What's your hair type? It's a question that can determine a lot about your daily styling routine. Does your mane fall flat with just the hint of humidity? Are you spending hours twisting your hair into curls? Inspired by celebrity stylist Andre Walker's hair types, and built upon by NaturallyCurly.com, I’ve arranged this comprehensive guide from super straight, fine strands to coily, kinky locks. To discover your natural texture, wash your hair and examine your strands in the mirror without any styling products. Still can't decide which category you fall in? Your head could have a mix of two or three! At www.naturallyflawless.ca you can shop by hair type to find the products that cater to the needs of your hair. Additionally, I’ve also provided styling tips specific to your hair type below.
Type 1: Straight Hair
Type 1 hair is classified as hair that has no curl pattern and is naturally straight. Type one hair tends to be shiny and oily due to the hair strand’s lack of curl. Since the hair strand is completely straight, natural oils that come from the scalp can reach all the way down the hair shaft. Within the Type 1 category, there are Type 1a, Type 1b and Type 1c hair categories.
Type 1a hair is completely flat and has little to no body. It is officially known as the hair type that will not hold a curl. The hair is just completely straight from the root to the tip. Many Asian women fall into this category, but otherwise, this hair type is very rare.
Type 1b hair has more body than type one hair and is not completely flat. Most straight haired women fall into the type 1b category. Type 1b hair is most distinguishable from type 1a hair because it will hold a curl. Type 1b hair has sporadic bends here and there, and the ends of the hair tend to curl under slightly, unlike type 1a hair where the ends are completely straight.
Type 1c hair is generally straight, has body, and a few areas of not so much waves but slight bends. Type 1c hair has that perfectly tousled look when it dries on its own. This look is natural and achieved without the use of heat tools. The individual strands tend to be thick and coarse.
Type 2: Wavy Hair
Type 2 hair is classified as hair that is naturally wavy and forms an “S” shape. Type 2 hair is not as oily as type 1 hair due to the texture pattern of the individual hair strand, but type 2 hair isn’t dry either. Within the Type 2 category, there are Type 2a, Type 2b and Type 2c hair categories.
Type 2a hair has several loose, natural, beachy waves all over the head, unlike Type 1c hair that features a few slight bends. Type 2a hair isn’t as frizzy as the other two type 2 hair categories, so it can easily be weighed down when you apply too much product.
Type 2b hair features waves that are clearly defined and more tightly drawn, but the hair still sticks closely to the head and doesn’t poof or bounce up. Type 2b hair is when the frizz starts to kick in. Many ladies who fall into this category have to use gel based products to keep the frizz away.
Type 2c hair consists of waves that are tightly drawn, so much so that they start to whirl around itself and form loose spiral curls. Type 2c hair is the frizziest of all the type 2 categories and the hair bounces up slightly and poofs away from the face.
Type 3: Curly Hair
Type 3 hair is classified as hair that is naturally curly and shaped like an “S.” Type 3 hair forms ringlets that are naturally defined without the use of manipulation or hair-styling products. Type 3 hair tends to be dry due to the hair’s texture. The natural oils found in the scalp aren’t heavy enough to reach past all of the curves and bends along the S shape of the hair strand, so unlike Type 1 and in some instances Type 2 hair, these natural oils don’t reach the ends of Type 3 hair. Within the Type 3 category, there are Type 3a, Type 3b and Type 3c hair types.
Type 3a hair features loose Shirley temple curls that are often silky in texture. The curls are easily defined on their own without the use of much product or manual manipulation.
Type 3b hair consists of curls that are more spiraled and springy than type 3a curls. Many biracial women fall into this category. The hair is still moderately defined on it’s own, but it’s extremely frizzy without the use of styling aids, such as gel and hair creams.
Type 3c curls are more tightly drawn and coily than Type 3b curls, and are often highly textured. The individual hair strands are closely packed together, this is also known as clumping. It takes a bit of manual manipulation to get the curls evenly defined, but they’re still moderately defined on their own, but not as smooth as 3b curls.
Type 4: Kinky Hair
Type 4 hair is classified as hair that is coily and tightly curled without the defined and discernible ringlets formed by Type 3 hair. Another main difference between Type 4 hair and Type 3 hair is that Type 4 hair typically keeps the same shape whether it is wet or dry, where as Type 3 hair can be completely straight or wavy when wet. Type 4 hair tends to be extremely dry due to the shape of the individual hair strand. The natural oils produced by the scalp tend to get no further than a inch or two down the hair shaft due to the highly textured pattern of the hair. Within the Type 4 category, there are Type 4a, Type 4b and Type 4c hair types.
Type 4a is tightly coiled hair that has an "S" pattern. It has more moisture than 4b; it has a definite curl pattern. The circumference of the spirals is close to that of a crochet needle. The hair can be wiry or fine-textured. It is very fragile with lots of strands densely packed together. Type 4 hair has fewer cuticle layers than other hair types, which means it has less natural protection from damage.
Type 4b has a "Z" pattern, less of a defined curl pattern. Instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter "Z". Type 4 hair has a cotton-like feel. The hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled or bent and very, very fragile; you must take great care when working with it. Type 4 hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/coarse with lots and lots of strands densely packed together. Type 4b hair often shrinks up to 75% of the actual hair length.
Type 4c hair is composed of curl patterns that will almost never clump without doing a specific hair style. It can range from fine/thin/super soft to wiry/coarse with lots of densely packed strands. 4c hair has been described as a more "challenging" version of 4b hair. Some say 4c looks identical to 4b except that the curls are so tightly kinked, there is seemingly no definition. 4c hair can shrink more than 75%.Styling Tips