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 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 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 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 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 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?

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.

379 thoughts on “Know Your Hair Type”

  1. I don’t know who came up with this quiz, but it is not accurate! First they said that I have 3c hair…Wrong, then I retook the quiz to them saying that I have 4c hair…I have short hair now, due to me cutting off my locs. But before I loced up in the first place, my hair is really thick, coarse, and wavy curly. When I brush it, I can make shirley temple curls all over. So I have to agree with Celina, and say do you smell what just about everyone has already stepped in?

    1. You should be basing your answers on hair that is freshly washed. No product added. Not combed or blow-dried. Your hair should be in its raw state. If you are basing how your hair looks in this state the results should reveal your hair type.

  2. I also thought the same thing when the results said that I have 3c hair. My hair does shrink a lot unless if I don’t stretch it. But it’s really soft though.

  3. My quiz result said that I have type 3c hair, but looking at the representative picture I think, “You must be kidding! My hair isn’t near that loose!” I stated that I have tight curls. When I say “tight,” I mean about an 1/8 inch in diameter — TIGHT! Does that still put me in the 3C category? Also, having hair that’s spongy like that, it holds moisture on the inside for days, if left alone, but the outter bits dry out really quickly. Wasn’t quite sure how to answer that. The individual strands to NOT hold ANY moisture, but collectively they will. Do you smell what I’m steppin’ in? Ideas?…

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