Hair Typing – What’s Your Hair Type and Why You Should Care




What is Your Hair Type and Why You Should Care

You should care about your hair type because knowing your hair type may help you to pick out products to use on your specific hair type.  You might notice that some product manufacturers label their products for a specific hair type.

One method of hair typing was created by Andre Walker, famous for not only his book but also his most famous client, Oprah Winfrey.  The basic system is straight, wavy, curly and kinky.  My hair type, according to Andre’s system, is 4a, kinky.  Most Black women have type 4 hair meaning the hair is curly, kinky or tightly coiled as well as very fragile.  Most people with type 4 hair complain that their hair looks dry.  Type 4 hair usually does not shine even despite being healthy.  Type 4 hair is not easily straightened and does take some effort if you want a smooth style.

Under type 4 hair are at least 2 categories, type 4a, my hair type which has an S pattern and can look like tight spirals curls, and type 4b, which has tighter curls and usually a Z pattern instead of an S shape.  When I think of type 4 hair I think of Jill Scott.

The next hair type is called type 3 which has springy like curls when clean and allowed to dry without product.  This type of hair is easy to straighten and it can have more shine than type 4 hair.  Type 3 hair has a well-defined S pattern and is typically springy.

Under type 3 hair there are 3 categories: 3a, 3b and 3c.  Type 3a hair has loose curls, big and bouncy with shine.  Type 3b hair has a medium curl.  Type 3c hair has corkscrew like pattern.

The next hair type is type 2 which is wavy.  Like the other hair types, there are different categories for type 2 hair.  The types are 2a, 2b and 2c.  Type 2a hair is fine and can easily be weighed down with product.  It is easy to straighten.  Type 2b hair is more of a medium texture and is supposedly easy to frizz and is more difficult to style than type 2a hair.  Type 2c hair is thicker, coarser and allegedly more difficult to style.

The final hair type that Andre defined is type 1, which is straight hair.  Type 1 hair is allegedly difficult to curl and does not hold curls without product.

You could easily have a combination of different hair types on your head so you should be aware of the types of product that work well for the different hair types, as well as what products to avoid.