Learn more about the hair types by clicking one below:

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.

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.



  1. My hair is natural, course, and has multiple textures. It is styled in a short bob. The top and the majority of the sides of my hair is wavy. It gets blow dried, silk pressed, and curled with an iron. However, the back section of my hair is straight. Foam wrap is used to smooth it down, I am placed under the dryer, then it is curled with an iron. However, the curls will not hold. My hair sticks out like a porcupine. What products do you recommend for getting this hair texture to hold curls?

  2. Lydia Paylor says:

    I believe that I have 4a hair, and it is a beast to de tangle. What are your suggestions?

  3. Debbie says:

    My bi racial daughter is three. I love her hair and prayed for afro hair. As Shes got older it has thickened up and doesn’t take to the same products. I’m very careful touse natural products with no sulphates, parabens, animal products etc. Lately She seems to be losing more hair than before on her comb. When i wash and condition it, it’s beautiful. As soon as its dry it feels like straw. Anything i use seems to just sit on her head. Can anyone recommend anything? Anything at all please!

    1. Kristan says:

      Debbie, Try putting moisturizer in her hair while it is damp. Brush it in until you don’t see anymore residue. Look for a kids line. Like “cantu”

      1. Tracy summers says:

        Cantu has alcohol. Dried my kids hair out completely. Use the LOC process with a good creme, black jamiacan castor oil, and a good leave in. Try the diva curl conditioner. Kinky curl is a good line too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *