I Have Type 4 Hair, and I'm Never Without These Products

I’ll start with a confession: I was well into my late 20s when I finally cracked the perfect haircare routine, products and all. Before that, it was all trial and error, and it wasn't a pretty sight. Identifying my hair type was half the battle, and the next hurdle was figuring out which products worked for natural hair. This might sound relatively easy, but with so many products on the market, where do you start?

Type 4 hair is fragile and extremely susceptible to dehydration and breakage. Ekwy Nnene, the founder of haircare brand Equi Botanic, tells me that there are two main objectives to consider when it comes to caring for type 4 hair: keeping hair moisturised and preventing damage to ends.

Best Products for Type 4 Hair: @claire_most

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@CLAIRE_MOST

Type hair 4 comes with its own set of delicate requirements, and caring for my hair hasn’t been an easy feat. I’ve been on a long quest to figure out the best products and practices for my hair. Nnene, however, has transformed her daughter’s hair and helped many women on their natural-hair journey. What are her top three tips for caring for type 4 hair? “Always detangle before washing to reduce breakage,” she says. She also recommends “oiling ends to prevent hair strands from getting caught in drying fabrics like necks of sweaters, caps, cotton pillowcases and synthetic braids.” Most importantly, Nnene recommends “washing your scalp thoroughly” because product build-up can lead to a host of problems.

Knowing my hair type and curl pattern has significantly improved my haircare routine. However, these are not the only factors at play. Our hair is affected by several things, including porosity, density and thickness. Yes, this complicates things, but you might just have to kiss a few frogs before you find your perfect army of products. If you need a little assistance, refer to my list of 10 products (including luxurious hydrating shampoos and game-changing silk accessories) that have transformed my type 4 hair.

1. Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil Shampoo

A good shampoo is the key to any good haircare routine, especially if you have type 4 hair. A three-time winner of the “Afro Hairdresser of the Year” award at the British Hairdressing Awards, Charlotte Mensah has rightly earned her crown as the queen of Afro haircare. The manketti-oil shampoo is formulated with manketti-nut and ximenia oils, ingredients that work to clean, hydrate and condition your locks. I usually wash my hair between two and three times a week, but with this shampoo, my hair never feels dry.

2. Equi Botantics Black Seed Hair Oil Elixir

Oils can be quite scary, but trust me on this one. Not only does this oil hydrate, nourish and repair your hair, but it does so without feeling greasy or heavy. It’s supercharged with powerful black-seed oil to help strengthen the hair and prevent breakage and damage. The handy pump makes application super easy, and I find myself reaching for it all the time. I use it to seal in water-based hydrating products, and I find that my hair stays conditioned and nourished for longer.

3. Dizziak Deep Conditioner

Formulated with an impressive A-list lineup of ingredients including quinoa protein, babassu oil, aloe vera and argan oil, the Dizziak conditioner always delivers. It’s vegan, sulfate- and paraben-free and contains zero harsh chemicals. And it doesn’t stop there. This rich, thick, creamy conditioner leaves your hair ultra soft and shiny while combatting damage and reducing frizz. It’s my go-to conditioner. I could go on forever, but it’s just that good.

4. The Que Silk Headband

Edges, edges, edges. You know it’s about looking after your edges. Don’t be deceived by this luxurious silk headband’s pretty appearance—it has completely transformed my edges. Silk wraps, turbans and headbands are not a hype. I can confirm silk does wonders for type 4 hair. This one reduces fragility and friction (which means less damage), controls frizz and doesn’t sap the moisture out of your hair (unlike cotton). I've always found it difficult to sleep with silk scarves, but this has presented itself as the perfect solution. The elastic band means that it stays put all night long. 

5. Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo

If you’re following Ekwy Nnene’s holy-grail tips for caring for type 4 hair, you’ll know that only having one shampoo on the list isn’t going to cut it. One of the OG clarifying shampoos, Sunday Shampoo has stood the test of time, and nothing compares. Okay, so I don’t use it on Sundays, but I bring it out every two weeks to give my scalp a thorough wash. Expect a super-deep clean every time.

6. Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque

Shea Moisture is no stranger to the type 4 hair community, and for good reason. The Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque is a rich, intense and buttery formula enriched with shea butter to restore shine, add moisture and give life to damaged and overly processed hair. I use this on my hair at least once a week, and I’m always impressed with the result: softer, stronger hair that’s easier to manage.

7. Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Intensive Treatment

it’s no wonder that one pot of Elasticizer sells every 60 seconds. This miracle in a pot literally transforms your hair. Perfect for all hair types, the protein-packed formula works to strengthen your hair strand by strand, giving it new life. This product is part of my wash-day ritual, and I actually notice a difference if I don’t use it. My hair has always been prone to a lot of breakage, but since using the Elasticizer, I have noticed my hair shedding less and less.

8. Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Megatsrength + Rice Water Protein + Moisture Strengthening Treatment

This is a recent addition to my routine, but it’s quickly assumed a top-tier position. It’s an intense weekly treatment formulated to provide just the right balance of protein and moisture to maintain a healthy, shiny and strong head of hair. To really pack a punch, I always leave this in overnight.

9. Aveda Exfoliating Scalp Brush

Healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp, and since introducing the Aveda Exfoliating Scalp Brush to my routine, I can honestly say my hair has never looked better. Most effective when used before shampoo, the dry brushing process helps to loosen build-up and dirt, and also it just feels nice—like a scalp massage. Before every wash, I gently massage my scalp with this brush, and honestly, it feels incredible!

10. Ori Lifestyle Deep Conditioning Heat Cap

This heated hair cap has revolutionised my haircare practice and changed my deep-conditioning game. The addition of heat means that your hair treatments, oils and masks work doubly as hard. The heat works to help products penetrate deeper into your strands for even healthier hair. Any time I have a hair mask on, I'm also wearing this cap. Just microwave it to heat it up, place it on top of your masked hair and let it do its thing. You won’t regret adding this to your basket.

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