Who says that natural 4C hair can’t grow long? Sure, it takes patience and some special products and techniques, but before you know it, you’ll be twisting your tresses into fun ponytails or just letting it fly loose!
Still, it’s best to be realistic and not get overly excited by believing your 4C natural hair will grow long enough to drop down from a princess’s tower window (remember Rapunzel?). You’ve got to keep in mind those pesky little details — you know, things like genetics, age, and the overall condition of your hair. But if growing long 4C hair is your ultimate goal, there are a few great ways you can get there.
How to Grow Long 4C Natural Hair
Stay Confident and Motivated
Yes, we know, this isn’t exactly a “practical” tip for how to grow 4C hair, but it is an important one! None of our other suggestions will have a chance at working if you haven’t mastered this tactic first. It helps to keep your eye on the prize when the “growing” gets rough.
Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to growing out your 4C natural hair. And don’t believe the Debbie Downers who tell you black 4C natural hair doesn’t grow. That’s fake news!
Moisturize Your Hair Every Day. Yes, EVERY Day!
Keeping your dry hair healthy and nourished with a daily moisturizing routine is essential when you’re trying to grow 4C hair. Select a product that’s not too heavy or greasy, and that won’t clog your scalp’s pores. Ideally, a light-fragrance, leave-in conditioner sprayed on twice a day in the morning and evening is best.
Avoid Coloring or Straightening Your Hair
The last thing you should be doing when you are growing out 4C natural hair is to color or straighten it. Big no-no! Coloring or straightening your hair not only has a detrimental effect on the hair’s protective outer cuticle, but it can also permanently damage the inner cortex of the hair. If your cortex is unhealthy, your hair is much more susceptible to breakage and split ends, neither of which is welcome when you’re trying to grow long 4C hair.
Wear “Loose” Protective Hairstyles
4C hair often needs some extra “tender loving care” and attention. A great way to achieve this is by making sure your strands are protected all year round. Protective hairstyles not only look great, they also encourage natural hair growth and help to maintain length.
The key to success is in balancing the length of time your 4C hair is in a protective style versus the time you give your hair a break from it. The best ratio is usually no more than three weeks in and one week out.
We recommend protective styles that don’t require you to pull and tug at your hair when installing them and that the extensions, braids, or twists are easy to remove by detangling them with your fingers or by using an extra-wide-toothed comb or hair pick. Buns are a fantastic choice. Think of it this way: the less time it takes to put in a protective style, the better it is for growing out long 4C hair.
To be clear, it’s not that trimming your hair makes it grow faster; it’s just that by removing damaged split ends now and then, the hair shaft becomes stronger overall and less likely to break as your hair grows longer.
Stick With It and Let It Grow!
There’s a lot of misinformation in books, magazines, and YouTube videos about the difficulties of growing and styling long 4c natural hair. It’s understandable since afro-textured 4C hair is prone to dryness and breakage.
- Remain confident and motivated
- Moisturize every day
- No coloring or straightening processes
- Use protective styles
- Trim your ends occasionally
By staying faithful to the above suggestions, you’ll increase your chances of success growing out your natural 4C hair quicker than you ever thought possible.