Little has been talked about in regards to the 5C hair type. In fact, it was only very recently that type 5c hair came across my path. So if you haven’t heard about type 5c hair don’t worry you are probably not alone!
Some natural hair enthusiasts argue that type 5c hair is not entirely natural and so it shouldn’t be included in the hair typing chart. I don’t know how you feel about this but the truth is type 5 hair is here to stay and whether or not it’s included in the chart. It’s still important to have a conversation about the importance of it in relation to the other hair types.
Of all the type 5 hair categories, 5C is the least talked about. It’s no wonder there is very little information about it online yet there is quite a significant number of people that fall into this category.
In this article, we will delve deep into what exactly, 5C hair type is. We will also look at how to care for 5C hair and what protective styles are best for this hair type.
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What Is 5C Hair Type?
5C hair refers to hair that has been relaxed or chemically straightened to remove or loosen the curl pattern. 5C hair is initially very dense, with thick and tight curls, coils, or kinks.
People with this type of hair sometimes choose to relax their hair to make it more manageable even though the chemicals can actually make your hair fragile.
Some people will look at this process as texturising and not necessarily relaxing their hair. Essentially it is the same thing.
How Do You Care For 5C Hair Type?
Because of the chemical alteration, 5C hair tends to be more fragile than natural hair so much so that extra care and attention is needed to ensure that the hair does not break.
Here are a couple of tips to help you grow healthy and strong 5C hair:
1. Wash Often
Regardless of the hair type you may have, cleansing your hair regularly is an unsaid rule. Dirt and product buildup on the scalp gets in the way of your hair follicles and this can only mean one thing- stunted growth
5C hair should be washed at least once every week with an alcohol-free and silicone-free based shampoo.
2. Deep Conditioning After Every Wash
To minimize the dryness and shedding, deep condition weekly after every wash. This will greatly help you to retain length.
3. Moisturise Every Day
Due to the alterations, 5C hair can dry quite fast causing breakage. This is why it’s crucial to moisturise your hair daily and especially at the tips of your hair. Use the LOC method to add moisture and seal it in. If you have low porosity hair you can learn about how to moisture and seal your hair here.
4. Treat Your Hair With A Protein Conditioner Once Every Month
When your hair is getting relaxed, protein (keratin) bonds in the hair are broken down to alter the structure. To replace the protein that has been lost, it’s advisable to treat your hair with a protein treatment at least once every month.
The other most important time to protein treat your hair is the week after getting your hair relaxed but every head of hair can be slightly different so play around with it and see what works best for you.
Use a wide-tooth comb to comb and detangle your hair. A wide-tooth comb causes very little manipulation.
6. Minimise Manipulation
As mentioned, 5C hair is fragile and so constant manipulation can quickly lead to breakage and split ends in your hair. Minimise manipulation as much as you can, which includes avoiding the urge to twirl your hair around your finger when zoned out. Also, avoid wearing tight ponytails and buns excessively.
7. Trim Often
Some people don’t like to trim their hair regularly even though it’s actually good practice, this is especially true for 5C hair which can be prone to split ends which can quickly travel up the hair strand.
You should never fear trimming your hair when it’s needed because it is actually beneficial to you. Remember, you don’t need a schedule when trimming your hair, it’s better to familiarise yourself with your hair and learn when it needs a trim. Getting rid of the old “dead” hair will give room for newer hair to flourish.
8. Eat A High Protein Diet
You will be shocked at how much of an impact diet plays in hair growth. By increasing the amount of protein you eat in your meals, your hair will significantly grow stronger and healthier. The impact is even more significant when you drink plenty of water as your hair will be hydrated from the inside out.
How Do You Wash 5C Hair?
5C hair needs to be washed in a certain way. You need to wash your 5C hair going in one direction only- towards the tip of the hair. You need to use the pads of your fingers to wash the scalp and not your fingernails. You have to be gentle to avoid causing any tension. 5C hair can be very snappy when wet so bear that in mind.
What Are The Best Protective Styles For 5C Hair?
Because 5C hair is altered hair texture protective hairstyles can be a really good option. Styles such as buns, bantu knots, and braids help to protect your hair while encouraging growth since there is barely any manipulation happening. Wearing wigs and weaves can also be a great way to keep your hair protected if you need to.
Be sure to keep away from hairstyles that require tight pulling.
Another way to protect your 5C hair is to wear your hair high to prevent it from rubbing against scarves, collars, sweaters, and other surfaces, especially during cold weather. This will go a long way in preventing hair breakage.
You can also consider wearing caps, scarves, and headwraps during winter, rainy season, and during the hot summer to prevent your hair from drying up when not in protective styles.
Final Thoughts On 5C Hair
As 5c hair types are chemically processed, your 5C hair may be weak and prone to damage. if this is the case make sure that you are adopting healthy hair habits as your number one priority. The first step towards this is coming up with a really good hair care regimen. The regimen should incorporate deep conditioning, washing, trimming, moisturising, and using protein treatments regularily.
It’s not difficult taking care of 5C hair once you have a good routine. After all, all hair types need special attention and care to thrive and this remains the case with 5c hair types.