how often should you wash 4c hair?
Raise your hand if you have ever been confused about the 4c hair-washing etiquette…Same!
Between shampoo washing, conditioner washing, and deep conditioning treatments, it can get super confusing to figure out the best way to take care of your natural hair.
Well, thankfully I have continually optimized my own 4c hair care routine in the last 3 years. So much so that I came up with a wash routine that will not only ensure a healthy scalp but also promote hair growth.
In this post, I share how often you should wash your 4c hair and much more.
How often should you wash 4c hair?
The general rule of thumb is to wash 4c hair with a traditional shampoo every two weeks and to wash it with a cleansing conditioner the weeks in between.
Limiting the use of shampoo to bi-weekly will help you remove dirt, oil, and product buildup without stripping your natural hair of its natural oils too often.
However, you may require to wash your hair more often depending on your natural hair needs and lifestyle. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to your scalp conditions.
If your scalp feels itchy or oily, it is usually time for a wash. If your scalp feels dry and flaky, on the other hand, it might be a sign to hold off on washing your hair for a while.
Another factor to consider is your hairstyle.
If your natural 4c hair is in a protective style such as braids or twists, you can go longer between washes. However, if your hair is out or in a short 4c hairstyle, you may want to wash it more frequently to keep it looking fresh, clean, and more defined.
How to wash 4c hair?
4c hair is known for its tight curl pattern and fine hair strands, which makes it even more important to come up with a wash day routine that caters to the special needs of your hair. Thankfully, with the right technique and the right products, you can keep your hair healthy and moisturized.
Here are the general steps, every 4c hair wash day should include:
- Detangle your hair using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to prevent breakage.
- Next, divide your hair into sections and twist them together, to work through the hair easier during the washing process.
- Wet your hair thoroughly and apply a sulfate-free shampoo.
- Gently massage your scalp and hair to remove any product build-up.
- Rinse the shampoo out thoroughly, making sure to remove all of the product.
- Apply a deep conditioner and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Rinse the conditioner thoroughly and gently press out excess water with a microfiber towel or t-shirt.
- Apply a moisturizing leave-in conditioner to your hair.
- Lastly, add a natural oil of your choice to seal the ends. Alternatively, you can do the whole LOC method.
That’s it. Nine steps to washing your 4c hair the right way.
What happens if you wash 4c hair too much?
In contrast to straight hair, coily hair should not be washed on a weekly basis, because washing 4c hair too much can lead to dryness, brittleness, and scalp irritation.
The product and the water strip your hair of its natural oils, which then leaves it dry and brittle. This leads to hair breakage, and split ends, and can damage your hair.
In addition, washing 4c hair too frequently causes the scalp to become dry and flaky. This can lead to itching, dandruff, and other scalp issues.
So, it is important to examine your hair before planning your next wash day, to make sure that you are not overdoing it. If possible, figure out your 4c hair porosity to understand your hair better.
Should I wet 4c hair every day?
When it comes to wetting your 4c hair every day, a lot of hair experts agree that you do not have to wet it every day. However, I did see Naturalistas who swear by it.
My personal preference is to wet my 4c hair every other day.
Here I simply use a water spray bottle with a mix of water and a leave-in conditioner to mist my hair. That refreshes my curls and provides the moisture needed.
I do that whether I am wearing a protective style or not, as my scalp tends to dry out quite fast, given the climate I live in.
However, remember that every person is different.
What works for one person may not work for you. So, don’t get caught in natural hair rules, but simply take the information provided as general guidelines.
Instead, experiment with different methods and observe how your natural hair responds until you find what works best for you.
How often should I condition 4c hair??
If there is one thing you should know about 4c hair, then it is that it needs moisture. So you want to apply some type of moisturizer or conditioner on a regular basis.
Choose hair products that are optimized for natural 4c hair and rinse them out with cold water to lock in the moisture. If you feel like your hair needs some extra TLC, you can even substitute the conditioner for a hair mask.
How often should you oil 4C hair?
Using oil on your hair is an important step in maintaining healthy hair. However, the frequency at which you should oil your hair can vary depending on your hair’s natural oils.
Your scalp produces its own natural oils, which are then distributed to the hair. However, due to our kinky hair texture, curly hair has a harder time pushing the oil down the hair shaft.
This is why you want to add oil to your 4c hair at least once a week.
A great way to do that is to add the oil after washing and moisturizing your hair. Make sure to focus on the ends of your hair, as well as the scalp, to ensure that it is well moisturized.
When choosing an oil, it’s important to select oils that are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants to help nourish and strengthen your hair. Some popular oils for 4c hair include coconut oil, castor oil, and olive oil.
Note that while oiling your hair is important, your want to avoid over-oiling it. Over-oiling can cause your hair to become greasy and weighed down, which can also lead to breakage. So, only use a moderate amount of oil and adjust the frequency as needed.