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 have been fully informed about the types hair trands,that I have. I think my type is,4a/4b

  2. Veronica Cunningham

    My hair is 4c. Looking for product to bring my Hair Texture back I used a product call Keranique to grow my Hair. Did grew. Stop using when seen improvement. This product you cannot stop using. It took my Hair out really really. Bad I had thin by little wavy texture. Now my Hair. Is really really Nappy.and tight Desperation for my Texture and Growth. Thank you

    1. Hey sis, my name is Daphne and I’m also 4c. I actually like to use heavy cream moisturizers. One I’ve been using for a few years now is Bella Curls, you should check it out. They have the entire line at Family Dollar. Yes girl family dollar. Check out the reviews on YouTube and it smells devine! I love it! I also use Naturall hair products (only the avacado deep conditioner and shampoo and conditioner) I hope this helps!

  3. I am between 3 c and 4 a. I am transitioning from a texrurizer and my roots are definitely curly almost wavy like. I have to go light on products or they would weigh my curls down. Very accurate quiz

  4. I think i have a type 4c hair and i really want it to grow longer than it is now, Any ideas of a good hair routine, or good hair products that actually works

    1. Patience and love. Detangle gently. Crochet braids are a good protective style (do cornrows underneath as the base NOT flat twists). 4c hair grows best with very low manipulation. Make sure you feed your hair! Like a plant it needs quality moisture. Find products that work for you. I have low porosity, SUPER dense/thick 4c hair. My hair loves Shea Butter, Black Castor Oil, Grapeseed Oil & Argan oil. For product, I recently discovered the “Creme of Nature: Pure Honey” line and I am in LOVE. I use the LCO method (liquid/leave in, cream, oil) when styling and my hair is always so soft and shiny and has been growing with little breakage. I also take biotin supplements too.

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