Know Your Hair Type


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

Learn more about the hair types by clicking one below:


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.

4a hair 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.

4b hair 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.

4c hair 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. 4C hair type does best with products on the heavier creamier side. Learn more about the best 4c hair products. In order to grow 4c hair long, you have to be very gentle with it as it is the most fragile hair type. See more tips for 4C hair growth also see 4C hairstyles that help to reduce tangles and breakage.

3a hair 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 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 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.

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

315 thoughts on “Know Your Hair Type

  1. Hey! I have 4c and 4b type mix. I have ALOTTTTTT of shrinkage and i want to do box braids,My mother,However does not let me have weave or extensions. Do you have any ideas for my hair type,Shrinkage,Box braids or anything?

  2. I’m a white woman with 3c hair and 4c edges/sections. All my life I have never fit in. I can only wash my hair twice a week, my hair breaks, frizzes and kinks in the weather, and I can’t exercise without my hair going full poof. It knots 10 seconds after I have tried to comb it, and if I don’t sleep on a silk pillowcase, I get broken pieces of hair in my bed at night. It’s shrinks up at least 50%. Traditional salons cannot handle my hair, but I have been turned away from salons that cater to WOC. Nobody in my family has this hair and it is so isolating. Blowing it out just dries it to the point of broken straw. But this is the suggestion I get every time I wear it natural. Like I’m being sloppy or messy. I understand that for WOC, this goes much deeper than hair. I don’t want to take anything away from what this means to WOC. But I feel like I cannot relate to straight hair ponytail swinging girls, and I would love to find a person with my hair that can relate to trying to conform to smooth shiny wash your hair every day expectations when your hair isn’t meant to do that. Just once I’d like to talk to someone who knows what it’s like to have people reach out and touch your hair because “I just wanna see what it feels like”. I even had someone at the gas station reach into the window of my car to touch my hair!! Who can I talk to? How can I find a salon who can show me the right way to take care of my very sassy hair? How can I find a way to talk to others about hair without treading on the cultural aspects of natural hair? Help!

  3. Hello im writing a story and i was wondering? what hair styles are good for 3c hair style? and if you could, find what styles (3c) were popular for the 1920’s (that’s the time period its in) she is African American also (I find that important she is my main character to!!).

    p.s I have no idea how to write characters of different colors and hair styles (im white and have wavy hair) that’s why I want to know so i don’t mess this up because i really hate when authors do that (plus I feel really bad if i do something wrong because I missed something in my research)

    Much thanks from a kid trying to write (sorry if i sound mean!)

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