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Understanding your hair: Type 4a


Type 4A Natural Hair
Photo Credit: Theasijtsma

This is the second part in a series that aims to help you understand your hair more deeply and completely in order to aid you when shopping for and seeking out products, tools and process to take care of your hair. This part will address type 4a hair that is curly in texture and that has an “s” curl pattern.

Is your hair full of tightly wound curls? Then chances are pretty good that you may have type 4a hair. What does this mean for you? Well having this type of hair implies that your hair:

  • Has a tightly wound s-curl pattern: If you have type 4a when you take a strand of hair, you will notice that it has an s-shaped curl that is very visible and defined. Due to the tightness of the curl, this hair tends to experience some shrinkage, and so can appear to be shorter than it actually is.
  • Has medium to high porosity: This hair is the least porous of type 4 hair, which is why it tends to retain more moisture than the other hair types. This also means that since it has looser cuticle layer than wavier hair or hair with looser curls it also has less protection from heat damage.
  • Has either a wiry or fine texture. Each hair strand is often quite fragile.
  • Is very dense and often voluminous and full.


Naturalistas with this hair type

Monique Coleman

Leela James

Solange Knowles

Macy Gray


Tips on 4A Hair Care

  1. Use leave-in-conditioner after dampening your hair in order to retain moisture.
  2. Opt for “butters” like shea butter over oils (or products that are liquid at room temperature) when looking for sealants that will enhance your hairstyles.
  3. Wash your hair with a sulphate-free cleanser, ideally one that contains tea tree oil or jojoba oil for cleaning your scalp.
  4. Deep condition your hair regularly in order to limit breakage and strengthen the hair.

Products recommended for Type 4a Hair

Comment below to tell us how Understanding your hair: Type 4a worked for you. If you have any hair style tips and advice, contact us here and share it on Hey Naturals website.

Frances Uhomoibhi
I am a 20-something Naturalista with a love for all things Black. I love writing, spoken word, and doing social justice work. Living in London, I hope to help young black girls to love their beauty inside and out.

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