Because the hair structure is naturally fragile, women have to be very careful with over manipulation and the excessive use of hair tools. Additionally, the 4 category is known for its shrinkage, the hair can shrink to up to 75% of its true length, which for some can be very annoying and for others is not a big problem.
There are two sub types of the 4 category, 4A and 4B. The 4A category is tightly coiled hair with visible curls when dry and un-manipulated. When it is stretched it has more of an S pattern. 4B hair has more of a ‘z” pattern with a less of a defined curl that appears as ‘clouds’ of hair, the hair tends to bend in sharp angles making it less curly and more wiry in comparison to the 4A category.
Although not originally described in Andre Walkers hair typing system, some women have also added a 4c hair texture type which is popularly described as hair with absolutely no curl pattern with the hair mass appearing as kinks rather than curls or clouds in it’s dry un-manipulated state.
As mentioned before it is a fact that 4B hair is in fact dryer than 4A hair. The reason for this is due to the shape of the strands, the more bends the strand has the more difficult it is for the scalps natural moisturizer (sebum) to get to the ends of the hair. To help with this, the type 4 hair type requires extra moisture and care, paying special attention to the ends.
With these differences in mind, when a person has a 4A curl pattern that is dry, it is not then automatically categorized as 4B hair. Dry 4A hair is dry 4A hair and 4B hair is just that, 4B. The opposite holds true as well, you could moisturize 4B hair until the cows come home and it wont magically turn into 4A hair. The same way that very moist 4a hair won’t turn into 3c coils. These are two different curl patterns that have one or two similar traits but the differences are very distinct.
Dryness is a problem across the board for curly hair but it is not an indicator of curl pattern, to combat dryness for the kinky(affiliate link) hair type, means using water based products for added moisture, effective sealing practices with an oil or butter and protecting the oldest portions of the hair.
Originally posted 2013-04-15 15:00:53.