All About Curly Hair Types

curly hair type

All About Curly Hair Types

Did you know that there are different types of curly hair? I always thought hair was either straight, wavy or curly, however it is much more complicated than that! What is your curly hair type? Read on to find out more.

Hair Foundation

When you were born you were given an unique blend of texture and curl pattern that makes up your overall hair type. Hair is made up of keratin. Keratin is basically a fibrous protein structure. The amount of curl you have is dependent on the bonds between the keratin in your hair shaft. The more bonds the tighter the curl. The fewer bonds, the straighter the hair. These bonds can only be disrupted by chemical means hence the creation of perms and chemical straightening.

The Curl Type System

The Curl Type System has classified hair into 4 types with subdivisions in each type. The four types are Straight (Type 1), Wavy (Type 2), Curly (Type 3) and Kinky (Type 4). Let’s explore each type in more detail.

Straight Hair (Type 1)

Straight hair basically just travels in a straight line and has little to no texture. Hair will have a closed cuticle which creates a nice shine and is smooth to the touch. Straight hair may be more resistant to styling and won’t hold curl as well due to its smooth texture. Therefore hair products designed to hold and set the hair are needed if one wants to wear their straight hair in a more curly fashion.

Wavy Hair (Type 2)

Wavy hair is in the middle between straight and curly. Hair has more shine/sheen like straight hair, however it is also more prone to frizz like curly hair. Wavy hair is divided into 3 subtypes- A, B, and C.

Subtype A: Fine and thin waves with a loose texture.

Subtype B: Hair is mostly straight at the roots and falls into a more S-pattern from the mid-length to the end. Medium in texture with some frizz.

Subtype C: Waves are more defined and wave starts at the root. Texture is typically more thick or coarse and is prone to more frizz.

Those with curly hair will want to use products that enhance their hair’s shine/sheen while keeping the frizz down and not weighing down the hair. It is important to keep your hands off of hair to not disrupt the curl once hair is styled.

Curly Hair (Type 3)

Curly hair will follow either an S or Z pattern. There are three subdivisions of curly hair- A, B, and C, with C being the most curly of the three.

Type 3A: Curls are big and loose. Hair tends to be shiny or have sheen with a definitive S-pattern.

Type 3B: Curls are springy and can range from ringlets to corkscrews. Hair tends to be dense and coarse.

Type 3C: Dense, tightly packed corkscrew type curls. Tends to have the most volume but also is prone to more shrinkage.

Curly hair is more prone to frizz and the scalp tends to be drier. Hair products need to moisturize the hair while smoothing the hair shaft to reduce frizz and define the curl. Again, once styled it is important to keep hands off.

Kinky/Coily Hair (Type 4)

Kinky/Coily hair follows a ziggy pattern or may follow no pattern at all which will create a “puffy” appearance. Kinky hair is the most fragile of all hair types and is prone to breakage, knots, tangles and dryness. There are three subdivisions of kinky hair- A, B, and C.

Type 4A: Hair is wirey or fine. Curls are tightly coiled.

Type 4B: Hair bends in sharp angles like the letter Z. The curl will be tighter and less defined. Hair strands can range from fine to coarse.

Type 4C: Similar to type 4B, but is more prone to shrinkage and has less definition. Hair will be very dense. The strand can range from super fine to coarse and is the most delicate of all hair types.

Kinky hair needs consistent moisturizing in order to hydrate and protect it.

Are you interested in learning more about naturally textured hair? Check out our ebook: Naturally Textured Hair: Straight, Wavy, Kinky, Coily, Curly.

For those interested in creating their own natural hair care product designed specifically for their hair type, check out our online hair product course. Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course.

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