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5 Things to Do After Washing 4C Hair for Soft, Hydrated Hair Full Guide of 2024

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what to do after washing 4c hairWashing your 4C hair is just the first step to achieving soft, hydrated hair. Here are 5 things you need to do after washing your hair to lock in moisture and prevent dryness and damage:

  1. Apply a leave-in conditioner.
  2. Seal in the moisture with a hair oil.
  3. Protect your hair from heat styling with a heat protectant.
  4. Wear a protective style at night.
  5. Deep condition your hair once a week.

Key Takeaways


Shrinkage is when your hair coils or compacts due to water, air, or a chemical reaction. It keeps you from viewing the true length of your hair. However, it’s a good thing because it protects your hair from the elements.

Here are some good products and tools to stretch natural hair after washing without heat:

  • Flaxseed
  • Bamboo milk
  • Shea butter
  • Mango butter
  • Roller Sets
  • Curl Formers
  • Hair ties (for buns)
  • Hair thread (for African threading)
  • Bobby pins (for Bantu knots)

Reverse Washing

Reverse Washing
To avoid shrinkage, you can try reverse washing, which involves applying conditioner to your hair before shampooing.

This can help to protect your hair from the drying effects of shampoo and can also help to detangle your hair.

However, it can take some time to get used to reverse washing and it may not be as moisturizing for some hair types.

Overall, reverse washing is a good option for people who want to avoid shrinkage and damage to their hair.


Often, detangling 4c hair can be a challenge, but it’s important to do so gently to avoid breakage.

  • Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to detangle.
  • Apply leave-in conditioner to help detangle and moisturize hair.
  • Use a hair steamer or heat protectant to protect hair from heat damage.

Shampooing and Conditioning

Shampooing and Conditioning
After detangling your hair, you can shampoo and condition it with products that encourage curl and scalp health. Find conditioners that have protein in them to make your hair strong enough to withstand the subtle manipulation.

Use a shampoo and conditioner that’s sulfate-free and silicone-free to avoid drying out your hair.

Here are some tips for shampooing and conditioning your 4C hair:

  • Use lukewarm water to wash your hair.
  • Apply shampoo to your scalp and work it into a lather.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water.
  • Apply conditioner to your hair from mid-shaft to ends.
  • Detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb or your fingers.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with cool water.
  • Style your hair as desired.

Sealing Moisture

Sealing Moisture
After shampooing and conditioning your hair, apply a moisturizer or milk, leave-in conditioner, and oil to seal in moisture.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Apply a moisturizer or hair milk: Choose a product specifically designed for natural hair that’s rich in hydrating ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil. Smooth it onto your damp strands from root to tip.
  2. Use a leave-in conditioner: A leave-in conditioner provides an extra layer of moisture and protection against environmental damage. Work it through your hair using your fingers or a wide-tooth comb.
  3. Seal with oil: Finish off by applying an oil of choice such as jojoba, sweet almond, or argan oil to lock in the moisture from the previous steps.

Remember that sealing should be followed by protective styling techniques like twist outs or braids along with using heat protectant products before applying any direct heat tools on styled tresses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best way to stretch 4c hair without heat?

To stretch 4c hair without heat, you can use:

  • A hair steamer
  • A tangle teezer brush
  • Flexi rods

What are the benefits of reverse washing?

Reverse washing can help to protect your hair from shampoo, aid detangling, and save time.

It may not be as moisturizing for some hair types, but it can help to retain length.

How do I detangle my 4c hair without breaking it?

You want to detangle your 4c hair without breaking it?

Try using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers while your hair is wet and coated in conditioner.

Avoid using heat or harsh chemicals.

What are the best shampoos and conditioners for 4c hair?

The best shampoos and conditioners for 4c hair are sulfate-free and moisturizing, and help to define curls and coils.

How do I seal moisture in my 4c hair?

To seal moisture in your 4c hair,

  • Apply a moisturizer or milk while it’s wet.
  • Follow up with a leave-in conditioner.
  • Then apply oil to lock in the moisture.

This will help keep your hair hydrated and prevent dryness.


Lock in moisture and prevent dryness and damage with these 5 things to do after washing your 4C hair.

  1. Apply a deep conditioner
  2. Seal in moisture with a leave-in conditioner
  3. Protect your hair with a styling cream or oil
  4. Style your hair with a protective style
  5. Avoid heat styling
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