Hair Types Explained

What Type of Hair Do You Have?

Your hair is fickle. It can love the same haircare products for months and then, suddenly, make you wish you never used them. Or your hair can morph the minute you step outside. That makes it harder to care for. In short, your hair has a life of its own.

Getting to know your hair type and embracing it can help keep it under control and looking great no matter what “mood” it’s in.

The Four Hair Types

Before we get into that, it’s important to mention that your hair type (its curl pattern) is determined by genetics. Genetics decide the shape of your hair follicle – the more oval or asymmetrical the follicle, the curlier the hair.

Type 1 – Straight Hair

Straight hair has no natural curl and can be thick or thin, fine, or coarse. Type 1 hair tends to become oily, so avoid hair products that might add extra oil to your hair. You also want to avoid over-washing as that could cause the scalp to overproduce oils.

Type 2 – Wavy Hair

Type 2 hair can further be divided into three subcategories – 2A, 2B, and 2C. Type 2A hair tends to have a gentle, tousled texture. It is fairly straight from the roots to around eye level, and from eye level on it can take on a loose, undefined wave. If you like the waves, stay clear from creamy or oil based products that can flatten the wave. Instead, add a little mousse or gel to help define the waves. Type 2B hair curls from eye level to the ends, having a more defined S shape than that of 2A. Finally, 2C hair has a well-defined S shape and the curl pattern can start close to the crown. This type of hair is often thick and can be prone to frizzing in humid conditions. To keep frizz under control, use a diffuser and opt for lightweight mousses and other products that contain anti-humidity ingredients.

Type 3 – Curly Hair

Type 3 hair also has three subcategories. With type 3A hair, the S-shaped curls form loose loops with a circumference a bit wider than the thick end of a taper candle. When brushed out, it will frizz. Avoid pulling your hair up into a ponytail as doing so regularly can cause thinning and hair loss of the hairline. Type 3 hair has curls that spring from the roots and have plenty of volume. The curls require more moisture to keep their spiral shape so avoid products that can dry hair out. Tight, springy curls are classified as Type 3C. To prevent frizz and breakage, use a leave-in conditioner and rake your fingers through the hair instead of combing or brushing, and let air dry.

Type 4 – Coils

The final type of hair is the most delicate. The S-shaped coils in Type 4A are small enough to wrap around a ship stick or thin straw. The hair requires a lot of moisture in the form of conditioning masks, creams, and butters to remain healthy. With 4B hair, the curls have a zig-zag pattern. You can accentuate the curls by gently detangling wet hair with your fingers, adding liberal amounts of moisturizer, then separating the hair into four sections. Work gel or a curling cream down the length of each curl as you twist the strands around your index finger to help define the shape. The tightest and most fragile is Type 4C hair. Simply combing it too often can cause breakage. Nourish it frequently with rich conditioners and consider rinsing with conditioners instead of shampooing.

When in doubt, check with a hair stylist you trust. And, if you’re considering a hair transplant, hair type will factor into our recommendations and subsequent hair care recommendations. To learn more, schedule a free consultation today.