When I first started this hair journey my main issues came from not being able to find the right information. I also had a ton of questions. Which moisturizer should I use? Should I be afraid of heat? What’s the best shampoo for 4c hair? How do I make my hair grow faster? One of my biggest questions was, how often should you wash natural 4c hair?
For natural 4c hair, you should limit its exposure to shampoo to once or twice every month. Shampoo is known to take out all of the oils and nutrients in the hair.
Keep reading and I’ll show the exact methods I use to wash my hair with shampoo and also with conditioner.
So, EXACTLY how often should you wash natural 4c hair?
Washing your hair should be spaced out. Your 4c hair already has trouble retaining moisture, do not worsen the situation by excessive washing. Understanding this first trait of 4c hair is the key to knowing how often you should wash natural 4c hair.
Now, we’ll break washing into two categories – co-washing, which is conditioner washing, and shampoo washing.
For natural 4c hair, you should limit its exposure to shampoo to once or two times every month as shampoo.
You can, however, balance this out with conditioner washing.
For deep conditioning, you should make sure you do this every two weeks as 4c hair dries out quicker and retains less moisture than others. This means it needs constant moisturizing. You should also make sure that your conditioning goes through the entire hair, as much as possible.
Which Shampoo or Conditioner Should I Use?
For shampoo washing, my favorite product is tgin Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo for Natural Hair. It deeply cleanses my hair, and as the name states, it’s sulfate free.
For conditioner washing, my favorite product is As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner. It helps me add and retain moisture until I’m ready for my next deep cleanse.
What happens when you wash too much?
Washing your hair too often strips it of all its nutrients and oils – The things that keep your hair healthy and strong. You start to notice split ends and also a ton of breakage. This is the opposite result of what most of us want.
What happens when you don’t wash enough?
Washing it too little could leave it too dirty and in a really bad state. Product buildup is one side effect and is no joke. Also, your hair could start to produce a bad smell. The end result is the same, you hair won’t be healthy.
Somehow, you have to find a balance between washing too much, washing too little and finding a schedule that maintains the ideal health of your hair.
Over there years, I’ve learned that different hair types require different methods to see the best results. So, let’s take a step back. I want to make sure the steps I’m going to provide you will produce the biggest impact for your hair.
How do you know if you have 4c hair?
Before we go too deep into how often you should wash your natural 4c hair, let’s be sure that’s
what you’re working with. 4c and 4b natural hair are pretty similar in looks, but 4c natural hair has no defined curls or pattern – these can only be achieved through styling.
Your 4c hair is also probably prone to a lot of shrinkage, some say even up to 75%. If your hair has these characteristics keeping going.
How to Lock in The Moisture
When working with 4c hair, you need to make sure you lock in as much moisture as is possible and a great way to do this is following the liquid, oil and cream procedure. All you have to do is start with the liquid – usually water and then proceed to whatever oils you use on your hair before going to the creams – usually leave-in conditioner. This will help keep in the moisture for as long as is possible for 4c hair.
Make sure to use wide tooth combs for your hair when detangling or combing it to reduce the amount of breakage you have to deal with. Also use your fingers to get through the tight patches as well as they are gentler and will detangle your hair while minimizing the breakage. Don’t forget however to only do this when the hair is at the minimum damp but never when it is dry.
Don’t forget to trim
You need to also trim your hair at least twice a year i.e. every 6 months as this will help you get rid of split ends, grow your hair better and at the minimum maintain its current health and length if it does not surpass it.
Do not use too many different products on your hair as this could not only damage it, but make it difficult for you to identify what might be causing problems with your hair. Find a few products that work great for your hair and stick with them.
More tips for managing your 4c hair
There is a lot more to managing 4c hair than washing and so you need some great tips on how to manage it properly. Here you go. You’re welcome!
Combing your hair when it is dry is a recipe for disaster and will end up in more breakage than you probably thought was possible. It will probably also be incredibly painful even if you are a ninja. The likelihood of getting the comb through 4c hair when it’s dry is even really low so all in all, an exercise in absolute pain and futility. Don’t do it.
If you do not know already, 4c hair is believed to be the most fragile hair type there is which means you have to do more to take care of it. One of the best ways of doing this and ensuring its growth is through protective styling.
So, while you want to enjoy your natural hair, try to have it more often than not in protective styles that ensure you handle your hair less and give it less reason to break. Come up with a pattern that lets you do both.
Turn Bedtime into a Consistent Routine
You should also think about your hair at night as it is one of the times when it sheds the most. You may be going to sleep but your hair would still have to deal with all the movement and friction from it.
Your sheets and pillows can significantly reduce the moisture in your hair. A great way to combat this is using satin or silk; either for tying your hair, as a pillowcase or both. You can also weave your hair into a loose ponytail or combine all of these to help you retain a lot of the moisture.
As you can see, how often you should wash is just the beginning of living with and managing 4c hair. You should take time out to understand your hair and know how to deal with it so you can fully enjoy it. Don’t spend so much time envious of other hair types.
If you made it this far, I urge you to read my post, How to Moisture 4c Hair. This will give you a better understanding on why moisturizing your hair may be the missing ingredient in your hair regimen. Also, if you like this post, leave a comment below and let me know your natural hair washing routine.