Long 4c Natural Hair Case Studies: An Introduction

My '4c' shed hair!
I have 4c hair - noting that I do not care for hair typing and technically 4c was invented by naturals; the same texture used to be 4a in 2002 but is now widely called 4c, so for the purpose of clarity, I am using the term 4c.  Having got that little rant out, I do find that it is very common to lament about 4c hair

1. 'Oh my hair is brittle'
2. 'You never see popular youtubers with 4c hair'
3. 'My hair is 4c and grows slowly'
4. 'My styling options are limited by 4c hair, I cannot style it straight'

I would challenge every single point on that list.

1. Hair breaks because of how you handle it.
2. There are 4c youtubers but equally there are many examples outside of youtube
3. 4c hair does not inherently grow slowly, it certainly may require more trimming which compromises length retention but can you have long 4c hair - DEFINITELY
4. You can style 4c hair fairly straight without heat (African threading) or if your hair is suited to heat use, it is equally possible to style with direct heat.

This leads me to tell you about the new series that you will find here on the blog every Friday. It was inspired by a comment where I said that in the past 10 years or so I have NEVER seen someone with 4c hair manage to grow long hair without some element of protective styling. This does not mean the person does not style in other ways but that for main management of hair, they choose to protective style. I also have NEVER seen anyone with 4c hair and long hair state that they can wash hair daily during the growing period and still gain long hair.

I understand my hair type. I have studied women with my hair type thanks to the internet! I will share with you these studies and hope that they help you. 4c hair case studies coming up!


  1. I am looking foward to it. :D

  2. Replies
    1. Number 1 on my list is you! Thanks for commenting chica :)

    2. This will be a God send. I will definitely be checking in every friday.

  3. My hair isn't 4c, but I enjoy watching and learning from all naturals. Because as you know, no two heads that appear the same are. Sometimes commonalities and current hair issues trumps hair typing.

    For the record, I have seen plenty of 4c women with long gorgeous hair too. Sometimes the practices and products may differ a smidge, but the goals are often quite common. I've learned a lot from you.

    Let's do it! I can't wait for them!

  4. Happy and eager to see this series, Jc! :o)

  5. Ive never heard 4a called 4c hair before. I have heard 4b being called 4c, because as you said by the Andre Walker typing system there is no 4c. Just as there is no 3c

    1. Hey Shawny... *waving* :)

      Yeah, I was going to say the same thing...4a and 4b have always been distinguishable and it was 4b that was largely considered the hair type that had no definable curl pattern. However, over time it became clear that there was a distinction even within the 4b hair type. The earliest term I recall seeing for it wasn't 4c, but "CNapp" where C = cotton or cloud. This hair type had no curls or coils wet or dry, unlike 4b which had a tight, small, but identifiable curl/coil. Funny enough, after all of this, my hair type hasn't changed: I called myself mostly-4b in the past, and apparently I still am mostly-4b today.

      Anyway, I only found out about this series when it was mentioned on BGLH. This is much overdue and much needed. That whole "good/bad hair" thing still has too strong of a hold on some folks. Whatever can be done to elevate 4c from the "baddest of the bad" without compromising its inherent structure can only be a good thing. Looking forward to it, Jc! Thanks for taking on this challenge.

  6. I'm so excited! looking forward to this series

  7. #4cFridays!

    can't wait lol


  8. I can't wait!!!!

  9. I have 4c hair too. Looking forward to this series :)


  10. awesome case studies! I don't understand the last paragraph though. so YOU have never seen anybody with long 4c hair who leaves their hair out and still managed to retain length? and YOU have never seen a long 4c natural wash their hair daily? I suppose you'll clarify them in future case studies. I look forward to the series and i'm glad that you subscribe to the hairtyping system. it's easier this way than saying "kinky" or "tightly coiled" hair.

  11. Bring em on JC. Type 4 thrives when manipulated less so I'm already expecting your studies to be conclusive on this point and will be surprised to find maximum length retention on heads who don't incorporate protective styling.


  12. YES! I am looking forward to this. It would also be great if you are able to incorporate the type of 4c hair stands that shrink down like the spring inside a retractable ink pen. That is the type of hair I have. While I can use heat to get the stands straight (tension method or typical blow drying) it is almost impossible for me to get the coil to stay straight on my ends. Of course a hair stylist can, but it is by brute force ripping the dryer through. I'd like to find a better option.....


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