It’s a common myth that type 4 hair is hard to grow, but it actually grows at the same rate as every hair type. If you feel like your coily or textured hair seems to always be the same length without any growth for a long period of time, there are things you can do to improve your hair and scalp that will stimulate hair growth.
No matter your hair type, hair growth is one of the most challenging and frustrating aspects of haircare. But with the right routine and products (and some patience), type 4 hair can grow to be long and healthy.
Why is my type 4 hair not growing?
First, you’ll want to understand why your hair isn’t growing in the first place. There are two main reasons for why hair doesn’t grow longer: 1) you’re not giving your scalp what it needs, or 2) the ends of your hair are breaking off.
Hair follicles sit just underneath the scalp and from them emerge hair. Taking care of your scalp produces healthy hair follicles that are neither clogged or damaged. Luckily, taking care of your scalp is easy and with repeated care, your hair should be growing!
Breakage is a sneaky issue that can make you think hair growth is an issue when actually your its your ends that won’t go the distance. This is a common issue with damaged or dry hair. Your ends are the oldest part of your hair, so they have taken the brunt of any damage or dryness that has built up over time. Taking care of your ends will ensure that they remain healthy.
While type 4 tight coils shrink the hair, this does not mean that type 4 has any more difficulty growing than other hair types. It can take more time to look longer because of shrinkage but whether you’re looking for a little or a lot of growth, it is possible!
How do you grow type 4 hair faster and longer?
Because hair growth is a long game, it’s a great idea to create a new routine that incorporates some of these hair growth steps. The right habits over time will help your hair grow long and healthy.
1. Co-washing for hair growth
Co-washing, or conditioner-washing, is a method of reviving dry hair by using conditioner in the place of shampoo. Instead of using it as a conditioner though, you’ll want to use it as a shampoo by lightly massaging your scalp with the conditioner before rinsing out. This is a great way to deliver more moisture to your scalp and hair without the drying effects of a shampoo to strip your scalp of too much oil.
So how does this help with hair growth? A dry scalp can lead to deterioration of hair follicles and dry and brittle hair fibers. Moisturizing your scalp rejuvenates those hair follicles and primes them for hair growth.
2. Try the LOC or LCO method for hydrated strands and ends
The LOC method stands for liquid or leave-in conditioner, oil, and cream. (The LCO method, which is similar, uses cream second and then oil, and is recommended for low porosity hair.) The aim of these methods is to keep the hair as moisturized as possible which is great for keeping your hair healthy and your ends protected from dryness and breakage.
To use the LOC method on your hair, start by washing your hair. When you’ve finished use a leave-in conditioner all over your hair. Leave-in conditioners are water-based which makes them lightweight.
For oils, carrier oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, argan oil, or castor oil are all good choices. Apply the oil in sections, rubbing a couple of drops through your sections of hair starting at the root and ending at the tip.
Creams are the thickest and heaviest of the three LOC method products. A deep conditioning hair mask adds intense moisture to your coils which have already been prepped by the other products.
Doing the LOC method to your hair every time you wash is a good frequency to start with.
3. Steam your hair while deep conditioning
When it comes to creams, the best way to maximize your results is to steam your hair. Steaming isn’t too complicated luckily and can leave your hair incredibly soft.
After you’ve applied a deep conditioning mask to your hair, take a hand towel, soak it in water, and microwave it. Wrap the warm towel around your head, enclosing it with a clip to keep you hair covered. Let it sit until the towel has cold down all the way, then remove and rinse out your hair mask.
Steaming your hair will open up your cuticles to allow the hair mask to more deeply penetrate and make your hair more moisturized and soft.
4. Avoid tight hairstyles that stress your scalp
Protective styles are important for keeping type 4 hair healthy, but try to avoid too-tight hairstyles that create tension on your scalp.
These can damage your hair follicle and keep hair from growing. Try some easy-on-your-scalp hairstyles like two-strand twists or buns instead.
5. Use a rosemary oil mixture on your scalp
While oils are great for keeping your hair and ends healthy and moisturized, there isn’t a lot of evidence that applying oils like jojoba and argan to the scalp makes hair grow any faster. However rosemary oil has shown some promising results when it comes to hair growth.
To try it, mix 15 drops of rosemary oil into every 6 teaspoons of a carrier oil (like jojoba or coconut oil) and apply to your scalp, ideally 2-6 hours before washing your hair. Only use it before washing to avoid irritating your scalp or creating more buildup.
How to Grow Type 4 Hair Conclusion
Growing type 4 is not just possible but easy. A lot of these tips come down to having a great routine for healthy hair, regardless of whether hair growth is your goal. Maintaining a healthy scalp and moisturized hair will keep your hair growing, as well as feeling soft and looking beautiful.