For far too long, type four hair textures have gone underrepresented and underappreciated in the natural hair community. In spite of them being catalysts for the largest natural hair movement of the 21st century, they have been overlooked due to eurocentric beauty standards and desirability politics. Wanting to reclaim that power, Kim and Tim Lewis launched 4C ONLY in November of 2020, a brand seeking to create a space for type four naturals while boldly declaring that coils and kinks reign supreme.
Though they were told in the very beginning that there was no money or future in products for 4c hair, 4C ONLY proved their naysayers wrong. By launching a successful hair care brand with a line of fabulous products, 4C ONLY has an uncompromising mission to finally give type 4 hair the love it deserves.
Nappy Head Club sat down with Alex Moore, 4C ONLY’s Head of Marketing, to discuss the importance of the brand and why it’s so crucial for Black people.
How did you come to find out about the 4c Only Brand? What were your initial thoughts?
[Moore] 4C ONLY launched in November of 2020, and is the first-ever natural hair brand made exclusively for 4C hair. I was absolutely floored that no brand had yet to create this! As a Type 4-haired woman, I remember big chopping in 2011 when the “natural hair movement” had just begun to take off and there was so much kinky hair representation, and somewhere along the way, the looser curl types took over the aesthetic and the brand focus. 4C ONLY is about reclaiming the narrative that our power, our strength comes from our [kinky] roots, and I love that.
Why do you think this product line was necessary?
[Moore] As a Type 4-haired woman, I remember big chopping in 2011 when the “natural hair movement” had just begun to take off and there was so much kinky hair representation, and somewhere along the way, the looser curl types took over the aesthetic and the brand focus. 4C ONLY is about reclaiming the narrative that our power, our strength comes from our [kinky] roots, and I love that. It’s essential for Black women to know that our kinks and coils don’t need to conform to anybody’s beauty standards, and we’re a brand that celebrates that freedom of expression and putting 4C women at the forefront. This is our revolution, and it’s moisturized.
For us, the deep conditioner is a STANDOUT product in the line. What went into the formulation of this product?
[Moore] Yasss! The Too Thicke Deep Conditioner is my personal favorite, and the product was formulated with love and intention. Like the rest of the Too Easy Collection, it was created by a Black woman for Black women. We knew the feedback other brands had gotten in the industry for not giving the kinkier girls what they needed — so we wanted to create a real conditioner with major slip for easy detangling and 5X the conditioning agents of what you could find in a drugstore because our hair needed it.
Do you find there to be a need for a self-care ritual? Do you see hair maintenance as a part of that ritual?
[Moore] Oh my goodness absolutely! If this past year has taught me nothing else is that a self-care ritual, no matter how big or small, is essential in preserving your peace of mind. I see hair routines as a part of that ritual — taking time for yourself, intentionally focusing on your mane and giving your kinks the tlc they deserve. Throw in some soulful tunes or your favorite podcast, light a candle, and suddenly it becomes a whole vibe you can look forward to.
What ingredients are key for 4c hair?
[Moore] I would say there are three core ingredients that are really beneficial for the health and maintenance of 4C hair (of course these are all featured in our 4C ONLY Too Easy Collection!)
- slippery elm literally lives up to its name and provides the slide and glide we’ve come to love when detangling with conditioner
- hempseed oil is full of amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants that help to nourish our scalp. It’s also packed with protein to help protect hair against damage.
- aloe vera extract is a humectant that helps your hair and scalp retain and preserve moisture.
What do you love most about 4c hair?
[Moore] It’s truly the versatility for me. 4C hair is magical in all the different forms it can morph into. From our fros, to our braids, to our twist-outs, to our bantu knots — our hair is limitless.
What has been the reception to the product line?
[Moore] It’s been such an amazing journey in less than a year since we’ve launched. We’ve received so much praise on our products from publications like Vogue, Essence, & Refinery29 to name a few, but it’s truly been the reception from the type 4, kinky and coily girls that have felt the most affirming. We knew there was a gap in the beauty industry, and so it’s been validating to get customer feedback that they finally feel like a product line works for them and their hair is beautifully moisturized.
Because we at Nappy Head Club were so in love with the 4C Only Product Line, we’re sponsoring a GIVEAWAY of their Too Easy collection ($70 Value) and a $50 Gift Card to Nappy Head Club. You can enter to win here: https://nappyheadclub.4conly.com/142752.
The sweeps closes Saturday, Jul 31 at 11:59PM EST.
About the Interviewee:
A southside Chicago native, Alex Moore is a self proclaimed foodie, proud yogi, and lover of Black beauty and haircare. She’s Head of Marketing at 4C ONLY.