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Hair Types: Learning the Basics

Hair types can be a very complex topic to grasp. The variety of hair types contribute to the challenge of getting accurate advice for your specific hair types. A strong desire for natural hair that’s resilient, manageable, and fast growing can all be achieved by first learning the basics about your own hair types. We need to learn our own unique hair types and get familiar with the hairstyles, products and protective means that’s best suited for our specific hair types.

Do you know your natural hair types?

According to Andre Walker‘s Hair Typing System, hair may fall within 1 of 4 categories. He has also introduced a sub grouping system signified by letters (a,b,c) to determine the hair texture and curl type.

Hair Type 1

Type 1 Hair Types (Straight Hair)

This hair type is straight without any curls or waves.

1A, Fine/Thin – Tends to be soft, shiny, oily and difficult to damage
1B, Medium- Hair carries a lot of volume and body
1C, Coarse- Usually “bone straight” hair and difficult to maintain a curl

Hair Type 2

Type 2 Hair Types (Wavy Hair)

This hair type tends to be wavy, coarse and carries a “C” shape and/or “S” pattern to it.

2A, Fine/Thin – Little volume, fine waves
2B, Medium – Waves are more defined and frizzy
2C, Coarse – Thick waves, extremely resistant

Hair Type 3

Type 3 Hair Types (Curly Hair)

This hair type appears to be straight when wet but reverts back to its natural curly state once moisture is absorbed and dries.

3A, Loose Curls – Hair tends to be full of volume, shiny and can carry a combination of textures.
3B, Tight Curls – Can range from medium curls to a corkscrew sized curl. 3B’s also may carry combination textures.
3C, Corkscrew sized curls as the strands are either kinky, tightly curled or densely packed.

Hair Type 4

Type 4 Hair Types (Kinky Hair)

This hair type is kinky, tightly coiled and is the most fragile of all hair types. When wet, type 4 hair can shrink up to 75-80% of its actual length.

4A, Tightly coiled and carries an “S” pattern when stretched
4B, Carries a “Z” pattern that bends at sharp angles when stretched
4C, Has an “S” pattern when stretched but the pattern is very small. When wet type 4 hair shrinks and coils so tightly that no curl pattern is visible
by the time it dries; it is difficult to detangtle.

By learning your natural hair types it will save you a whole lot of stress, time and money. You will become more conscious before purchasing a product not made for your unique hair. You will have better manageability and most importantly, once your hair needs are identified you can achieve that resilient and healthy natural hair you always wanted.

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