For natural hair types, finding the right styling routine and products can be challenging. Coily hair—also known as 4C hair, the tightest type of hair curl—tends to lose moisture rapidly, causing issues like frizziness, shrinkage and breakage. What’s more, when natural hair is cleansed and styled with the wrong type of products, these issues can be further exacerbated.
Aveda Texture Specialist Renee Gadar helped to clarify the nuanced needs of natural hair. She emphasized that the number one goal for those with 4C hair is to retain moisture, saying, “The right hair care formula can go a long way and fuse coils with springy nourishing hydration.”
With Renee’s guidance, we’re sharing our recommended natural hair care products and natural hair care styling tips.
1. Embrace curly, coily hair textures with moisture-rich, naturally-derived ingredients.
Renee explains that ingredients that are naturally-derived tend to be best for locking in moisture and enhancing the curl patterns of natural hair. She cautions against using products that have lots of ingredients that end in “-cone,” as this indicates the presence of silicones, which can build a shield over the hair shaft and actually prevent hair from absorbing moisture. Free from sulfate cleansers, and other harsh, overly-drying ingredients, nutriplenish™ products feed 4C hair with gentle yet powerful hydration. Lipid-rich mango butter, lush organic pomegranate oil and decadent coconut oil—the holy grail for hair hydration—all work to help increase moisture, softness, manageability and shine.
2. Don’t overwash—but do remember to co-wash!
Renee is cautious about over-cleansing 4C hair, as it results in the loss of all-important sebum, the natural oil that your scalp produces which hydrates hair. Furthermore, the tightly-coiled structure, often porous nature of 4C hair means it has a harder time retaining moisture than its straighter counterparts, so rigorous cleansing—particularly with sudsy sulfate cleansers—can cause dryness, shrinkage and brittleness. She recommends scaling back wash days and co-washing instead (wash with conditioner only). When you hop in the shower, sulfate cleanser-free products like nutriplenish™ deep moisture shampoo and conditioner deeply and gently cleanse strands without stripping hair.
3. Refresh with moisture regularly.
As retaining hydration is key for natural hair types and styles, Renee recommends infusing strands with moisture on a regular basis. For example, instead of styling hair by re-wetting it with water (which can contain buildup-causing hard minerals), she opts to dampen strands with a bit of nutriplenish™ leave-in conditioner to give coils a healthy dose of nutrient-dense, lightweight moisture. Featuring organic pomegranate oil and sand ginger extract, this versatile treatment acts as both a moisturizing treatment and UV-thermal protectant, making it perfect for on-the-go use.
4. Hydrate while you style, twist and braid.
Whether you’re braiding your coils or twisting your curls, natural hair styling can have stressful physical effects. Renee suggests using natural hair care products that provide all-important moisture during the styling process. For this purpose she loves nutriplenish™ multi-use hair oil, which boasts a concentrated blend of five power oils to envelop hair strands for intense moisturization. “If I am doing a flat twist or a natural set I’ll add more nutriplenish™ oil to my hands with every section I take on and work it into the hair as I style.”
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