4c hair

I’m Lazy about Caring for My 4C Hair, but These Products Make It So Easy

If having 4C hair feels like a part-time job, you’ll want these tried-and-tested favorites.

By: Annie Blay

Going natural was the best decision I’ve ever made—and the worst. Don’t get me wrong, I love my coily 4C hair, but some days it feels like it just doesn’t love me back. When I first went natural six years ago, my hair-care routine was pretty simple: shampoo, condition, and style. I didn’t realize that my texture required a lot more TLC. Going to the salon was out of the question, and even if I could afford the trip twice a month, the number of reputable hair salons and stylists in upstate New York that were willing to deal with 4C hair were scarce.

There are already so many stigmas surrounding 4C hair—misconceptions that it doesn’t grow, or that it’s dry with undefined curls. With all this working against me, I was determined to dispel the narrative and live my life with cute, healthy, and defined curls.

In order to learn more, I reached out to the community of Black women around me for support, only to be shocked by the amount of work that goes into caring for 4C hair. The routine was supposed to go a little something like this: pre-poo, shampoo, deep condition, hot oil treatment, moisturize with the LOC (liquid, oil, cream) method, then style. That’s twice the amount of steps that I was accustomed to before going natural, so clearly, this was a lot to take in.

Just one year into my natural hair journey, I was already over it. Women on Instagram and YouTube made caring for their hair look so easy, but spending five-plus hours and using a list of products longer than a CVS receipt was just not for me. Having 4C hair felt like a part-time job with no payday in sight.

That’s why I decided very early on in my hair journey that I am a lazy natural.

So I simplified it. I felt a little guilty at first, like I was taking shortcuts and cheating, but once I realized I could still achieve strong and healthy hair without all the fuss, you couldn’t tell me anything. Don’t get me wrong—there’s nothing wrong with going through all the steps and having an in-depth hair-care routine. There are even some days where I’ll deep-condition for an hour AND do a hot oil treatment (just to pass the time).

But if you’re anything like me, you want the results with only half the effort. If that’s the case, here are a few products I use during wash day that make the whole process a little faster and a whole lot easier.


Creme of Nature Argan Oil Perfect 7 Leave In Treatment


A good leave-in conditioner with slip is essential for detangling 4C hair. The task of detangling is always so daunting, especially with a head full of thick, coarse hair, but this leave-in provides enough slip to help the detangling process go by quicker and with a lot less pain.


Revlon One-step Volumizer Hair Dryer


This hair dryer changed the game for me! Before this purchase, it would take me anywhere between one and 1.5 hours to blow-dry my hair; with this drying brush, the time it takes to reach a successful home blowout is cut down to about 30–45 minutes. It also leaves me with the straightest blowout, which makes it easy to put my hair into any protective style after.



Alaffia Whipped Shea Butter & Coconut Oil


Shopping Black-owned is so important to me, so when I discovered this brand, I knew I had to incorporate it into my routine. It started as my go-to winter moisturizer, but one day, while randomly reading the ingredients, I realized it might work well in my hair, and wow, was I right!


Aztec Indian Healing Clay


The only way you haven’t heard of this mask is if you live under a rock. This cult fave is known for being a great face mask, but it doubles as a cleansing hair mask, too. It acts as a purifying treatment that removes product buildup, conditions, and defines curls. It’s my holy grail for when I need a two-for-one product.



Creme of Nature Argan Oil Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Rinse


Sometimes I’ll go a few weeks in a protective style that requires a lot of gel; my hair doesn't feel dirty enough to do a full-on wash day, but I do need to get rid of the buildup. This product works wonders at leaving my scalp clean and healthy. After a quick shampoo, this gets rid of any excess buildup, especially around my edges.


Conair Wide Tooth Comb


Every 4B/4C girl knows that the right comb can make or break your wash day (literally). After trying countless combs that claimed to be 4C friendly, all I was left with was a bunch of broken combs and no willpower to detangle my hair. Enter the Conair wide-tooth comb. It makes detangling my hair so much easier, and it’s strong enough to handle my unruly coils.


Tropic Isle Black Jamaican Black Castor Oil Hair Food


My hair eats this stuff up! One of the biggest struggles with my hair is getting it to grow and retain length, and this product helps so much. It’s an oil-based moisturizer that knocks out the oil-and-cream step of the LOC method. Any product that helps my hair grow and lets me skip a step in my routine is a winner.


Dream Girls Hair TLC Comb-out Treatment


Detangling is the most dreaded part of my wash days, but proper detangling helps promote growth and reduces breakage. This detangler makes my hair soft and easy for detangling. It’s formulated with no sulfates, which makes it that much better for 4C hair because sulfates can strip the hair of its moisture and natural oils.


Got2B Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel


4C hair is notorious for being hard to slick back because of how thick it is. I had completely given up on trying to tame my edges or do a low bun style until I discovered this product. This gel has a strong hold without any of the white flakes that some other gels can leave. Laying my edges with this as the final step of my hair routine is so satisfying because it takes less than a minute, and I know my waves aren’t going anywhere for the rest of the day.


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