Hydrated hair is healthy hair, and no matter how you are rocking your natural curls, there are specific products to help keep your mane nourished.
But it's important to note that natural hair comes in such a variety of hair types and textures — our hair is not monotypical. So depending on your own unique curls and coils, there are specific ingredients and products you'll need to keep in mind to tend your needs. And typically, that will vary by hair type and porosity.
What’s the Difference Between Type 3 and Type 4 Hair?
If you have type 3 hair, your hair will likely range from light, loose curls to tighter coils. Type 4 curls range from very small and tight spirals to a zig-zag type hair pattern, but sometimes this afro hair type doesn't have a defined curl pattern — and there's nothing wrong with that.
What Is Hair Porosity?
To discover your hair porosity, pay close attention to how your hair behaves in the shower. If the water just sits on your hair, then you likely have low porosity hair. If your hair sucks up water then you more than likely have high porosity hair. High porosity hair also tends to lose curl definition quickly.
But no matter your hair type or texture, if you are looking for products to penetrate your strands for optimum hair health, then avoid products with silicone. "Silicones can actually block moisture coming from the natural ingredients," explains hairstylist Naté Bova.
Here, Bova shares the best products to use for each hair type.
The Best Products for Type 3 Hair
When it comes to type 3 hair, Bova stresses the importance of your "leave-in and daily care [products] to have a bit lighter weight."
Seeing as this hair type is curly, but too much product can easily weigh down the hair strands, you don't want to use formulas that will leave hair greasy.
Hydro Hair Leave-In Hair Mask
A great leave-in moisturizer for type 3 hair (whether it’s low or high porosity) is Hydro Hair Leave-In Hair Mask. “This leave-in moisturizer (also silicone-free) combines aloe vera with vitamin rich botanicals to moisturize the hair without being too heavy,” Bova explains. “You can also layer it with your favorite styling product.”
Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Complex Color Care Conditioner
If you are looking for a rinse out conditioner that’s great for low porosity type 3A, 3B, and 3C hair textures Bova suggests Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Complex Color Care Conditioner. “Color treated or not, this daily conditioner detangles quickly, is silicone -ree and smells great,” she states. The product is also not that heavy, so it won’t drag down your curls.
Andalou Naturals Argan Oil & Shea Conditioner
For high porosity type 3 hair, try Andalou Naturals Argan Oil & Shea Moisture Rich Conditioner. Bova explains that this product is “great for 3A, 3B, and 3C hair that has a bit more heat and/or color damage as the formula is thicker and richer with the argan and shea butter.” Argan oil is a powerhouse ingredient that helps to improve scalp health while moisturizing and conditioning your strands as it’s high in fatty acids. It also protects your hair from natural environmental elements like the sun.
And if all else fails, try a DIY mask.
"I recommend grabbing a big aloe vera stalk, cutting the meat out of a third of it and mixing it with room temperature coconut oil," shares Bova. "Apply to the hair, comb or brush through and rinse after about 20 minutes and then lightly shampoo out."
Aloe vera contains fatty and amino acids, as well as vitamins A, C, E, and B12, making it great for fortifying hair follicles and promoting growth.
VIDEO: Expert-Approved Tips for Taking Care of Curly Hair
The Best Products For Type 4 Hair
Mielle Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk
If you have high porosity type 4 hair, Mielle Organics Moisturizing Avocado Hair Milk contains hydrating humectants including horsetail extract and aloe vera to lock in moisture. The rice and wheat protein helps fortify the hair.
Shea Moisture Strength & Restore Leave-In Conditioner
Type 4 coily hair often suffers from dryness, so moisture is a must for hair health. If you have low porosity 4A, 4B, or 4C textures, Bova recommends Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner. “This will help maintain elasticity as these textures are a bit more difficult to detangle,” explains Bova. The product also contains shea butter to help strengthen and moisturize your strands while the castor and peppermint oil helps stimulate the scalp.
Creme of Nature Argan Oil
This magical miracle formula boasts seven key benefits including detangling, heat protection, frizz control, hydration, shine, and more. Personally, I find it works best on hair that has been freshly shampooed. While this product works on type 4 hair no matter the porosity, for low porosity hair, sitting under a hooded dryer will help the product better penetrate into your strands.
TGIN Rose Water Curl Refresher
When gauging hair hydration, Bova reminds us “there is a difference between frizz and dryness.” She explains, “If the curls are not defined a day or two after styling then you should either restyle by shampooing your hair or add some styling product to freshen the curls.” Give TGIN Rose Water Curl Refresher a try to revive dull and lifeless curls.
This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.
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