Coily hair is like a force of nature. It’s the kind of hair that turns heads, whether it’s all-out natural or styled in trendy twists and braids. Those well-defined, lush coils are simply irresistible.
But let’s be honest — maintaining coily hair can be a bit of a challenge. While this hairstyle is stunning, it’s also thick, dense, and prone to shrinkage.
In this article, we’re diving deep into the world of coily hair, spilling the beans on how to keep your coils looking fabulous day in and day out.
Understanding Coily Hair Types
Picture tight coils or zigzag patterns that kick off right at the scalp — that’s what naturally coily hair is. Often known as type 4 hair, coily or kinky hair tends to form a “Z” or “O” shape and can have various hair textures and densities. It’s all about volume and personality.
While it’s a showstopper in the texture department, it has a few quirks. First off, coily hair tends to be on the drier side of the hair spectrum. The tight coils make it tricky for your scalp’s natural oils to cruise down the hair shaft. Coily hair also has fewer layers of hair cuticles than other hair types, making it more prone to breakage, frizz, and pesky tangles.
That’s why moisture is a must-have for coily locks. It deserves some extra TLC to keep it looking its absolute best!
Coily hair can be grouped into three subcategories of curl pattern: 4A, 4B, and 4C.
4A Hair Type
These are characterized by tight coils resembling the size of a crochet needle. 4A hair is more relaxed and less tightly packed than other coily types. Since it’s not as compact, it doesn’t experience a lot of shrinkage, and you’ll find it’s not the most voluminous, either.
4B Hair Type
Here’s where things get zig-zaggy! 4B hair forms a Z pattern instead of those typical S curls. These curls are smaller and more tightly packed compared to 4A. Sometimes, it can seem shorter than it is. It’s also denser at the roots and looser towards the ends.
Washing your hair less frequently is vital to preserving those natural oils and keeping those 4B coils happy.
4C Hair Type
Lastly, we have 4C hair with its tight zigzag pattern and ultra-tight coils that give it a glorious volume. It doesn’t care about gravity; it grows horizontally. That makes it super easy to style into those fabulous afro hairstyles.
It also has the most shrinkage, meaning it might seem like it’s growing slower than it actually is. It tends to be dry because the natural scalp oils can’t travel far down the strands. Again, washing it less often keeps it moisturized.
Coily Hair vs. Curly Hair
Natural hair comes in all sorts of flavors: straight hair, wavy, curly, and coily.
Curly hair kicks in at Type 3, and when it comes to coily hair type, we’re looking at Type 4. The tighter your curls are, the higher the number.
Wavy hair rocks loose ‘S’ shapes, and curly hair struts with slightly more open corkscrew-ringlet vibes. Meanwhile, coily hair is the rock star of curls. It’s got super-defined ringlets, tons of volume, and often a natural bounce.
Taking Care of Coily Hair
Many hair care options work for curly and coily hair, but picking the perfect product depends on your hair’s texture, how dry it is, and the kind of treatments it has undergone, like heat styling, hair coloring, and other such procedures.
Here are some general tips on keeping your kinky hair in tip-top shape.
Coily hair thrives on moisture. Ensure your hair stays hydrated by spritzing it with water at least once a week and incorporating it into your hair care routine.
However, go easy on shampooing; select sulfate-free varieties to retain natural moisture. Co-washing, or using conditioner instead of shampoo to wash your hair, can also help maintain that much-needed hydration.
Beware of Harmful Ingredients
Steer clear of hair care products containing silicones and mineral oils. These can adversely affect coily hair, leaving it dry and prone to damage.
Instead, choose products with natural ingredients and humectants like glycerin or aloe for added moisture.
Embrace Deep Conditioning
Coily hair benefits greatly from regular deep conditioning treatments.
Use a silicone-free conditioner to infuse your locks with moisture and maintain their health. Consider trying a curling custard or leave-in conditioner for added nourishment.
Go for protective hair styling options like twists, braids, or buns. These look stylish and shield your coily hair during the drying process, reducing breakage and promoting overall hair health.
Master the Moisture-Oil Balance
Understand that oil alone won’t provide moisture; it mainly locks in existing moisture.
Start with a water-based moisturizer to hydrate your dry hair properly. Then, use oils like shea or murumuru butter to seal in that moisture, keeping your tight curls strong, vibrant, and well-protected.
Following these tips will nurture and maintain your coily hair’s natural beauty and resilience.