For a while now I've gotten several questions asking what hair typing is and how one breaks down which hair type they are. When I first went natural a little over a year ago I myself became overwhelmed and lost, reading all the different online discussions talking about 3c or even 4b type hair. Whether or not one thinks putting their hair in a certain category is important or not, it is beneficial to be aware of what types there are. Knowing the basics of hair typing can keep a naturalista in the loop of curly hair conversations. In addition, being familiar about your hair type can give you the best tips on how to care for your hair and what products work best for your curls. Here is a hair type guide I have put together from reading other popular blogs like Naturallycurly.com and blackgirllonghair.com.
Type 4 Hair- Kinky Hair:
- Tightly curled, kinky hair
- The size of 4 type hair is about the size of a crochet needle or smaller
- Type 4 hair can be fine or coarse that densely pack together
- Shrinks curls up to 75 percent
- Has less cuticle layers than any other type of hair. Which means has less protection
- Has three subcategories which are 4A and 4B
- 4A is tightly coiled and when stretched has a "S" pattern has a defined curl and more moisture than 4B hair.
- 4A celebrities include: Solange Knowles, Leela James, Esperanza Spalding
- 4B hair has a "Z" strand pattern, instead of having curls or coils
- 4B hair has a similar feel as cotton
- 4B celebrities include: Teyonnah Parris and Lauryn Hill.
- 4C is composed of curl patterns that will almost never clump without doing a specific hair style
- 4C can range from fine/thin/super soft to wiry/coarse with lots of densely packed strands
- 4C can shrink more than 75%
- 4C celebrities include: Jill Scott and Erykah Badu
Type 3 Hair- Curly Hair:
- Has a defined "S" loop pattern
- Curls are springy and defined
- Has a lot of body and is easy to be styled
- Quite fine and soft but holds different patterns
- There are three subcategories of 3 type hair 3A, 3B and 3C
Three type 3 Categories:
- 3A curls are big shiny and loose
- 3A curls are about the side of sidewalk chalk
- 3A celebrities include: Shakira, Debra Messing and Annalynne McCord
- 3B curls range from loose curls and ringlets to corkscrews
- 3B curls are about the size of a sharpee
- 3B celebrities include:Keri Russell, Bernadette Petters, and Melina Kankaredes.
- 3C patterns has very tight corkscrews and has the width of a pencil or straw
- 3C curls can quite kinky and latch on to one another
- 3C celebrities include: Jada Pinkette-Smith, Alicia Keys and Tracee Ellis Ross
Type 2 Hair- Wavy:
- Type 2 hair includes light to very wavy hair patterns
- The waves and curls in type 2 hair form in the shape of an "S"
- Typically stick close to the head. Wavy hair won't bounce up
- There are 3 types of subcategories for type 2 hair 2A, 2B and 2C
Three type 2 Categories:
- 2A is a slightly "s" shaped
- 2A hair tends to be fine and very easy to handle
- 2A hair is very shiny
- 2A celebrities include: Nicole Ritchie and Emma Stone
- 2B is medium-textured and very little resistant to styling... sometimes frizzes
- 2B celebrities include: Joss Stone, Nelly Furtado and Carrie Underwood
- 2C hair is thick and coarse and is more resistant to styling
- 2C celebrities includes Brittany Snow and Daisy Fuentes
Stay tuned I will post articles separately discussing these three hair categories, how to maintain them and what products work best for them.