UNice Brand Day Sale

What’s The Difference Between 4B And 4C Hair?

Last updated Sep 27, 2023

Even though Andre Walker creates a hair typing system, many people have a lot of confusion about the category 4 hair types, specifically how to tell the difference between 4b and 4c natural hair. In order to help you tell the difference and learn how to take care of their naturally curly hair type, we discuss the differences between 4b and 4c hair and the best way to take care of your hair.


What Is 4B Hair?


4b hair has an easily distinguished zigzag pattern. Unlike 4a or 4c, if you grab a strand of 4b hair and gently pull it down, you’ll find that it forms tight “Z” curls vertically.

Often, the texture of 4b natural hair can be very coarse or soft and fluffy like cotton.

Type 4b hair has densely packed curls that are tighter and more prone to breakage than 4a hair. And although 4b curls resemble tight curls, they aren’t as tight as the 4c curls.

4b hair is prone to dryness, so it is prone to breaking or tangling if not handled correctly. That is because the oil from the scalp has trouble traveling to the tips of the hair because of the sharp angles of the zigzag strands.

How To Know If You Have 4B Hair Type

S or Z-shaped pattern (zig-zag patterns)

The tightly defined curl pattern

Prone to dryness and breakage

Up to 70% shrinkage when wet or damp

How To Take Care Of 4b Hair

As the above mentioned, 4b hair tends to be dry. Therefore, proper care is all about moisturizer and protection.

1. Use castor or coconut oil before you wash your hair to give it an extra dose of moisture.

2. Apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair every day for an extra boost of moisture.

3. Don’t wash your hair with shampoo every time you shower and just rinsing with a conditioner might be all you need. Or you can experiment with leave-in conditioners for long-lasting hydration.


4. Given the delicate texture of 4b hair, it’s best to finger detangle before washing or styling to minimize breakage. Instead of struggling with a brush, try to use your fingers to comb your hair, which will minimize breakage and frizz and keep your hair soft and supple.

5. Use protective styles like box braids and twists to keep 4b natural hair secure and tangle-free.

6. Use satin bonnets or scarves to retain moisture in your hair at night. Of course, sleeping on silk pillowcases is as well for maximum moisture retention.

What Is 4C Hair?


As the most common hair texture for black women around the world, the 4C hair type has the tightest curl pattern of all the curly hair types and has formed in tight, springy, ringlets. 4c hair tends to clump more at the ends and is even more prone to shrinkage than 4b hair. Like 4b hair, a 4c hair type is also prone to dryness and requires regular moisturization to achieve most styles and keep hair healthy. For example, you can regularly use some leave-in conditioners, heavy creamers, and butter to keep this type of hair in great shape.

How To Know If You Have 4C Hair Type

Very tightly coiled than 4b hair

Extremely prone to dryness

Can be coarse or fine

Shrinkage of up to 75% of its length

How To Take Care Of 4c Hair

If you have natural afro hair, it is important for you to take some actions to keep your natural hair healthy and soft.

1. Try hydrating avocado kiwi moisturizer, avocado kiwi oil blend, coconut oil, olive oil, or shea buttercream to retain moisture;

2. For 4c hair, it is advisable to lengthen the time between washes to avoid using shampoo regularly and opt for a mild, sulfate-free shampoo instead of using shampoo that contains sulfates. If your hair gets dirty regularly, please try to use a shampoo with an apple cider vinegar rinse.


3. Regularly comb 4c hair with a wide-toothed comb to avoid tangles and breakage. During the process of detangling, don’t yank but gently use your fingers to gently pull the hair out of the knots.

4. Deep-condition your 4c hair at least once every week to make the hair become healthy, bouncy, and shiny. More importantly, it can effectively avoid tangles.

5. Avoid over-styling it and try out certain styles that require less styling products.

What’s The Difference Between 4B And 4C Hair?

Many women of color find it difficult to distinguish the differences between 4b and 4c hair as they both have similar characteristics to each other. Please see the chart below for all the major differences.

4b and 4c hair types look very similar, the main difference between 4B and 4C natural hair is the curl pattern and the tightness of the coils. For example, 4c hair has tighter coils. 4b hair is easily distinguished by its zigzag pattern. 4B, unlike 4A or 4C, has tight “Z” shaped strands with little curl definition.


Although both hair types are easy to manage and can grow very long with proper care, 4b hair is easier to style and manage than 4c hair.

4c hair shrinks way more than 4b.

4b you are able to see curls and 4c there is no defined curl pattern.

Notice: Both have a high level of shrinkage, and both require a lot of moisture. So be sure to select the appropriate products and adhere to a regular hair regimen.


Do I have 4b or 4c hair?

In fact, 4b hair is easily distinguished by its zigzag pattern. Unlike 4a or 4c, 4b has tight “Z” shaped strands with a little definition in curl shape. Often, 4b hair is fluffy and can be soft or coarse depending on hair texture.

Is 4C hair high or low porosity?

People often assume 4C hair is highly porous due to its water retention characteristic and its curl definition. But actually, there is not a clear answer to “Is 4C hair low or high porosity?”. Two people, both with 4C hair, can have very different porosities. The only shortcut to knowing 4C hair porosity is to do a test.

Is 4c fragile?

Yes, it is. Though dense in volume, 4c hair strands are very fragile and prone to breakage, dryness, and frizz. After all, the coils of 4C hair are very tight that creating difficulty in coating the scalp's natural oils to the hair length.

Is 4C hair coarse?

4C hair is formed up of fluffy strands which lack a defined curl pattern. The texture of 4C varies widely from person to person that is from fine to coarse texture.

Does 4C hair grow slower?

4C hair experiences so much shrinkage, it can make you feel like your hair is growing very slowly or not at all. However, if you take care of your hair, you will notice growth when you stretch out your hair.

Submit Your comment

Submit Comment