10 Tips On How To Retain Length On 4c Hair | Retaining Length and Growing Natural Hair

Learn how to retain length on 4c hair including low porosity natural hair and relaxed hair. The tips include using length retention hairstyles, oils and more.

If you have ever wondered how you can retain the length of your 4c hair, then you are at the right place. Let’s face it. Growing your hair requires a lot of patience and commitment especially if you have 4c hair. 

This hair type is extra fragile and requires extra care and attention. Read on further if you want to achieve and meet your hair goals. 

I hope this article will help you save time, keep your hair healthy and prevent any breakage and damage.  

If you are a proud girl owning those luscious curls, but find it a little difficult to retain length, below are a few simple tips on how you can care and retain the length of your hair. 

But first, let us understand a little bit more about 4c hair.

What is 4C hair?

4C hair has a tight zig-zag pattern along with  tightly coiled strands. Although there is no particular curl pattern, it is defined by twisting through the strands. 

The 4c hair curl type and pattern is very tight and is more prone to dryness, shrinkage and breakage. Did you know a fascinating fact about 4c hair is that the length grows at roughly ½ inch per month which is about six inches per year? 

So, keeping this in mind, how on earth would you determine the exact length you would want to achieve? It is also tied to your genetics, if your previous generation had longer hair, then your hair will grow faster and longer. 

If they had shorter hair, then you need more effort to get the length you desire.

Like I mentioned  earlier, growing your hair requires a great deal of patience from you. You may need to wait a few months before you see any changes in your hair growth. 

There are a few things that you can do to care for your 4c hair and the key is not just to grow it but also retain the length you wish. It is very important to do a decent job of retaining your length and keep it healthy. 

Here are my top 10 favorite tips and secrets of retaining length of your 4c hair:

How To Retain Length On 4c Hair

1.Trimming your split ends regularly 

how to retain length on relaxed hair

You might think by trimming your length, all your effort of growing your hair would be of no use. 

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But there are incredible benefits in trimming the split ends as it will help prevent any breakage and allow a healthy space for your hair to grow out. 

Do not believe that split ends can be cured with magic creams or conditioners, the only way to eliminate them is to completely cut it off. It will only split up the hair shaft and cause more breakage and tangling. 

Also, if you have to detangle your hair, do it in sections and work your way up to the roots.

2. Shampoo your hair every 2 weeks to remove buildup

how to grow 4c hair to waist length

By shampooing your hair every 2 to 4 weeks, not only will your scalp be healthy and clean but also allows for moisture back into the hair and takes away any product buildup. 

Try switching to a sulfate-free shampoo that won’t dry your hair unnecessarily. This will prevent hair breakage and a tangled mess. 

You can also try washing your hair in sections to help retain the length. 4c hair shrinks and gets tangled easily so wash each section to prevent detangling, and unnecessary damage.

3. Use products that are created for 4c hair types-

best oil for length retention

Always take extra care and try to find out which products work best for you and which don’t. 

You can use moisturizing products to help retain moisture into the hair and prevent it from getting dry

Besides getting the right nutrients and hydration, this is the next possible good thing you can do to retain the length of your 4c hair. 

As I already stated before, 4c hair can be fragile so it needs consistent moisture to help prevent any dryness. 

Some of the best moisturizers are the ones found in your own kitchen like natural oils and butters (coconut oils, shea butter, rapeseed etc). 

Please note, once you moisturize your hair, seal the moisture with some essential oils like olive or grapeseed. Water based products are the best  moisturizers to prevent any split ends.

4. Scalp massages can help boost new hair growth

retaining length on 4c hair tips

Scalp massages will greatly help with 4c hair with regards to  length retention and hair growth. When your scalp gets massaged, it helps circulate the blood flow and hair follicles

This helps in the promotion of hair growth. You can try doing this every night for around five minutes with a special scalp brush. 

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Always keep in mind that a healthy scalp is responsible for your healthy hair growth.When you massage your scalp, use your fingertips and not your nails. 

Again, be sure to use natural oils or a combination of your favorite oils. 

Tight plastic headbands and clips can tear your hair and the sharp edges can cause scratches on your scalp which will ultimately lead to follicle damage. Avoid this problem with cloth-covered headbands.

5. Deep conditioning your hair is a must to retain length

how to retain length on fine natural hair

Your 4C hair will benefit with a deep conditioning treatment. This helps your hair remain shiny, healthy and provides your hair with more nourishment and moisture.

Keep in mind that a well-moisturized hair will not break off or tangle. So you still will be able to grow your hair easily and retain the length. 

I recommend doing  this practice every two weeks or at least once a month.  After conditioning, you can gently place a plastic cap on your hair and sit under a hot dryer for fifteen minutes. 

A hot towel is better too. Your curls will be more bouncy and lively with each session.

6. Use your fingers to detangle 4c hair to prevent breakage

how to retain length on natural hair

4c hair has a tendency to clump together into very tight coils which causes tangling very often. 

This can lead to further damage and unnecessary discomfort. It also discourages optimal hair growth.the best solution for this is finger detangling which may take long but it is an effective method to avoid knots or strands that fall off. 

With finger detangling, you will save ample time before any knots and tangles occur to cause damage and breakage for your hair. 

It also helps to add oil to your fingertips before detangling a section of your hair. Keep extra brushes, combs and other tools to a minimum as they can be too harsh for your hair.

7. Wear your 4c in protective hairstyles

length retention hairstyles

Did you know a protective styling like twists, buns  and braids for months will help in retaining hair growth? 

The key with these hair styles is to keep your hair stretched and make hair care easier and more efficient to avoid knots and breakage.

Leave them on for about four to eight weeks and then wash it off and allow your hair to breathe before trying a new style. 

This also helps prevent hair breakage, tangling and irritating knots. Avoid this as much as possible because breakage will interfere in the process of retaining your 4c hair length. 

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Another way to retain  the length is to ditch flat irons, blow dryers  and abandon excessive  heat for a while which will lead to breakage and lack of moisture.

8. Eat a healthy diet to get nutrients for your hair

How To Retain Length On 4c Hair

As silly as it may sound, your hair needs enough nutrients, minerals, and water to stay healthy and strong.

If you do not consume the necessary  nutrients, your hair will not thrive outside. Remember, your hair whether 4c or otherwise,  grows from your body and is a reflection of your inner health. 

Once you begin to eat healthy , workout regularly and consume enough water, you will notice a massive difference.

9. Try doing a “pre poo” treatment before washing hair 

how to retain length on 4c natural hair

Prepoo is similar to hot oil treatment which is used in deep conditioning and it involves letting natural oils rest on the hair before washing it. 

Pre-Pooing is done before washing and shampooing the hair and  involves treating the hair with conditioner and hot oils before washing it off. 

It gives your hair added strength, prevents breakage and damage and also gives your hair extra protection as well to retain the length you desire. 

This treatment is mainly done simply to make the hair less fragile and preserve some of its natural oils. 

Some good oils to be used include avocado, coconut and righteous roots oils. Less is more so do not overdo it.

10. Protect your hair when you sleep using a silk bonnet or pillowcase

length retention while sleeping

Cotton is a very absorbent material that prevents your hair from getting any moisture while you sleep. 

The weave of cotton fibers can cause your hair strands to break and get tangled. 

Low thread count cotton pillowcases can prevent hair growth so switching to satin/silk pillowcases provide a smooth barrier for the hair strands to glide and reduce friction and damage. 

Another method to avoid is towel-drying which causes split ends and friction. Use a microfiber towel or old t-shirt instead.

4c hair is very fragile when compared to other hair types. So the more you 

manipulate your hair, the more knots and hair breakage. 

This becomes difficult to retain the length you are seeking. Understand that healthy hair and desired length will not come within a day.

The journey to achieving your dream hair requires great care, patience and consistency.