Hair Types

We have different hair and curl patterns no doubt about that and at times we question whether we should follow the advice of persons on hair blogs or forums about their hair because for all you know they may be mixed with some other race or have a softer finer hair that grows like a weed and their product suggestions and regimens will work for them and not for you, so what’s the point.

That’s where hair type comes in, it gives some definition to the type of hair that a person has as it relates to hair textures and curl pattern. Many naturals are interested in how to determine their hair type and broadly speaking  there are some differences associated with caring for certain types of hair. Furthermore, many women utilize hair typing systems to describe the way their hair looks. However, that said, hair is hair, there are many things that each person must do to care for their hair regardless of hair type. See Understanding Hair for a general overview of hair.

Andre Walker’s Hair Typing System

There is more than one hair typing system L.O.I.S Hair Typing System, Fia’s Hair Typing System and the uber popular Andre Walker Hair Typing System. Developed by Andre Walker of  Andre Talks Hair.

It is popular, it makes sense and it works for those people who want a broad idea of their hair type.

The system is pretty simple, there is a numerical value which defines the amount of curls or waves in a hair ( hair that you are born with, not processed hair):

Type 1: Straight Hair (no curls at all)

Type 2: Slight Wave.

Type 3: Curly Hair

Type 4: Kinky Hair

There is also a letter attached to the types of hair, the letters define the thickness or tightness of your curls.

Type A: thin and fine hair

Type B: medium textured curls (looser “S” shaped curls)

Type C: thick, coarse, tighter “Z” shaped curl pattern.

Here are some pictures representing the hair types:

Type 1 Hair - Straight Hair

Type 1 Hair – Straight Hair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This type of hair has no curl pattern whatsoever, always straight. It has a tendency to be oily and shiny. Typically, this type of hair refers to Caucasian or Asian hair types.

Wavy Hair

Type 2 Hair- Wavy Hair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This type of hair is further broken down into 2A, B, C. This is wavy hair with an “S” pattern.

2A– fine, thin, manageable,

2B– medium waves with a tendency to frizz,

2C-thick and coarse and is very style resistant, has an even greater tendency to frizz than 2B.

Type 3- Curly Hair

Type 3- Curly Hair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type 3 hair typically refers to bi-racial and some black hair textures.

3A– loose curl pattern with big shiny curls, very easy to wash and go.

3B– corkscrew curls like the one in the picture.

3C– slightly kinky, tightly curly very dense curly hair.

Type 4 Hair

Type 4- Kinky Hair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This type of hair is very curly and coarse; it tends to be dry and is more delicate than the other hair types.  It is less shiny than the other hair types and needs to be moisturized regularly.

4A– tightly coiled, when stretched it has a “S” pattern to it.

4B– has a more “Z” pattern mixed with a little “S”.

4C – the coarsest hair and the most delicate.

 

Source: Walker, Andre, Andre Talks Hair, Simon & Schuster; 1ST edition (May 2, 1997)

18 Comments »

  • Blujamaican said:

    I have type 3a hair and it is always dry. What do you recommend ?

  • Razzi said:

    im a 4b with a dry and itchy scalp and the back of my head the hair is crazy dry while the front is silky smooth what should i do because i have no idea at all

  • Veronica said:

    I have the same issue as RAZZI. Please help.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Veronica and Razzi,
      You guys have combination hair, when you wash your scalp (with a sulfate free shampoo) allow the rest of your hair to be washed by default. When applying conditioner make sure it does not touch your scalp, pay close attention to your dry ends, same thing goes for moisturizing. To rehabilitate the dry part of your hair you can do wkly hot oil treatments, apply the oil on the dry end of your hair, put the hair in a plastic bag or shower cap overnight and then wash as usual in the morning.
      I know this answer is not thorough enough. I am going to have to write an article on this. Please look out for it.

  • Veronica said:

    Hi. I dont know what to consider my hair. My hair is not wavy but not curly its like inbetween . It is also transitioning. I dont know what to consider it. I mean like my hair is like very loose curls but they are definitely not wave. Im a little confused. Also lately im noticeing more of my hair have been falling out then usual. Is there a reason for this? please help. Sorry for such a long comment.

  • lola said:

    Hi Brenda,
    I am from Africa and have pure African hair,whats my hair type?
    I relaxed my hair early last year it was shoulder length and getting longer.i have been using some of your hair recipes and got good results.what more should i do cause i love my hair and i want it to keep growing and healthy.

  • rena said:

    Hi Brenda, i have a fine hair what do you recommend

  • V said:

    My hair is fine and thin type(2A) how do I get it to grow longer and thicker?.

  • sweetgal said:

    Thank you sooo much Brenda. I personally love you for your good work. God bless.

  • Stephanie said:

    I have 4b hair type and i want to how many weeks to real my new growth

  • Yvette Molina said:

    I got crazy sections. Zzz pattern, with an s on the nape of neck. The middle is short nd kinky. The front and side’s are frizzy wita soft combo.

  • Rae said:

    I have a natural mix of 3B 3C & 4A. I have semi-natural hair (ends of my hair is perm), and I’m just trying to grow it back out to the middle of my back. I wear protective styles, I get my ends clipped every few months (only if needed) and I try to stay away from heat if possible. I mostly co-wash my hair and only shampoo about two times a month. Do you have any advice? I was considering to do a nice “chop” and cut off anything that might be left from perm. I think that it is because of this left over perm my hair won’t grow because my ends keep getting split. I need some help. I want my hair to grow within the next year. I’ve been so tempted to take some hair growth vitamins, but I hear that stuff can break your hair too…

  • Tennille said:

    I’m a 3c/4a. My hair’s very healthy, but I can’t get it to grow past my shoulders. I’ve been natural since 2007, and I have developed a regimen that seems to keep my hair moisturized, shiny and soft. It’s just not growing! I take vitamins, including biotin and although it keeps the hair looking great, it’s just stuck at this length. Any advice from anyone on how to get my hair growth to the length I want (around the middle of my back at the bra strap) would be greatly appreciated. I also read the article about essential oils and I will be adding peppermint oil to my bi-weekly hot oil treatment. Any suggestions besides that I would love to hear. Thanks for all the advice in your articles. They’re the reason my hair’s so healthy now! ???

  • marcy said:

    Hi my hair has been relax for the past 11 years an im thinking of going back natural. my hair use to be some what like 3B-3C and now its thick an the ends are straight, what do u recommend??

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