4B Hair Guide: The Best Hairstyles, Products, and More

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We at Mane Addicts love giving you the tips and tricks you need to ensure your hair can thrive. That’s why we created this guide on 4B hair. For those with the coily hair type, we wanted to make sure you had everything you need to treat your curls right. Below, discover the best styles, best products, and even the best haircare routine for your 4B hair type. No need to thank us, we’re just doing our job!

4B hair type | Mane Addicts
(via Getty)

What Is 4B Hair?

This coily hair type belongs to the family of type 4 hair types, which are all known to be kinky and coily in their own ways. 4B hair sits right between 4A and 4C curls. Your hair type tends to have Z shape curls and is rather thick. It tends to look a little less curly and a little more bent due to its unique pattern. Some even point out that you may not have a super defined curl pattern, but rather strands that are soft and fluffy. You’ll notice the curl pattern more when you stretch out your curls, though it won’t always be noticeable.

4A vs 4B vs 4C Hair Types

If you’re struggling to figure out if you have 4A, 4B, or 4C hair, don’t sweat it. Oftentimes, you can be a mix of hair types, though there will be one that’s much more prominent than the others. The biggest difference between 4A and 4B hair is the shape of the coils. 4A hair has an S shape, whereas 4B hair has a Z shape. The curl pattern for 4A hair is also more defined.

Differentiating between 4B and 4C hair types is a little bit trickier. Both coils tend to be fairly tight and have a Z shape pattern. While 4B does have a somewhat defined curl pattern, 4C does not. The latter has a curl pattern that is a little more clumped together, showing no curl pattern to the naked eye.

4A vs 4B vs 4C hair types | Mane Addicts
(via Getty)

4B Haircare Routine Tips

Knowing how to care for your hair type is the first step to better coils. We’ve shared a few haircare routine tips to get you started, though know this is just the beginning. You may need to experiment a little bit in order to find the best routine for you.

1. Utilize the LOC method.

The LOC method (which stands for leave-in, oil, cream) is incredibly beneficial for your frizzy hair. Following this method allows you to add plenty of hydration and moisture back into your dry strands. In turn, this will make them frizz-free and more optimal for styling. You can find out more about the LOC method here.

2. Keep wash days to a minimum.

One major benefit of your hair type is that you don’t need to wash your hair all that often. In fact, you actually shouldn’t wash it too much, to begin with. Stick to washing it once every two weeks. If you feel you need to wash it more, give it a try, but be sure to use gentle hair products.

3. Stick to air-drying your curls.

Your 4B hair type is incredibly prone to breakage and dryness. Blowing it dry only exacerbates the issue. So instead of using a blow dryer, air dry your strands. If you must use a blow dryer for whatever reason, use it with a diffuser to protect your coils from unnecessary frizz.

4. Focus on moisture.

Your curls need a ton of hydration, more than you think. You’ll want to use as many moisturizing products as possible and a lot of them. There is no such thing as too much product for you, as your 4B coils will soak them up quickly.

5. Detangle with your fingers.

Don’t brush your hair. Heck, don’t even use a wide-tooth comb. Your best bet at minimizing damage is by detangling your strands with your fingers. And always be sure to detangle on wet hair, never dry coils.

How to Style the 4B Hair Type

When it comes to styling your hair type, one of the things you’ll want to focus on is stretching it. Along with the other type 4 hair types, yours tens to shrink and fast. Protective styles are your best friends in this instance. They’ll help keep your hands off your coils as much as possible, while also protecting your strands from any damage and breakage. Twists, box braids, Bantu knots, and updos are all great protective style options.

Another important styling type is to keep your hair in protective styles while you slumber. You’ll also want to sleep on a silk pillowcase to further protect your curls. Sleeping with your hair down can lead to tangles and damage, which you definitely don’t need to wake up to in the morning.

The Best Styles for 4B Hair

Protective styles are great for your hair type, so we wanted to share a few of our favorites. Below are the best styles for 4B hair. We do want to note these aren’t the only styles you can sport for your hair type.

1. Bantu Knots

There’s no denying that Bantu knots are a stunning protective style. We love seeing this look on 4B hair types. Plus, they help you retain hair growth and are super easy to maintain. What could be better?

2. Box Braid Bob

Box braids are another great protective style for 4B hair types. And box braid bobs are all the rage these days. This style is as trendy as ever, so you should definitely hop on the style train if you’ve been thinking about it.

3. Perm Rod Set

Your coils can hold curls really well. We know your hair is already curly, but self-made curls also look gorgeous in your strands no matter how short they are. Use a perm rod set to create larger ringlets that will have everyone green with envy.

4. Puff Updo

The puff updo is a classic style for 4B coils that really shows off your natural texture. It’s also a great style to sport in between wash days when you can’t be bothered to turn to a protective style.

5. Two-Strand Twists

Twist-outs are one of the best protective styles for your hair type. We love the two-strand twists in particular because they create some of the best definition for your fluffy 4B hair. The results you get after taking them out are truly stunning.

The Best Products for 4B Hair

To make absolutely sure you have everything you need to care for your coils, we wanted to share some of the best products for 4B hair. Again, this list isn’t extensive nor definitive. Let these serve as a base, adding and subtracting products as you figure out which work best for your unique coils.

A gentle clarifying shampoo is a much better option for your coils than your regular ol’ shampoo. This one from Ouidad is specifically designed for 4B hair types to cleanse your curls without stripping them. It even adds moisture back into your coils, keeping them hydrated and smooth.

Ouidad Coil Infusion Like New Gentle Clarifying Shampoo
(via Ouidad)

Moisture is your coils best friend. Your strands need a lot of it, so this leave-in moisturizer from Carol’s Daughter is here to ensure they’re well hydrated and nourished. Shea butter, soybean oil, and agave nectar combine to make an ultra-moisturizing trio that’ll instantly strengthen your strands.

Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Original Leave-In Moisturizer
(via Carol’s Daughter)

Another product crafted with your hair type in mind, we adore this creamy hair butter. If you haven’t used hair butter on your 4B hair before, this should definitely be the first one you try. Packed with coconut oil, avocado oil, ginger oil, and orange and lemon extract, it adds moisture and shine into your fluffy ringlets.

Mielle Moisture RX Hawaiian Ginger Moisturizing Hair Butter
(via Mielle)

Styling your hair with this curling gel will give it the stretch it needs. Our favorite part about this gel is that it doesn’t create any dryness or flaking, which can’t be said for others on the market. The nourishing flaxseed oil moisturizes your coils from the inside out, helping them look their best for days on end.

Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils Flaxseed Recipes Don't Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel
(via Walmart)

Made with 100% pure silk, this sleep cap will help protect your curls while you sleep. Your coils will retain their natural oils and moisture, as they won’t be transferred onto your pillow. Plus, this cap minimizes friction so that no tangling or pulling will damage your tresses.

Vernon François Sleep-In Silk Cap
(via Vernon François)

Does your coily hair need a trim? HERE is the right way to trim it!

Hey, mane muse! We wanted to give you a heads up that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that Mane Addicts will collect a small share of the sale from any purchase you make from the products we recommend.