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4B/4C Curl Patterns: Tips & Tricks for Ultimate Success on Wash Day

4B/4C Curl Patterns: Tips & Tricks for Ultimate Success on Wash Day

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Type 4B & 4C friends—we’ve heard your call for a broader discussion on how coily & tight textured curlies in our community can best use their PATTERN formulas & tools, & we are here for this conversation! We celebrate that each curly hair type is unique & recognize that hair products function differently for each person’s hair strand, so the team is very excited to provide suggestions below to help you find the most success on wash day for individuals with either a 4B curl pattern or 4C curl pattern hair type. We recommend starting with a pre wash hair treatment before you begin shampooing. 

woman shampooing her hair in shower

Shampoo Time

Start with a gentle wash with our Hydration Shampoo—you’ll enjoy a thorough clean from our delicate, oil-packed cleanser, & many of our tight-textured shoppers (type 4A - 4C) find their curly type more hydrated, softer and beginning to detangle even from just the shampoo itself.

woman washing her hair in bathtub

Conditioning is Everything

And we’ve got options…

Choosing which conditioner is right for your hair density is an undeniable step for maintaining maximum moisture! Knowing your curl pattern, hair texture, your hair’s porosity, its protein sensitivity, the weather environment & the extent of potential chemical or heat damage from the past are some of the factors to consider as you choose between different formulas.

Medium Conditioner

  • Works very well for curly & coily hair
  • Offers plenty of hydration, slip & curl definition
  • Works well for medium hair porosity folks
  • Is perfection for a wash day when you are only looking to co-wash (aka, use only conditioner)

Heavy Conditioner

  • Very rich, buttery thick formula that imparts a ton of moisture
  • Works beautifully for coily hair & any tight-textured hair pattern
  • High porosity hair folks whose hair craves as much moisture as it can get will love this hydrating formula
  • Protein-free for protein-sensitive hair
  • Works amazingly as a deep conditioning treatment

Intensive Conditioner

  • This deep conditioner loves a tight-textured hair pattern
  • Rich yet slightly milkier formula (compared to the Heavy Conditioner) to help glide through a denser hair texture
  • This low porosity hair product is great for folks struggling to get moisture to penetrate deep into their hair cuticle
  • Protein-free for protein-sensitive hair

Still unsure which might work best? Give our Mini Conditioner Bundle try to test all three and learn which hair product your 4C curls or type 4B hair will favor most!

You know your curly hair type best, so feel free to jump around the recommendations above & test out a few—your new favorite may surprise you! When it comes to caring for your 4B/4C hair type, PATTERN conditioners are the perfect complement to our hydrating shampoo for curly hair & other PATTERN products. Explore our beauty bundles to find the ideal combination to enhance & nurture your unique curly hair.

Pattern intensive conditioner display in shower

More Tips for Conditioning

  • In order to allow our conditioners to do their best work, they must be water activated! Be sure to keep thoroughly wet hair throughout the process.
  • Allow the conditioner to fully penetrate strands before detangling.
  • Try leaving the conditioner on for longer periods of time under a cap or in use with a hair steamer to really open up the hair cuticle & let the nourishment seep in.
  • Finger detangle while conditioner seeps into your strands to start the detangling process in a super gentle manner.
    • Working in small sections (we suggest using our extra big & strong Hair Clip to hold back the rest of your hair), gently rake fingers through starting at the most delicate section of the hair—the ends.
    • Slowly make your way up to the middle of the hair & then up to the roots & eventually comb all the way back down through the hair as the tangles are gently worked out. Shedding hair is normal, but this gentle process should help you lose as few hairs as possible!
    • Fingers or a wide-tooth comb may work best for detangling either a 4C curl pattern or 4B curl pattern if you find the Shower Brush contains too many bristles for your type 4C or 4B curls (stay tuned for some new tools coming soon!)
    • Keep newly detangled sections twisted up & out of your way so you can easily progress around your whole head.
  • Rinse out conditioner & follow with the Leave-In Conditioner to seal in moisture,
  • further detangle strands & define your natural hair curls as you style your hair.

    two women sitting share tips for conditioning

    For a Little Extra TLC

    Treat your type 4 hair & scalp to boost of moisture & revitalization with the Oil Serums. Our Jojoba Oil Hair Serum feels amazing as it brings hydration & revitalizing properties to the scalp! We also love to follow Tracee’s tip with the Argan Oil Hair Serum, which is perfect to cocktail with some Leave-In Conditioner after a day of using styling cream or curly hair gel products for an extra boosted hydration layer on our strands as we step out of the shower.

    Don’t forget the Microfiber Towel as needed to gently squish & soak up excess water post-shower keeping those curls defined & intact after your brush styling. It’s one of our favorite styling product tools along with our shower detangling brush, hair pick, wide tooth comb, hair clip, mini shower brush, hair pins etc.

    Please share your 4B & 4C hair care tips in the comments below to help fellow coilies & tight textures with hair product questions, favorite methods & more. Learn more about your curl type by checking out our curl pattern chart today!

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    Reviewed by Ashley Ludgood

    With over 12 years of experience in the beauty and fashion industry, Ashley Ludgood brings a wealth of expertise to her current role at PATTERN. Her insights have been featured in reputable publications like American Salon Magazine, American Spa Magazine, and Skin, Inc. Ashley has also shared her knowledge at conferences, including Face & Body, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to contributing to the industry. Having been an integral part of the team at PATTERN for nearly 4 years, Ashley continues to make significant contributions. Holding a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, she remains passionate about her field. Among her favorite products, Ashley turns to the PATTERN Styling Cream, Moisture Milk, and the Cleansing Shampoo as her go-to essentials.


    This is absolutely awesome information. Enjoy the journey.

    Joann thomas

    I happen to be in Ulta when i noticed the display of Traci Ellis Ross’s hair care products. At the time she only had the shampoo and conditioner. So before jumping the jumbo size product i wanted to try it so I got travel size of the shampoo and conditioner and leave in. When celebrities come out hair products they usually sucks. But once i washed my hair that night with all the products, I was a believer. With the thicken of the conditioner to the smell I loved it all. So much I went back and bought the bigger sizes and the brush. Once again i found myself in Ulta and what do i see, my girl done dropped some more product strong hold gel have to try. I don’t want to miss out on trying that edge control. Baby let me tell you my edges laid and my hair with the strong hold you can’t tell me anything. When you first open the gel it has the same smell as the shampoo and conditioner. Right now its giving me this wet look and I’m in love. All I’m waiting for now is a moisturizer.


    The jojoba-oil doesn’t on my hair (3c front/4a back); for some reason my it seems to tangle my hair at the ends and dries it out…suggestions any ???


    I love, love, love the Shampoo & Conditioners. Finally, after years of purchasing products and being disappointed. First time shampoo & Condition proved to be what I’ve been searching for, for years. Thank you Tracy & the Team❤️


    I am at a loss with my daughters hair. She is 3 years old and the front just won’t grow. She had hair as a baby then it all fell out, now it’s finally finally coming in very very very slowly but the front…the front just won’t . I’m not sure what to do. I don’t wash it but every 2-3 weeks maybe even 4, I condition when I do. Moisturizer because it dries out so easily, it will not hold moisture. Also sleep cap and satin pillow case at night to help limit breakage and keep moisture.

    Tiffiny F

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