Look, I absolutely love my hair texture. But as anyone with 4c hair knows well, it takes a ton of blood, sweat, and tears to find that perfect wash-day combo that will leave your curls bouncy, defined, and hydrated. I'm pretty sure I've tried, like, a million cleansers, leave-ins, and curl creams to figure out WTF would make my hair happy. Thankfully, through a TON of trial and error, I've discovered the key to strong and healthy curls. But, before I spill all my secrets—aka the very best products for 4c hair—let's clear up some questions first.
What does it mean to have 4c hair?
If you've got 4c hair—you can double check that, here—your curl pattern is made up of super-tight zigzags that are densely packed. (Translation: You deal with a lot of shrinkage.) Your curls are less defined than the other curl types, but it's not represented by one single texture: Your hair can range from ultra fine to super coarse.
What are the best products for 4c hair?
The secret to getting the strongest, healthiest 4c hair? Daily moisture. 4c curls are delicate, which means they're often prone to damage and breakage. That's why you want to look for products with hydrating ingredients like almond oil, argan oil, and shea butter (think: leave-in masks, cleansing conditioners, and lightweight oils). They'll moisturize your curls to the fullest without completely weighing them down.
It's also important to consider your hair porosity before you start slapping on any products. Porosity is hair speak for your curl's ability to get (and stay) hydrated. If you have high-porosity hair, your curls drink up moisture quickly—but it doesn't last for long, so you'll need richer products to keep your hair healthy.
Low-porosity hair has a tough time soaking anything up, so products will just sit on your curls rather than being fully absorbed. You'll need lightweight and hydrating products to keep your hair moisturized. (Still have no idea what any of this means? You can take a quiz here to find out your exact porosity.)
How do you apply products to 4c hair?
4c curls are delicate, remember? You want to be gentle when you're working with products and styling your hair. There's no set guidebook when it comes to applying products to 4c hair, but in case you need somewhere to start, the LOC method is a solid place to begin. That's when you apply a leave-in, followed by an oil, and then a cream to add moisture and define your curl pattern.
Are these 4c hair products Curly Girl Method-approved?
If you live and breathe the Curly Girl Method (the styling approach that replaces harsh ingredients with gentle products), there are def products on this list that'll work for you. Buuuut, be sure to double check the ingredients before you hit purchase.
Now, for the good stuff. Keep reading for the 15 best 4c hair products to add to your routine.Courtesy Image4c Only Too Slick Styling Cream4conly.com$22.50
This Moisturizing Styling Cream for 4c Curls
1. 4c Only Too Slick Styling Cream
Made by a brand that focuses only on 4c curls (!!!), this styling cream is packed with ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and carnauba wax that boost hydration, smooth flyaways, and hold your curl pattern—all without weighing it down.
Courtesy ImageSilk Pillowcasesephora.com$89.00
This Silk Pillowcase for 4c Hair
2. Slip Silk Pillowcase
4c curls are super sensitive, which means you have to show them some extra love. Lay your head on a silk pillowcase at night—the silk fibers help to retain moisture and reduce any potential breakage while you toss and turn.
Courtesy ImageDesign Essentials Coconut & Monoi Water Curl Refreshulta.com$12.99
This Curl Refresher for 4c Hair
3. Design Essentials Coconut & Monoi Water Curl Refresh
This curl refresher will literally breathe life back into your 4c hair. The lightweight and hydrating formula, which includes chamomile and sunflower oil, helps quench thirsty curls in seconds. Spritz it on your wash and go or twist-out to give your day-three curls some day-one bounce.
Courtesy ImageTangle Teezer The Ultimate Detanglerulta.com$15.50
This Detangling Brush for 4c Curls
4. Tangle Teezer
Listen, your arms are tired; all that detangling is taking a toll on them. So give them a break and use this detangling brush on your 4c curls instead. The two-tiered teeth on this super-light paddle brush legit glide through your knots without pulling out excess amounts of hair. Pro tip: Start brushing from your ends and then move up to your roots to prevent any potential breakage.
Courtesy ImageCreme Of Nature Argan Oil Apple Cider Vinegar Rinseamazon.com$9.99
This Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse for 4c Curls
5. Creme Of Nature Argan Oil Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
If you're dealing with a flaky scalp, or you're just in the market for a really good clarifying product, this lather-free, ACV rinse is for you. It gently removes product buildup, soothes itchy and dry scalp, and leaves your 4c curls feeling softer and looking smoother.
Courtesy ImageAunt Jackie's Knot on My Watch Instant Detangling TherapyAunt Jackie'starget.com$6.99
This Detangling Treatment for 4c Curls
6. Aunt Jackie's Knot on My Watch
Okay, now that you have the right brush for detangling your 4c hair, you need a detangling treatment that works just as well. Enter: this shea butter and olive oil-infused hair detangler, which softens your curls and gives them just the right amount of slip to make brushing through knots and tangles a breeze.
Courtesy ImageCarol's Daughter's Almond Milk Daily Damage Repair Ultra-Nourishing Hair Masktarget.com$11.99
This Deep Conditioning Mask for 4c Curls
7. Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Ultra-Nourishing Hair Mask
You need to add this mask to your weekly wash-day routine ASAP. There's so much good stuff swimming around in the formula—including almond oil and shea butter—that will keep your 4c hair feeling super hydrated and happy. Just work it into your wet hair and wash it out after about five minutes.
Courtesy ImageDove Beauty Hydrating Cleanse Shampootarget.com$6.99
This Hydrating Shampoo for 4c Curls
8. Dove Amplified Textures Hydrating Cleanse Shampoo
Not only is this shampoo sulfate-free—meaning it cleanses your hair without stripping it—but it's also soooo hydrating. Thanks to shea butter, aloe juice, and coconut oil, this shampoo adds moisture and shine, leaving your 4c hair clean, soft, and glossy.
Courtesy ImagePantene Pro-V Gold Series Deep Hydrating Co-Washwalmart.com$9.98
This Co-Wash for 4c Curls
9. Pantene Pro-V Gold Series Deep Hydrating Co-Wash Curls
Argan oil is the MVP ingredient in this co-wash (aka cleansing conditioner). It instantly adds shine and moisture to dry, 4c curls without completely weighing them down. You can use it to replace your shampoo and conditioner, or you can add it to your routine whenever you want to switch things up.
Courtesy ImageCharlotte Mensah Manketti Hair Oilcharlottemensah.com£48.00
This Hair Oil for 4c Curls
10. Charlotte Mensah Manketti Hair Oil
It took me so long to find just the right hair oil that would hydrate my hair without making my 4c curls greasy or limp. Thankfully, this oil answered all of my prayers. It softens my hair immediately without weighing it down (shout out to the manketti oil in the formula) and it helps smooth down any flyaways.
Courtesy ImageCamille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Buttertarget.com$16.99
This Curl Butter for 4c Curls
11. Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter
This curl butter is infused with a hydrating mix of aloe leaf juice, honey, and almond oil extract that help soften your 4c curls, smooth your flyaways, and bump up your shine. Another plus? It gives you great hold and definition for your twist-outs and braid-outs. A win-win.
Courtesy ImageThe Mane Choice Leave-In Spraysallybeauty.com$13.99
This Leave-In Spray for 4c Curls
12. The Mane Choice Leave-In Conditioner Spray
A couple of spritzes of this leave-in conditioner not only adds an instant boost to dry curls, but it also detangles, moisturizes, and smooths. It also makes styling your 4c curls wayyyy easier, IMO.
Courtesy ImageAunt Jackie's Flaxseed Don't Shrink Curling Geltarget.com$6.99
This Gel for 4c Curls
13. Aunt Jackie's Flaxseed Don't Shrink Curling Gel
Is there anything worse than that dry and flaky texture that some gels leave behind? TBH, no. Thankfully, this curl gel exists. With vitamin E, fatty acids, and flaxseed in its formula, this gel will give you amazing definition and hold without feeling heavy or stiff on your 4c curls.
Courtesy ImageNairobi Wrapp-It Shine Foaming Lotionamazon.com$14.99$12.50 (17% off)
This Mousse for 4c Curls
14. Nairobi Wrapp-It Shine Foaming Lotion
If you want some body added to your curls, you definitely need to add this product into your rotation. This mousse is fast-drying, adds instant sheen, and dries quickly. It also doesn't make your 4c hair hard or flaky—it's legit magic in a bottle.
Courtesy ImageHicks Total Transformations Edges Styling Gelamazon.com$13.97
This Edge Control for 4c Curls
15. Hicks Edges
Edge control is a must—no matter what look you're rocking. This formula adds just the right amount of shine and hydration, leaving your 4c curls with super-sleek edges that'll stay in place all day without flaking.Related StoryTruly Brilliant Tricks for Styling Curly Hair