Help for my 4b sister??

triple_spiraltriple_spiral Posts: 249Registered Users

So my sister, who is 4b, is at the end of her rope with her hair and came to me for advice/help...however, her hair is a bit different than mine and what works for me doesn't work for her. Maybe you all can think of something that I've missed??

Sis's hair seems to be pretty firmly 4b.....extremely, extremely small coils that all tangle together and very little/no visible definition. Her three big complaints are (1) tangling/matting that can be severe
(2) Little growth/retention....she has not had a haircut in about two years but her hair remains only a couple inches stretched
(3) VERY dry hair, almost crackles when you touch it

It's all very discouraging for her and I want her to love her natural hair so hopefully you guys have some suggestions? The advice I have given her was to try the curly girl, cowashing/no silicone thing that really helped my hair, but she has a very sensitive scalp (it's why she stopped relaxing) and cowashing gave her scalp issues right away.
The conditioner that works really well to detangle me (GFTN) she says was just okay for her.
She wants to avoid gels because in her experience they dry her hair further (I've convinced her to give them another try using more quality gels though, so she might try that this weekend. I'm not sure how most 4b hair react to gel though?).

What would you recommend for a short-haired 4b with dry, tangly hair and a very sensitive scalp?

I don't really believe this is the case, but I've noticed very little talk of washngoes on the 4b that just not done with 4b hair? Does my sister have to look to protective styling instead (none of us have ever done protective styling and we're not really fans, so if there are non-ps solutions I'd love to hear them!)?

Sorry for the very long post....I'm visiting my sister and giving her a bottle of gel (LA Looks Nutracurl) and might give her one of my extra Tangle Teezers (work great for me...), but I'm really not sure either will be useful.....any input is appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

4a?? Maybe 3c...some 4b??? No clue

tiny s-waves, coils, and spirals

- Cleanser: CJ Daily Fix or KC Come Clean
- Co-wash: Suave Naturals or V05
- RO: GVP Conditioning Balm or Tresemme Naturals
-Stylers: Garnier Pure Clean Gel, CJ Aloe Fix, KCCC

"I remember your childhood hair....flowin' wild at the county fair" - kelley stoltz

"and all the hours that you've been sitting at your vanity....may they carry you far from your misery" - conor oberst


  • naturally_meehnaturally_meeh Posts: 27Registered Users
    I'm a 4b. I can't do wash n gos or the CG method. She should try some protective styles like twists braids etc. leave the hair alone for awhile. MOISTURE is the key. She has to find some good moisturizing products. If she's trying to retain length she won't if her hair is dry n tangled. How often does she wash? And with what? What products does she use to seal in moisture? What styles does she attempt? I'm doin mini twists for the whole winter to protect mine.
  • ss40ss40 Posts: 1,790Registered Users
    I'm a 4b and I have really thick hair with a tendency to be very dry. I am doing the greenhouse effect to see if I can increase moisture during the winter. Tell your sister to check out the real queen's regimen videos. She may not be exactly 4b but her regimen works pretty well from what I can see. I'm finding that simplicity and consistency is key for 4b hair. The less you stress it the better. Try natural products to avoid scalp irritation. I'm a shea moisture product fiend. I hear that kinky curly products are 4b friendly. Overall the keywords I live by are moisturize and consistency.

    Hope this helps
    :nike:About my hair:
    weekly shampoo-HE Honey I'm Strong
    daily conditioner-HE Honey I'm Strong (use as li)
    go to style-Pocahontas braids
  • ss40ss40 Posts: 1,790Registered Users
    Look for the hair videos. she has a lot of videos.
    :nike:About my hair:
    weekly shampoo-HE Honey I'm Strong
    daily conditioner-HE Honey I'm Strong (use as li)
    go to style-Pocahontas braids
  • NaturlbellaNaturlbella Posts: 59Registered Users
    The best way to detangle hair is to use a LOT of conditioner....The reason your sister hair is dry is because naturally kinky/curly hair has a tendency to be more dry than straight or wavy. The natural sebum from our scalp has trouble traveling along the cuticle because of all the bends and coils. When hair is straight, natural oil easily slides down the strands. Natural black hair need to be moisturized every day. I love using Shea Butter to keep my hair hydrated. Here's a good article that discuss how to grow natural black hair long

    6 Ways To Help With Growing Black Hair Long | Natural Black Hair :evil3:
    Blog - My Natural Black Hair Rock Them Curls Girl!
    Facebook Join the community of natural black hair women!
    Twitter - We'd love to hear your questions and views on natural black hair! :headbang:
  • lawlaw Posts: 228Registered Users
    I have 4b hair and I have done the occasional wash and go. My hair really tangles so it is very important that after wearing it out all day I spritz it with water lightly stretch and detangle sections and braid/twist plats to sleep in or it will be a matted mess. I also find my hair gets MORE tangled if I wear it in a puff. If she is going to wear it out during the day then pamper it at night.

    I can't co-wash because my scalp has a darn fit (itches like crazy). I can rinse with water frequently or wash by mixing a little shampoo with my conditioner. My hair gets steam/moisture from my morning shower. I use light oils (sunflower or grapeseed oil).

    I really do recommend protective styles for 4B hair. It really keeps the tangles and matting at bay.
    "You Tied that thing up outside?" said Kepler. "What if he got hungry and ate a mailman or a kindergarten class or something? The least you could do is tie a decent knot." Metzger's Dog by Thomas Perry
  • multicultcurlymulticultcurly Posts: 5,132Registered Users
    Not sure if your sister has found a routine that works, but I'd recommend checking out Happy Girl hair. It's a blog about the hair of two little girls, but the mother goes into detail about daily hair care, detangling, styling and products. Your sister would want to follow the routine for Little B. I think the advice could easily be modified for an adult.

    happygirlhair's Channel - YouTube
    3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
    HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
    Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
  • FronomenalFronomenal Posts: 712Registered Users
    I have tightly coiled hair that I usually wear in braid-outs or twist-outs. I don't co-wash or do wash-n-goes and I only use gel for buns. Here are some tips to pass on to your sister...
    • Use moisturizing products (shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, pre-poo/DC, etc)
    • Detangle hair gently (finger-detangle and/or comb-detangle before or after shampooing)
    • Wash and condition in sections (puffs w/ metal-free hair ties, sectioning clips, braids, twists, etc)
    • Moisturize with creamy, water-based leave-in conditioners w/ butters/oils and humectants (seal w/ an oil or butter, if nessecary)
    • Wear stretched styles (twist outs, braid outs, bantu knot outs, coil outs, banding, etc)
    • Re-braid/twist/bantu knot or pineapple and cover hair with a satin cap and/or bonnet at night
    • Do research on YouTube, blogs and forums for haircare techniques (detangling, cleansing, conditioning, styling, trimming, etc) and styling (NOTE: Focus on folks with hair that looks/acts similar to yours)
    • Write down a list of techniques, styles and products to try and the results of the experimentation (This facillitates the trial-and-error process of buliding a regimen.)
    Good luck to your sister! :)
    Big Chop: 12/15/08

    Shampoo: As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo
    Conditioner: As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner &
    Tresemme Botanique Nourish and Replenish Conditioner
    Leave-In Conditioner: As I Am Leave-In Conditioner & Alba Botanica Leave-In Conditioner
    Moisturizer: As I Am DoubleButter Cream Rich Daily Moisturizer
    Oils/Butters: Coconut Oil & Castor Oil
    Gels: Eco Styler Krystal Gel

    ~ iHerb Discount Code: EFE310 ~
  • peachfuzzzpeachfuzzz Posts: 113Registered Users
    I agree with all the other posters. It sounds like your sister needs MOISTURE! There is a sticky at the top of this forum that suggests products for 4b hair. I am 4b too. I don't cowash consistently, but a form of water usually touches my hair daily. I wear ps too. I love 2-strand twists and flat twists. I deep condition every week and use leave-in condish, moisturizer and seal w/oil afterwards. I found that my hair tangled and matted when I didn't have enough moisture in my strands. I don't really use gels, so I can't help you with that. HTH
    Texture: Coarse?; Density: Med (?); Porosity(:confused3:?? Med-high); Wave pattern: 4B coils

    Elucence MB
    Deep Condish: GVP Conditioning Balm Moisturizer: Qhemets Amla Olive HC:love5:
    Sealer: QB
    Aethiopika Hydrate & Twist (I use this as a styler too)
    Stylers: ORS Twist and Lock
    (rarely use)



  • BlackAngelPlayahBlackAngelPlayah Posts: 1,419Registered Users
    I'm not 100% 4b, but moisture is very important. I use curl activator. (I know. Old school, but boo to that! It WORKS! LoL!) I make sure to moisturize daily and seal DAILY with coconut oil. (Don't think it matters what type of oil you use.) All curls need a TREMENDOUS amount of moisture.

    Jen :D
  • Jo SomebodyJo Somebody Posts: 1,578Registered Users
    You should tell your sister to join here! It must be a hassle to try and relay all this info back to her and it'd be easier for her to switch things up if things don't work or ask for further advice if/when needed.
    My hair is in the 4s, low in porosity, high in density and coarse. :happy6:

    Love: QB - all of it, Bobeam - shampoo bars, Darcy's Botanicals - Pumpkin Seed Conditioner, Coconut Cupuacu Pomade, KBN - Shealoe Leave-in, Oyin - Juices & Berries, Kinky Curly - Knot Today, Ayurvedic treatments, my Denman and the cloud of kinky goodness on my head that I get to play with! :love8: