Afro hair

How Should You Wash Natural 4c Hair

Published By: Kennedy

Last Updated: September 27, 2022

Many people struggle with the correct way to wash 4c hair, but not to worry, this article got you covered. 

What is 4c hair?

4c hair is the coiliest hair type on the curl type chart. It is very versatile and has the most shrinkage out of all the other hair types. You most likely have 4c hair if you do not have a defined curl pattern after washing your hair. The hair will also not clump together like 4a and 4b hair, the strands stay apart, making it look frizzy. The curl pattern of 4c hair does not allow for the natural oils to travel from the root to the tip which often leaves it dry and prone to damage. 

How to Wash 4c Hair


The best way to detangle 4c hair is by using your fingers known as finger detangling. Finger detangling is the action of combing out your hair with your fingers instead of a comb.  The reason why this detangling method is beneficial is that you pull out less of your hair and are able to untangle knots more gently.

The other benefit to finger detangling is that you can feel what your hair needs and where. You can feel that your hair is dry or where there is excessive product buildup better when you use your fingers.  If you choose to comb your hair, you risk pulling out the new growth, which can stunt overall growth. Finger detangling may be the more time-consuming option – but it is also the healthiest. 

However, if you don’t have time to finger detangle, an alternative option is to use a detangling brush. A detangling brush is specifically made to detangle the hair in a more gentle way, which makes it easier to comb. 

Shampoo or Co-Wash

4c hair is naturally dry because its texture prevents the natural hair oils that the scalp produces from traveling down the hair shaft. 4c hair is also prone to damage, so you want to make sure you are gentle with it – that includes the washing process. 

Using shampoo can be very harsh on 4c hair. They strip the hair of dirt and oils, which is a good thing. What is not good is that it not only strips the hair of dirt and oils but also moisture and the natural oils that it needs. You don’t want to strip the hair of necessary nutrients regularly, therefore, you should not use shampoo to clean your 4c hair all of the time. You should wash your hair with shampoo once every two weeks. If you need to clean your hair before the 2-week mark, then you should co-wash. 

Co-washing the hair is used to cleanse the hair yet still retain some moisture. Conditioner is used to accomplish this method of washing the hair and it’s typically used by those who have some sort of curl to their hair. Wash your hair in sections helps to ensure that you are washing each part of your hair thoroughly, this is ideal regardless of the method you use to cleanse the hair. It’s important that you rinse the shampoo or conditioner out completely because if either is left in your hair too long, it can dry it out. 

Condition or Deep Condition

Conditioning your hair is crucial for keeping it moisturized. After you shampoo your hair, you should leave a conditioner in for at least 15 minutes. Every two weeks, you should go for a deep conditioner. 

When using a deep conditioner, it is best to leave it in for at least an hour. After a co-wash, the best product to use is a leave-in conditioner. 


In order to keep your hair from dripping everywhere after you get out of the shower, wrap it in a microfiber towel and let it sit on the hair for about 15 min. Microfiber towels are softer on the hair than cotton towels and are more absorbent. After the towel, it is best to let your hair air dry. Air drying prevents frizz and also does not add heat to your hair. Depending on if you have high or low porosity, it may take shorter or longer for your hair to dry fully.

What should you put on 4C hair after washing?

4c hair really benefits from the LOC method. LOC is an acronym for liquid, oil, and cream. To use this method, apply the liquid to hydrate the hair, oil to lock in moisture, and cream to prevent moisture loss. This method is used as a means to keep moisture in the hair throughout the day.  

Should I wet my 4c hair every day?

It is always important to wet your hair. Water is the ultimate source of hydration. You don’t want to drench your hair all of the time, but you do want to moisturize it with water regularly. Spraying your hair with water before styling your hair when it is in its natural state is usually a must. This can easily be done at the beginning of the day as you are styling your hair if you are wearing it naturally. 

How do you pre-poo 4C?

Pre-pooing is what you do before shampooing in order to impart moisture into the hair before it is stripped by shampoo. To help retain the natural oils in the hair, a great pre-poo method is a hot oil treatment. When the hair soaks up the oil from the pre-poo, it will help prevent the shampoo from stripping away all of the moisture. 

The Final Word

The best way to wash 4c hair is to make sure you are treating it delicately. Patience is definitely required, but it is all worth it!


I have always had a love for writing and have been blogging for about 3 years now. I have a passion for teaching what I have learned over the years, especially about hair. I have had almost every hairstyle - typical of a cosmetologist’s daughter- including the big chop in 2015. With all the knowledge I have gained, I feel it is my duty to help others on their healthy hair journey. I believe education can be fun, and I strive to make it fun to learn about beautiful black hair.

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