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The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining & Styling a Short Tapered Cut on 4C Natural Hair

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Welcome to the ultimate guide for maintaining and styling a short tapered cut on 4C natural hair!

If you have ever had a short tapered cut in your life,  you already know how chic and versatile this hairstyle can be. Let’s face it, keeping it looking flawless requires some knowledge.

I remember when I was younger I had a short cut and it felt wonderful but there were a few things that I had to quickly learn, fast.

In this comprehensive guide, we will talk through the essential tips and tricks to help you maintain your short tapered cut and keep it looking fabulous all the time.

We’ll look at the best products to use for maintaining hydration and moisture retention to techniques to help define your curls and combat shrinkage.


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Woman with a short tapered cut


Understanding A Short Tapered Cut On 4C Natural Hair

The short tapered cut is a hairstyle that involves cutting your hair shorter on the sides and back while leaving more length on the top of your head.  This style is particularly popular among women with 4C natural hair due to how versatile and low maintenance it can be.  It allows you to show off the unique texture of your hair and it can be customised to suit the shape of your face.


The Benefits of A Short Tapered Cut for 4C Natural Hair

There are so many benefits of having a short tapered cut on 4C natural hair.  First and foremost, it provides a fresh and modern look that is completely classy, we all love classy!  It also makes styling your hair a lot easier.

When your hair is short it reduces the detangling and manipulation time. Also having a shorter maintained tapered cut can promote hair health by minimising split ends and the amount of breakage that you get.

To achieve the perfect short tapered cut, it’s essential to start with good basics. This begins with preparing your hair for the cut.


Short tapered cut on woman


Preparing Your Hair For A Short Tapered Cut

Before getting a short tapered cut, it’s important to ensure that your hair is in good condition. This means dealing with any existing issues with your hair, such as dryness or breakage.

Deep conditioning your hair regularly to restore moisture and strengthen the strands is a great place to start. Use a protein treatmentto repair any damage and improve the overall health of your hair.

In addition to conditioning treatments, make sure you trim your ends regularly to prevent any further damage and to maintain the shape of your short tapered cut. This will help to keep your hair looking fresh and well-maintained. If you’re unsure about trimming your own hair, it’s best to consult with a professional stylist who specialises in natural hair.


Helpful post: 11 Benefits of trimming your hair that you need to know


Essential Tools And Products For Maintaining A Short Tapered Cut

To keep your short tapered cut looking its best, there are a few key tools and products that you’ll need. Firstly you should get yourself a good quality wide-tooth comb or detangling brush. This will help to minimise breakage and make detangling easier, especially when dealing with 4C hair.

In addition to a wide-tooth comb, you’ll also need a spray bottle filled with water or a water-based leave-in conditioner. We can use this to moisturise and refresh your hair in between wash days. Try a leave-in conditioner like this one that is lightweight and won’t weigh down your hair.

To seal in moisture and protect your hair from dryness, invest in a good quality oil or butter. Natural oils like jojoba, coconut, or argan oil are great choices for natural hair. You can also opt for a butter such as shea butter that contains nourishing ingredients and provides long-lasting moisture.

Lastly, don’t forget to stock up on bobby pins, hairbands, and hair accessories that can help you create different hairstyles with your short tapered cut. Now that you have the necessary tools and products, let’s dive into the maintenance routine for your short tapered cut.



Washing And Conditioning Your Short Tapered Cut

Proper washing and conditioning are essential for maintaining a healthy and vibrant short tapered cut. You can start by wetting your hair thoroughly and applying a sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse the scalp and remove any product buildup. Gently massage the shampoo into your scalp, then rinse thoroughly with warm water.

After shampooing, it’s time to condition your hair. Apply a generous amount of conditioner to your hair.  Use your wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to distribute the conditioner evenly and detangle your hair. Leave the conditioner on for a few minutes, then rinse with cool water to seal the cuticles and promote shiny hair.

You can finish up with a deep conditioning treatment for added moisture.  To do this apply the deep conditioner to damp hair, cover it with a plastic shower cap ( I prefer to use a plastic disposable cap just because of the mess), and leave it to sit for 30 minutes or so. Rinse thoroughly and style as desired.


Helpful post: 4 Signs of product buildup in your hair



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A post shared by Next Expo-July 27, 2024-Biloxi (@msnaturalhairexpo)


Moisturising And Sealing Techniques For A Short Tapered Cut

Moisture is key when it comes to maintaining a short tapered cut on 4C natural hair.  To keep your hair hydrated and prevent dryness, it’s important to incorporate moisturising and sealing techniques into your routine.

Start by dampening your hair with water or a water-based leave-in conditioner. This will help to soften the hair and make it more receptive to moisture. Next, apply a small amount of oil or butter to seal in the moisture. 

To ensure that the moisture is evenly distributed, use your wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to comb through your hair. This will also help to define your curls and minimise frizz. 


Styling Options For A Short Tapered Cut

One of the best things about a short tapered cut is its versatility when it comes to styling. There are numerous options to choose from, depending on your personal style and the occasion.

For a polished and professional look, consider slicking your hair back using a gel or edge control. Use a boar bristle brush or toothbrush to smooth down any flyaways and create a sleek finish. You can also experiment with different partings, such as a side part or a middle part, to change up your look.

If you’re in the mood for a more playful and casual style, try finger coils or a twist-out. These techniques can help to define your curls and add texture to your short tapered cut. Simply apply a styling product to damp hair, then twist or coil small sections. Allow your hair to air dry or use a diffuser for faster drying.


Tips For Maintaining The Health And Growth of Your Short Tapered Cut

Maintaining the health and growth of your short tapered cut is crucial for long-term hair success. Here are some tips to keep in mind:


1. Protect Your Hair

Protect your hair at night by sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase, or by wearing a satin bonnet or scarf.


2. Avoid Excessive Heat

Avoid excessive heat styling, as it can lead to dryness and breakage. If you must use heat, always apply a heat protectant beforehand.


3. Don’t Forget To Trim

Make sure you are trimming your ends regularly to prevent split ends and maintain the shape of your short tapered cut.


4. Avoid Damage

Avoid over-manipulation and excessive styling, as it can cause breakage and damage.


5. Try Scalp Massages

Incorporate scalp massages into your routine to promote blood circulation and stimulate hair growth.


By following these tips and maintaining a consistent hair care routine, you can ensure that your short tapered cut remains healthy, vibrant, and stylish.


Common Challenges And How To Overcome Them With A Short Tapered Cut

While a short tapered cut offers many benefits, it’s not without its challenges. Here are some common challenges that you may encounter and how to overcome them:

1. Shrinkage

4C natural hair is prone to shrinkage, which can make your short tapered cut appear shorter than what it actually is. To tackle shrinkage, consider stretching your hair using techniques like twist-outs or braid-outs.


Helpful post: Twist out vs braid out, which is better?


2. Dryness

4C hair has a tendency to be dry, so it’s important to keep it as moisturised as best you can. Make sure to use hydrating products and seal in the moisture with oils or butters.


3. Limited Styling Options

While a short tapered cut offers versatility, you might feel slightly limited in terms of styling options. Now would be a great time to experiment with different accessories, parts, and techniques to create different looks.


4. Regrowth

As your hair grows, you may notice a difference in length between the top and sides of your short tapered cut. To maintain a uniform look, consider regular trims or shaping appointments with a stylist.

You may find that you will need to go for a reshape every few weeks, so be aware of that.


By being conscious of these challenges and implementing the appropriate strategies, you can overcome them and continue to rock your short tapered cut with confidence.


Final Thoughts On Embracing And Styling A Short Tapered Cut On 4C Natural Hair

Embracing and styling a short tapered cut on 4C natural hair is a journey that requires time, patience, and experimentation. It’s important to find the techniques, products, and styles that work best for you.

Remember, a well-maintained and styled short tapered cut can be a powerful statement of self-expression and confidence. Don’t be afraid to embrace your unique texture and personality, and let your hair shine.

With the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, you have all the knowledge and tools you need to slay your short tapered cut. So go ahead and rock your natural crown with pride!


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