The 4a, 4b, and 3c hair types have a lot in common when it comes to their styling needs. If you have any of these hair types, chances are you've had some styling battlesand want to know what hair styles and products go best with your individual hair type.
What Do the Numbers Mean?
Obviously different people have different types of hair. These differences aren't just limited to a category as broad as race. Even within certain ethnicities, hair types can range from thinner to thickest, coarsest to softest, and so forth. A numerical system of hair typing was established to simplify describing types of hair and to provide more exact definition for the hair type.
The following numbers refer to the amount of curl or wave in a hair. Type 1 hair is always straight. The number 2 indicates a slight wave to a frizzy wave. The number 3 begins the plunge into curly hair and the number 4 indicates extremely kinky hair.
However, just defining the amount of curl in one's hair isn't enough to provide an exact hair typing. Hence, the letters a, b, and c are used to define the actual thickness of the strand. A types are thinner than b types, who are still less thick and coarse than type c hair.
Commonalities between the 4A, 4B and 3C Hair Types
The 4a, 4b, and 3c hair types are often descriptive of types of African American hair. These types of hair are coarse and tend towards frizziness. The 3Cs absorb more water than the type 4, which means the hair will grow longer and somewhat stronger. Unfortunately, type 4 hair contains fewer cuticle layers than the other hair numbers, meaning it may be more difficult to grow long. Type 4 hair is delicate and can break easily, so extra care should be taken when combing or styling.
Breakage will be a major issue for the 4a, 4b, and 3c hair types. Implementing wide tooth combs is one of the best methods for breakage control. Extra conditioning with specialized anti-frizz hair products for blacks is key to maintaining any sort of shine. Because all three hair types are relatively kinky and coarse, shine can be difficult to produce. Using products from the Ojon or other hair care line for African American hair is a good first step in hair maintenance.
Each of these hair types is excellent for establishing an impressive afro. Ex-Spice Girl Melanie Brown is a prime example of the 3c hair type. Her plentiful bouncy curls grant her the ability to grow a medium sized afro.
One styling difference between the 4a 4b 3c hair type is that the 3c tends to have far more springy hair than the 4s. Hence, straightening this thick curly type can be a bit of an issue. However, type 4s are apparently very versatile where styling issues are concerned. It won't take much for 4s to puff, straighten, braid, or afro their hair. Type 3 retains more shine, so if you can manage a straight style with the aid of smoothing serum and a quality ceramic hair straightener, your style will possess greater shine than your average type 4s.
Regular hot oil treatments are essential if you plan on doing any heat styling. Regardless of your hair type, the most recent heat styling technologies employ ceramic plating and infra-red light to dry and/or straighten the hair. Stay away from metal plates and ordinary hair dryers which can further dry out and damage your delicate hair.
Where to Purchase Styling Products
For the best in modern hair care, check out Sephora.com where the entire Ojon line is available. Moreover, the most up-to-date heat styling equipment is also sold online or at Sephora stores and other fine retailers nationwide. Also check local salons that specialize in black hair styles for more suggestions and personalized advice.