Braid out on flat ironed natural hair.
Braid out on flat ironed nat­ur­al hair.

When it comes to keep­ing my hair mois­tur­ized, cer­tain styles work real­ly for me and oth­ers not so much.  Let me start off by giv­ing my hair stats:  type 4c (or tight kinks and mas­sive shrink­age), medi­um (most­ly) tex­ture, nor­mal to low poros­i­ty, and medi­um den­si­ty.  Now that the stats are out of the way, these hair­style choic­es can hope­ful­ly make a bit more sense.

Eas­i­est: Reg­u­lar-sized twists

Reg­u­lar-sized twists are my num­ber one go-to style for main­tain­ing mois­tur­ized hair.  Giv­en a good deep con­di­tion­ing ses­sion before­hand and the humid­i­ty (or lack there­of) out­side, I can go up to 1–2 weeks before mois­tur­iz­ing again. When my hair does ulti­mate­ly get dry, I usu­al­ly replen­ish the mois­ture with a water-based spritz fol­lowed by my home­made shea but­ter mix­ture. Small to mini twists also work real­ly well, but the take­down can be tedious, so I gen­er­al­ly stick with my reg­u­lar-sized or slight­ly big­ger twists.

Easy: Twist out

If I want to wear my hair loose for longer, twist outs are gen­er­al­ly bet­ter at retain­ing mois­ture than my wash n’ gos.  I can wear one for 4–6 days before dry­ness sets in.  How­ev­er, I do not re-mois­tur­ize my twist out because it is typ­i­cal­ly after hav­ing had my hair in twists for a few weeks.  (In oth­er words, there is a bunch of shed hair just ready to tan­gle up upon touch­ing water.)  Instead, I just slap on some oil, detan­gle, wash, and go into my next style.

Okay: Wash n’ gos

My wash n’ gos require mois­ture every oth­er day, if not dai­ly, and via co-wash­ing.  Sure, it takes a long time for my hair to airdry, but once dry, my hair feels parched fair­ly soon­er than in my twists.

Hard: Flat ironed into updo

If (and only if) I have suf­fi­cient­ly con­di­tioned and mois­tur­ized before flat iron­ing, my hair will not get dry until about 1–2 weeks.  At the one week mark, I will some­times apply a light oil (e.g., avo­ca­do, grape­seed), and that will be all that is need­ed to hold me until the fol­low­ing week.  Oth­er­wise, I will apply a light mois­tur­iz­er (like Oyin Hand­made Hair Dew) fol­lowed by a light oil.  Then I will put in big braids or twists tem­porar­i­ly to help my hair fur­ther soak up the mois­ture.  (NOTE: I flat iron just a few times in the year.)

Hard­est: Stretched updos

I actu­al­ly rarely wear stretched updos because they are more high main­te­nance (for my hair) than sim­ple twists or flat ironed tress­es.  How­ev­er, when I do, they are prob­a­bly the hard­est to mois­tur­ize.  This is because my hair will shrink up mas­sive­ly at the first touch of water in this state, which can lead to tan­gle city and headache.  Stretched updos do not seem to retain enough mois­ture for me to choose them over twist­ed updos.  That being said, I will usu­al­ly wear a stretched style for just a few days before mov­ing on to some oth­er look.

4C ladies, what are the hard­est and eas­i­est styles for you to mois­tur­ize?


Empow­er­ing women of col­or to break bar­ri­ers. Cherish.Thy.Melanin.

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2 Comments on "5 Natural Styles Ranked from Easiest to Hardest to Moisturize — 4C Hair Edition"

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This should go by hair type and dif­fi­cul­ty.


I’m a lazy nat­ur­al, so my eas­i­est would be braid outs, easy would be corn­rowed and wear­ing a wig over it (in the win­ter), and hard­est would be every­thing else. I’m not a fan of doing any­thing to my hair after wash day (espe­cial­ly if it takes more than 30 min­utes from start to fin­ish), so I keep it extreme­ly sim­ple.