tori type 4 natural hair copy

by Tori (pic­tured above)

When I start­ed my nat­u­ral hair jour­ney, I didn’t have speci­fic hair length goals. My goal was to focus on healthy hair and the length came over time. I watched sev­er­al YouTube videos and vis­it­ed sev­er­al blogs, from which I learned a ton of infor­ma­tion on car­ing for my hair. How­ev­er, there are a cou­ple things that I have learned about hav­ing long type 4 hair that I wish I saw a video or blog post about. A “things to expect with long type 4 hair” video would have been nice. So, if you are think­ing about grow­ing out your nat­u­ral (type 4) hair, here are some things you can look for­ward to:

1. Sin­gle Strand Knots

Coily hair likes to curl around itself, cre­at­ing sin­gle strand knots. Well, if you are already expe­ri­enc­ing a lot of sin­gle strand knots, just know that the­se lit­tle knots don’t go away the longer your hair gets. In fact, they can some­times increase in num­ber. The best (and eas­i­est) way to get rid of the­se knots is to cut them off. I try to min­i­mize knots by keep­ing my hair stretched, but even then I just can­not get rid of them com­plete­ly. Don’t stress your­self out too much about sin­gle strand knots. A knot or two will not stop you from reach­ing your hair goals.

2. More Hair Prod­ucts

The longer your hair gets, the more prod­ucts you will need to care for your hair, espe­cial­ly, if you tend to be heavy-hand­ed with prod­ucts like I am. For exam­ple, a 16oz store-bought con­di­tion­er would prob­a­bly only last me through 3 wash­days (may­be 4 if I’m lucky). It will also require more mois­tur­iz­er, more cleansers, more oils, etc. This could wreak hav­oc on your bud­get. How­ev­er, there are ways around it. Look for cheap­er options that will provide sim­i­lar results. Then, save your more expen­sive prod­ucts for when you want to treat your hair to a lit­tle lux­u­ry. I keep my more expen­sive prod­ucts stowed away for days when I want to give my hair a spe­cial treat. You can also opt for home­made con­coc­tions from things such as shea but­ter, clays, oils, etc. The ingre­di­ents may seem pricier ini­tial­ly, but your home­made con­coc­tions and bat­ters will last longer than most store-bought prod­ucts. For instance, I’ve had a one-pound bag of rhas­soul clay (great for mak­ing a hair cleanser) for almost a year.

3. More Trims

The old­est part of your hair is your ends. The longer your hair gets the more sus­cep­ti­ble you are to break­age, and dam­age to your ends from styling and your ends rub­bing again­st your clothes. Of course, you want to wear your hair out to enjoy your length, but you also don’t want to suf­fer exten­sive dam­age to the old­er, more frag­ile part of your hair. I keep my ends pro­tect­ed when­ev­er pos­si­ble and get trims when need­ed to keep my hair healthy. I usu­al­ly about 3–4 times per year.

4. You Learn Time-sav­ing Tricks

Longer nat­u­ral hair can increase hair care time. Once upon a time, it took me close to five hours to do my hair on a reg­u­lar wash­day. But, you learn quick­ly that hav­ing an all day wash­day rou­tine is just not prac­ti­cal. You devel­op meth­ods that help to make cleans­ing and styling your hair quick­er and eas­ier. Over time, I’ve found ways to decrease my wash­day time from almost all day to less than 2 hours.

5. Hair Love

The most impor­tant thing I have learned the longer my hair gets is how to embrace the nat­u­ral me. If you think you love your hair now, wait until you spend more time with it. You’ll devel­op a bond, even giv­ing it a nick­name because you get that close. Lol. This may sound corny, but no one told me that I would love my hair more, the longer I was on my hair jour­ney. I have found that I do and you will too.

What are some things you’ve learned while on your nat­u­ral hair jour­ney? What do you wish you knew before reach­ing your cur­rent hair goal?

About Tori: I’m Tori, a Jamaican-born nat­u­ral cur­rent­ly liv­ing in Tex­as. I was reunit­ed with my nat­u­ral tex­ture in Jan­u­ary 2012 when I big chopped, after tran­si­tion­ing for a year and a half. I am still learn­ing about my nat­u­ral hair, and hope to share the knowl­edge and expe­ri­ences I gain as I con­tin­ue on my nat­u­ral hair jour­ney. You can find me on Insta­gram @bonafidestyle.

Leave a Reply

22 Comments on "What to Expect with Long Type 4 Natural Hair"

Notify of
Harlee Jo

Some in the black com­mu­ni­ty are obsessed with hair length. Why is that?

Per­sis­tance, my hair was the same length for twelve years. I reached out to the nat­u­ral hair com­mu­ni­ty and one per­son explained that hair is always growing…which is very true. Just think, we have to cut our nails and toe nails…if we didn’t…yuck. She explained that my hair was lit­er­al­ly break­ing off at the same rate that it was grow­ing. She was absolute­ly right. I view long hair not as just grow­ing, but the focus must be on LENGTH RETENTION. Research how to retain length, trust me. I cut off all my hair after get­ting this news. I was a… Read more »

1. Prod­ucts aren’t as impor­tant as they were in the begin­ning
2. Keep it sim­ple
3. Hair typ­ing is less impor­tant
4. You care less


I would love to have hair like that. It took years? What exact­ly did you do?

silver soul

this com­ment I made was 10 months ago, accord­ing to the date up there, in that time, I may have grown an inch of length. How is every­one else doing on their jour­ney?


Hi I am cur­rent­ly rock­ing a TWA and I am encour­aged by such post espe­cial­ly for my 4C type, I didn’t think it can grow this thick and long.


Omg! Your hair is beau­ti­ful!


Tori, Wom­an, BEAUTIFUL HAIR!!! And all that in just to years? Keep up the self love :)


Longer, messier, ubiq­ui­tous-er shed hair :\


Tori had beau­ti­ful thick relaxed hair and she has gor­geous and even thick­er nat­u­ral hair. Along with her tips.. I def­i­nite­ly think genes play a HUGE role in achiev­ing hair goals.

All of the above…My cho­sen style (which I call the coily ‘fro but could be ter­med a stretched WNG) isn’t the best choice for retain­ing length on my fine most­ly-4b strands but it takes the least amount of time, looks great on me (and helps take away the years), and allows me to enjoy the big­ness of my hair. And yes, I know I could wear a coily wig over corn­rows but no man-made cre­ation can dupli­cate what God and nature gave me. :) When I chose this as my pri­ma­ry style I also put myself on a reli­gious trim­ming sched­ule because… Read more »

My hair shero, I love Tori’s hair!


My hair already has a nick­name ” Thun­da” and we are the best of friends. She’s in her TWA stage now, but that was her name when she was big and bold and B.R. (Before Rihan­na). I’m also some­where between a 3c/4a and I know this arti­cle will help guide me as my hair gets longer. Thank you for the info!


Love­ly hair! More pow­er to you… I don’t know if I can take it that long but I am work­ing hard to make it healthy.


So what did you do to see length in such a short space of time? Please share your reg­i­men because I am 8+ years nat­u­ral and my hair is ear length. Please share thanks…


I notice you said your hair is ear length after u have been nat­u­ral for a while. Have you tried tak­ing hair vit­a­mins or pre­na­tal vitamins.and drink­ing a lot of HBO dai­ly. U can take pre­na­tal vit­a­mins even when you are not preg­nant. You will see an inch every mon­th. Also check your health. Some­times no hair growth has to do what is going on in the body. May­be you have hyper­thy­roidism and you do not know.

Ooo weee…truth! My hair isn’t even that long and I use a ton of pro­duct. I fin­ger detan­gle; so, I need my hair slathered in con­di­tion­er. I sec­tion my hair, apply pro­duct and clip it up to allow it to “soak” in. As I start han­dling sec­tions, I’ve recent­ly begun train­ing myself to spray with water vs. adding more pro­duct when I need more slip. I’ve also just learn to love my tiny curls the way they are. Tiny. Some­times frizzy. Pret­ty much nev­er elon­gat­ed (unless you count nat­u­ral growth). Elim­i­nat­ing stylers from my rou­tine saves me $30 because Kinky-Curly Curling… Read more »
Yes Yes YES!!! Sin­gle Strand Knots.…. It’s like I have a Sub­scrip­tion! “Oh look she’s going to do her hair. Make sure to deliv­er her Dozen & since she’s SUCH a Good Cus­tomer throw in a cou­ple of extra!” And Hair Prod­ucts :’( I have Porous hair so 16 oz Condish only 1 and a half wash­es!! Boo hoo, sniff, sad­ness and tears!! AND Yes! Some­one under­stands Hair Treats!!!! I talk to peo­ple who can for instance stand under a show­er head and have wet hair in like 15 sec­onds instead of 5 LONG MINUTES!!!(and you would think the real­ly… Read more »

Time sav­ing & Knots are my biggest issues. I have only been nat­u­ral 14 months but I have 13 inch­es of hair. No amount of stretch­ing or mois­tur­iz­ing elim­i­nates knots. But, I have been exper­i­ment­ing with more styles. All sum­mer have been rock­ing small twist…a life­saver!


I agree with all of this list espe­cial­ly the wash day part. I’m think­ing about cut­ting out my sham­poo and just ACV rins­ing and using my clay mask to cut down on time and avoid strip­ping my hair.

I still strug­gle with know­ing when to trim. I have a ter­ri­ble habit of pulling out sin­gle strand knots. I’ve noticed keep­ing hair mois­tur­ized and sealed (I use a shea whip) at all times real­ly helps.


-> You Learn Time-sav­ing Tricks


I would love to have a nat­u­ral guru or some­one that teach­es me about what to do with/can I expect regard­ing my long and thick 4C nat­u­ral hair because now that my 4c hair are real­ly long and quite healthy, I noticed they get thick­er to the point it’s not pos­si­ble for me to do a pony­tail, and I didn’t expect that. So yeah.


You should give it a shot. Fill that gap by shar­ing your per­son­al jour­ney; it will encour­age oth­ers to share some of their chal­lenges and tri­umphs as well. Great arti­cle.