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4C Hair Guide: How to Grow 4C hair and Retain Length



You might watch your favorite 4C queens and want your hair to be as long as theirs. Well, good news! you can grow your hair to waist length if you follow the right hair regimen. 

No matter your hair type, growing your hair requires a bit of patience and consistency from you. 4C hair is no different.

So if you have been wondering how you can grow your 4C hair to any length and meet your hair goals. I will be sharing tips on how you can care for and grow your 4C hair.

But before you jump into this article, you might want to read about the natural hair stages of growth to help you better understand how your hair grows.

What is 4C hair?

4C hair is made up of tightly coiled strands with a very tight zig-zag pattern. Type 4C hair has no defined curl pattern, it has to be defined by twisting, or shingling through the strands. it is the most fragile hair type and more prone to shrinkage and dryness.

How long can 4C hair grow?

Your hair grows at roughly ½ inch per month which means that the typical head of hair will grow six inches per year. 4C hair is made of tight coils which makes it more prone to dryness and shrinkage. This is a huge factor because how well you retain moisture into your 4C coils will determine how much length you can achieve.

How long your hair can grow is also tied to your genetic makeup. If the genetic traits passed down to you from a previous generation had longer hair growth, then your hair tends to grow longer and faster. If it isn’t short hair growth, then you would have to put in the extra effort to get your desired length.

Like I said earlier, growing your hair requires patience from you. You need to give your hair time to grow to its maximum length. You have to wait a couple of months before you even see a significant amount of growth in your hair. If you are itching to know how well your hair is doing monthly, you can measure with a measuring tape, take pictures or use the hair length chart.

How can you care and grow 4C hair?

When you are on a journey to grow your 4C hair to maximum length, the key isn’t just to grow your hair but to also retain that length you have achieved.

If you don’t do a good job of retaining your length by keeping it healthy, your hair will likely break off and you would lose all the hard work you put in. Because we don’t want that happening, I will be sharing tips you can use to care and grow your hair while also retaining your length.

1. Shampoo often

To get your hair to grow and thrive, you will need to shampoo every 2-4 weeks. This keeps your scalp and hair clean, takes away any product buildup, and allows moisture back into the hair.

When washing your hair, go for a sulfate-free shampoo that wouldn’t dry out your hair or alternate with a co-wash routine sometimes. This will prevent a tangled mass of hair and eventual hair breakage.

2. Use products that work for your hair

Don’t get caught up using any products recommended by your favorite naturalistas and expecting the same results. Specifically, try out products on your hair and find out what works for your hair and what doesn’t.

Use moisturizing products on your hair, this is because your hair is naturally dry, and using those types of products will retain moisture into your hair.

3. Trimming your hair

You might think trimming your hair would mean getting rid of the precious length you have achieved. But there are actually great benefits to trimming your hair often.

By trimming off your split ends, you prevent breakage to your strands and allow space for healthy hair to grow out. However, you should only detangle when necessary or if you start to notice split ends or excessive breakage when you wash, detangle, or style your hair.

4. Finger detangling your hair

4C hair tends to clump together into tight coils which causes it to tangle often. These tangles can lead to breakage and discourage optimal hair growth.

The best way to prevent this is by finger detangling your hair often. Finger detangling might take longer to do than using a comb but it works best for when you run into knots or strands that are about to snap off. With this method, you would experience less breakage and damage to your hair.

Also, when finger detangling, use a product that has enough slip, it will save time and make it easier for knots and tangles to unravel by itself.

5. Protective styling with breaks

It is easy to leave your hair in a protective style like braids or twists for months and assume it is growing and thriving. When your hair is in a protective style for months, it isn’t getting moisturized often and this would lead to it breaking off.

When trying out protective styles, you should only leave it in for about 4-8 weeks or learn to take breaks in between styling. After you take out an old-style, don’t put your hair back into a new protective style instead wash your hair and allow it to breathe.

6. Try scalp massages

Scalp massages might help with hair growth and length retention. It is believed that blood flow helps to grow hair. And when you massage your scalp it circulates blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles to promote hair growth. You can try massaging your scalp every night for about five minutes with a scalp brush.

7. Deep condition your hair

Your 4C hair will thrive with regular deep conditioning treatments. Deep conditioning provides your hair with moisture, nourishes, and keeps your hair looking healthy and shiny.

A well-moisturized hair wouldn’t tangle or break off, that way you get to grow your hair and still retain length. You can try a deep conditioning treatment every 2 weeks or once a month.

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