How Do I Know My Hair Type?

Learning how to properly care for your fine curls is all part of the journey to healthy, moisturized hair. Though filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, every step is worth it as you learn how to properly bring your curls and coils to their full glory! All it takes is an understanding of your curl pattern/ type, the right products, and the knowledge of how to use them. 

Many people use the phrases “type” and “texture” interchangeably, but these two terms are completely different. Hair type and curl pattern refer to the diameter or the size of the curl itself, while texture refers to the thickness of a hair strand and varies between fine, medium, and coarse. 

Luckily, the process of figuring out your hair type or curl pattern was made easier with a hair types chart created by Andre Walker, famous hair stylist to Oprah Winfrey. We have used his famous hair chart as inspiration for our guide. 

When reading through this guide, you may find that you identify with more than one curl pattern. Don’t worry; that’s completely normal! Most curly girls have a blend of different hair types. It’s just a part of what makes your style so unique. 

Let’s get to it. Here’s a visual breakdown of the different hair types based upon Andre Walker’s chart.

Types of Curl Patterns

TYPE 1

Type 1s have straight hair strands, which are further divided into subcategories depending on the hair texture. 

Type 1As usually have thin and soft hair. Because each hair strand owns a small amount of oil, it has a natural, noticeable shine. The downside of this type of hair is that it doesn’t typically hold a curl when styling. 

Type 1Bs have a thicker volume than Type 1A hair and are characterized by medium-textured strands with rough tresses. 

Type 1C is still straight but coarse, making it hard to style in curls.

TYPE 2

The first thing most people notice about Type 2 hair is its casual wave. This hair type has a definitive S shape rather than curled ringlets. It typically lays closer to the head and can range from fine to coarse.

Type 2As possess thin and fine hair and are S-shaped. Because of its fine nature, this pattern is easily curled or straightened.

Type 2B lies flat at the crown and develops an S shape from midlength. Type 2B hair is thicker in diameter than Type 2A and needs a little more work when styling it using heat.

Type 2C hair is identified by its coarse and frizzy characteristics. In this hair type, the S shape is pronounced from root to tip, with the potential for fantastic volume.

TYPE 3

While wavy Type 2’s hair falls into an “S” shape, Type 3 hair is fully curly, ranging from loose loops to tight corkscrews. Type 3 hair is naturally voluminous with flexible curls, but if left untreated, these curls can quickly become frizzy and undefined.

Type 3As tend to be naturally shiny, with large, loose loops.

Type 3Bs are characterized by a ringlet that is medium in diameter. Tighter than curl pattern A, Type 3B usually flaunts a fuller and thicker look.

Type 3Cs curl pattern takes after the look of a corkscrew. People with this hair type have densely packed strands, lending way to a full, voluminous look.

TYPE 4

Type 4 hair is commonly referred to as afro-textured, coily, or kinky hair, and flaunts natural volume. The curls are tight and may fall into a zig-zag “S” pattern or fluffy ringlets. While type 4 hair is generally dry and spongy, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be rough to the touch! This type can actually range from soft, fine strands to thicker, coarse coils. 

Type 4As have S-patterned, dense, and springy hair.

● A Type 4B hair strand has a zig-zag pattern and fluffier look than Types 4A and 4C. Type 4B hair can shrink up to 70% of its actual size, meaning that it will frequently appear far shorter than it actually is. 

Type 4C hair has such tightly coiled strands that the curl pattern may not be fully discernable to the eye. This hair type experiences the highest amount of shrinkage– up to 75%– and can be very fragile. Gentle, protective styling is best.

Caring for Your Curly Hair Type

Knowing your curl pattern is key to maintaining healthy hair and embracing your unique beauty. To do this, it’s vital to discover your curl pattern and choose products that will help your hair thrive. 

Our needs are different depending on our unique blend of hair types. Different hair types means different needs, different routines! While Straight and Wavy strands tend to be more on the oily side and may need strong shampoos to remove oil, Curls and Coils depend on oils to flourish.

If you have Type 3 or Type 4 hair, you need moisture. If you’re a fine-textured coily in particular, you need lightweight moisture and lots of it! Your goal should be to nourish dry strands and enhance volume without increasing greasy buildup. Because this particular hair texture is so delicate and fragile, it’s best to use products specifically designed with fine natural hair in mind.

The van + veronica™ Haircare for Fine Curls system provides everything your fine, delicate coils need to stay moisturized, strong, shining, and voluminous! Our full line includes Shampoo, Conditioner, lightweight Leave-In, and Styler. Each product is enhanced with a special blend of natural, lightweight oils that soak into your coils without weighing them down. By following the full routine– from gently cleansing shampoo to our humidity-defying styler– you can keep your coils protected and defined all day long! All van + veronica products are pH-balanced and sulfate, silicone, fragrance, and paraben-free. We take pride in making our products completely cruelty-free, meaning you can care for your curls without hurting your conscience! 

Conclusion

Learning your hair type isn’t necessarily difficult. It just involves a little know-how! Study the shape of your curl, identify your hair type; consider the way it feels, and pay attention to how it reacts to styling. All it takes is patience and a dedicated haircare regimen to achieve the healthy hair you deserve and moisturized coils you’ll adore.

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