So, you probably know what type of skin you have, how to lovingly take care of it and what products are the best fit for its specific needs. But what about the hair?
Also, chances are you can describe your hair in broad terms and can differentiate it between straight, wavy and curly. But can you sort your hair into one of the 12 different types based on its texture and do you know how to give it the best possible treatment?
How many types of curly hair are there?
The main deciding factor when it comes to our curls or lack thereof is the shape of hair follicles and their size. So, round follicles – the small pores that the hair grows out of from your scalp – produce straight hair, while the flatter or more oval follicles result in curlier hair. Based on that, there are four categories of hair texture – straight, wavy, curly and coily or kinky.
However, there’s more. Also, the larger the follicle, the thicker the individual hairs which also impacts your overall hair texture. Furthermore, each of these four main groups has sub-classifications of A to C based on the width or diameter of the shape pattern ranging from wide to small.
What type of curly hair do I have?
To find your curly hair type, the next time your hair is wet, cut off a few individual hairs close to the root. Don’t pluck them out since that might stretch them out and change their shape. Leave them air-dry naturally and observe their pattern.
Type 1: Straight
If your hair has no twists or turns, no waves or curls but remains in a straight line when it completely dries off – it is straight. Complete absence of curls also falls into the “curls”category, right?
Type 2: Wavy
However, if your straight strands start rippling and forming a definitive yet loose S pattern while drying, your hair is wavy. More often than not, wavy hair lacks volume so it falls snuggly on the crown of the head and then creases towards the ends.
Type 2A is especially easy to comb and style, with the mild end waves forming naturally when left to air-dry.
Type 2B has more compact mid-length waves which resemble those beloved beach waves. Also, strands are thicker than those of 2A, which makes it a bit more challenging to style.
Likewise, type 2C has even thicker and frizzied waves which form a definitive S shape right from the roots. The detail that separates type 2C waves from proper curls is the fact that they don’t yet form springs.
Type 3: Curly
This is the type of hair that we usually imagine when we hear “curly hair”. Loose and buoyant or tight springy corkscrews – these strands take on a full 3D swirl when air-dried.
As before, the three sub-categories of hair type 3 differ in the width of the diameter of the curls, ranging from a piece of sidewalk chalk (type 3A), over a pen (3B) up to a pencil (3C). The 3A curls are somewhat loose, large in diameter and soft and bouncy. This type is the easiest of the three to style and control, whether you want to keep the curls or straighten them.
Since the 3B curls are smaller and more tightly-packed, this type of hair also often has more volume but gets dry more easily than 3A.
That is even more true for 3C, whose even tighter curled strands naturally intertwine and can form helixes.
Type 4: Coily or kinky
Last but not least, coily or kinky type has tight, small curls which either form compact S-shape or straight out zig-zag patterns, or even combination thereof.
Again, the difference between type 4 sub-categories is in the diameter of the curls and the density with which they are packed as well as the thickness of hair strands. This hair type is also specific by the fact that its length can decrease by over 75% while drying which also makes it the most prone to breakage and the hardest to style.
We hope that this short guide helped you discover what is your curly hair type which is valuable for knowing how to best care for it. In addition to finding the right products which will benefit your exact hair type and give it the nourishment it deserves, it is equally important to take care of hair cutting and styling to preserve your lovely waves and curls just the way you want them. This is why we here at The Station Hair Studio are so pleased to be curly hair professionals, specially trained in dry cut and other techniques specially tailored specifically for curly hair. Contact us to learn more or book your appointment!