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Because Type 4 hair is characterised by beautiful and densely-packed tight coils, it can subsequently suffer from dryness, excessive tangling as a result of shrinkage, and other issues (usually related to retaining moisture). All of these factors combined create a recipe for breakage, which makes it seem as if the hair isn’t growing; but a regimen filled with healthy habits will easily counteract these hair woes.
Youtuber, NaturallyTemi recently made a video entitled “7 Reasons Why Your TYPE 4 Hair is NOT Growing” in response to the multitude of questions she receives from 4c naturals who feel as if their hair is not growing at the expected rate or retaining length. Check out her detailed response below.
In addition to those seven, here are six more reasons your Type 4 hair may not be flourishing.
1. Using tools too frequently to detangle your hair.
NaturallyTemi touched on this a little bit, but combing through your hair regularly may not be the best way to detangle. You might prefer to not use any tools at all, and if that is the case finger detangling is going to be your best friend. Yes, it may take longer than simply combing through but you’ll likely notice that you lose a lot less hair and experience less breakage with this method.
I dedicate one day (sometimes two days) a week to thoroughly detangling on wet hair, mostly finger detangling and using a very wide tooth comb to detangle from ends to the roots, if need be. Pay attention to how much hair sheds when you detangle and how much of that hair is breakage; it’s a good indicator as to what method works best for you. Read more about finger detangling here.
2. Not using the right combination of products for your hair.
Of course this part is subjective, but whatever products give your hair slip and/or make it easier to pull apart and detangle are the products that you want to keep around. There will always be new products and recommendations, which are fun to try, but if they don’t work stick to what does.
Some of my favorite products are the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner, Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Shine Pomade, and then Jamaican black castor oil. Don’t forget water is the primary moisturizer, don’t sleep on it.
3. Not washing your hair often enough (or not washing with a cleanser) due to fear of drying out your hair.
I think we’ve all, especially as Type 4 naturals, been through this phase in our natural hair journeys. You already deal with breakage and dryness, so why would you want to add to that by drying your hair out with excessive washing? And there is some truth to that.
Excessive washing of Type 4 hair is probably going to cause more dryness, but a lack of washing and product buildup can be just as much of a setback. Buildup of products can cause the hair to stick together and cause knots, and a clean scalp is important in maintaining healthy hair growth. Using shampoo or a cleansing product that removes dirt and buildup is ideal.
I cleanse my hair once every 1 to 2 weeks with Garnier Fructis Curl Nourish Fortifying Shampoo on sectioned/twisted hair, focusing on the scalp. If you’re finding it difficult to wash your hair without getting knots, try washing your hair in twists. The time frame for washing your hair is up to you, you’ll definitely know when it’s time!
4. Not incorporating a deep conditioner/mask into your hair care regimen.
It may just seem like a time-consuming optional step, but deep conditioners/hair masks can really make a difference in retaining moisture, especially in winter months. Ultimately, your hair will benefit the most from your daily routine, but sometimes your hair might just need an extra kick for added moisture if your hair seems a bit more dry than usual. My holy grail is the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Treatment Masque. It a has a thick, heavy consistency and works in just 10-20 minutes, leaving your hair soft and manageable.
5. Doing styles that put stress on your hair or encourage tangling.
I’m looking at you, wash and go! Any style that makes caring for your hair more difficult is probably a style that you want to avoid, or reserve for special occasions. Sometimes it may be tightly pulled back or slicked down styles that put a strain on fragile hair.
For me, one of those styles is definitely a wash and go, as my hair usually comes out feeling a bit dry and shrunken. Rocking shrinkage is cute, but for my hair it leaves too many knots for me to have to detangle later. Of course, there are a lot of Type 4 naturals that swear by wash and go’s, as well, it’s all about how your hair responds. Bottom line, if you feel it isn’t working for your hair, don’t force it.
6. Not drinking enough water.
In addition to being a phenomenal moisturizer and base for hair products, drinking water also does wonders for your hair. This is a pretty obvious tip, but one that is easily overlooked when you’re focused on getting your hair routine just right. A healthy body will produce healthy hair, and ensuring the hydration of your hair starts with what you put into your body. Read more about the importance of water here.
Look here for more info about maintaining healthy Type 4 hair. Do you have any personal tips to ensure hair growth and counteract breakage? Leave them in the comments below.