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My freshly washed, towel-blotted hair.

By Chinwe of Hair and Health

Does 4C natural hair mean limited styling?  Or are naturals who think that way limited by their mindset?

In my opinion, natural hair – regardless of type – is versatile.  The reality that we can rock one look one day and a completely different look another day is one thing I love about being natural.  For example, one week I can wear beautiful twists that morph into what appear to be locs and another week I can wear a cute braid-out on stretched hair that morphs into a shrunken puff. I love that natural hair can transform almost magically.  I love the ability to switch up styles drastically!


So, what exactly is “limiting” about styling 4C natural hair? I really am asking.  Is it “limiting” that 4C (or even, 4B) naturals cannot rock a wash-n-go that has curls?  Is it “limiting” that our shrinkage makes midback-length tresses transform into a small afro?  Or are curls (as opposed to kinks) and long tresses (as opposed to small afros) reflections of what is within our mind as the epitome of beauty?

When I look at 4C natural hair, I see the almost endless styles that our hair can do.  From aged braid-outs to fluffy roller sets to intricate updos.  From twists to defined twist-outs to regal puffs.  From afros to fro-hawks to stretched buns.   The list goes on.

So if you are 4C and you feel that your hair type limits your styling (or even your beauty), I urge you to look within yourself.  Is it your hair that needs to change or is it your mindset?  In the meantime, check out this beautiful 4C natural, Jouelzy, eloquently discussing the versatility of our hair:

Is your styling limited by your hair type?


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107 Comments on "Does 4C Natural Hair Mean Limited Styling?"

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This article is very interesting! I am in the 3 family and have always felt 4’s have more styling optionand they all look so cute!


We would all have limited styling if our hair was left in its natural state with no products,stretching,chemical treatment and no water etc 4c hair would just be the most limited.

Lily Madu

Hmm…if we lived in a bizarre world without any water, tools and products to do our hair, what would make 4C hair more limited than other hair types? Wouldn’t everyone just look unkempt? Or are you saying that the default state of 4C hair is more difficult to deal with than other hair?


Well 4c is already the driest hair type,but more than likely natural hair on the whole would break off and stay short.

Nappy 4C Rocks

omg Layla, really?

Lily Madu
I think those 4C ladies who complain about limited styling options usually attempt ONE coveted look: the loose curly look. If they can’t achieve THAT look then ‘styling options are limited’ and the world ends. What may be true about 4C hair is that it is more difficult to take care of than looser textures. If that’s the case then take it in stride, educate yourself and become an expert on your hair. The melancholy that hangs over 4C hair is so depressing! It’s such a beautiful hair type, please rock it and celebrate it! Thanks for this article Chinwe.… Read more »
I couldn’t agree more and frankly I’m tired of hearing about what a tragedy having 4c hair is. Tragic compared to WHAT? That’s the real question folks need to be asking. Check your assumptions! Except for the fact that I have a very small coil pattern that I only just learned how to define two years ago after being natural for 16 years, I treat and have treated my hair like 4c hair: Right now I tend to do as little to it as I can get away with. And somehow with my so-called “bad” hair I’ve managed to get… Read more »

If you are feeling pain when you comb your hair, then you are doing something wrong!


I’m pretty sure she meant with one pass (not gradually) and without the use of any detangling aid e.g. Conditioner, oil…. 🙂


“The melancholy that hangs over 4C hair is so depressing! It’s such a beautiful hair type, please rock it and celebrate it!”

Yes! It’s ridiculous!
I’m really, really happy to see 4C hair being discussed more because it means more support and encouragement for it. I really do think it’s been a little too conveniently left out of natural hair discourse for the past couple of years.


I adore this comment. 4c hair can do the best sets because there is less competition from the hair’s natural curl pattern but some folks get stuck on the lack of a natural curl pattern. 4c hair is the perfect type with which to “create” a pattern through twists, braids, rollers, etc.


So well said! Thank you.

Nappy4C Rocks

Chinwe thank you for this post, so positive, 4C naturals DO NEED to realize their hair texture is different and beautiful..


I know I can do a lot with my 4C hair. I keep my hairstyles and regimen simple. I would love to be more creative with other styling options but it takes me a long time to achieve. So for now, protective styles work best for me.


Girl, me too. I try different styles, but by the end of the day, it’s a afro puff. I put so much time and effort in it and still get the same result. Protective styles works best for me too!


I admit being guilty about thinking my 4C hair limited my styling options. But this piece and the accompanying pics and video have inspired me. Thank you!