Know Your Hair Type

Hair Typing

why use it at all?

Hair typing is definitely not the 100% solution to understanding your hair, but it does provide you with a good starting point. Knowing your hair type will enable you to choose more suitable products and will help provide you with guidance for how you should care for your hair.
type-3-hair-chart
type-4-hair-chart

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What’s Your Hair Type?

find out now!

The best way to  see your true curl pattern is after you have washed your hair and it has aired dried without product in it. There are two typesCurly-Hair-Type-Chart of systems that are used to classify our hair, one being Andre Walker’s Hair Type Classification System and the other is the LOIS system. However, what Black Naps finds to be  the easiest to follow and the most visually descriptive system would be Andre Walker’s hair typing system.

The classification system ranges from straight hair types to curly hair types. Curly hair types include:  3a, 3b, 3c,  4a, 4b, and 4c.

 


 

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More than one hair type on one head of hair?

it’s highly possible!

It’s quite common for us to have more than one texture in our hair. Your edges may be 4b while the majority of your hair is 4a type. Or you may have 4a hair with some 3c strands for example. Remember no two heads of hair are alike. Hair type systems are good for learning about your hair or what could potentially be best for it, but they are by no means an absolute standard. Use it as guidance and always go by what you know works best for your hair.

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Type 4 hair guide

product recommendations + care tips

As you can see curl patterns range from a loose wave  like curl to a tighter curl with little to no definition. For us kinkier ladies you can see that we do not have as much space in between our curls, the pattern is tight with tons of bends in the strand with hardly any curve which makes the hair extremely susceptible to hair breakage, dryness, and damage. 4b and 4c hair types do not retain water as well as 4a hair texture and type 3 hair because the bends in your hair make it harder for your hair to receive the moisture you put into it. However there is hope! Download the free guide for products that are great for type 4 hair and tips that will keep your hair healthy. The products listed are products that I love, use regularly, and played a role in helping my 4c hair grow long. See what I am using! – Ariane (Editor In Chief )

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Comments

  1. alisa says

    I’m really scared to go natural. I love natural hair though. I’m afraid I won’t know what to do when caring for my hair. I’m afraid of what my man will think. I’m afraid of the waiting for it to grow out. I’m just scared period. My youngest daughter has naturally curly hair. She loves to wear it wild. I wish I had her courage. I’m wearing my hair cut closer as I do every spring and summer but I haven’t relaxed it n over a month. I’ve been contemplating taking this step for awhile. My sister did the big chop. Her hair always grows fast so it was nothing for her and she looks fabulous. Her Hair is a super big Afro now. I shaved my head last summer and it grew but so slow. I finally gave up and went back to relaxing. What tips r there for those of us still on the fence?

  2. lisawilon says

    just researching what type my natural hair really is. i am a physically active, motorcyclist and outdoor girl. i am fumbling through having natural hair, trying to keep it a clean-smelling healthy part of my lifestyle. i appreciate this information as a push back against posner and all the icky stuff i have used in my past. Thank you for your site and your insights.

  3. Riauna14 says

    Can someone please tell me what my hair type I am super confused even after reading this? I Know I have type 4 hair just don’t know what type. (14 btw) and I don’t have anyone else natural in my family I’m the first one to be natural so I can’t ask them so HELP?!! PLEASE?

    • Neenee says

      Try to look at your hair strands all around your head (front, back, and top) and compare the hair texture to the one in the picture. This method is a great starting point for your natural hair journey but I recommend that you check out Naturally Curly for more info on hair density, porosity, and strand thickness. Especially porosity, it’ll help you figure out all your moisturizing needs!

      Here’s the link: http://www.naturallycurly.com/texture-typing

      If you want some ideas on how to style and manage your hair here are some my favorite Naturalistas on YouTube!

      Discovering Natural (gives great advice on empowerment and everyday natural hair health. Plus, she has some great styles!)
      NaturalMe4C (gives demos and reviews of natural hair products and even accessories too! I love how she makes everything so simple and easy while still keeping her hair fresh and healthy-looking!)
      Naptural85 (has great DIYs when you want to go on a budget and control the nutrients put in your hair. And her hair is the bomb!)

      Hope this helps! Oh and I’m 14 too!

  4. balanced thinker says

    Hi,
    I avoided this website for a while as I searched for online sources to find my type of hair because I do not like words like naps, nappy or kinky to describe Black hair. Maybe there are those types of hair, however. Well, I’m glad that I stopped by because I wanted to see a chart of sample hairs to describe types 3 and 4, and according to the chart on your website my hair is type 3 instead of 4 as I previously thought. Thanks for the information.

    Btw: You may not have realized it, but in your introduction there is a typo. The word “being” is repeated.

  5. Malika says

    I have been braiding my hair every night before I go to sleep and some days when I am in the shower I rinse my hair with just water only and then braid it . NO HEAT . Let it air dry . And if you ever get a change you need to get a moisturizer , hair oil . I use Sunflower Mega Care Vitamin E Oil and Dark and Lovely Deep Conditioner and works well for my hair

  6. Sherri says

    in 14 and i decided to start going natural long term….but I have no support and no moisturizing product but I still want to go natural any tips.

    • Neenee says

      Sorry if this is late, but I wanted to help you out anyways! Hope you don’t mind!

      I’ve been natural on and off (sometimes texturizers, though I’ve stopped doing that). Right now I’m committed to being a natural and I’m loving it!

      As for tips, I’m assuming you’re either transitioning or have big chopped? Either way that’s great! You can still take a look at your hair strands and compare them to the textures in the picture posted. But here’s a link for more info on hair texture: http://www.naturallycurly.com/texture-typing

      For moisturizing, try to determine your hair porosity. Hair porosity is how much water your hair can hold depending on how much your cuticle is raised. It can help you figure out what products to buy so that your hair can handle the moisture being brought in.
      Here’s how it works: note that before you find your type you must do the water strand test or dry test. More information can be found on the link provided.

      >Low porosity: hair cuticle is closed and heat is required to raise the cuticle. I’m a low porosity natural and I use steam to help lift my cuticles in a safer manner. This hair type is described as feeling like straw when it’s wet. Products needed: light moisturizers that have nutrients (shea butter, coconut oil, etc.) or can attract water (honey or glycerin).

      >Medium porosity: hair cuticle is opened enough to have just the right amount of moisture in. Hair is described as feeling simply wet. Products required: routine deep conditioning and protein treatments add strength and moisture to this hair type!

      >High porosity: hair cuticle is opened so much that water escapes as quickly as it enters. Hair feels dry even if it was conditioned. Products required: leave-in conditioners, moisturizers, and sealing oils like heavy butters keep moisture PACKED!

      If you need more support on your journey try to find people at school (adults or friends) who are going natural too! They can share tips that might help you on your own journey. Also, look for Natural-hair you tubers who post videos on hair maintenance and styling (my favorites are DiscoveringNatural and Green Beauty Channel).

      Oh, and remember to look for products for your hair regimen that work for YOU! Don’t get discouraged if someone recommends something to you that doesn’t end up working, just keep your head high and keep trying! 😀

      Hope my babbling helps! If you need more info, explore this webiste and the rest of the internet! There lots of info that’s helpful!
      😀

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