All about Coily Hair

Did you know that there is a difference between coily and curly hair? Its understandable to be of the belief that they are the same. However, when you carefully pay attention to the curl pattern you will realize that coily hair tends to have more curl definition than curly hair. Coily hair has greater defined spirals with more volume and body.

As you continue reading this post, you will gain a better understanding of coily hair, the types of coily hair and how to effectively care for it to keep it healthy.

What is Coily Hair?

Coily hair is made up of tight curls with zig-zag patterned hair strands. Another great way to describe coily hair is, curls knitted closely and tightly together that bend up and out to create the curl pattern.

Coily hair is also termed as type 4 with a range of curls from A-C. Coily hair is also often referred to as kinky hair.

In its natural state coily hair has a ‘puffy’, dry to spongy texture. This texture explains the difficulty it has to soak in moisture and retain it; thus hair is more prone to snapping and breaking.

It important to remember when manipulating coily hair that you are gentle especially when you are detangling. Conditioning is a critical step to employ before you venture into detangling coily hair. Whether it be spritzing and adding a moisturizer daily such as our Rich Moisturizing & Smoothing Shampoo or applying conditioner to add extra slip before the detangling process.


What’s The Main Difference Between Coily and Curly Hair?

As earlier mentioned, the main difference that exists between kinky and coily hair is the definition of curls. Coily hair has tight curls while curly hair has looser curls.

Also, the appearance of coily hair is a lot fuller and volumized than curly hair. Curly hair falls within the number 3 category, specifically being 3C while coil hair ranges as expressed before between 4A, 4B, and 4C category.


Coily Hair Types

Type 4 hair describes the broad heading for all coily hair textures. In general type 4 hair is thin and fine in nature with a coarse texture. When you observe coily hair closely you will quickly recognize its wiriness with hair densely coiled together.

The appearance of coily hair is filled with personality and convinces many at first glance that it is strong and able to withstand much manipulation without breakage. However, this is not the truth as it is one of the most fragile hair types. This is as a result of the natural make-up of coily hair; it has the least cuticle layers thus its great disadvantage to protect it from becoming overly dry.

In essence, the key areas to pay attention to when caring for this hair type are moisture, strand knots, tangles, split ends, breakage, and shrinkage.

Here are the three type 4 hair types in detail:

Type 4A – This hair type is characterized by tight, wiry, dense, and springy coil patterns. When observed you can recognize a ‘S’ shaped pattern.


Type 4B – This hair type has extremely tight curls with way less definition. The texture of type 4B is coarser than 4A but it is also wiry.


Type 4C – This hair type struggles to maintain curl definition and is way easier to shrink. The texture is generally fine and thin but delicately soft.


 How to Care for Coily Hair

Moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize. Based on the nature of type 4 hair as it relates to dryness is that it makes moisturizing a critical step in the daily hair routine to keep it alive.   

This includes moisturizing and sealing with a natural oil to prevent moisture loss as well as conditioning/deep conditioning on a regular basis.

Selecting hair products and sticking to them in a consistent manner is a very important step when caring for your coily hair.

Hair Staples for coily hair include:

  • Moisturizing Sulphate-Free Shampoo: This ensures that all impurities and product build-up are effectively removed from your hair without causing it to feel parched but instead moisturized.
  • Conditioner: It interesting how when growing up shampoos would always be finish way before conditioners. However, this should no longer be the case as conditioning after every wash is critical to keeping coily hair healthy and thriving.
  • Deep Conditioner: This should be practiced every two weeks. It provides the hair strands with greater moisture thus protecting it from breakage.
  • Co-Wash: This gently cleanses the hair without drying it out. This is great for individuals who desire to wash their hair more than once per week.
  • Moisturizer: When moisturizing type 4 hair it is essential that hair is properly hydrated. A great way to make hydration a reality for your coils is to ensure the ingredients have water to impart the hydrating benefits. It is also good to ensure you stay hydrated because it helps your hair advance even better
  • Natural Oils: Choose oils like jojoba oil, argan oil, and coconut oil that are not to heavy to sit on the hair strands and prevent the penetration of moisture. This is not to say heavier oils like castor oil cannot be used but it should not be done on a regular basis.
  • Leave-in Treatment: This is a gem of a hair product for coily hair because it ensures that each hair strand is fortified and protected from damage as you style your hair daily.
  • Styling: Type 4 hair has so many hairstyles that you can pick and choose from, these include bantu knots, wash-n-go’s, twist/plait outs, buns, and protective styles (box or knotless braids, cornrows that are not done tightly, sew-ins, and wigs).


Be sure to choose styles that doesn’t cause you to manipulate your hair every day. Doing so will aid in protecting your hair from snapping or breaking.

Final Thoughts

Coils differ from curls mainly because of its tighter curl pattern. Though coily hair tends to be more fragile and drier thus prone to breakage. Therefore in caring for it you can grow beautiful, long and thick natural hair if you commit to your hair care routine daily.