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27 Best Hairstyles For 4A Natural Hair + Tips To Maximize Your Coils’ Potential

27 Best Hairstyles For 4A Natural Hair + Tips To Maximize Your Coils’ Potential

4A natural hair is famously known for its iconic volume and tight, “gravity-defying” curls. Styling 4A hair can be challenging but with the right products and the know-how, you can maximize the potential of your coils.

Today, I’ll share with you everything you need to know about 4A hair type including the most flattering hairstyles and cuts for 4A natural hair. We’ll also go through the best hair care tips for coily hair followed by plenty of styling tips. Buckle up and let’s get started!

What Is 4A Hair?

Along with 4B and 4C, the 4A hair type is a subtype of the coily hair category. Unlike 4B and 4C, 4A hair has smoother cuticles, more defined coils, and looks more shiny. Now, the biggest trademarks of 4A hair type are tight S-shaped coils, high hair density, and a dryer texture.

The easiest way to recognize 4A hair is by paying attention to its texture. Generally, this hair type is easily recognizable by its tight, S-shaped coils. Given that 4A hair type has dense S-patterned coils, it requires more styling to maintain a well-defined coily texture. A curl cream combined with a leave-in moisturizer is always a good choice for this hair type. (More on that below.)

It’s important to mention that curly-haired people can have mixed curl patterns and textures, which often makes it difficult to define to which hair category your mane belongs.

NOTE : The terms coily and curly don’t mean the same thing. Coily hair belongs to the three main types of curly hair: wavy, curly, and coily. Each type has three subtypes according to the hair thickness, texture, and other features. In this case, coily hair has three subtypes: 4A, 4B, and 4C. Now, let’s go back to the terms coily and curly. As you can see, coily is another way of saying “tight curl”, while curly is a broader term defining curls of different sizes from small to large.

27 Best Styles And Cuts For 4A Natural Hair

Finding the perfect hairstyle and haircut for your hair type is crucial for elevating your hair game. That being said, here are the trendiest styles for 4A natural curly hair!

1. Ultra Voluminous 4A Hair

4A hair is naturally voluminous because of tight, S-shaped curls. However, there’s still a way to boost hair volume and you’ll do that by cutting your hair in layers, using curl cream, and drying your hair upside down with a diffuser.

2. Sleek Low Ponytail

Different textures are what make hairstyles look unique and eye-catching. The sleek low queue de cheval is one of the easiest hairstyles for 4A hair and a real head-turner. To create this style, you’ll need to apply hair gel on the crown and brush your hair with a fine-tooth comb. Gather your hair into a low ponytail and secure it with an elastic. Congrats, you’re done!

3. Red Orange 4A Hair With An Undercut

4A hair with an undercut creates a breathtaking contrast between the voluminous coils and tapered side(s). Pro tip: choose a vivid hair color like red-orange to add more personality to this bold style.

4. Comb Coils Pineapple Updo

Comb coils are becoming increasingly popular and the best is that this hairstyle can last from 1 to 2 weeks. Here’s a short tutorial on creating comb coils:

Wash your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner, and divide your hair into small sections. Use a standard rat tail comb in the following way: turn the comb around the small section of your hair until you reach the ends. Do the same for the rest of your hair. Enjoy your tight, bouncy coils!

5. Passion Twist Braids For 4A Hair Type

Passion twists are two-strand twists done by braiding in hair extensions for a natural boho look. Passion twist braids can last 6 to 8 weeks, so this braided style is perfect for those who want to rock a stylish, low-maintenance hairstyle.

6. Micro Locs

Let me introduce you to the hairstyle that can last a lifetime – beautiful micro locs! Micro locs can be braided or split into two sections and then twisted. Both styles transform into locs over time and when you get tired of it, you can always unbraid or brush it out.

7. Layered 4A Hair With A Middle Part

Choose layered 4A hair with a middle part to balance your features and create a more stylish look. Face-framing layers are also a great way to achieve a face-framing effect without much effort.

8. Bantu Knots

Beautiful Bantu knots are the centuries-old style that enhances your hair’s natural texture. 4A hair thrives in this style and here’s the best way to achieve it:

Wash your hair, apply conditioner, and layer styling products. Section your hair into as many sections as you want. Create a two-strand twist for each section and wind the twist into a knot. Tuck the knots in with a rat tail comb or use bobby pins to secure them.

9. Space Buns Half Updo Style

Space buns are an easy hairstyle anyone can achieve in just a few minutes. This cute style will ensure that your voluminous 4A hair is away from your face without sacrificing the natural texture of your coils. Often, the simplest hairstyles are the greatest.

10. Micro Locs Pixie Cut

Micro locs pixie cut features a fluffy, textured look that makes a bold statement. Micro locs pixie cut in daring hues such as platinum blonde will ensure you become the center of attention everywhere you go (and for a reason).

11. Bantu Locs

Locs are a super cool protective style perfect for 4A hair. With locs, there are numerous hairstyles you can pull off without much effort. Opt for Bantu locs to create a unique look that resonates with your personality.

12. 3C 4A Hair With Ash Blonde Highlights

Blondeur cendrée highlights add dimension to 4A dark hair and enhance your coils’ natural texture. This beautiful hairstyle is perfect for summer days because it gives off that sunkissed appearance, which is trending right now.

13. Voluminous Half Updo With Braids

Brush your 4A hair to create an extra voluminous, fluffy half updo with braids! Decorate your braids with hair accessories such as beads and rings for a stylish, fashionable look. And yes, don’t forget to pull out a few hair pieces around your face to achieve a perfect face-framing effect.

14. Textured 4A Curls With Colored Ends

If you’re thinking of coloring your hair but are scared of the potential hair damage that comes with brighter shades, you can always color your ends to see how your hair will handle it. From platinum blonde to copper, plenty of awesome shades are waiting for you to discover them!

15. Pixie Frohawk

A frohawk refers to a type of mohawk with Afro-textured hair. A pixie frohawk is an excellent solution for those who want an ultra-short 4A hairstyle that is both edgy and easy to maintain. This bold style will also keep you cool during the hot summer season.

16. Shaggy 4A Hair With Bangs

Shaggy layers give 4A hair lots of movement ensuring that your coils look playful and extra voluminous. Pro tip: combine shaggy layers with bangs for a complete look.

17. Layered Comb Coils

Here’s a good rule of thumb for this stunning hairstyle: the smaller the comb coils, the longer they will last. Note: If you’re interested in how to do comb coils, I’ve explained it under the number 4 on this list.

18. Micro Braids With Curly Ends

Micro braids are perfect for 4A thin hair because they help create the illusion of a thicker mane. Combine micro braids with curly ends to create a beautifully textured, voluminous look. Also, don’t forget to cover your braids with a satin or silk scarf or bonnet before sleep.

19. Messy Frohawk

Thanks to the tight, gravity-defying coils, you can create a stunning messy frohawk without much effort. All you need is a few hair pins and a bit of hairspray to secure your cool hairstyle.

20. Angled Bob For 4A Coils

If your 4A natural hair lacks definition and easily weighs down, an angled bob is a perfect haircut for you. With shorter layers at the back and longer layers at the front, this stunning cut will ensure your coils have more movement and stay well-defined.

21. 4A Hair Rezo Cut

Rezo cut is a popular dry cut method where the entire mane is cut the same length. Rezo cut is specifically reserved for curly and coily hair because cutting your hair when dry enables the hairdresser to see how your coil or curl behaves aka forms.

22. 4A Hair Claw Clip Updo Hairstyle

A claw clip is a godsend when you don’t have much time to style your hair. Twist your hair and secure it with a claw clip to create a beautiful half updo style. Here are more fabulous coiffures à pinces to inspire your next look.

23. 4A Hair With A Deep Side Part

A deep side part boosts the natural volume of 4A hair and enhances your best features. Pro tip: add a decorative hair pin or a bow to make this amazing hairstyle look even more stylish.

24. Feed-In Braids

Feed-in braids are a braided hairstyle with the addition of synthetic braided hair. Therefore, feed-in braids are a great solution for those who want to achieve thicker or longer hair (or both). Leave your ends curly for a more textured look.

25. Micro Bob With Bangs

This chic micro bob with bangs features a short bob with layers and full bangs. If I had to describe this hairstyle in three words, they would be: voluminous, textured, and breathtaking!

26. Braided Fountain Ponytail With Curly Ends

A braided fountain ponytail with curly ends is reserved for those who want a stylish, protective hairstyle perfect for every occasion. Coarser hair textures hold braids better and longer than fine hair textures, which is why 4A hair is a perfect candidate for this stunning braided style.

27. Copper Brown 4A Natural Hair

Tired of your natural dark hair? Then try out this subtle yet eye-catching copper brown shade. Also known as cowboy copper, copper-brown is one of the most natural-looking shades perfect for all hair textures.

How To Take Care Of 4A Natural Hair

Each coily mane is unique but there are some universal principles on how to take proper care of your 4A natural hair:

1. Washing your hair too often is strictly forbidden

Coily hair is dry by default; washing it too often can dry it out even more and create frizzy situations. By too often, I mean washing your hair from three times a week to washing it daily. Washing your hair once or twice a week is recommended for curly and coily hair types.

Also, shampooing your entire hair should be avoided. You should apply shampoo only onto the scalp. Worry not, the lather will distribute through the whole length of your hair when rinsing.

2. The only time you should comb your hair is after applying conditioner

The best way to comb 4A natural hair is from the bottom up after applying conditioner. Here’s how: start detangling each knot at the bottom and then gradually shift to detangling the upper sections. Pro tip: use detangling brushes or wide-tooth combs.

3. Keep your coils moisturized

Curly and coily hair is naturally dry for the following reason: the scalp’s natural oils have difficulty coating your hair strands from roots to ends. To fix this “bug”, you should frequently use the following or a combination of the following remedies: conditioners, leave-in conditioners, oils, honey, and similar.

4. Minimize heat damage

The worst type of heat for coily hair is the heat from curling irons and straighteners. Why? Because it damages and dries out already dry hair. The heat from the sun is not an exception. But there are remedies for this as well and they are called a heat protectant spray and hats.

5. IMPORTANT: Protect your coils while you sleep

Silk or satin pillowcases will keep your coily hair moisturized overnight. Furthermore, your coils will stay well-defined for longer and you won’t need to deal with “He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named” (referring to frizz).

6. Get regular trims

Ideally, you should trim your 4A natural hair every 6 to 8 weeks. It’s best to trim your hair at least two days after washing it for best results. Remember: Healthy hair = flawless hair!

How To Style 4A Natural Hair The Right Way

Styling your 4A natural hair the right way is a prerequisite to bringing out the best in your mane. Here are the things you should pay special attention to when it comes to styling:

1. Choose the right styling products for your hair type

Tighter curls such as 3B and 3C including coily hair require heavier styling products. Consider using curl creams and hair gels to give your hair more definition and control volume.

Hair porosity should also be taken into consideration when it comes to choosing the right styling products. Hair porosity indicates the hair’s ability to absorb water. There are 3 levels of porosity: low, medium, and high.

Coily and cheveux frisés types have naturally higher porosity levels than straight hair. Hair with higher porosity has difficulty retaining moisture, so it’s recommended to use heavier products in larger amounts.

Also, STYLE YOUR HAIR WHEN IT’S SOAKING WET because this helps lock in moisture!

2. Never use a regular towel to dry or scrunch your 4A natural hair

I used to do this for years when I was younger, and then I figured out that regular towels are a big no-no for those with coils and curls. Why? Because regular towels disrupt the curl pattern and create frizz. A microfiber towel is a far better alternative for drying the excess styling product and scrunching your coily hair.

3. Try not to touch your hair until it COMPLETELY dries

I completely understand the urge to touch your styled, wet hair to convince yourself that you’ve done a great job. Well, you should stop doing this because touching your hair (when it’s still not dry) after styling might cause frizz and make your coils look less defined.

4. A diffuser is your best friend

Styling curly and coily hair is unimaginable without a diffuser because drying your hair upside down with a diffuser adds more volume to your hairstyle. Remember to apply curl cream, gel, and do the scrunching technique before drying your hair with a diffuser.

5. Keep your coils defined overnight

Imagine spending a good deal of time styling your hair only for it to be ruined overnight. That’s why you should wrap your 4A natural hair with a silk or satin scarf before going to sleep. You can also use a silk or satin bonnet.

If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, I also recommend to my clients the following technique: loosely gather your hair at the highest point creating a pineapple hairdo.

6. Use a shower cap when bathing

This goes without saying. Too much moisture is your hair’s biggest enemy, so you should always use a shower cap when bathing (if you don’t plan on washing your hair that day). Trust me, your coils will thank you later!

4A Hair Can Also Benefit From The Curly Girl Method (CGM)

Une coiffeuse, Lorraine Massey, a présenté la méthode "Curly Girl" dans son livre à succès, Curly Girl : le manuel in 2001. The Curly Girl Method revolves around enhancing the natural beauty of curly and coily hair by avoiding certain ingredients (mainly sulfates and silicones). The CGM focuses on the best products and styling methods for curls and coils. Here are some of the CGM guidelines to follow if you have 4A hair:

1. Say no to products that contain harmful ingredients: sulfates, silicones, mineral oils, wax, perfumes, and alcohol cause frizz and dryness.

2. Determine which products will benefit your hair: those with coily hair should use heavier styling products based on oils such as creams, gels, coconut oil, etc.

3. Co-wash your hair and use a clarifying shampoo (every once in a while): wash your hair only with a conditioner. Use clarifying shampoos every once in a while for deep cleansing and eliminating product residue.

4. Éviter la chaleur des outils de coiffage: curly irons and straighteners should be avoided, while you can dry your hair with a diffuser in a low-heat setting.

5. Say no to regular combs, brushes, and bath towels: the CGM suggests using a microfiber towel and using your fingers to detangle coils. (Detangling brushes are also a good choice.)

6. Use the CGM techniques for washing and styling:

- Avant le shampooing : Apply conditioner or oil to your coily hair a few hours before washing it. This will help detangle hair and add make your coils more defined.

- De l'écrasement à la condensation : Faites pénétrer le co-lavage ou l'après-shampoing dans les cheveux avec de l'eau. Cette technique permet d'obtenir une hydratation supplémentaire et des boucles parfaitement définies.

- Enroulement des doigts : Enroulez des sections de vos cheveux mouillés autour de votre doigt et ramenez-les vers votre cuir chevelu.

- Le plocage : Use a microfiber towel or a cotton T-shirt to squish your coily hair toward your head and then secure it. This will reduce your drying time and create beautiful coils.

7. Refresh your 4A hair between your (co)washes: fill a spray bottle with water and a leave-in conditioner. Spray this mixture through your coils and then apply regular styling products.

Keep Calm And Take Care Of Your 4A Hair! 😉