If you’re new to the natural hair community or simply a naturalista who’s curious about her unique texture, identifying your hair type is an essential part of proper hair care. There is a spectrum of different hair types with attributes such as straight, wavy, curly, and kinky curly. Thanks to Andre Walker’s detailed hair type system, each texture gets its own unique category: Type 1 hair is straight, Type 2 is wavy, Type 3 is curly, and Type 4 is kinky curly.
As a curly girl, your hair may fall into one or more of these categories as it’s possible and quite common to have multiple hair textures on one head of hair. But how can you determine what your hair type(s) is?
Hair Type Test
Take a strand of hair and lay it on a flat surface. Examine the way it curls or coils. Think of how water affects your hair and how it retains moisture. If you’re a naturalista, you’ll most likely fall into the Type 3 or Type 4 categories which cover curls, coils, and everything in between. Here’s a quick rundown of the curly hair types:
Type 3 hair:
This hair type is defined by loose ‘S’ curls and can appear straight when wet. 3a hair craves intense moisture so a frizz-control moisturizer works best for this hair type. Try using lighter oils to seal in moisture as they won’t weigh down the hair follicles. To maintain curl definition, use a hair milk or light cream when styling.
Type 3b curls are more springy and tighter than 3A curls. They also require a lot of moisture. Go for sulfate-free shampoos during wash days and strong styling creams in order to promote moisture in your hair care regimen.
As the tightest packed curls in the Type 3 category, 3c hair is voluminous but prone to frizz. Use products such as a moisturizing leave-in to manage frizz. When it comes to wash days, avoid regular shampooing. Instead, co-wash your hair to avoid drying it out.
Type 4 Hair
We’ve reached the hair pattern with coils, ‘z’ shapes, and curls with no concrete definition. That’s the beauty of being a type 4 girl: our hair is so unique!
These coils are springy and dense; and like most type 4 hair, they require a lot of moisture. Try incorporating the LOC method as a regular step in your styling regimen; this method promotes hydration and locks in moisture.
In order to keep this hair type moisturized, use thick styling creams and incorporate them into your daily hair regimen. Detangle your hair during wash days, and style shortly after. Co-washing works well for this hair texture, but deep conditioning masks can also go a long way after shampooing.
Known for its ‘zigzag’ appearance, this hair type has no defined curl pattern. However, with styling, 4c hair can rock a number of looks (including some bomb twist outs!) These strands are fragile and must be styled with care, so go for a thick hair butter or styling cream for daily use.
No matter where your hair falls in this spectrum of curls and coils, embrace your hair and its unique qualities! Visit our website to learn more about our versatile natural har collection: https://shearadiance.com/collections/hair-care