Hair Typing


Before reading on, please understand that there is absolutely no “better” or “worse” when it comes to hair types. Whatever makes us uniquely ourselves is incredible, and I want to encourage you to embrace yourself as you are. You are amazing. Say it, hear it, and believe it.  Every single one of these hair types are BEAUTIFUL, and worthy of love and appreciation.

Hair typing is a generalization that originally came from Andre Walker, an Emmy award winning stylist. He created a hair chart to serve as a base to identify hair texture. Walker's hair chart had four variations of texture from straight to kinky, type 1 through 4. The information here is heavily based off of that chart.

 It is beneficial to know your type so that you may best care for your hair. I want you to leave here feeling empowered, unique, and capable. Keep in mind that many of us have multiple hair types on our heads. That’s totally normal! Personally, I range from a 3a-3c.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, or doctor. The information given and products made here were obtained through research and experience. Please, as with anything you put in or on your body, consult with a medical professional if you have any concerns.

Type 1 Hair


Type one hair is described as straight. Although it may bend, it doesn’t form an s-pattern curl on its own. Generally speaking, type one hair is more prone to oiliness, and is typically shiny, wispy, and flat. Natural oils produced by the scalp are able to easily travel throughout the hair shaft of type 1 hair with no interruption from curls or texture. Because it’s prone to oiliness, type 1 hair needs a good scalp cleanser and benefits from lighter-weight products like a serum. 

Type 1a 

Type 1a hair has little-to-no body. It is rare to have type 1a hair outside of Asian descent. This hair type rarely holds a curl and is typically straight from root all the way to the tip without bending.


Type 1b 

Type 1b hair has more body than type 1a, but is still straight. One way to distinguish between type 1a and type 1b is that type 1b WILL hold a curl. 


Type 1c

Type 1c has the most body out of type 1 hair and dries with a bend and more volume. It is typically more course, and much easier to curl. 


Product Recommendations for type 1 hair: 

Type 2 hair 


Type 2 hair is subdivided into type 2a, 2b, and 2c, but overall is described as wavy. It forms an s-shape and has body and volume. It isn’t as prone to oiliness as type 1 hair, but is also not too prone to drying out. Type two hair lays closer to the head than type 3 and 4.

Type 2a

Type 2a is the well-known and loved “beach wave” pattern. It’s wavy, but usually less frizzy than type 2b and 2c, therefore can easily be weighed down if too much product is used. The texture of type 2b hair is typically appears fine, and barely-toused . 


Product Recommendations for type 2a hair: 

Type 2b

Type 2b is recognized by well-defined, and more tightly drawn waves. You really start to notice the s-pattern in type 2b hair. People with this type of hair benefit from a lightweight gel, as this is where frizz really starts to kick in, due to the hair pattern. 


Product Recommendations for type 2b hair: 

Type 2c

Type 2c hair is the most tightly drawn pattern out of type 2 hair. It starts to form a loose spiral as it is so tightly wound it whirls around itself. Type 2c hair is typically frizzier than 2a and 2b and it begins to really have the bounce that curly hair has. The s-pattern begins at the roots in 2c hair. 


Product Recommendations for type 2c hair: 

Type 3 hair 


Type 3 hair is described as curly. It is naturally curly without the use of products or manipulation like scrunching. Because of its natural shape and texture, the oils from the scalp do not reach the ends of the hair easily. This makes type 3 hair prone to dryness and breakage. It can range from loose, buoyant loops to tight, springy corkscrews which have some sheen but are prone to frizz.

There are 3 subtypes within type 3 hair

Type 3a Hair 

Type 3a hair is typically a loose ringlet curl. The curls are tighter than waves but are not so tight that they’re considered kinky or coily. These curls are typically defined on their own, without product or manipulation. 


Product Recommendations for type 3a hair: 

Type 3b hair 

Type 3b curls are more spiraled and tight than 3a. They are definable, but tend to be frizzy without product. Many half-black people (like myself) fit into this category of hair-type. The key to 3b hair is HUMECTANTS. This hair-type tends to dry out very easily, so you really want a product that retains moisture. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. 


  Product Recommendations for type 3b hair: 

Type 3c Hair 

Type 3c is usually heavily textured, and the tightest-wound of type 3 hair. Some describe this pattern as corkscrews that range in a small circumference. These strands are typically densely packed together and very voluminous. Sometimes with 3c hair, it takes a little but of manual manipulation like finger twirling to get definition. This hair type tends to have to fight frizz as it is very prone to it. 3c hair needs an adequate amount of added moisture and products that retain the moisture. 


Product Recommendations for type 3c hair: 

Type 4 Hair


Type 4 hair is classified as kinky or coily. It is tightly curled but usually doesn't have the discernible ringlet  shape that type 3 has. A feature that really identifies type 4 hair is that it doesn't change shape when wet- it keeps its tight, coily texture. It is often referred to as afro-type, and is naturally dry and spongy in texture. This hair type needs a good deep conditioner and sealant to lock up the moisture. This hair type also is commonly porous and should consider doing regular protein treatments. Type 4 hair is also the most prone to shrinkage (which can be fun to straighten time-to-time just to ooh-and-ahh at the difference in length). The differences among type 4 hair can be difficult to distinguish, but there are a few identifiable differences. 

Type 4a 

4a’s have dense springy, S-patterned coils. The ends of type 4 hair usually still have an identifiable curl while the roots are dense and harder to distinguish differing strands. 


Product Recommendations for type 4a hair: 

Type 4b Hair 

4b hair has a tight, crimpy pattern. The major difference between type 4b and 4c is that 4b hair is still clearly defined. The hair is very dense, but the z-pattern it has separates strand from strand. 


Product Recommendations for type 4b hair: 

Type 4c Hair 

4c hair is known to shrink more than HALF its length when not pressed out with heat! So cool. This hair type is the famous afro. It has a zig-zag pattern that shows little-to-no strand definition. This hair type typically needs a liberal amount of product to keep strands moisturized, hydrated, and sealed.


Product Recommendations for type 4c hair: 

Thank you so much for visiting Consciously Curly Co. I'd love to know your hair-type! Please leave a comment if you like what you read. Find us on Instagram at @consciouslycurlyco to join the conversation and fun!

(Shoutout to @eafrns on Instagram who created the adorable artwork in this blogspot).

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