Do you know your hair type? Does it matter? Read on…
Hey beautiful curlies! So, I was asked to touch on the topic of hair types. This topic is controversial in the natural hair world and can be a tad confusing especially to newly naturals. It’s difficult to determine specific hair types because as naturals we have so many different hair types on one head! Although it’s a “general” hair typing chart in the natural hair world, there are several different charts with different information roaming around…can you say confusing?? Hair typing is good to know for treating your hair but not essential. I have a combination of 3a to 3c curls with areas of 4a in there, but mostly 3b and 3c (see what I mean?). Below is a general chart of how to find your hair type.
>> 2c or wavy hair
…is susceptible to encountering frizz. Use products that will enhance your curl like mouse (watch out for the alcohol, which will dry your hair out) and/or a light gel. Scrunching and diffusing waves while wet will help to give you more defined waves. Lighter products work in your favor.
>>> 3a-3c or curly hair
…needs extra moisture as this hair type can be dry and prone to damage. These curls are usually spirals and ringlets but usually can vary in size in this hair type category. As you can see in the photos provided that there’s a difference in spiral and ringlet size between 3a, 3b and 3c. Many women with these curls have mixtures or combinations of either 3 hair type. For example, I have 3a in the front (from heat damage) and a mixture of 3b and 3c in the middle and back of my hair. I scrunch my 3a curls to match my 3c curls during styling my wash and go’s. This hair type tends to work well with using water based products, styling creams, custards and gel products. My hair LOVES gels, Eco Styler to be exact.
>>>> 4a-4c or kinky coily hair
…needs a ton of moisture as this hair type can get very dry. Some people tend to think of this hair type as being coarse, but it isn’t always the case. For example, my 6 year old daughter has 4a hair, but her hair is fine and silky. Kinky and coily hair tends to experience shrinkage the most as these curls are tightly coiled. 4a is distinct because it has a specific curl pattern and resembles an “S”. 4b’s tend to look like Z’s and instead of curling like a coil it bends like a “Z”. 4b hair tends to be dryer than 4a hair, but they both need an equal amount of moisture. This is why I emphasize moisturizing especially deep conditioning. If your hair is naturally dry and brittle it will break so keeping it moisturize helps to prevent breakage. 4c hair doesn’t have a specific curl pattern and is usually coarse, fragile and very dry. 4 hair types require moisturizing products and strive off of water based products followed with butters and oils.
It can be confusing, but you can make it as general as you can just to determine how to care for your hair AND if someone happens to ask..”Hey, what’s your hair type?” you can answer them! 🙂
In a nutshell…
Hair typing is just a way to help you understand your curls just a tad bit better. It allows you to understand a little bit more on styling and caring for your hair. When you are aware of your hair type or at least the category it falls in, then you can purchase products that are geared towards your hair. Many naturals don’t know their specific hair type and that’s okay, don’t make it such a big deal if you are unaware. Do what works for your hair!
Type 2 hair types: Experiences frizz. Products: Mouse and Gels.
Type 3 hair types: Needs moisture. Products: Creams, custards, gels and pomades.
Type 4 hair types: Craves moisture. Products: Butters, some thick creams, oils and some gels.
I saw this scrolling through my tumblr page www.freshlyblessed.tumblr.com and thought it was empowering:
Dear Black Girls,
Your hair is magic.
It defies gravity.
It’s the only texture that can be manipulated into every hair type known to man.
You always smell like coconuts and berries.
Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t beautiful and worthy of ultimate praise.
POINT BLANK AND THE PERIOD!
FYI: If you would like for me to blog about something specific let me know!
Until next time Curlies! XO!