What Is Your Hair Type? - The 12 Categories And How to Care For Them
The first thing that comes to mind when we mention hair types is probably the basic curly, straight, or even wavy but did you know there are actually 12 different hair types? In this article, we will go over what defines each hair type and how to determine which category you fall in.
Learning your hair type is only part of the battle. The characteristics that make up your hair play a big role in your daily hair care routine. It's is important to find out what type you are so you can choose the right products and style to compliment your strands.
How to Identify Your Hair Type
When it comes to hair types, there are four main categories: straight, wavy, curly, and coiled/kinky. Each one of these main sections has three subtypes. To find out what category you fall into, look at the shape of your strand when it's wet and in its natural state. Reference the chart below to help you label your hair.
Keep in mind that it's normal to fall into more than one category! Everybody’s hair is unique and can’t necessarily be limited to one hair type.
Curl Patterns Of Each Hair Type
Type 1: Straight Hair
Straight hair is the most common hair type. It's characterized by strands that lay flat from the roots to the tips. Its texture is soft, silky, and shiny. When wet, straight hair will not have any bends or kinks.
There are three subcategories for straight hair:
- Type 1A: Completely Straight, Fine Hair - soft, shiny with little to no volume
- Type 1B: Straight With Some Volume - Super straight still but thicker than fine hair
- Type 1C: Coarse, Thick Straight - coarsest and thickest fine hair, most prone to frizz, puffiness, and dryness
How to Care for Straight Hair
This type of hair might lack volume and does not hold curls or styling very well. With high amounts of oil secretion, women with this hair type are more likely to have oily hair. Dry Shampoo can help soak up excess oils. With this hair type, you will want to avoid using hair care oils and sprays as they can increase unecesary grease.
How often should you wash your hair? - Those with straight hair can get away with washing their hair every other day or every three days. Over-washing can lead to stripping the scalp of its natural oils, which in turn will make your hair appear oiler than it is.
Type 2: Wavy Hair
Wavy hair is any hair type that isn't completely straight or completely curly. This hair type is in between the two and tends to have definitive and multiple bends from root to tip. When wet, wavy hair will have some bends and kinks but not as much as curly or coiled hair. Its texture is quite rough and usually thick in diameter.
There are three subcategories for wavy hair:
- Type 2A: Tousled Waves - flat s-shaped waves, the finest and flattest of the wavy hair types
- Type 2B: S-shaped Waves- slightly more defined S-shape a bit more prone to frizz and poofiness
- Type 2C: Wavy With a Few Curls - most defined s-shaped waves that might have a few loose curls and coarse texture mixed in
How to Care for Wavy Hair
Wavy hair can hold hairstyles well. The easiest type of hair to play with - lucky you! It's important not to over-wash wavy hair as it'll strip your scalp of its natural oils, which can lead to an increase in frizz. Avoid oil based and creamy products for this type of hair. Instead, reach for mouses and gels that can help define waves while adding fullness to the roots. Texturizing products like a wave spray or mist can enhance your natural waves. How often should you wash your hair? - Those with this hair type should only wash their hair a few times a week, as over-washing will only make your hair appear frizzier.
Type 3: Curly Hair
Curly Hair is any hair type that has a definite “S” pattern or pieces that curl around themselves like a spring. When wet, curly hair will have lots of bends and kinks. This hair type can be either fine, medium, or thick in density and is usually less shiny than straight or wavy hair.
There are three subcategories for curly hair:
- Type 3A: Fine, Loose Curls - mostly curls with just a few waves, finer and super reactive to the elements (dryness, humidity, and wind)
- Type 3B: Medium to Tight Curls with the circumference of your finger, more prone to dryness and frizz
- Type 3C: Tight Thick Curls - noticeably tighter curls, the size of a straw or pencil thickly packed together with lots of volume, most prone to dryness and breakage
How to Care for Curly Hair
Curly hair is prone to frizz and can get tangled quickly. It does not respond well to straightening. Scrunching curls with a cream or curl refresher can give them the boost they need.
When it comes to shampooing, look for a sulfate-free formula that will cleanse your scalp without stripping it of its natural oils. For conditioning, use a leave-in conditioner or deep conditioner to lock in moisture on a regular basis.
Type 4: Coiled/ Kinky Hair
Coiled/Kinky hair is any hair type that can have a mix of textures from a tightly coiled S shape to a definite “Z” or Zig Zag pattern. This hair type looks coarse and rough but tends to be fragile and soft. When wet, coiled/kinky hair will have lots of bends and kinks. Kinky hair is very dense with extremely tight curls.
There are three subcategories for coiled/kinky hair:
- Type 4A: Tight Springy Coils - tightest, smallest coils that can barely wrap around a crochet needle
- Type 4B: Z-coils - Instead of wrapping these strands bend in a sharp Z shape with a wiry texture
- Type 4C: Very Tight, Coarse Z-Coils - Z-pattern that is way tighter than 4b with an extremely wiry texture
How to Care for Coiled/Kinky Hair
This hair type has lots of kinks and angles so scalp oils can't easily moisturize strands. Making this hair type the MOST fragile, dry, and damage-prone of all the hair types. Regularly Nourish and hydrate your hair with natural oils and shea butter.
The good news though, this hair type is also the most versatile to style. Finding protective hairstyles like braids can help you avoid frequent washing and styling which can lead to unecessary damage for this hair type.© Two Hair Styles