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No Curl Envy Here: Why I Love My Type 4 Natural Hair

• Jul 10, 2014

Tori Natural Hair Fro Type 4

 by Tori (pictured above)

My type 4 hair gets tangled and knotted easily. It gets dry and matted. Detangling can take forever. It can look dull and dry even when it is isn’t. Shall I go on? Well I won’t, because this article would end up being way too long.

Like many naturals with type 4 hair, I can easily list a dozen reasons why having type 4 hair can be a pain. Of all the textures on the hair-typing chart, type 4 hair has a reputation for being the most difficult hair type to deal with. And for some, it is probably also the least desired hair type. I can attest to how difficult it can be to deal with type 4 hair, and I could continue listing a million reasons why my type 4 hair is a headache to deal with. However, before I start hating on what God gave me, I have to take a moment to show my hair some love. Below are just a couple reasons why I love my type 4 hair.

Versatility

Of course almost all natural textures offer versatility, but there’s just something about styling my hair and seeing the intricacy that my texture adds to the styles, that just makes me happy. I can create styles frequently by rolling, pinning, tucking, braiding or twisting, based on my mood and desired look. The coils and puffy nature of type 4 hair enhances the desired effect of my styles.

Tori Pin up Type 4 Natural Hair

Absorbability

The “cotton-y” nature of my type 4 hair allows it to absorb water and products quite easily and frequently. Bertha (my fro) is just plain “thirsty” lol.  In this case, being “thirsty” is a good thing. While this may mean more work for me to re-moisturize constantly, I appreciate the fact that my hair is soaking up any nutrients and moisture from products I apply.

Tori Twist Out Natural Hair Type 4

Shrinkage

Some people don’t like shrinkage, but I actually don’t mind it at all. If detangling shrunken hair was not so time-consuming, I would probably wear my hair in its shrunken afro state all the time, because I just love how it looks. Plus, I like seeing the surprise on peoples’ faces when I stretch my shrunken hair to its actual length. Ha!

You probably just read this list and thought ‚“girl, a couple of those things are exactly what I DON’T like about my type 4 hair.” Honestly, in the beginning of my hair journey, I didn’t like them either. I struggled with accepting some of these qualities of my type 4 hair. However, over time you learn to embrace it and accept it for what it is.

P.S. This article is not meant to be exclusive, but rather a celebration of the hair type that sometimes seem to be resented.

What do you love about having type 4 hair? Show your hair some love.

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.

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65 Comments on "No Curl Envy Here: Why I Love My Type 4 Natural Hair"

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Rae
Guest

Mmm hmmm…What she said.

Ms. Vee
Guest

It seems like hair typing might be a matter of perception. This lovely lady looks like like she closer to type 3c hair. Or is it type 4 hair with less shrinkage? I dunno. Tis cute anyway.
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/type4.png[/img]

shameia
Guest

She looks type 4 to me. It may look like a looser pattern because her hair is so long. The longer your hair gets, the more weight that gets put on your strands, which in result stretches your curl pattern.

Ms. Vee
Guest

@shameia

Interesting. That explains it to a large degree.

flouncingtart
Guest

my hair’s really similar to hers and mine is definitely type 4 (with some 3c all the way in the back).

Nappy 4C Rocks
Guest

she is type 4

Joy
Guest

Your hair is beautiful 🙂

Jo
Guest

Man, your hair is so full, long and healthy! So beautiful, love it.

cryssi
Guest

love this!!!when I was little I had hair envy, but now I love my 4a hair.

Poshnera
Guest

You and your hair are absolutely beautiful!

Carma
Guest

I also celebrate my type 4 hair. Because I embrace my shrinkage, I’m able to walk in the rain without fear and love playing in the water on a hot summer day. Thank you for sharing the love you have for your hair.

Caray
Guest

Not me I still avoid the rain it shrinks my hair and ruins a twist out! I thought by being natural I didnt have to worry about rain but unless its my spritz bottle I avoid it!

Miss Mo
Guest

Preach it girl.

Nice to know there are some of you out there who encourage type 4 hair sisters.

Girl werk.…. lol

Dana
Guest

I love the versatility of my hair and its ability to hold styles for a long period of time. I also just love the look of highly textured hair, it truly is beautiful. Oh, and I don’t mind shrinkage either, just adds to the versatility! If I want more hang time, I can wear it in a stretched style, and if I’m looking for a shorter do, shrinkage does all the work for me.

Ouida Cordell
Guest

I started to appreciate my 5C hair (yes 5c bcuz my hair is way kinkier than any 4C that I’ve seen) more when it got beyond 12 inches. Thanks for the encouragement Tori bcuz tomorrow is my bday and I’m gonna straighten it!
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/image-18.jpg[/img]

olivia
Guest

I absolutely love your hair…give me your hair genes coz am so loving how fast your hair grew withing two years…beautiful hair. Beautiful you Tori.…Proudly African.……

Antoinette
Guest

I was thinking about that too, how did she grow her hair that long in just 2 years? That would take my hair about 10 years to grow that long, lol.

#Adoseofreality
Guest

She did mention that she transitioned for a year and a half before big chopping, so the length she has now is actually from about 4 years of growing her hair in total. I think that’s fairly realistic, so please be encouraged :).

mimi
Guest
It’s 4 years not 2. She transitioned 1 & 1/2 years and been “fully” natural 2 & 1/2. But even for 4 years this is impressive, …I just realised I’m 4 years natural too. Just recently cut my hair (front chin length) to nose length Cous it was looking weird, I came into this year all gung ho about consistent hair care then gave up along the way, so had to cut my hair like I’ve done loads of times in this past four years. Some because of straggly ends or because I wanted to, but honestly even if I… Read more »
Bumper1959
Guest

I love my type 4 hair because it is so thick and healthy looking. Twists and twist-outs look so awesome that I rarely do anything else to it!

Caray
Guest

I love my 4a/4b hair, alright Miss Tori u are a regular on here.…lol

lablooplah
Guest

your hurrr!!! gawjus.

juanicole617
Guest

You’re giving me hair envy!!! I would love to see how you care for and style your hair in real live action. Do you have a YouTube page?

juanicole617
Guest

Never mind…found you!!! 😉

Caramelcurls
Guest

Tori, your hair inspires me! I, too, love my 4a/b hair because it’s versatile, fun, and most of all because it’s the hair God gave me. And.…He always knows best. 😉

Norris
Guest

I love my 4abc hair because of the amazing volume it has! My puffs and fros just make me happy!! 🙂

Araina S.
Guest

I have 4 C hair and my hair does not look like yours. If I knew how to do more styles with my hair then maybe it would not be so much of a struggle. I am waiting for it to get longer so that maybe the curl pattern would stretch more but until then I will continue on with the struggle.

Gloria
Guest

I really appreciate your post.Being a 4b/4c hair type and being able to be free with it is amazing. I feel like I am me and the versatility is great. I am happy, I can wear it in its shrunken state and stretch when I have time. Being natural is the most beautiful thing.

Missc
Guest

WOW!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!
Beautiful hair Tori!

Renee
Guest

Just beautiful.

Nappy 4C Rocks
Guest

LOVE SHRINKAGE!

My Baby Girls Curls
Guest

Both of my daughters’ have Type 4 hair and I concur with everything stated. I have done various types of hair via my nieces and god-children and I must say there is certainly something special about Type 4 hair and it never cease to amaze me of the things that can be done to it ^_^. Your hair is A-mazing btw!

LBell
Guest
Veteran old lady natural chiming in here: The first thing that struck me in this article was these lines: “Like many naturals with type 4 hair, I can easily list a dozen reasons why having type 4 hair can be a pain. Of all the textures on the hair-typing chart, type 4 hair has a reputation for being the most difficult hair type to deal with. And for some, it is probably also the least desired hair type. I can attest to how difficult it can be to deal with type 4 hair, and I could continue listing a million… Read more »
JENNID
Guest
LBell that part of the post stuck out to me too. I held off in replying to this post because I cant really relate to the ” struggle” when it comes to 4c hair. My hair isn’t a pain because I don’t let it be. My mission was the same as yours to learn my hair so I wouldn’t feel so helpless. I did so I no longer have a need to complain constantly. What I love about my Kinky, nappy, coily, 4c hair is that it is truly so easy to take care of. Give it some love and… Read more »
juanicole617
Guest

I’m celebrating now. 🙂

Gigi
Guest
I guess I can understand why 4c hair is termed difficult. My 4c/4z, low porosity, super shrinky, fine hair doesn’t do anything I see other naturals doing, even when they are 4c! Big Afro? My hair slaps its knee and laughs. Braid/twist out? You should hear the guffawing. Stretching? It throws a major tantrum by getting brittle and falling off! So imagine working with hair that you cannot see on anyone else? Experimenting with products may set you back a whole year if you have finicky hair like mine. So if someone uses the phrase difficult, I remember my own… Read more »
Maritah
Guest

I can totally relate to you Gigi; two years down the road my hair is still a mystery. Everyday encounter leaves a new lesson learned.

Maritah
Guest

*Every encounter

daniella
Guest

Are you sure you are using the right products on your hair? Us naturals with the right oils, moisturizers & conditioners does amazing things for us. I hope you discover what works for your hair soon so you can enjoy what the rest of us are enjoying 🙂

herjoy2
Guest
it saddens me to hear that you are not enjoying your hair. perhaps it is time to see your dermatologist. one thing that definitely needs to be a very big part of your daily habits is water, water, and more water down your throat. drink it plain. learn to love it. at least 4 8 oz. per day. not so difficult once , if you drink soda you truly count up how much you consume. also try some really simple products and stick with them for at least an entire month, and more possibly 2 before changing out. usually 4… Read more »
Anon
Guest

Torri please do a tut on how you do your stretched hairstyles

lexibugg
Guest

[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/20140710_235113.jpg[/img]
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/20140711_000103.jpg[/img]
I love everything about my type 4 hair and it is relatively easy to manage. WnGs are a breeze. ..no problem getting smooth sets on flexirods..I don’t mind the shrinkage and it loosens by 3rd day hair.…I wouldn’t trade my hair type for any other in the world. ..I do wish it were longer though…I gave my self a year to play after big chopping in 2010, after a year and a half transition and one tear turned into four…and now it’s time to get back on track. ..

Jacky
Guest

Great article, I loved it! Thanks for posting. I love most of those things too and for me shrinkage is da bomb!!! I still love that i can determine how long or big my hair will be by using shrinkage. By the way, girl your hair is flyyyy!

Yabby
Guest

I love love love the versality that my type 4 hair gives me. I wear my hair pinned or in twisted up do’s to save time, but I never get sick of the reaction when I let my hair out and no one believes I’ve been ‘hiding’ all of that hair in my usual styles.

Rinny
Guest

I think we might be hair twins. I love my fluffy, sometimes royal blue fro.

Jessica
Guest

I looove shrinkage too! Our type 4 rocks.

Oh, you are gorgeous!

Dorothy
Guest

I love everything about 4c hair even the aspects some may see as negative.
Surprisingly, I like shrinkage the most. I prefer a shrunken fro that displays my true texture over anything.
Tori- your hair is gorgeous!
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/image-19.jpg[/img]

folamix
Guest

To be perfectly honest, when I decided to wear my hair natural this time around(this is my third time), I didn’t think about what my “hair type”. It was just my nappy, kinky hair (which I know is offensive to some people but to me, it is what it is). Even now, although the current rage is hang time and curl definition, those things do not even matter to me

amelya
Guest

I like the hairstyle shrinkage!
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Image.jpg[/img]

E
Guest

That’s a pretty picture, but her hair type is unrelated to this article. Her curls don’t look even close to the author’s.

bqn
Guest

Love it very encouraging as a newly rediscovered type 4 natural. TWA stage seems like it can take forever to pass but I have patience with dedication.

Lina
Guest

Great article!

M2
Guest

I relate to ur comments. Best thing I did was cut my hair to a manegeable length. This allowed me to experiment without using too much time, so I dont have live with my bad habits. Then I started with different moisturizers and settled on mango/oil sealants after I wash with nourishing shampoos. Mostly I just figured out my hair and what my hair would do in different circumstances and I work within those limits. One secret… Everyone works within her limits whether they say so or not.

Hansy
Guest

Apart from it being freaking gorgeous. I love how easy it is to maintain my 4a/b hair. I’ve only been a natural for one year and a half but I am totally in love with my hair. The only thing I would change is if I could make it thicker cause my hair is very fine, but I’ve learned how to deal with that. Here is a pic of my hair with a wash and go.
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/yo.jpg[/img]

blacknfreckled
Guest
She is so pretty and has amazing hair, However, I have type 3c hair mixed with 3b and 4a. 4a in the small part of the crown The rest is mostly 3b mixed with 3c. I was never envious of straighter haired women, I have a low shine hair,and of course it tangles pretty bad and is difficult sometimes, still I was never jealous of anyone’s hair, nor did I desire other women’s hair just because it was less “kinky” than my own. But I do know that hair prejudice in the black culture exists, because one day I was… Read more »
SheLaLa
Guest
I think that everyone’s journey is different when it comes to their hair. I applaud those individuals that fell in love with their hair right off the bat; but, I don’t think that is everyone. There were days when I did “struggle” with my type 4 hair and then there were other days when I loved it. But I have been natural for over 5 years and I had to learn that my hair can’t do everything that I would like it to so I adapt; and, that it can do some things others can’t(LOL). I believe that for some… Read more »
anastasia
Guest

Tori, you and Bertha are gorgeous!!

4abc lady here and simply put I love everything about my hair-EVERYTHING! No ifs, ands, or buts about it =) Seriously.…EVERYTHING. Best. Hair. Ever.

herjoy2
Guest
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE my hair. Its thick, let me correct that, I have lots and lots of it. I know I am lucky in that stance. It also used to grow very very quickly when I was much younger. Lots of hairdresser had trained and some had succeeded for awhile in convincing me that it would not get much longer, ( how could it if, you cut basically 1 inch EVERY 2 weeks at my press and curl appt.) then I was fortunate to find a stylist who spanked my butt every time I came for my monthly… Read more »
Dawn
Guest

I love my hair. I don’t categorize my hair because I have a lot of mixtures but, I relate to the 4. I thought I was weird for being fine with my shrinkage. I totally work with it. I would get mad at the product when it didn’t satisfy my thirsty hair. My hair isn’t wrong, it is doing what it is suppose to do.

Angela
Guest

I love when my hair when it is nice and healthy, when first transitioning I was so surprised at how soft and fluffy my hair can be, and I love it!

Antoinette
Guest

I’m newly natural, only 3 months as of tomorrow after the BC and I was wondering how often I should trim my ends? How often do you ladies trim your ends?

Denise Burrow
Guest

Do Max Hydration method and you will see how many curls you have that you didn’t know about 🙂

mjnisbett
Guest

My wife loves her natural hair. All she can do is chuckle at the reactions of people when they see how long her flat ironed hair is after they have only ever seen it in in up-do protective styles.

Miriam A.
Guest
Like your article and Yes I love my 4 type hair. I quit all products, now it’s just water and if I want to clean my scalp I use water with Himalayan salt and sometimes lemon. and No my hair does not smell, neither is my scalp dirty. I prayed so earnestly about my hair and that I am a 100% convinced that my hair does not need products, God himself created me and he made everything perfect Psalm 139:13,14. So since God did not gave me a bottle of oil or shampoo or whatever, at birth, or a list… Read more »
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