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):

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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

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.

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 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- 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.

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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)

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