4C hair is magical. Despite what society, the beauty industry, advertising, or even people close to us say — our kinky coils are beautiful and versatile. Since I've been natural, I've tried so many different styles with my hair —from rolling it on rods (which I gave up because I was doing it to make my hair "acceptable"), wearing braids, twisting it out, slicking it back, wash and go's (which is currently my go-to), and the blowout.
I initially stayed away from blowing out my hair because I was afraid of heat damage. But now I've found the right tools and products that can be purchased at any drugstore to keep my hair healthy when I want to go for a full-on 70s vibe.
Here are the drugstore products and my process for getting the blowout look without damaging my hair:
Step 1: Wash hair
My stylist always said great hair starts in the shower. I think she was right. Having clean hair and a healthy scalp makes styling and maintaining 4C hair easier to manage. I always start with a shampoo like Eden BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo that washes away build-up without stripping my hair.
Step 2: Co-wash
I then follow up with Shea Moisture's High PorosityMoisture-Seal Co-Wash. I've been trying a few different co-washing options, but I'm enjoying this one now since it makes it easy for me to detangle during my wash and leaves my hair baby soft.
Step 3: Deep condition
Deep conditioning each week with Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Treatment Masque is a weekly staple. I buy this in bulk because it truly keeps my hair moisturized and my scalp healthy. After I use my fingers to detangle my hair and smooth the conditioner through my coils, I cover it in a shower cap and wrap a hot towel around my head. I would typically use a hooded dryer, but I haven't replaced the one that broke a couple of months ago.
I leave it on for thirty minutes to an hour, depending on how much time I have and then rinse with cold water. On weeks that my hair needs a little extra TLC, I follow up my deep conditioner with ApHogee's Intensive 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor.
Step 4: Air dry and hydrate
After I use my AQUIS Lisse Luxe Desert Rose Hair Turban (which has become my new favorite thing) to get the excess moisture out of my hair, I part my hair into eight sections and secure them with alligator hair clips. Then, I spray each section with African Pride's Coconut Milk & Honey Hydrate & Shine Leave-In Conditioner. I wasn't sure if I was going to like this leave-in, but it makes my hair feel moisturized without weighing it down — and the price tag isn't bad either.
Step 5: Lock in moisture
Lastly, I lock everything in with Cantu's Shea Butter Super Shine Hair Silk. I typically try to stick with pure argan oil, but I bought this on a whim, and it has been a staple for me ever since. Some might think 4C hair can't be light and bouncy, but it can, and this product helps make the possible while protecting my hair from the heat of the blow dryer.
Step 6: Brush and blow dry hair
Then I blow dry each section on medium heat with my Denman Brush using the tension method. One thing I've learned along the way is that investing in the original Denman is the way to go. I've bought knock-offs and have had to stop in the middle of stretching my hair to put the brush back together. Using medium heat does make my process a little longer since each section dries slower than if I were using the highest level of heat, but I want the look without damaging my hair in the process.
Step 7: Wrap hair
Once each section is dry, I twist my hair Susie Carmichael style and wrap it up with a silk scarf although I need something that won't slip off my head at night like Grace Eleyae's silk-lined caps. I've woken up in the morning with my scarf covering on one side of my head, which makes me question what kind of sleeping I'm doing.
There are also no-heat ways to give your hair a similar look, but I personally enjoy having different options of stretching my hair. There is no one size fits all, and I'm no expert, but I think it is okay to use heat on your hair from time to time.
Happy Wash Day!