A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Slick Down 4C Hair

how to slick down 4C hair
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How to slick down 4C hair

If you’re a fan of sleek and polished hairstyles, you’ll be pleased to know that achieving a slick look for 4C hair is not as challenging as it may seem.

While 4C hair is known for its thick texture and natural curls, with the right techniques and products, you can achieve a smooth and polished style that lasts for days.

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In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to slick down your 4c hair, address common challenges, recommend the best products, and even explore alternative methods. Let’s dive in!

how to slick down 4C hair without gel

Why Won’t My 4C Hair Stay Slick?

Before we delve into the techniques and products for slicking down 4c hair, let’s first understand some of the common reasons why your hair may not be achieving the desired sleekness:

  1. Lack of Adequate Moisture: 4C hair is naturally dry, and without proper hydration, it can become brittle and resistant to manipulation. Ensure that your hair is well-moisturized before attempting to slick it down.
  2. Using The Wrong Technique: Slicking down natural hair requires a specific technique for effective results. If you’re not using the right products or applying them correctly, your hair may not lay flat as desired.
  3. Hair Texture: The tight coil pattern of 4c hair can make it more challenging to style. If your hair has significant shrinkage, it may be more difficult to achieve a slicked-down look, but it’s not impossible.
  4. Product Build-up: Using excessive hair products or not properly washing them out can lead to product build-up, which prevents your hair from lying flat and smooth. Make sure to cleanse your hair thoroughly to avoid this issue.
  5. Weather Conditions: Humidity, rain, or other weather conditions can affect the longevity of a sleek style. In humid conditions, for instance, hair may frizz up or revert to its natural texture.

By addressing these potential issues, you can increase your chances of successfully slicking down your 4c hair.

The Best Products for Slicking Down 4C Hair

When it comes to finding the best products for slicking down 4C hair, one popular option stands out: Eco Styler Gel. This water-based gel is beloved for its ability to provide a stronghold while keeping the hair hydrated.

It contains natural ingredients like olive oil and argan oil that help moisturize the hair. However, keep in mind that everyone’s hair is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Consider the following factors when choosing the best styling gel for your 4C hair:

  1. Moisturizing Ingredients: Look for gels that contain moisturizing ingredients to combat the dryness commonly associated with 4C hair.
  2. Maximum Hold: To achieve a slicked-down look, opt for gels with a stronghold that can keep your natural hair in place for an extended period.
  3. Non-Flaky Formula: Nobody wants to deal with flaky gel residue on their hair or clothing. Therefore, choose a gel that won’t leave behind any flakes.

How to Slick Down 4C Hair: Step-by-Step Guide

how to slick down 4C hair

Now that we’ve covered the potential challenges and the best products for slicking down 4C hair, let’s explore a step-by-step guide on how to achieve a sleek look:

Step 1: Start with Clean and Moisturized Hair

Before you begin the styling process, make sure your hair is clean and well-moisturized. Use a moisturizing shampoo and deep conditioner to hydrate your hair. Consider incorporating a hot oil treatment or protein treatment for added nourishment, especially if you’re planning a long-lasting protective style.

Step 2: Detangle and Moisturize

Properly detangling your hair is crucial before attempting to slick it down. Use a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to remove any knots or tangles, working in small sections for thoroughness. After detangling, apply a leave-in conditioner of your choice, followed by a sealing product like shea butter to lock in moisture.

Step 3: Apply the Gel

Now it’s time to apply the gel to slick down your 4C hair. For optimal results, start from the inside out. Begin in the middle of your head, taking small sections of hair at a time.

Apply the gel to each section and use a boar bristle brush to distribute it evenly and smooth down the hair. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, you may need to adjust the amount of product used.

Step 4: Set the Style in Place

Once you’ve applied the gel to your satisfaction, use the boar bristle brush to smooth your hair down in the desired direction. Secure the hair with a hair tie, and then use a satin scarf or headwrap to tie it down and set the style.

Leave the scarf on for at least 10-15 minutes to allow the gel to dry and set. If needed, you can use a blow dryer on a low setting for an even better hold.

Step 5: Finish Styling

After the gel has dried and set, remove the scarf and add a small amount of oil or serum to add shine and prevent your hair from drying out.

Use an edge brush and edge control product to lay down any baby hair. If you have short hair, you can consider adding 4C hair extensions for additional styling options, such as creating a sleek bun or rocking a cute afro puff.

Remember, practice makes perfect! Slicking down natural hair can take some trial and error until you find what works best for your hair type and texture. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different products and techniques to achieve the desired sleek look.

How To Slick Down 4C Hair Without Gel

Achieving a sleek look with 4C hair without using gel requires a strategic approach that focuses on moisture, the right products, and effective techniques. Here’s a detailed section on how to slick down 4C hair without gel:

1. Start with Clean, Moisturized Hair:

Before attempting to slick down your 4C hair, ensure it’s clean and well-moisturized. Use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner to prevent dryness, making the hair more pliable and easier to manage.

2. Use a Leave-In Conditioner:

Apply a generous amount of leave-in conditioner to damp hair. This helps to soften and moisturize the hair, making it more manageable. Look for a leave-in conditioner that is lightweight but provides adequate moisture.

3. Choose a Creamy Styling Product:

Opt for a creamy styling product instead of gel. Creams are more moisturizing and help to define curls without the stiffness associated with gels. Apply the product evenly throughout your hair, focusing on the areas you want to slick down.

4. Detangle Thoroughly:

Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to detangle your hair. This step is crucial to ensure the smooth application of the styling product and to minimize breakage.

5. Section Your Hair:

Divide your hair into manageable sections. This makes the styling process more organized and allows you to focus on each section with precision.

6. Smooth Down with a Brush or Comb:

Take a soft-bristle brush or a fine-tooth comb and gently smooth down each section. Start from the roots and work your way down to the ends. This helps distribute the product evenly and encourages a sleek appearance.

7. Wrap or Tie Down Hair:

Once you’ve achieved the desired sleekness, you can either wrap your hair with a silk or satin scarf or use a satin hair tie to secure the style. This helps set the hair in place and reduces frizz.

8. Allow Time to Set:

Give your hair some time to set in the chosen style. This could be a few hours or overnight, depending on your preferences. The longer you let it set, the more defined and sleek the results.

9. Refresh as Needed:

If you notice any areas that need a touch-up, you can apply a small amount of the styling product and repeat the smoothing process.

By following these steps, you can achieve a sleek and polished look for your 4C hair without relying on traditional gels, emphasizing the importance of moisture and the right products in the styling process.

While these alternative methods work well for individuals with softer or thinner 4C hair, keep in mind that achieving a sleek look without gel can be more challenging for those with thicker hair. However, there are numerous beautiful protective styles you can explore that don’t require the use of gel.

Tips for Long-Lasting Slicked-Down Hair

To ensure your slicked-down 4C hair lasts as long as possible, consider the following tips:

  1. Protective Styling: Opt for protective styles that preserve the sleekness of your hair, such as buns, braids, or twists. These styles help minimize frizz and maintain the polished look for an extended period.
  2. Nighttime Maintenance: Before going to bed, wrap your hair in a satin bonnet or sleep on a satin pillowcase to prevent frizz and maintain the style.
  3. Avoid Excessive Touching: Constantly touching your hair can disrupt the sleekness and cause frizz. Try to minimize touching or running your fingers through your hair throughout the day.
  4. Moisturize as Needed: While you want to avoid excessive moisture to preserve the style, make sure to keep your hair hydrated by applying a lightweight moisturizer or leave-in conditioner when necessary.

By implementing these tips, you can prolong the lifespan of your sleek 4C hairstyle and enjoy the polished look for several days.


Achieving a sleek look for 4C hair is possible with the right techniques and products. By addressing common challenges, using the best gel for your hair type, and following a step-by-step guide, you can slick down your 4C hair with confidence.

Additionally, alternative methods provide options for those who prefer not to use gel. Remember to experiment, practice, and embrace the uniqueness of your hair. With patience and persistence, you’ll find what works best for you and rock that sleek look with style!

Additional Information:

  • It’s essential to choose products suitable for your hair type and texture. Experimentation may be necessary to find the perfect combination that works for you.
  • Don’t forget to protect your hair from excessive heat when using a blow dryer. Opt for a low heat setting and use a heat protectant spray to minimize damage.
  • Regularly deep condition your hair to keep it healthy and moisturized, as this will make it more manageable when attempting to slick it down.
  • Remember that everyone’s hair is unique, and results may vary. Embrace the beauty of your natural hair and enjoy the process of discovering what works best for you.
how to slick down 4C hair without gel

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