When reading about curly hair there is often an emphasis on hair type. This is generally described by a number between 1 and 4 and a letter between A and C. Knowing your curl type is important as it can help you to decide on products, care routines or just allows you to speak to others with a similar hair type to get advice. I think it’s important to say that most curly hair is probably a mixture of types and it can be hard to fit your hair into a neat category. However, having a general idea of your hair type can definitely be beneficial when deciding on products and a care routine.
Hair types are categorised using the system on the diagram above. To get a better idea of how this looks you can see the different hair types below:
Type 1 Straight Hair
Hangs loose, is shiny/sleek and hard to curl. Is resilient and gets oily easily. Since we’re more interested in curly hair types I’m not going to go into the sub-categories of straight hair
Type 2 Wavy Hair
This hair type is mid-way between curly and straight and is distinguished by its ‘S’ shape pattern. It’s still quite shiny but less than straight hair and this shine decreases from types A to C. Wavy hair doesn’t have much bounce and is also likely to frizz.
2A: Fine hair with a very loose ‘S’ shape which is stretched along the length of hair. Because the wave is loose this hair can be straightened easily.
2B: Thicker hair with a more defined ‘S’ shape.
2C: Thick and coarse hair. The ‘S’ is well defined.
Type 3 Curly Hair
Has a well-defined ‘S’ shape which gives a tighter curl patter. Bouncy hair with lots of body, ranges from fine to coarse hair. Not very shiny, frizzes easily and is prone to damage.
3A: Big ‘S’ shape that gives a loose spiral shape to the curl.
3B: Tight Curl pattern which gives ringlets. Often a coarser type of hair texture.
3C: Tight curl pattern that gives corkscrew curls. Has plenty of volume and usually quite a fine texture
Type 4 Kinky Hair
Very tightly coiled curls that can actually be more of a ‘Z’ shape. Very dry, fragile and breaks easily.
4A: Very tightly coiled hair but still in an ‘S’ pattern. Wiry or fine but very fragile.
4B: Very tightly coiled but with more of a ‘Z’ pattern. Very fragile, wiry and coarse or fine.
4C: A mixture of curl patterns. It doesn’t form clumps of hair where you can see a distinct pattern because the individual strands curl in different directions. Can be coarse/wiry or fine/soft.
You can learn from & chat to people with similar hair types to yours in our forum.