Understanding Your Hair Type

Hair typing plays an important role in understanding your natural hair.

The system helps you determine the structure of your curl pattern to better understand how to care for, moisturize and style your hair. The natural hair type system is a number system from numbers 2-4 using a number that corresponds to the type of curl pattern you may have.

Hair Type System

Hair Type System

Type 2 Hair

Represents wavy hair and is further sub classified into 2a, 2b and 2c to determine the diameter difference in the wave of the hair.

Type 3 Hair

Represents curly hair and is further sub classified into 3a, 3b and 3c to determine the diameter difference in the curl of the hair.

Type 4 Hair

Represent coily/kinky hair and is further sub classified into 4a, 4b and

4c to determine the diameter difference in the coil of the hair.

 Type 2 Hair

Type 2A

Has a loose, tousled appearance and is not quite straight but also not quite curly. This wave type is straight at the root and develops large “ s” shaped waves lower down the hair shaft.

Hair takes on a natural sheen because it’s easier for oil to travel from the roots to the ends. Volume is usually a problem for this hair type as hair is flatter at the roots and lays close to the head.

Type 2 hair strands are usually fine and requires light styling products to avoid hair being weighed down.

Type 2B Hair

Is also straight at the roots but has a more defined “s” shaped waves than type 2a waves. Volume is more noticeable for this curl type but type 2b curls can also take on a frizzy appearance at the crown.

Type 2C Hair

Has the most defined “s” shaped waves as hair starts curling from the roots. Type 2c hair is made up of a mixture of waves and curls and is usually not as fine and takes on a thicker and voluminous appearance. This type of hair can also be extremely frizzy.


Type 3 Hair

Type 3a Hair

Is a combination of defined large ringlets or springy tendrils. Curls take on a loose spiral shape and are very defined especially when wet. However, products are needed to maintain a defined look. With this curl type less is more as this curl thrives using light products sparingly.

Type 3b Hair

Has a well defined curl pattern consisting of spiral curls, tight corkscrews or bouncy ringlets. Curls can either be fine to medium in texture and has a lot of body and volume.

Frizz is a challenge with this curl type and lightweight leave in conditioners and products are usually the best for moisturizing and styling . Avoid thick curl creams that will leave hair greasy.

Type 3c Hair

Consists of perfectly defined curls but are much more prone to dryness than 3a and 3b curls. This curl type needs a little more care and requires heavier products than the other 3 type curls because of its more defined curl pattern. Natural sebum from your scalp will take a longer time to travel along the hair shaft of this curl type.


Type 4 Hair

Type 4a Hair

Is defined as coily hair. Curls are tightly coiled with a spiral pattern and can be fine to coarse in texture. This curl type is prone to dryness and easy to break. Type 4a hair can also lack elasticity. Hair has volume but is limited in movement as hair is very dense.

Type 4b Hair

Has a less defined curl pattern than type 4a hair and can almost appear “z” shaped. The texture can take on an fine, wiry or coarse appearance and is prone to a lot of shrinkage.

Type 4c Hair

Has the tightest coil of all the curl patterns consisting of densely packed coils. This pattern isn’t very defined and usually requires manipulation to take on a more defined curl. Type 4c hair is very susceptible to dryness and requires a lot of moisture.