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10 Hairstyles That Give Your 4C Hair The Shine It Deserves

Natural hair is not a one-size-fits-all type of thing nor does it have one look.

Hair

To be honest with you, I don't feel like my 4C Queens get as much shine as they deserve. Yes, the beauty industry has made more efforts to include all hair textures in campaigns, product launches, etc., but we still have a long way to go. Sadly, 4C hair is very underrepresented and that lack of inclusion doesn't properly represent the natural hair community as a whole. If we're talking natural hair, every hair type needs to be included. Natural hair is not a one-size-fits-all type of thing nor does it have one look. I can't stress this enough.

Representation is everything and by not having it, people are constantly excluded and it creates a false narrative of what beauty is. It can be hard for some naturals to imagine how a hairstyle may look on them, what the best style for that hair type is, or simply love their hair if it's constantly left out of conversations. With that being said, here are 10 hairstyles that not only show the beauty of 4C hair but also gives it the shine it deserves.

10 Ways To Style 4C Hair

1.3 Strand Twist With A Curly Bang

Not only is this a cute holiday style, it's a fun twist on the traditional twist-out. Typically three-strand twists give you hair way more definition than a two-strand twist. So if definition is something that you struggle with or want more of in your styles, three-strand twists are the way to go.

2.Loose Twists

I love how loose twists look on 4C hair. I love how much volume is in each twist and it's a simple enough hairstyle for anyone to do. This can also serve as a low-tension and low-manipulation style while keeping your hair protected and moisturized. This is definitely a style to consider as the weather gets cooler.

3.Afro Puff

You honestly can't go wrong with a simple afro puff. It's a simple and easy style that comes with so much versatility. You can style it with twists, braids, bangs, etc.

4.Stretched Finger Coil With Cornrows

Chev has a mixture of 4B/4C textures but this is still a very cute style for both textures. This is a spin on the half up half down style. Instead, she has cornrows in the front and finger coils in the back. Finger coils are another way to get the most definition out of your hair.

5.Braid Outs

Braid outs can give both definition and length depending on how you do it. When it comes to getting the most definition with your braid out, it's best to braid smaller.

6.High Bun

This is a beautiful twist on the high bun style, especially if your hair is short to medium length. It's a crossover between a high bun and an updo and can be worn for any occasion and makes a great protective style.

7.Flat Twist Updo

This is a great updo especially if you have shorter hair. It's a flat-twist in the front and a two-strand twist-out in the back.

8.Your Natural Fro’

When it comes to styles that show the beauty of your hair, your natural fro' is definitely number one on the list. You can wear a side, middle, or no part. Either way, this is the go-to style to show off your hair.

9. Perm/Flexi Rod Sets

Rods sets, especially flexi rods, are great on all textures and types of hair. It's an easy way to get a bomb switch up from your everyday styles. The flexi rods that you use, as well as how many, depend on your hair length and the volume and fullness you can achieve.

10. Wash n’ Go’s

Typically wash n' go's don't provide a lot of moisture for naturals with type 4 hair, especially 4C hair, since it's so prone to breakage. However, if done right, it can be beautiful and hella moisturized.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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