IG: @thejennjackson

40 Must-See 4C Hairstyles (They’re Super Cute, Easy and All Natural)

Featuring only 4C hairstyles, this post is a special shout out to our often overlooked naturalistas.

To be very clear, we celebrate all natural hair types, textures and lengths, here at Hey Curl Hey. But it’s no secret that historically 4C hair has gotten a bad rap as difficult, and has been featured far less frequently. We know better, so we want to show better.

Is 4C hair hard to manage?

While 4C hair isn’t hard to manage, because it’s so tightly coiled, it requires more gentle handling, frequent moisture and time. Caring for and styling 4C hair involves getting to know its nuances and what’s needed for it to thrive. But most of all, embracing what you were given, and not trying to make it behave like another hair type.

Can 4C hair grow long?

It’s a myth that 4C hair doesn’t grow as fast or get as long as other natural hair types. Due to significant shrinkage, 4C hair often does not show its length, until it’s in a stretched state. Sure, 4C hair tends to be more fragile, drier, and prone to tangles, but with patience and proper care, it can be goals.

How do you keep 4C hair moisturized?

Moisturizing 4C hair should ideally include a weekly deep conditioning treatment and daily use of the L.O.C. Method between wash-days, making sure to give your ends extra TLC. Also opt for low manipulation and protective styles, like twists, braids and buns when possible, keep heat styling to a minimum, and sleep in a satin bonnet or scarf at night.

How do you define 4C curls?

To define 4C coils, start with drenched hair divided into 6-8 sections. Working through one at a time, apply a curl defining cream or botanical hair gel liberally and distribute evenly. Small sections can be twirled around your finger to enhance the pattern, but be sure not to disturb the curl while drying, so as not to cause frizz.

At this point you can either allow your hair to air dry, sit under a hooded dryer or use a diffuser to facilitate the process.

What is the best way to keep 4C edges laid?

After applying a strong hold but healthy edge control to the perimeter of your hair, use an edge brush to separate your baby hairs from the rest of the style and mold them into the desired shape. Then tie it down with an edge scarf for a few minutes to set the look, making sure not to flatten the rest of your style.

40 Fierce Natural Hairstyles for 4C Hair

Whether you’re interested in a slicked back look or larger than life volume, get ready for some serious 4C style inspiration that’ll help you realize this hair type’s versatility, not to mention, fall in love with the possibilities.

Then, if you just want to explore some easy natural hairstyles, we’ve got you. And if you want a break from the maintenance and constant manipulation, we’ve got you too. Head on over and check out these pretty protective styles for 4C hair.

1. Voluminous Afro

Black woman with 4C natural hair wearing afro hairstyle
IG: @tolaniav

There’s nothing we love more than seeing a TWA, all grown up and out in all of its glory. Moisturized and magnificent, this voluminous 4C afro is giving.

2. High Afro Puff

High afro puff hairstyle on Black woman with 4C natural hair
IG: @vanlenore

All you need to pull off this afro puff is a simple black headband. Feel free to add some gel around the perimeter if you want your edges laid, but your puff can be perfect without it.

3. Kinky Clip-Ins

Black woman wearing kinky clip-ins in her 4C natural hair

Kinky clip-ins that complement your 4C hair, are a simple way to add the length and volume needed to pull off this sexy-side swept hairstyle. As you can see, when they’re blended well, the results are absolutely beautiful.

4. Perm Rod Set Updo with Bangs

Black woman with a perm rod set updo hairstyle on 4C natural hair
IG: @limitlessbloom

This perm rod set is a bit frizzy, but still fierce. After removing your rods, just gather the back into a high ponytail, leaving out your bangs for a banging (pun intended) 4C hairstyle.

Aside from using the right products, another key to success is making sure your hair’s completely dry before takedown. For more tips and specifics to perfect your perm rod set, head this way.

5. Defined Perm Rod Set

Perm rod set hairstyle on 4C natural hair
IG: @tayloranise

This perm rod set is the definition of perfection. Small sections, along with setting lotion or mousse, are a must-have for smooth results.

Once your hair is fully dried and you’ve carefully removed the perm rods, be sure to twirl each curl around your finger as you separate. This helps the set keep its shape and takes the volume to the next level. Using an afro pic to lift the roots, will also do the trick.

6. Half-Up Half-Down Braid Out

Black woman wearing braid out on 4C hair
IG: @_bubsbee

This half-up half-down hairstyle lets you enjoy the beauty of a braid out, without having hair in your face. Just pull back a section at the front and secure it with a hair tie or bobby pins. It’s pretty and practical.

7. Bantu Knots

Black woman with 4C hair in bantu knots hairstyle
IG: @khadajeeee

Bantu knots are basically just mini buns. Best done on dry hair, they’re a great protective style that can be taken down at a later date to reveal even more styling options.

8. Curly Bangs and Bun

High bun with bangs 4C hairstyle using clip-ins on Black woman
IG: @sheilandinda

Don’t let a lack of length stop you from pulling off a look like this. Marley hair was actually used to create the bun along with kinky clip-ins to add fullness to the bangs.

Check out the YouTube tutorial below for a step-by-step guide to getting this hairdo done.

9. Finger Coils on 4C TWA

A Black woman with finger coils on tapered 4C natural hair
IG: @glammzmore

For a cute, quick change, finger coils add a tad more texture to a tapered 4C TWA.

After applying your liquid leave-in, moisturizing cream and gel, rapidly brush your hair in circles all over to start creating a coily look. Then, simply take one small section at a time and twist up from the root in the direction that you want the hair to lay.

And just like that you have an easy 4C hairstyle, literally right at your finger tips.

10. Braid Out Frohawk

Braid out frohawk on Black woman with 4C hair
IG: @vanlenore

Once you’ve mastered a braid out, you’re more than halfway there with this hairstyle. Just brush both sides back, bobby pin into place and allow your bangs to cascade forward for a simple frohawk that slays every time.

11. Twist and Curl

Twist and curl on Black woman with 4C natural hair
IG: @thejennjackson

There are a couple of ways to style a twist and curl. Personally, we prefer a half two strand twist out, half perm rod set combo.

This look was actually created with full two strand twists, set halfway on perm rods, and the results are still fire.

12. Bantu Knot Out with Cornrows

Black woman wearing bantu knot out with cornrows on 4C hair
IG: @qourtknee

This is what’s possible when you take down an already beautiful bantu knot hairstyle. Add two cornrows across the crown for just the right amount of pizazz. Needless to say, we love a look that can go the distance.

13. Defined Twist Out

Defined twist out hairstyle on 4C hair
IG: @qourtknee

Beginning your twist out on detangled wet or damp hair can deliver definition for days, but it’s typically at the expense of elongation. If that’s your goal, 4C hair tends to benefit from use of a twist and define cream to help lock in the moisture and provide a soft, flexible hold.

14. Chunky Twist Out on Stretched 4C Hair

Black woman with twist out hairstyle on stretched 4C natural hair
IG: @limitlessbloom

Not everyone’s interested in an ultra-defined twist out. Starting on stretched natural hair can leave you with subtle waves, like in this charming, chunky look.

15. Curled Afro Puff

Roll tuck and pin afro puff on Black woman with 4C hair

Gather hair into a high puff and set small sections on rods or rollers to achieve a similar curl.

If you want to skip the set completely, you can opt for the roll, tuck and pin approach to create this elegant updo.

16. Clip-Ins on Stretched Hair

Black woman with wavy clip-ins on stretched 4C natural hair
IG: @amaosei_

Don’t be afraid to experiment with longer lengths. Clip-ins come through in those times when you want to switch your style up. There are plenty of options that will blend perfectly with your 4C hair and open up a whole new world of possibilities.

17. Cornrows on TWA

4C TWA with cornrows on a Black woman with natural hair

Styling 4C hair when it’s at that “awkward length” doesn’t have to be a challenge. Start with a wash and go or twist out, add a couple of cornrows on the side for visual interest and voilà! Awkward where?

18. Half-Up Half-Down Twist Out

Half-up half down twist out on a Black woman with 4C hair
IG: @sheilandinda

This luscious look is the result of taking down two strand twists with hanging bantu knots, done on dry semi-stretched hair.

19. Roller Set

Roller set hairstyle on Black woman with long 4C natural hair
IG: @westafrincanbaby

A little practice makes the perfect roller set. Although approaches may vary, for smooth results, remember to detangle and gently comb through each section, with product, before rolling.

Aunt Jackie’s Grapeseed Style and Shine Mousse is a great go-to for setting hair without stickiness or flakes. Also, be sure to keep a firm grip when rolling, as the tension, or lack thereof, will affect the outcome.

Lastly, do not under any circumstances remove your rollers before your hair is thoroughly dry. If you still want to see this style as it happens, check out the tutorial for the step-by-step.

20. Twist Out on TWA

Black woman wearing 4C TWA twist out hairstyle
IG: @necenita

Thanks to a twist out, this teeny weeny afro is big on style.

21. Flat Twists with Beads

Black woman wearing 4C flat twist out hairstyle with beads

IG: @limitlessbloom

Beads are a beautiful way to add flair to your flat twist hairstyles. Seriously, between the fifty-eleven design possibilities and accessories, it’s virtually impossible for this look to fall flat.

22. Silk Press

Silk press on a Black woman with 4C natural hair
IG: @brittanywebb_

A silk press can be a welcome change when you want to switch your style up. Although 4C hair can get bone straight, we personally prefer when there’s still some volume and bounce left in it.

Just remember to avoid damage, always use a heat protectant, keep your tools below 350 degrees and don’t do multiple passes if using the chase method.

Because when all’s said and done, you want your hair to revert and your 4C kinks, coils and curls to come back through with the quickness.

23. Low Bun with Deep Side Part

Low bun hairstyle on Black woman with 4C natural hair
IG: @lioness_davis

As far as ease and elegance, you can’t go wrong with a classic low bun.

24. Wash and Go

4C wash and go hairstyle on Black woman with natural hair
IG: @sincerelyprisca

While the process isn’t as simple as the name implies, achieving a bomb wash and go is possible on 4C hair.

Just remember, stylers must be applied to wet hair, always work in small sections, be generous with the gel, and don’t touch your hair while it’s drying.

25. Rubber Band Wash and Go

Black woman with short 4C hair wearing a rubber band hairstyle
IG: @luzianacastro

The contrast of the sleek rubber band style upfront vs the wild wash and go at the back is what makes this hairdo a must-do.

26. Mini Two Strand Twists

Mini two strand twists on Black woman with 4C hair
IG: @thejennjackson

Mini two strand twists are one of our go-to low manipulation hairstyles for 4C hair. Similar to sister locs, but far less permanent, you have infinite styling options, like this lovely half-up half-down hairstyle.

27. Flexi Rod Set

Black woman with 4C hair wearing flexi rod set hairstyle
IG: @lioness_davis

Created on stretched 4C hair, we’re feeling this fluffy flexi rod set.

If your technique’s not quite up to par, make your way over here for all the tips and tricks to nail this look.

28. Finger Coils on Ginger TWA

Black woman with ginger colored 4C hair wearing a finger coils hairstyle
IG: @crystalotv

Coils and color create a must-try combo on this teeny weeny afro.

29. Flat Twisted Front with High Puff

Flat twist with high afro puff hairstyle on 4C natural hair
IG: @adannamadueke

Start this style upfront with a diagonally parted flat twist bobby pinned on the side. Then, secure the back with an elastic rope, two strand twist small sections and set them on perm rods to create tight, textured curls.

30. Two High Afro Puffs

Black woman with 4C hair in two high afro puffs
IG: @joiajohn

4C hair doesn’t have to be time consuming. In less than 5 minutes, you can brush it up into two polished afro puffs, then rock on with your bad self.

31. Space Buns

Black woman with 4C hair wearing twisted space buns hairstyle
IG: @limitlessbloom

After parting your hair down the center, gather each half into a ponytail. Then create three twists on each side. Wrap the twists around into a bun and bobby pin to secure them into place.

And just like that, you have space buns that are out of this world.

32. Roll, Tuck and Pin Pineapple Updo

Black woman with 4C natural hair wearing a roll, tuck and pin updo hairstyle
IG: limitlessbloom

The beauty of most roll, tuck and pin hairstyles is how they combine ease and elegance.

In this case you’d simply brush all of your hair forward into a high ponytail. Then, take one small section at a time, wrapping and pinning each toward the back.

33. Perm Rod Set

Black woman with 4C hair in tapered cut with perm rod set
IG: @glammzmore

If you’re looking for some curls with definition, then a perm rod set is definitely for you. Of course, the length of your hair and rod size will affect your results, but as you can see by this tapered TWA, this hairstyle werks!

34. Flat Twists into Low Bun

Black woman with 4C hair wearing straight back flat twists into low bun
IG: @thejennjackson

If you can create one flat twist, then seven should be no problem. And the best part is, no extensions are needed for this elegant protective style. Can you say straight-backs in a low bun for the win?

35. Flat Twist Out

Flat twist out 4C hairstyle on Black woman with natural hair
IG: @sheilandinda

Flat twists are always a favorite 4C hairstyle. But take them out and your fro’s still left looking equally fly, as you can see by this flat twist out.

36. Temporary Hair Color

Twist out hairstyle with red Hair Paint Wax on Black woman with 4C hair
IG: @itsdoreseb

Take whatever natural style you’re rocking up a notch using hair wax. It’s a great way to get color without risking your hair’s health.

37. Bobby Pinned Twist Out

Accessorized twist out hairstyle on 4C natural hair

It’s amazing how basic bobby pins can become an accessory that elevates a twist out. Medium length natural hair looks sexy secured on one side, thanks to this little trick.

38. High Twisted Bun

High twisted bun on Black woman with 4C hair
IG: @limitlessbloom

This high twisted bun is proof of what’s possible on an old, stretched twist out.

39. Stretched Hair

Stretched 4C natural hair on Black woman with henna arm tattoo
IG: @khadajeeee

We often think of stretched hair as the starting point for several natural hairstyles, like a rod set, chunky twist out, or even two strand twists, as you’ll see below.

But stretched natural hair can actually be a style on its own. As long as your ends are trimmed and the shape is right, you’ll be gorgeous and good to go.

40. Two Strand Twists Bob

Black woman with two strand twists hairstyle on 4C natural hair
IG: @khadajeeee

Two strand twists are one of the easiest natural hairstyles to DIY. More than just the first step in a juicy twist out, it’s a lovely low manipulation look as is.

There’s no doubt that 4C hair requires special attention, but as you’ve seen, there’s clearly no shortage of styles to showcase its beauty.