Type 4 - Coily Hair

Type 4 hair can range from fine and thin to wiry and coarse with lots and lots of strands densely packed together. Coily hair has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type, which means that it has less protection from the damage inflicted by combing, brushing, curling, blow-drying and straightening.


Type 4a is tightly coiled hair that has an "S" pattern. It has more moisture than 4b and has a definite curl pattern. The circumference of the spirals is close to that of a crochet needle. The hair can be wiry or fine-textured. It is usually fragile with lots of strands densely packed together. 4a hair has fewer cuticle layers than other hair types, which means it has less natural protection from damage. 4a celebrities include Teyonnah Paris, Andrea Lewis, Yaya Dacosta, and Sophie Okonedo.

Quick Tips

  • -Co-wash with a moisturizing sulfate-free cleanser
  • -Clarify your scalp with shampoos containing tea tree or jojoba oil
  • -Use thicker natural emollients like mango and shea butters to maximize your wash-and-go, twist-out, or bantu knot-out style after washing


Type 4b has a "Z" pattern and less of a defined curl pattern. Instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter "Z". 4b is wiry and tightly coiled.Type 4b hair can range from fine and thin to wiry and coarse with lots and lots of strands densely packed together. This hairtype often experiences shrinkage up to 75% of the actual hair length. 4b coils can hold altered styles well in comparison to type 2, 3, or 4a types. 4b celebrities include Chrisette Michele, Solange Knowles, Jade Cole, Willow Smith, and Syesha Mercado.

Quick Tips

  • Practice the LOC or LCO Method to retain as much moisture in your 4b hair
  • Pre-poo with coconut oil or castor oil to help retain natural oils in your scalp
  • Create a heat-free style on stretched hair with perm rods, Curlformers, or flexi rods for maximum definiton and less frizz
  • Use a t-shirt or microfiber towel to dry hair after washing; terry cloth will strip its natural moisture and cause tension on the strands


Type 4c hair is composed of curl patterns that will almost never clump without doing a specific hairstyle. 4c hair can range from fine, thin, soft to coarse with lots of densely packed strands. Some say 4c coils look identical to 4b except that the curls are tightly kinked with less definition. Tighter coily hair can shrink more than 75%. 4c celebrities include Lupita Nyong'o, Viola Davis, India Arie, Erykah Badu, and Ajuma Nasenyana.

Quick Tips

  • Use a creamy humectant as a leave-in to maximize protection from the elements
  • A curl defining custard or gelee can stretch the coil safely for twist-outs and braid-outs
  • Cover your hair at night with a silk or satin cap to protect your hair and prevent breakage
  • Use a detangling co-wash with slippery elm or marshmallow root

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