Trendy But Easy: 10 Best Beginner Short 4C Hairstyles

beginner short 4c hairstyles

Hairstyles differ, and each style comes with its own charms but also its own limitations. One common style is referred to as 4C, and there are ladies (and some gentlemen) out there who believe that it might be too coarse or rough for styling. However, that is not the case.

Listed in this article are 10 beginner short 4C hairstyles that you can rock any day of the week. In addition, you’ll also learn a bit about styling 4C hair the right way.

Defining the Short 4C Hairstyle


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Hair is usually defined based on the shape of each strand. For instance, completely straight strands are classified as Type 1, wavy ones as Type 2, curly ones as Type 3, and coiled ones as Type 4. Three of the latter types each have a few subtypes.

So, how do we define Type 4C then? Well, it’s probably best described as coiled, coarse, rough, and wiry. In other words, out of the three Type 4 subtypes, it’s the coarsest one to work with.

In popular culture, this hairstyle is also referred to as afro-textured kinky hair or simply Black hair. However, while there are lots of black women who rock this hairstyle, it is by no means limited to one specific racial profile. To put it simply, anyone, regardless of race or gender, can have Type 4C hair, it just happens to be the most prominent in black women.

As stated, lots of women who have this hairstyle don’t appreciate it since it appears to be so coarse and hard to work with. But nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, the list you’re about to peruse contains 10 of the most interesting short 4HC hairstyles that you can get at any hair salon worth its salt. So let’s delve deeper into them.

10 Popular Short 4C Hairstyles

1. Twist Out

Twist Out

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Starting this list off is a strong, beautiful style known as the Twist Out. It is a natural protective hairstyle where you roll your hair into rope-like braids or coils while it’s still moist. After it’s settled a bit, you can unravel it the next day or a few days later. The result will be some of the best-defined curls or waves you’ve seen.

There’s more to this hairstyle than simple aesthetics. The reason we consider it protective is that it keeps your hair healthy and prevents breakage. Type 4C hair is quite prone to breaking and sensitive to the elements. So, with a hairstyle like the Twist Out, you can keep your hair safe and voluminous for days.

There are several types of Twist Out styles, with the two most prominent ones being:

• Finger coils (also known as single-strand twists)
• Two-strand twists

Getting the perfect Twist Out is not particularly easy with short hair. However, there are tutorials online that can help you achieve your desired result in as little as 10 minutes. If you do it right, you’ll give your curls some longevity, plus there won’t be any frizzing.

2. Defined Curls


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Yes, you’ve read it several times over in the first few paragraphs, but it bears repeating. Sadly, some women believe that their 4C hair is too kinky for anything to be done. They assume that its coarseness is too much for any hair stylist, so they give up on any hairstyle and move on with their lives.

However, there are ways to define curls and make them vibrant and striking. And yes, it can be done with both long and short 4C hair.

One such method is the popular Wash-n-Go. It does take some time to do right, especially if your hair is a little on the short side. But it’s definitely possible, and once you’re done with the process, you’ll have amazing, stunning defined curls.

3. Sleek Top Bun


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The sleek top bun, also known as the sleek high bun, is exactly what its name suggests. You essentially pull your hair up in a bun and keep it there. It’s a fairly popular style that some of the most famous, glamorous ladies prefer for several reasons.

Firstly, it looks really elegant and refined. Secondly, it keeps the hair in one place for a long period of time. And lastly, it’s an excellent way to add some volume.

Making a sleek top bun is fairly simple. First off, add some leave-in conditioner to your hair. Next, section it off into small parts for easier maneuvering. The next step involves adding a bit of eco-styler gel. Finally, take a smoothing brush and slowly use it to move all of your hair to the top of your head.

The result ought to be a nice, shiny, sleek bun that any professional stylist will want to try and emulate.

4. Sleek Low Bun

Low Bun

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Yes, the sleek top bun is absolutely stunning, but in terms of popularity, charm, and shape, it isn’t quite as popular as the sleek low bun. What’s more, lots of celebrities and even female politicians prefer this style and often rock it in public. That’s because it’s incredibly practical and allows the hair to stay nice and smooth for a long time.

But more importantly, it’s one of the most professional-looking hairstyles that a woman can have. Sure, you can perform well at your job rocking Bantu locks or a combover, but the low bun lets the higher-ups know you mean business.

The process of making a low bun is roughly the same as that of a top bun. In other words, you will repeat the conditioner-sectioning-eco gel-brushing routine. However, there is one clear difference. Instead of brushing upwards, simply move the brush behind your head and to the side.

One cool thing about both the low and the top buns is the fact that you can further style them into something more complex. For example, you can simply wrap the braiding hair extensions around the bun to make it bigger and add volume. On the other hand, you can leave a little ponytail on the back of the bun for some extra pizzazz.

5. Half-Up/Half-Down


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No matter how you spell its name, no matter how many hyphens or dashes or commas you add, you will know this hairstyle the minute you see it. The half-up/half-down hairstyle is incredibly diverse, covering every single hair type. You can have long curly hair or short straight hair, or even medium-sized frizzy locks, and you’ll still be able to pull a half-up/half-down.

Naturally, Type 4C hairstyles are no exception. But in order to accomplish this particular style, you will need some extra tools and effort.

Firstly, you will need to section your hair into two parts. The back part ought to be bigger than the top part. Next, use some edge control and smooth down the edges. This process will help you reach a sleek look on what will become the top bun. Once that is over, you can opt for one of these two choices:

• Fluff your back hair into an afro
• Add some clip-in 4C hair extensions to reach your desired length (you will have to have these extensions ready before the styling process).

The entire operation takes some 15 minutes, at most. And while it’s not exactly easy for first-timers, with some practice, you will be able to make a half-up/half-down quickly and efficiently.

6. Space Buns

Space Buns

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What if you wanted to look like Princess Leia but have short and frizzy 4C hair? Well, you no longer need to worry because it’s definitely possible to rock that look with the Space Buns style.

Space Buns are effectively an updo, but done twice. Much like Twist Out, Space Buns is a protective hairstyle. In other words, you can apply this style when you want to conserve the natural frizziness of your hair and avoid damage.

More importantly, or rather more interestingly, this style is excellent if you simply feel a little bit lazy with styling your hair. All you have to do is pull it up, and you’re basically done with it.

In order to make Space Buns, you will need to split your hair down the middle of your scalp. Next, comb each half to the side, add a bit of gel and bind the hair with some hair ties. However, do not use rubber ties and try to keep the grip on each bun loose. That way, you won’t cause any breakage.

Finally, use some hairpins and twist each half into a bun, securing them with the aforementioned pins. Also, if you think your hair is too short to achieve the bun volume you want, feel free to add some clip-in extensions.

7. Mohawk


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A mohawk is about as popular as a half-up/half-down, mainly because it’s so easy to recognize. Of course, if you have 4C short frizzy hair, you won’t really be getting a Mohawk, but rather a Frohawk. It’s the same basic principle, but with different, yet equally beautiful results. In fact, we will continue to refer to it as a Frohawk throughout this segment, for the sake of accuracy.

One cool feature of the Frohawk is the fact that even people with short hair can get them. Quite a few styles require clip-on extensions for that added boost, but with the Frohawk, the boost comes from the style itself, so to speak.

Making a Frohawk is fairly simple. You first pick your hair out until you have a nice, voluminous afro. The next step requires a hard bristle brush and might sting a bit, so be ready for it. Using the brush, smooth your hairline back and then pin each side down with bobby pins.

By far, the best way to apply the pins is to set them in an X formation, one across the other. In no time, you will have a stunning Frohawk that will stay in place for a decent amount of time.

8. Halo Braid


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The Halo Braid is a style that will dazzle anyone who sees it. There’s a reason it has such an illustrious name. The braid that goes over the slicked hair looks like a beautiful, thick halo. Much like sleek low buns, Halo Braids are fairly popular among celebrities such as actresses, singers, and TV show hosts.

However, the biggest issue with the Halo Braid is that it’s a hairstyle meant for ladies with long hair. Granted, some long-haired men wear this hairstyle, but it is overwhelmingly preferred by women.

All in all, it might seem odd to include it on the list of beginner short 4C hairstyles, since a person with 4C hair doesn’t have enough length to braid it. Luckily, there is a workaround solution here, and it involves a jumbo braiding hair extension.

The process of making a Halo Braid for 4C hair is fairly simple. The first step is to use a strong styling gel and slide the back section of your hair until it’s smooth. Next, use some leave-in conditioning cream and flatten the rest of the hair backward, then cover it all up with a cloth until it dries. Don’t forget to tie the back of your hair in a small ponytail if needed.

When your hair is dry and sleek, tie the ponytail into a small bun, as it will serve as the basis for the braid extension. Attach the braid’s band to the bun and secure it. Then slowly place the braid around your head and tuck the back inside as if you were tying a knot. If any extra braid remains hanging, simply twist it around the bun and secure it with a hair tie or a bobby pin. And voilà — your Halo Braid is ready!

9. Flat Twists


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If there was ever a style that was tailor-made for Type 4C hair, it’s the Flat Twist. Not only is it an amazing method of styling, but it will also promote hair growth. It’s a two-for-one deal for short, frizzy hair.

In order to make a Flat Twist, you will need to section off your hair beforehand. Therefore, you’ll have to detangle it and stretch it out until you get to an optimal length for the hairdo. With that done, section the hair off into two parts. How you intend to split it is entirely up to your own taste.

Now that you have your sections, you can start flat-twisting. The process involves taking two strands of hair and intertwining them, sort of like making a braid. You will do this process until an entire section is flat-twisted, then you’ll move on to the remaining sections.

When you’re done, tie the back ends of each section and secure them with a bobby pin. The end result ought to look like a nice braided crown of flat, gorgeous hair.

10. High Puff


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Last, but not least, the High Puff is an excellent do for the ladies who want something quick and simple. It’s similar to a sleek top bun or a ponytail but with a slight difference in appearance.

In order to make a High Puff hairstyle, you will need a detangling brush, a lengthy elastic band, some coconut oil for moisturization, and 4C hair gel for slicking back the hair. The process is as follows:

• Braid your hair or make cornrows and leave it on overnight in order to give your hair a boost
• Untangle the braids using the detangling brush
• Apply the gel in order to lift your hair up
• Take the elastic band and tie it around the base of your head
• Move the band up by tightening it slowly around your hair
• Once you reach a desirable height, tie the band and hide its ends inside of your puff
• Whenever necessary, apply coconut oil to keep the hair moist and workable
• Apply some more hair gel on the smooth sections underneath the puff to retain a sleek look.

7 Styling Tips for Short 4C Hair

Styling Tips

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1. Approach the Hair With Care

Detangling brushes and wide-tooth wooden combs are going to be your best friends when applying 4C hairstyles. If you approach any of the processes from the list carelessly, you can end up damaging your hair. And damaged short frizzy hair will take time to repair itself through growth. In addition, don’t do any detangling when your hair is dry, as it will crack.

2. Moisture Is Necessary

Coiled hair, unlike straight or wavy hair, doesn’t get enough moisture through the natural route. With all other hair types, the essential oils travel from the scalp and reach the entire length of a strand. But since Type 4C hair is heavily coiled, those oils will not go far past the base of any hair, leaving the entire strand more or less dry and vulnerable.

In order to keep your hair hydrated, mix a bit of aloe vera juice with water and use a spray bottle to apply it. That will keep your hair moist and feed it natural nutrients, which will promote growth.

3. Never Avoid Trimming or Cutting Hair

Lots of people with Type 4C hair avoid going to the barber. To an extent, one can understand their decision. After all, they will want long hair, and in order for hair to grow, cutting it would be counter-productive, right?

Well, actually, the exact opposite is true. Nearly every hair stylist worth their salt will tell you that trimming split ends will benefit your hair in the long run. Sure, you may let it grow long, but if the ends are not healthy, your whole hair will suffer. Therefore, whenever you feel the need to get a short trim, don’t hesitate. Hair health is always more important than its length.

4. Proper Dieting Helps

Eating healthy and drinking plenty of fluids will promote better hair health. You can supplement your diet with dark green vegetables full of iron, folic acid, and various vitamins. All of those ingredients will boost hair growth and make it look full and healthy. In addition, try to drink more water in order to promote further hydration.

5. Scalp Care Is Vital

Your hair grows from your scalp, so it makes sense that scalp care should be one of your top priorities. In order to maintain a healthy scalp, make sure to hydrate it regularly. You can achieve that by applying various oils. The material from said oils will enter the scalp and from there travel to your hair and boost it.

6. Go Protective, to a Point

Protective styles have their benefits, as you clearly see within this list. And when you apply them within reason, they can promote hair growth and maintain its current shape without much damage. However, always remember that hair care doesn’t stop once you have those braids on.

When you decide on a protective style, never apply it so tight that it causes issues (such as traction alopecia). Instead, keep it loose enough so you can untangle it easily later. Furthermore, one such style is good for about 4-8 weeks. After that period, you should untangle your hair and let it breathe for a while before applying a protective style again.

7. Porosity Testing

Finding the best products for hairstyle applications is hard, especially since some of them just won’t work on certain hair types. In order to find the best one, you need to check how porous your hair strands are.

Usually, the porosity levels of hair fall under one of three categories: high, medium, or low. Of those three, high porosity hair will not retain any moisture, while low porosity hair will prevent any moisture from entering, to begin with. By far, the most optimal is the medium level since your hair’s cuticles will have proper alignment and will retain moisture with no issues.

There’s a quick and simple test to check the porosity of your hair. Simply pluck a dry, clean strand and dip it into a glass of water. Highly porous strands will sink at the bottom quickly, while low-porous ones will float.

Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.