Skip to Content

Discover the 4D Hair Type: Texture, Regimen, Hairstyles & More (2023)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

4d hair typeSurprise! 4D hair type is here and it’s quickly gaining popularity in the natural hair community. According to a recent survey, over 75% of African American women have tight curls or kinky textures that fall under the 4A-4C categories on Andre Walker’s classification system – yet only 15% are well-informed about how to care for them.

Key Takeaways

  • Extremely tight coils, Z-shaped kinks, thicker strands, high shrinkage
  • Wash every 1-2 weeks with sulfate-free shampoos and deep condition regularly
  • Use heavy moisturizers, natural oils, and leave-in conditioners to lock in moisture
  • Dampen and softly stretch curls before styling, avoid pulling curls tightly, and opt for protective styles like twists and braids.

What is 4D Hair?

What is 4D Hair
You’ll love your natural curls when you learn about 4D hair – with its extreme tight coils and Z-shaped kinks, it’s coarser than 4C! It features a dry texture, high shrinkage that makes it appear shorter when grown long, low porosity which resists moisture absorption, as well as high density making the scalp hard to see.

Its thick strands give off a full look while being difficult to maintain due to its dryness. To keep up with your 4D type of hair, moisturize heavily by using natural products such as leave-in conditioners and sulfate-free shampoos for washing only 1–2 weeks apart.

Finger detangle instead of brushing or combing through the curly locks in order not to cause any tension or breakage on the strands. Protective styles also minimize manipulation while adding shine. Styling should be done lightly after dampening and softening those very tight curls before applying anti-frizz gels or creams without pulling tightly on them either.

Avoid overwashing along with excessive heat styling plus overmanipulation since these can all worsen damage already caused from genetics determining this specific pattern varying across different areas of one’s head – but no matter what, don’t forget how amazing you are just naturally!

How to Determine if You Have 4D Hair?

How to Determine if You Have 4D Hair
To determine if you have 4D hair, feel the texture of your strands – it should be extremely tight and coily with Z-shaped kinks! Look for thick strands that are hard to see through to the scalp. Your natural curls will appear shorter than they actually are due to high shrinkage.

Additionally, check if your hair is coarse and dry, as well as low in porosity, which makes it resistant when trying to absorb moisture. Lastly, examine its density – this type of hair has a very full look with high density, so individual hairs can’t be seen easily from afar.

Here’s a list of things you need to consider when determining whether or not you have 4D Hair Type:

  • Extremely tight coils & Z-shaped kinks
  • Thick Strands & Full Look
  • Coarse & Dry Texture
  • Low Porosity
  • High Density

Caring for 4D Natural Hair

Caring for 4D Natural Hair
Caring for your 4C natural hair takes a bit of patience and effort, but the results are worth it. To get started, begin by washing with a sulfate-free shampoo about once every 1-2 weeks. After you’ve washed your hair, follow up with deep conditioning and leave-in conditioners to lock in moisture.

It’s also important to moisturize heavily due to dryness as well as use anti-frizz gels or creams while styling so that curls don’t pull tightly against each other.


Wash your 4D natural hair with a sulfate-free shampoo 1 to 2 times per week, and follow up with a deep conditioner for best results. Avoid overwashing your hair as this can strip away the natural oils that protect it from damage.

Consider using products specifically for 4D type hair or those designed specifically for curly textures like 4C types. Moisturizing is key when caring for this texture of natural hair, so be sure to use leave-in conditioners to lock in moisture after washing and before styling.

As you wash, be gentle but thorough – avoid tugging at the strands too much as they are more delicate than other types of curls! With proper care and maintenance, your 4D type will remain healthy while looking full and beautiful!


Condition your 4D hair with a leave-in conditioning cream to lock in moisture, soften strands, and add shine. Choose something specifically designed for type 4C hair. Qhemet Biologics Curly Butter Cream is popular as it uses natural moisturizing products like olive oil and jojoba oil to nourish the scalp.

Deep condition at least once per week for extra hydration, but make sure you use heat so that the product penetrates deep into the cuticle layer of your curls. When applying, start from the ends of your strands up towards the roots and work through evenly before rinsing out after 15 minutes or more, depending on instructions.

To lock in moisture post-treatment, apply an anti-frizz gel or cream over dampened locks, then style as desired!


Moisturizing your 4D natural hair with heavy-duty, sulfate-free products is essential to keep it soft and manageable.

  1. Shea Moisture Shampoo
  2. As I Am Cowash
  3. Cantu Argan Oil Leave In Conditioning Cream
  4. Sky Organics Castor Oil
  5. Carols Daughter Strengthening Moisturizing Nourishing Cream

Use deep conditioners frequently for moisture retention and use light heat styling or protective styles when possible.

Take the time to find specific products that work best for this hair type as each head of hair is unique! Always remember that healthy maintenance starts from within – drink lots of water and eat a balanced diet to give your curls their best chance at glory!


Before styling 4D hair, soften and lightly stretch the curls with anti-frizz creams and gels. This will help to maintain its curl pattern while also ensuring that it’s healthy.

For best results, avoid overmanipulation of strands as this can lead to breakage. It’s important to note that 4D hair is not a part of Andre Walker’s system like 4C type or even the looser textures such as 4A & B.

However, its characteristics are similar in texture and porosity levels, so use products specifically formulated for those curl types when possible.

Lastly, remember your natural texture is unique – embrace it!

Dos and Don’ts for 4D Hair

Dos and Don
Are you looking for specific tips on caring for 4D hair? There are certain dos and don’ts that should be followed in order to keep your natural curls healthy and beautiful. From moisturizing and washing to styling, it’s important to understand the best practices for keeping your 4D locks strong, shiny, and soft.

In this article, we will discuss what works best when it comes to managing this unique type of hair.


To keep your 4D hair looking its best, use a combination of natural oils and leave-in conditioners to lock in moisture. Finger detangle every week or two for optimal care; avoid brushing, which can lead to breakage.

Wash no more than once or twice a month with sulfate-free shampoo – any more will strip the strands of their natural oils.

Be sure to deep condition regularly as well! When styling, dampen and soften curls with products before stretching them lightly into shape – anti-frizz gels and creams can help create sleek looks without damage from excessive heat or manipulation.

Differentiate between 4D hair type & 4C: genetics determine pattern but they are easily confused due to love your unique texture!


Avoid overwashing, detangling when dry, excessive heat styling, and over-manipulation of strands to keep 4D hair looking healthy. With its extreme Z-shaped kinks and tight coils that are tighter than 4C type, it’s important to use moisturizing products like leave-in conditioners or natural oils that won’t compromise the curl pattern.

Hair Type-friendly Products for 4D Hair

Hair Type-friendly Products for 4D Hair
You can try out some hair type-friendly products to help keep your 4D locks looking healthy and vibrant!

To start, SheaMoisture Shampoo is sulfate-free, silicone-free, and paraben-free. It repairs damage, adds shine, and moisturizes the hair.

As I Am Cowash provides hydrating moisture while preventing dandruff without needing shampooing.

Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Cream strengthens damaged strands while adding shine; perfect for daily use as a rinse or leave-in treatment.

Sky Organics Castor Oil nourishes dry hair, making it look healthier, thicker, and fuller over time with its vegan formula that’s also great for skin hydration too!

Finally, Carol’s Daughter Strengthening Moisturizing Nourishing Cream is ideal for restoring strength to highly textured 4D curls by deeply nourishing and hydrating them – no silicones or mineral oils added either!

Each of these products will help you achieve beautiful results on your journey towards achieving strong and lusciously colored 4D coils with minimal challenges along the way!

Styling Tips for 4D Hair

Styling Tips for 4D Hair
Now that you know the characteristics of 4D hair, it’s time to learn how to style this unique type! The key is to be gentle and not over-manipulate your strands.

Here are some tips for styling 4D hair:

  1. Make sure your hair is dampened and softened with products before starting – light stretching helps too!
  2. Use anti-frizz gels or creams for added control without pulling tight on your curls.
  3. Avoid heat styling as much as possible since it can cause damage more easily in a delicate texture like yours!

4D Hair Type requires special care due to its unique properties such as high shrinkage and low porosity. So make sure you’re using sulfate-free shampoos, deep conditioners regularly, leave-in conditioners, etc.

With proper maintenance and love for your natural curl pattern – which can vary even within one head of hair – you’ll have no trouble embracing all the beauty that comes with having a type four hairstyle.

Common Misconceptions: is There Really a Difference Between 4D and 4C Hair?

Common Misconceptions: is There Really a Difference Between 4D and 4C Hair
Many people think that 4D and 4C hair are the same, but nothing could be further from the truth – the devil is in the details. While both types have tight curls with Z-shaped kinks, type 4 hair has less of a defined pattern than its counterpart.

The two can often be mistaken for one another when looking at an afro style or a kinky style as they share some similarities in texture and shrinkage rate; however, upon closer inspection, it’s easy to tell them apart.

When compared side by side, you can see that although both have low porosity which makes them resistant to moisture absorption, 4C strands tend to be thinner than those of a type 4b or higher (which includes all variations up until 6).

The Ultimate Regimen for 4D Hair Type

The Ultimate Regimen for 4D Hair Type
Maintaining 4D hair can be a challenge, but following an effective routine tailored to your unique texture will leave it feeling healthy and looking fabulous.

To keep the curls springy and full of shine, use products specifically for 4D hair type like SheaMoisture shampoo or As I Am Cowash cleansing conditioner.

For added moisture, apply Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Cream after showering or take a deep dive with Sky Organics Castor Oil as an overnight treatment.

To help protect from heat styling damage while still keeping those tight coils defined, try Carols Daughter Strengthening Moisturizing Nourishing Cream – no silicones necessary!

Additionally, finger detangle when wet and avoid brushing at all costs in order to preserve the curl pattern that can be compromised by overmanipulation of strands due to higher density and less porosity than other textures.

Lastly, embrace natural hair texture with love because embracing yourself is key for ultimate confidence!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What products can I use to help my 4D hair retain moisture?

To help your hair retain moisture, try using SheaMoisture shampoo, As I Am Co-wash cleansing conditioner, Cantu Argan Oil leave-in conditioning cream, and Sky Organics Castor Oil.

What protective styles work best for 4D hair?

Try protective styles like two-strand twists, cornrows, Bantu knots, and box braids to keep your hair healthy while still showing off its unique texture. Anachronistically speaking, these are timeless styles that can give you strength in the present and for years down the line.

How often should I trim my 4D hair?

Trimming 4D hair regularly is like pruning a tree for growth; aim to snip away split ends every 6-8 weeks. This helps prevent breakage, encourages length retention, and keeps curls looking their best.

Are there any styling techniques to help keep my 4D hair from shrinking?

To keep your hair from shrinking, try dampening and lightly stretching the curls before styling. Use anti-frizz gels or creams to lock in moisture and avoid pulling tightly when styling.

Can 4D hair be colored or bleached?

Yes, 4D hair can be colored or bleached – but with caution! It’s best to consult a professional and use products specifically created for your curl type. Moisturize heavily prior to chemical processing, avoid excessive heat styling and over-manipulation of strands.


You’ve now learned all about the 4D hair type – its texture, how to identify it, and how to care for it properly.

With 4D hair, you must use the right products and techniques to keep your strands healthy and beautiful. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no difference between 4D and 4C hair, but rather, 4D hair is an extreme form of 4C hair.

To get the most out of your 4D hair, make sure to use sulfate-free shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in treatments, and use protective styles to minimize manipulation. With the right regimen and products, you can enjoy your 4D curls and waves for many years.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.