damaged 4c hair
Every natural hair journey starts due to one reason – hair damage.
Whether you used to be a relaxer babe and finally came to your senses after the last chemical treatment ruined your 4c curls completely. Or have been a straight hair girlie for a while and now realize the extent of heat damage on your 4c hair type.
Sooner or later it gets us all. And that is usually when your 4c natural hair journey starts.
So if yours just commenced, welcome. We are happy to have you. And don’t worry, you are in great company.
Damaged 4c hair is a common issue for many Naturalistas. Our tight curls and coils tend to be dry and break easily, which means knowing how to care for them is essential.
Unfortunately, many of us never learned how to. And when this hair type is not cared for properly, it can become damaged, leading to a variety of issues such as split ends, breakage, and thinning.
So, I decided is time to show you how to avoid and fix damaged 4c hair.
What causes damaged 4c hair?
There are several causes for damaged 4c hair. From using excessive heat to manipulating your natural hair too often. And I’d argue that most of them are preventable, including the ones below:
- Heat styling: Using hot tools like flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers on high heat can cause damage to your natural 4c hair. The high temperature strips your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle.
- Chemical treatments: Chemical treatments like relaxers, hair dyes, and texturizers can cause damage to your hair strands if not done correctly. In the same way, overuse of these treatments can cause your hair to become weak and therefore break more easily.
- Lack of moisture: 4c hair is naturally dry and requires regular moisture to prevent damage. If your natural hair is not moisturized regularly, it becomes brittle and fragile which leads to hair breakage.
- Rough handling: Rough combing, brushing, and pulling are also often the cause of damage to natural 4c hair. This is especially true when your hair is dry, as it is more fragile and therefore less elastic.
- Environmental factors: Environmental factors such as sun exposure, wind, and pollution can cause damage to your 4c hair as well. They can dry out your hair and cause it to become more fragile.
- Poor diet: A diet that is low in nutrients can lead to weak and brittle hair. That’s why it is important to eat a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals to support the health of your hair.
By identifying the causes of your damaged 4c hair, you can take the necessary steps to prevent further damage and promote healthy hair growth.
How do you know if your 4c hair is damaged?
Now before you completely overhaul your 4c hair care regimen, you first need to figure out if your 4c hair is damaged.
And the best way to find out is by examining your natural curl pattern and hair texture. In order to tell if your hair is in good shape or not, you need to look for the below signs:
- Breakage: If you notice that your hair is breaking off easily when you comb or brush it, it is a sign that your hair is damaged.
- Split Ends: Another sign of damaged hair is split ends. If you notice that the ends of your hair are frizzy, this is a sign that your hair is not healthy.
- Dry hair: If your natural hair is dry and brittle, it could be a sign that your hair is damaged, due to over-styling or excessive use of heat tools.
- Lack of elasticity: If your 4c hair lacks elasticity and can’t stretch without breaking, but feels stiff, it could be a sign of damage.
- Tangles: If your hair is constantly tangled, has many knots and even fairy knots, then this could be a sign of damage.
The good news is, if you notice any of these hair problems, there are a few things you can do about it.
How do you fix damaged 4c hair?
Fixing damaged 4c hair requires a lot of patience and consistency. Meaning you have to introduce a targeted approach to your natural hair care, which may take longer than you’d like. But it will get you the best results if you stick to it.
Here are the steps to take to repair and restore damaged 4c hair:
1. Trim regularly
The first step to include in your new 4c hair care routine is regular trims. As much as you may hate the idea, trimming your natural hair every 6-8 weeks is essential to avoiding 4c hair damage and natural hair growth. It helps remove split ends and prevents further damage from spreading up the hair shaft.
2. Deep condition regularly
The second step to repairing damaged 4c hair is my favorite. Regular deep conditioning treatments help moisturize and nourish your natural hair while reducing dryness and breakage. You can either choose the best deep conditioner for your 4c hair or make your own hair mask with natural ingredients such as avocado, honey, and coconut oil.
3. Use a protein treatment
Did you know that protein treatments are like a boost to your natural hair health? And many of those are formulated to fight hair breakage and strengthen your hair. Especially if they include natural ingredients such as eggs or yogurt. Alternatively, you can also make use of hot oil treatments instead.
4. Be gentle
One important step when you experience hair breakage is to be more gentle with your hair. That means avoiding styling and brushing it too much, and definitely don’t heat style. Instead, use protective hairstyles to give your hair a break more often, and make use of a satin scarf overnight to protect your 4c hair while you are asleep.
5. Moisturize daily
Last but certainly not least, remember that 4c hair tends to be dry. So it is important to keep your hair moisturized daily with techniques such as the loc method. Make sure you choose the best products for your type of hair, including a good sulfate-free shampoo, and leave-in conditioner.
These 5 steps will help you on your journey. However, remember that different hair, different needs. Therefore, be patient and observe how your hair reacts. And over time you should see an improvement in its health and appearance.
Can damaged 4c hair grow?
Yes, damaged 4c hair can still grow, but it may take some time and effort. Encouraging healthy growth after your natural hair has suffered from damage means promoting length retention.
So no matter what, you want to ensure that your hair does not break.
The best way to achieve that is by choosing gentle hair products that don’t dry out your hair, by protecting your hair at night, and by wearing it in a protective style or low-maintenance style whenever possible.
Keeping your coily hair tucked away and protected will prevent more broken ends, which will avoid hair breakage, which will lead to longer hair.
Best hair products for damaged 4c hair
Thankfully, there are many hair products available that can help you repair and restore your damaged 4c hair. Here are some of the best types of hair products to look for:
- Sulfate-free shampoo that is specifically designed for dry and damaged hair.
- Deep-conditioner that repairs your hair and stops the breakage.
- Leave-in conditioner that keeps your hair moisturized throughout the day.
- Hair oil with natural oils such as jojoba, coconut, and argan oil helps nourish and hydrate your hair.
- Protein treatment that strengthens and repairs damaged hair.
- Vitamin e tablets to promote healthy hair growth.
When selecting the right products for your damaged 4c hair, be sure to choose products that are free from harsh chemicals such as sulfates, parabens, and phthalates.
Look for natural ingredients that will nourish and hydrate your hair, and be sure to maintain a consistent hair care routine.