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Learn more about the hair types by clicking one below:
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3a3b3c

Still not sure what your hair type is? Take our Quiz!


Kinky hair types (type 4 hair)

4a hair type
4a hair has a defined curl pattern almost like a “s” shape. Generally speaking it retains moisture fairly well, but as with most curly hair types can still be prone to dryness. Being that this hair type has a naturally defined curl pattern wash n’ go styles may be a great option as it can be easily achieved with the right product and technique. Gentle sulfate free shampoos, conditioners and rich creamy products or butters will be helpful for keeping hair moisturized.
4b hair type
4b hair has a “z” shape pattern and has a more fluffy cottony appearance. Due to the bends and curves in the hair strand it is highly susceptible to dryness and breakage. This hair type shrinks up to 70% so without stretching out the hair it will appear shorter than it actually is. Naturals with this hair type will benefit from protective (buns, twists, braids)  and low manipulation styles (roller sets, ponytail puffs, twist outs) to protect the hair from damage. A lot of moisture, gentle cleansers and frequent deep conditioning will be helpful for naturals with 4b hair.
4c hair type
4c hair looks similar to 4b hair type only it is more tightly coiled. In its raw state (no products added and freshly washed) it does not have a defined curl pattern. Coils have to be defined by either twisting, braiding, or shingling through the strands. Many 4c naturals have shrinkage up to 70% or more. So while your hair may be 10 inches long it may appear like you only have 3 inches of hair if you do not stretch your hair out. It is the most fragile hair type, so if you desire to grow your hair long protective styles like twists, braids, or buns should be your go to style choice. These styles do not require daily manipulation (combing/brushing) giving hair less chances to break off.  You can then wear your hair out for a couple of days in a low manipulation style (puffs, roller sets, twist outs) and then repeat the cycle for a balanced routine.

See this post: The Best Types of Products for 4C HairBest Shampoos for 4C Hair


Curly hair types (type 3 hair)

3a hair type
3a hair has well defined loopy curls. It may be prone to frizz, so it is best to use light products that will give you a nice hold. To avoid dryness for daily cleansing of the hair try cleansing your hair with conditioner only.
3b hair type
3b hair curls are well defined with less space between each bend and curve than 3a hair. The texture may be coarse and dense. To prevent buildup use light products and use cleansers that are sulfate free and silicone free.
3c hair type
3c hair as a defined corkscrew shape and has the smallest space between the bends in the hair strand of all the type 3 hair types. Avoid heat use when possible by instead using stretching techniques: braids, twists or bunning your hair. Cleanse and deep condition once per week and moisturize often with light botanical gels free from harsh ingredients.

More than one hair type?

Curly-Hair-Type-ChartIt’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.

Next we are going to talk about porosity. Knowing this will help you to understand how to keep your hair moisturized.

What’s In the Guide

#1 Why to Go Natural
#2 What You Should Know About Natural Hair
#3 How to go from Relaxed to Natural Hair
#4 Know Your Hair Type
#5 What’s Your Hair Porosity Type
#6 What Products Do I Need?
#7 How to Create a Natural Hair Regimen
#8 Natural Hair FAQ

303 Comments

  1. I’m not sure what kinda hair type… I have, the quiz says 3c, I cut my hair off and i just washed my hair, I don’t know the pattern, because I guess I’m kinda slow lol. So it looks like a s pattern… I’m not sure because I was always told., well from YouTube video and googling that I am 4c… help me please, because, I need a good shampoo and conditioner and moisturizer.

  2. Maxine says:

    My hair looks kinda like 4c picture, (unless I do wash and go, then it looks 4a,) but when I do the quiz it keeps saying 3c! 🤷🏻‍♀️

    1. Make sure you are basing your answers on freshly washed hair with no product added.

  3. Jeanette Deloatch says:

    Thanks for information!

  4. Terry says:

    I want to go natural and I’m a 4c hair type how do I start and be able to grow my hair and edges

    1. How do you know you are 4c hair type if you are not completely natural? Did you go natural before? Here are some growth tips: https://blacknaps.org/black-hair-growth

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