By Geniece of Beau­ti­ful­ly Made

It’s the first of the mon­th.  Your hair is dry and ready for a wash. Your next few weeks will be jam packed and the last thing you need is to spend a lot of time doing your hair. Still, you want to stick to your goals for healthy hair and length reten­tion. What, oh what is a girl to do? Here, is how I care and pro­tect my hair over the course of a mon­th. For those of you with coily kinks like me I hope this reg­i­men will assist you in some area of your hair care jour­ney. I tweak this reg­i­men from mon­th to mon­th depend­ing on the weath­er, my sched­ule or mood but in gen­er­al this is how I care for my type 4 kinks and coils.

When it comes to styling I make the deci­sion based upon how much time I have for main­te­nance dur­ing the week. In cold­er months I will style my hair in pro­tec­tive styles for at least 4 con­sec­u­tive weeks. Now that the weath­er is warmer and my hair can stand to be a bit more exposed I may fol­low a styling reg­i­men as fol­lows:

I cur­rent­ly wash my hair every 2 weeks but I think for most of us once a week is the norm. Most of my time is spent detan­gling. This is one part of my month­ly reg­i­men I don’t want to over­look or rush through. Divid­ing the hair in about 10 large twist­ed sec­tions, I coat each sec­tion with oil and con­di­tion­er then detan­gle. First I detan­gle with a wide tooth seam­less comb,  then with a wide tooth detan­gling comb with inter­lock­ing teeth. I retwist each sec­tion after detan­gling. Leav­ing the hair in the twist­ed sec­tions I wash the hair using dilut­ed non-sul­fate sham­poo. I find using a bot­tle with a noz­zle (like a col­or appli­ca­tor bot­tle) to be real­ly help­ful in get­ting sham­poo on the roots. After each sec­tion is cleansed I will apply my Trader Joe’s Nour­ish Spa con­di­tion­er only to the length of the large twists.  I’ll rin­se most of the con­di­tion­er out but inten­tion­al­ly leave a bit in to assist in styling lat­er on.

Week 1

After wash­ing, divide each of the 10 twist­ed sec­tions I used to wash the hair in half and re-twist. I will have 20 twists when all done. This size is large enough so that it won’t take all night to twist (only about an hour includ­ing adding a leave in and light but­ter) but small enough that it’ll allow me to cre­ate a cute twist­ed up do.

Week 2

After wash­ing I’m super tired and need to be up ear­ly. I decide to gen­tly sep­a­rate each of the 10 twist­ed sec­tions and re-twist (sep­a­rat­ing and re-twist­ing helps to lim­it tangles…trust me). So I still have the 10 twists which took 20 or so min­utes to undo and re-twist. In the morn­ing my hair will be slight­ly damp. I untwist all the large twists and style into a chignon, bun, band­ed  pony­tail or oth­er updo. This is a pro­tec­tive style with loose hair (untwist­ed) so for those with fin­er hair who feel their twists are “scalpy” this is a good alter­na­tive.  I will spritz the hair the fol­low­ing night and imme­di­ate­ly tie it down with a sat­in scarf so that it will be fresh the next morn­ing.

Examples of Protective Styles with Loose Hair


Pinned Up Bun


Band­ed Pony­tail

Week 3

I will like­ly return to my Week 1 hair reg­i­men. I usu­al­ly don’t wear pro­tec­tive styles with loose hair two weeks in a row.

Week 4

I’m in the mood to see my hair “out”. After wash­ing I will braid my hair into approx­i­mate­ly 15 braids. I will go under my soft bon­net dry­er for about 40 min­utes oth­er­wise my hair will not be ful­ly dry in the morn­ing. In the morn­ing I will unbraid and sep­a­rate and fluff until desired full­ness is achieved. To main­tain this style I will place the hair in about eight band­ed pony­tails at night. Pri­or to band­ing I will light­ly apply a mois­tur­iz­ing but­ter to tame any frizz accu­mu­lat­ed over the day and keep my ends mois­tur­ized.  I find band­ing prefer­able over re-braid­ing because it’s a lot quick­er and it involves less manip­u­la­tion than re-braid­ing.

That’s it ladies. That’s a mon­th with me and my hair. I only comb the hair on wash day and mois­tur­ize at least every 2 days. I was nat­u­ral for 5 years when I start­ed this kind of reg­i­men in Novem­ber of 2009 and had hair 6–9 inch­es long. Now my hair is 14.5–18 inch­es long. No potions or tricks just low manip­u­la­tion, gen­tle han­dling and pro­tec­tive hair styling.

Ladies, what does your mon­th-long 4b/4c reg­i­men look like? 

For more of Geniece’s thoughts on 4b/4c hair­care, check out her YouTube chan­nel: Beau­ti­ful­ly Made.

Gen

Island girl raised in the most roy­al of NYC’s bor­oughs. Proud nerd, social sci­en­tist, edu­ca­tor and recov­er­ing awk­ward black girl. When not lis­ten­ing to NPR, try­ing to grow spir­i­tu­al­ly, or detan­gling my fro, I’m search­ing for the best shrimp and grits in the Queen City.

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39 Comments on "Geniece’s 4A/4B Styling Regimen"

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[…] have gone into detail about my styling reg­i­men in this post in which I empha­sized the impor­tance of tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion your lifestyle when styling your […]

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[…] fan of low main­te­nance, pro­tec­tive hair­styling and attrib­ute this part of my reg­i­men to much of my length reten­tion. In the begin­ning of my healthy hair jour­ney, how­ev­er, I wasn’t quite sure how to style my hair […]

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[…] have gone into detail about my styling reg­i­men in this post in which I empha­sized the impor­tance of tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion your lifestyle when styling your […]

Clara

I love your hair, it’s beau­ti­ful and healthy. I’ve noticed that I’ve been try­ing to find a per­son with hair like mine but I’ve had no luck. May­be this is because my hair is not well mois­turised (IDK). If I were to type my hair I guess it would be 4g. I don’t detan­gle my hair with any­thing oth­er than water and con­di­tion­er, my hair stretch­es when I put water in it, basi­cal­ly it strait­ens as much as it can and I find at that point I have no need to detan­gle it because it has already detan­gled itself :)

Tiredofbeinglabeled
This post isn’t about debabt­ing which tex­ture is which. I have kinky­curly hair and it loves low han­dling and pro­tec­tive styles.Patience and sac­ri­fice is hard but worth it when i hit my goals. :D BY the way Geniece is one of my hair inspi­ra­tions. :) I must say i get real­ly fus­trat­ed because we always look to what divides as oppose to what unites! :( How about talk­ing about how we love our hair no mat­ter what tex­ture and what rou­ti­nes work? As far as a know the Typ­ing sys­tem was invent­ed by a MAN who doesn’t have our tex­ture LOL. So why so… Read more »
mangomadness
I love Geniece’s hair and her YouTube Chan­nel. She has great hair care tech­niques and hair styling tuto­ri­als. Geniece’s reg­i­men and mine have a lot in com­mon. We both detan­gle in ~10 sec­tions before wash­ing, wash in twist­ed sec­tions and cleanse our scalp via an appli­ca­tor bot­tle using dilut­ed sul­fate-free sham­poo. /// My hair is !11–12 inch­es long and is Afro-tex­tured and tight­ly coiled. My week­ly wash-n-style reg­i­men is as fol­lows: (finger-)detangle/condition, sham­poo, mois­tur­ize, make 16 braids, seal (edges and ends), air-dry (for ~1 day) and style.  I wear braid-outs and buns (sock buns and cinnabuns) done on stretched hair. I… Read more »
Camille

LOVE her and her chan­nel! Sim­ple, no fuss, and effec­tive hair care.

kai

in this video she says shes a 4a/4b

LBell
Week 1. Co-wash, apply leave-in and styler, and twist or braid. Wear the out style for the week, spritz­ing with water and retwist­ing or rebraid­ing about halfway through. Nor­mal (non-retwist) night rou­tine con­sists of band­ing or mak­ing sev­er­al pineap­ples (loose puffs) and cov­er­ing with a sat­in scarf. Nor­mal morn­ing rou­tine con­sists of tak­ing every­thing down and fluff­ing with oil on my hands. Weeks 2 and 3. Same as Week 1. Week 4. Same as Week 1 except instead of co-wash­ing I sham­poo and then fol­low up with a pro­tein treat­ment and a mois­ture treat­ment. I don’t use a comb. I fin­ger-detan­gle through­out… Read more »
Grey Poupon

Week 1. Wash my hair on Sat­ur­day. Style Sun­day in two strand twists and formed into a bun.
Week 2. No manip­u­la­tion. (aside from spritz and seal­ing and oil­ing my scalp)
Week 3. No manip­u­la­tion. (aside from spritz and seal­ing and oil­ing my scalp)
Week 4. Take my twists down, detan­gle and wash.

My hair type is 4 b/c. It’s more like mwedzi but not as thick­li­cious­ly thick.

Christelyn
Low manip­u­la­tion is real­ly key. I remem­ber peo­ple I knew who would scoff at me for not comb­ing my hair for three weeks at time. Mean­while, I was mid-back and they were wear­ing weaves! But the time since then, I have start­ed doing my own hair and am now a com­plete and hope­less pro­duct junkie and know I have lost length because of high manip­u­la­tion. Lucky I have three girls so I can use some of the stuff in my bloat­ed cab­i­net on them! I’m back to bun­ning, but I wash my hair with sul­fate-free sham­poo because my scalp get… Read more »
Gen

Hey. When going for extend­ed times of pro­tec­tive styling I use Bee Mine’s growth oil. Not so much for growth but b/c i find that that oil soothes itch­i­ness. Any­thing w/ pep­per­mint or tea tree oil is usu­al­ly sooth­ing.

Christelyn

Thanks! I’ll try it. Bet­ter than scalp­ing myself between wash­es!

EG

Beau­ti­ful hair, thanks for rep­ping for type 4 ladies

df

and anoth­er rea­son why hair typ­ing is a bust (refer­ring to the con­ver­sa­tion at the begin­ning of the post). Great tips though! 

I’ll just say my hair sort of looks like hers and I’ll try her tips. i’ll also try the tips JC put in the oth­er post for 4c’s and will decide which works bet­ter for my hair!

AusetAbena

Exact­ly. I just laughed when I saw that whole dis­cus­sion. I gave up on clas­si­fy­ing my hair a while ago.

Jasmine

the band­ing instead of braid­ing makes so much sense! i wish i would have known about it soon­er. i have so much hair and re-braid­ing takes a lot of time. thank you for shar­ing.

Marie

You’re such a moti­va­tor and intas­r­pi­ion Brenda!I start­ed a gym mem­ber­ship over the sum­mer and I’ve been going every sin­gle day.But since school start­ed around Sept I just felt so tired and unmo­ti­vat­ed that I would only go once a? week to every oth­er week. I stopped being con­sis­tent and left work­ing out behind.I tried moti­vat­ing myself once again but it didn’t work. Then,I stum­bled across this chan­nel now my moti­va­tion to going gym just boost­ed up regard­less if Im tired at the end of the day.

jenna marie christian

love it

Cyn

This is my hair crush. We have the same exact type of hair and I can’t wait for mine to get to that length. She’s a plea­sure to watch on Youtube too.

Bobby

Thats 4b/4c hair??????!!?!

At_Ease

It’s STRETCHED out lol! If she left it to shrink up after wash­ing…

ko

If this is 4C hair than I must be a 5!

Gen

Hey Bob­by. If I had to pick the “type” that best cap­tures my hair it would in fact be 4a/4b. I have curl def­i­n­i­tion in the front but most of my hair is cot­tony with tiny coils so most­ly 4b. I’m curi­ous to know if those with 4b/4c hair fol­low a sim­i­lar reg­i­men. From those that I fol­low on youtube like Ser­a2544 I think pro­tec­tive styling and low manip­u­la­tion is cen­tral to the hair reg­i­men as well. In gen­er­al I find that type 4s ben­e­fit from pro­tec­tive styling even if the prod­ucts they use dif­fer (i.e. but­ters vs. cremes)

anastasia

Type 4 here: pro­tec­tive styling all the way–out styles are a spe­cial treat for me; b/c if it was a dai­ly or even a semi-reg­u­lar way of wear­ing my hair, I’d be left with the charles barkley. 

Ser­a2544 is an excel­lent rec­om­men­da­tion Geniece!!! To those who have not stum­bled across Sera’s YT chan­nel, check it out her hair jour­ney vid, she will blow your mind with her gor­geous 4c hair!

hair_exstraordinaire

What ph bal­anced prod­ucts would you rec­om­mend?

Abs

I won­dered the same thing!

zyaran

Yeah I don’t think that is 4b/c nope. I saw a video of hers when she did a pro­tec­tive style on fresh­ly washed hair in march. The hair has alot of curl tex­ture, and looks to be a mix­ture of 4a/b to me with more 4b. But to each their own, if she states that she is 4b/c and it works for her ok. But for oth­er peo­ple who have true 4c hair mixed with 4b you can tell the dif­fer­ence for those folks that I’ve seen on youtube. 

Bobby

Agreed, I havent seen her on youtube but she def­i­nite­ly dont have 4c hair which has no curl or wave pat­tern.

At_Ease

actu­al­ly that’s 4b with no dis­cern­able pat­tern. Coils tight as pen springs is 4c…

At_Ease

Actu­al­ly for­get it, the whole con­ver­sa­tion about the alpha numer­ic sys­tem just proves why LOIS is a bet­ter sys­tem and why hair typ­ing can be unhelp­ful

anastasia

At ease your right regard­ing the alpha numer­ic sys­tem=)

I think Andre’s sys­tem fails to cap­ture the inher­ent com­plex­i­ty and diver­si­ty of tex­tured tress­es. Some peo­ple will fit his schemat­ic per­fect­ly and oth­ers, like myself, will not be an exact fit but a close fit. I’m cer­tain­ly not a 4a (use to think so, but nope) and there are no 3’s at this scalp’s par­ty, only 4b/c.

last thing about pH: pro­vides reliability/predictability

At_Ease

Agree!

anastasia

I too char­ac­ter­ize my tex­ture as 4b/c and my hair looks near­ly iden­ti­cal to Geniece’s except it’s not as thick. It’s fun­ny you guys say that b/c I was in Rite Aid dis­cussing this very issue with a young lady who told me that I did not know the tex­ture of my own hair, LOL! 

Hav­ing mul­ti­ple tex­tures on a well-mois­tur­ized 4b/c head of hair can often con­fuse peo­ple, at least that’s been my expe­ri­ence. My 4b has fine and coarse strands w/ shine and curl pat­tern but my 4c varies too =)

anastasia

GAME CHANGER FOR ME: pH: NO JOKE- Kim­may­tube Leave-In! 

If I don’t use that mix­ture, I ALWAYS pH bal­ance my prod­ucts and that has changed the feel and “look” of my hair which is prob­a­bly sig­nif­i­cant.

My hair is too fine for but­ters, so I stick with Cipriana’s Love potion #9 or some vari­ant.

At_Ease

Yeah pH is very impor­tant, good point. :)

Zenith

Hi Anas­tasia,
If you don’t mind me ask­ing, what speci­fic changes have you seen in your hair since using a pH bal­anced reg­i­men? I’m think­ing of try­ing this process.

Thanks!

anastasia
Hey Zenith and Abs=) I would love to share what I’ve seen since pH bal­anc­ing: a. Greater and longer reten­tion of mois­ture which has meant much less break­age. 1. More effec­tive preser­va­tion of hair fibers owing to less split ends, mid-shaft or otherwise,fewer SSKs-still get ‘em though..ugh 2. Notice­able gains in retain­ing hair fibers: For real y’all, before pH bal­anc­ing, bro­ken hair were often everywhere…shirt, sink, floor, ceil­ing, wherever a strand could land. There is still a small amount of break­age nev­er­the­less. Hon­est­ly though, I believe it comes with the ter­ri­to­ry of high­ly tex­tured tress­es. Still when I real­ized I… Read more »
anastasia

oops, mess­ing around try­ing to cook din­ner and surf the web too! for­got to add: hair is smoother. Feels and looks smoother, if that makes any sense..hope it helped=)

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