4c hair braids
Whether you are a veteran Naturalista or new to the natural hair journey, there is one thing black women with 4c hair have in common. After wash day we are always searching for the next protective style.
Which, ironically is how this website came to be.
Because I realized that the best way to grow healthy hair is to avoid unnecessary hair loss. So I wanted to find and try out the different low-maintenance natural hairstyles, such as 4c hair braids.
So if you are looking for easy 4c hairstyles that involve braid, then you have come to the right spot. I’ve been able to braid my own hair again for about one year. I had to wait 9 months after my big chop two years ago so that I would not put too much tension on my edges.
But the moment my teeny weeny afro (TWA) was long enough, I took advantage.
Are braids good for 4c hair?
As always my aim with this website is to educate you on black hair, especially the 4c hair type. This is why I research and test everything before I share my opinion. And even though most of us have been braiding our hair since we were little girls, I wanted to make sure I understand the benefits of protective hairstyles.
In general, braids are good for 4c hair, as long as they are installed correctly. You want to avoid pulling your hair strands too tight or attaching too much weight onto them. Instead, if you have short hair, part it into small sections and use a small amount of hair extensions.
Another good reason to style your hair in natural hair braids is that it’s a great way to protect the ends of your hair. These are prone to dry out and then break. Whenever you braid your hair, however, you tuck away your loose end and lock in all the moisture.
In addition, you gain a lot of new growth from protective styling, as braids usually last weeks.
Last but not least, it’s a low-maintenance style that allows you to stop worrying about what to do with your hair for a while. Halleluja! Because lord knows, no matter if you have long hair, curly hair, or relaxed hair, taking care of your 4c hair takes a long time.
What braids are good for 4c hair?
Even though it can be tiring, one of the reasons why I love our beautiful 4c hair is because it is so versatile. We get to rock different breathtaking hairstyles, such as 4c hair braids all the time. And to get you excited for your next look as well, I figured I’d share my favorite styles with you.
Jumbo box braids
Probably the most popular style of them all is box braids. A simple braiding hairstyle where you part your hair in jumbo sections that are one to two inches wide. Then you add synthetic braiding hair to it to complete the look.
Jumbo box braids are easy to do by yourself and can last at least four weeks if you take good care of them.
Another black people’s favorite is knotless braids. This is a new style that I believe has been around for three to four years only. But it has taken the natural hair movement by storm. The difference here is that you part your hair in very small, even tiny sections, and then attach the hair extensions without wrapping them at the bottom. Instead, you directly start braiding. It gives the braids a more sleek and elegant look.
In order to get knotless braids right, however, you ideally need straight hair. This means you may have to blow out your hair if you have a thick hair texture.
The next cute braiding hairstyle is Senegalese twists. As the name already says, this type of 4c hair braids is twisted. Meaning you only use two hair strands as opposed to three like you would with braids. While they are a very practical protective style, they do not last as long as braids, as they tend to unravel faster than braids.
Whenever I think about 4c hair braids, I forget about simple cornrows. Not sure why. Probably because I rarely wear my hair in cornrows. However, this style is pretty popular with women that prefer braiding their natural hair without extensions. If you have thick dens har you can easily do that, if your hair is short or thin you add to it.
Lastly, we have crochet braids. My personal favorite protective style, because it allows you to pretty much rock any hairstyle. How. Well, because once you flat twist or cornrow your hair, you now crochet hair extensions of your choice to it. It’s a great way to wear longer hair or a different hair texture without having to manipulate your own.
What should I do to my 4c hair before braiding?
Before you actually braid your natural hair, it’s important to understand how to prep 4c hair for braids.
Because your hair will be inside this protective style for multiple weeks, you need to ensure that your hair is sufficiently moisturized. And the best way to do that is in two ways.
For one, you want to shampoo and deep condition your hair shortly before installing the 4c hair braids. If you time it correctly, it can coincide with wash day which then will not increase the number of times you use shampoo that month. And if you are motivated, you can even do a protein treatment, instead of a simple deep conditioning treatment.
Secondly, you want to use my beloved L.O.C. method. By adding a leave-in conditioner, coconut oil, and shea butter you perfectly moisturize your hair strands and keep them healthy until you see them the next time.
How do you take care of 4c hair with braids?
Taking care of your hair while they are in braids is not too different from when they are in its natural state. In order to avoid a dry scalp, you should add a conditioner and light oil at least once a week. And if enough time has passed, you may as well shampoo them. That is pretty much it. Other than that, remember to keep your nighttime routine as is by putting on your headscarf or bonnet to protect your edges.
How long should you leave braids in 4c hair?
You can leave your 4c hair in braids for as much as 4 weeks and more. While I grew up wearing my braids for up 6 or 7 weeks, I would not suggest it now. The weight of the braids can easily lead to breakage if there is too much new growth. Therefore, it’s better to take out your 4c hair braids to care for your real hair and then re-braid them after some TLC.