Know Your Hair Type

Know Your Hair Type


Not sure what your hair type is? Take our Quiz!

Read about all the hair types below.


Kinky hair types (type 4 hair)

4a hair type4a 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.


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4b hair type4b 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 type4c 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.

Curly hair types (type 3 hair)

3a hair type3a 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 type3b 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 type3c 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

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257 Responses to Know Your Hair Type

  • I have type 4c hair, it is kinky when not pressed and curled and it is prone to be dry and break; also I do not have enough shine to my hair and must keep it moisturized. I would liie a moisturizer that does not weigh my hair down, but give it a healthy sheen.

  • My hair for some reason doesn’t grow as fast as others.I would say I have 4B type.of hair as my hair is for soft and definitely cottony, I would also say it is relatively light. I am a Jamaican BTW.I have been using castor oil since recently and I can say I am seeing a little improvement. Any suggestions?

    • Try Jamacian Black Castor Oil this version of Castor oil works best and roasting of the Castor nuts is what is key. It doesn’t smell to great has a thick viscous consistency and works like a charm.

  • IT DOESN’T MATTER MY HAIR NATURAL OR RELAXED IT’S THICK WITH WAVES THAT CAN COIL NO BLACKS ON SOCIAL MEDIA EVER TALK ABOUT ETHNIC WOMEN WITH WAVES SOMEBODY GIVE ADVICE ON HOW TO TAKE CARE OF IT A LOT OF PRODUCTS DON’T WORK FOR GEL IT FLAKES OR LEAVES RESIDUE EVEN ECO STYLE GEL DOES IT CANTU CREAMS DON’T GO IN MY FOLLICLES IT BEADS UP AND CHANGE DEEP CONDITIONERS A LOT I WANT TO STICK TO PRODUCTS THAT WORK REPETEADLY TIL I FIND BETTER ONES!

    • Garnier fructis, and Giovanni both work great for your hair type. My mom and daughter both have thick wavie hair. Black hair products are probably not going to work for you. You shouldn’t be using “curly” hair products. Your hair isn’t curly boo❤️. I really hope this helps.

  • I have very fine cotton hair it breaks easy, if I don’t use tons of gel it doesn’t hold a sleek look, If I don’t but a ton of holding spray before curling it will not hold a curl, after a while my hair will look like a afro. it gets a weird curl wave pattern and it’s stays dry. I don’t know what kind of hair I have. I wore a lot of weaves and braids breaks my hair and I get bald spots the last year I’ve gotten it cut and slick it down with tons of gel. I don’t know what to do. I said I was going to make some wigs and keep it moisturize and covered for the next year and see what happens. Im 55 years old and still don’t know what I want to do with my hair.

    • I THINK YOU MIGHT BE 4B OR 4C . GEL IS NOT GOOD FOR THIS HAIR TYPE.
      AND IF YOU WEAR WEAVE OR BRAIDS , YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE NOT TO PULL TO MUCH ON
      YOUR HAIR . THIS IS WHAT CREATE BALD SPOT.

      IF YOUR HAIR IS THE PLANT, YOUR SCALP IS THE GARDEN .
      YOU NEED TO MOSTURIZE IT, AND NOURRISH IT

      MOSTURIZER IS WATER BASED PRODUCT
      ” SHEA MOTION ” COMPAGNY HAS GREAT PRODUCT FOR THIS HAIR TYPE

      THEN YOU NOURRISH IT WITH AN OIL (LIGHT OIL TO PENETRED THE SHAFT OF YOUR HAIR )
      COCONOT OIL , OLIVE OIL , ALMOND OIL AND GREAT OIL FOR US

      EACH ONE OF THEM HAS A DIFFRERENT PORPUSE . SO TRY IT , MIX THEM , PLAY WITH THEM AND FIND
      WHICH YOU LIKE BEST.

      FINALLY YOU NEED TO SEEL , THE MOSTURE AND YOUR ENDS WITH A BUTTER OR EVEN AND OIL
      JAMAICAN BLACK CASTOR IS THICK ENOUGH TO BE A SEALER
      SHEA BUTTER IS REALLY GOOD ALSO . AND THEN SOME LIKE TO USE GEL AT THIS POINT…

      BUT I HAVE 4C HAIR MY SELF AND I EXPERIENCE THE SAME PROBLEM YOU HAVE.
      THINING EDGE AND BALD SPOT . I THEN LEARN TO GO BACK TO MY ROOT .
      I SHAVE MY HEAD , AND RESTART. NO BRAIDS, NO TWIST, NO WIG.
      MY ANCESTOR DID’NT HAVE GEL .. SO WHY SHOULD I USE GEL.
      MY HAIR IS KINKY … WHY SOULD I HIDE IT.

      EVERY SINCE , MY HAIR HAS BEEN FLOORISHING.

      **PS: IF YOU REALLLLY USE GEL , TRY NATURAL GEL LIKE ALOE VERA GEL . IT MAKE WONDERS.
      AND DON’T FORGET TO CLEAN YOUR SCALP WITH A SOLFATE FREE SHAMPOO.
      ALSO, DO DEEP CONDITIONNER AND HOT OIL SESSION , AND MASAGE YOUR SCALP

    • Your hair sounds similar to mine: fine , cottony, tends to be dry , porous & won’t hold curls for a twist out. Just turns into a really nice Afro. I call it 4ab because I don’t have any Z Shaped strands just tiny coils. I find that QHEMET BIOLOGICS products work very well. It’s a BLACK OWNED company & I have the whole line; it’s pricey but is top quality & the two creams ( Amla & olive heavy cream and burdock root butter cream.) last forever .You can read about the company here : Qhemet Biologics.com . You can order sample sizes from them . You can also buy them at SEPHORA stores. I heard about Qhemet a few years ago & they are the best for very dry hair; a little goes a long way. I’ve tried other lines but always come back.

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