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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.


    Really do not have a pattern or curl….is it possible for a pattern to develop or.do.I need other products really just want to be able to shape up and wear hair naturally.

    JuliaAnn Wynn Rambough

    My hair is 4c. My curl pattern is tight and soft. It needs a lot of TLC. I’m finding your brush hard to work with. Not sure if working from the ends—to my scalp is the best method. I am combing it out while it’s wet and braiding it as I go. Need styling suggestions, and can’t go to the salon now due to CoVid-19.
    What does ‘Protein-free for protein-sensitive hair’ mean?


    I’d really love to try out these products; I’m yet to find the perfect conditioner for my hair (it’s a mix of 4b&4c with very low porosity). How do I get pattern beauty in Nigeria please?

    Sophia Ahuoyiza

    I love the Hydration Shampoo (lather is incredible) and the Heavy Conditioner but I find that none of the conditioners really have enough slip to really promote detangling of my 4C hair. I mainly use them to condition and moisturize after it’s already detangled. I love the Leave In Conditioner! I pair it with Argan oil at the very end. A true detangler for 4C hair would be a Godsend!


    My hair has never been as soft or manageable as it is after using Pattern products. I am all natural with mixed gray hair. Even my husband’s beard is softer and more manageable. I purchased the sample kit first and have just received my order for the entire line if products in much larger sizes. Can’t wait to use the oil. Thank you !

    Marcia Baynes

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