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 Coily Springy
4A Pattern

Type 4a is tightly coiled hair that has an "S" pattern. It has more moisture than Type 4b coils and has a visible 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 high density. Type 4a hair has fewer cuticle layers than other hair types, which means it has less natural protection from damage.

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


  • Teyonnah Paris
  • Andrea Lewis
  • Yaya Dacosta
  • Sopie Okonedo


Type 4B Coily Crimpy
4B Pattern

Type 4b strands have a "Z" shape and a less defined curl pattern. Instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter "Z." Type 4b hair is tightly coiled and can feel wiry to the touch. Type 4b hair can range from fine and thin to wiry and coarse with many strands packed densely together. This hairtype often experiences shrinkage up to 75% of its actual hair length. Type 4b coils can hold altered styles well in comparison to Types 2, 3, or 4a hair.

Quick Tips

  • Practice the LOC or LCO Method to keep coils moisturized
  • 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


  • Chrisette Michele
  • Solange Knowles
  • Jade Cole
  • Willow Smith
  • Syesha Mercado


Type 4C Coily Ziggly
4C Pattern

Type 4c hair is composed of strands that will almost never clump without the use of styling techniques. Type 4c hair can range from fine, thin, soft to coarse with densely packed strands. Some say Type 4c coils look identical to 4b except that the curls are tightly kinked with less definition. Tighter coily hair can shrink more than 75%.

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


  • Lupita Nyong'o
  • Viola Davis
  • India Arie
  • Erykah Badu
  • Ajuma Nasenyana

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