just remember: the key to having beautiful curls is keeping them hydrated!




Maria Guillere is the Chief Editor of hairstyleandmakeup.com She has more than 6 years of experience as a beauty editor at various prestigious magazines. Her work has been featured in many international beauty campaigns and publications.