We need to get this hair type thing out of the way first; not just because it helps with your personal haircare, but also to help you understand your hair better, at least enough to prevent you from comparing your hair to that of others especially those you see on the internet. It also makes for good conversation!
You’ll probably see other websites giving different classifications, but this is how best I understand it.
Keep in mind that we’re referring to NATURAL HAIR ONLY, like the one that grows out of your head for real, not relaxed or straightened, and definitely not weaves
So that’s basically it.
Now lets see how it really looks on the head, so you get the point:
Type 1: Straight
This is straight, completely straight. Some people say there are different subcategories, but I feel it’s just simply straight. This hair type is found mostly on Asians, and they usually have the finest, longest, shiniest hair with little manipulation. Because their natural oils can easily pass through the strands and moisturize it, its rarely dry. This, however has its downsides, in that, it gets too oily and easily dirty, so they have to wash more often.
Type 2: Wavy
As seen above, mostly the white race. This is wavy, but the ‘waves’ get closer as the subcategories increase. These hair type, just like type 1, has its natural oils pass through strands easily so their hair looks better with little manipulation, but also get too oily and easily dirty.
Type 3: Curly
Now, we’re getting closer to our hair type. The above, I believe, usually falls on the head of mixed races, especially ‘half black half white’, which is well defined by their hair. However, some pure Africans do have type 3C hair (which I think looks soo good on them).
Now, this hair type does get dry more often than type 1 and 2, due to these coils and how difficult it is for the oils to pass through, but with proper hair care and a little manipulation, they grow their hair quite well.
Type 4: Kinky
And finally, this is for most of us pure Africans. Since it involves us, I’ll explain each subcategory to the best of my knowledge.
This is pretty close to type 3C; mostly African Americans (and the ‘on fleek’ natural hair you see online). This hair type doesn’t always give the Afro cause it tends to fall when its longer.
This is my hair type, so I’ll give my personal experience. My hair tends to get dry so easily, cause of how tight the coils are. This type is close to the final type, 4C; the only difference I can say is that, the coils are slightly larger and it looks more blown out, making it form a bigger Afro.
This is the final hair type, and the one that needs the most care, cause it has the tightest coils, which causes more tangles, more shrinkage and definitely the most drying. Most girls with this hair type give up on it easily especially those with thick hair, cause it’s quite difficult to maintain. However, if you’re able to build a good regimen for your hair, it WILL grow and YOU WILL love it.
So many naturals I’ve talked to, don’t really get how this classification is done; they could say they have type 3 hair when really its type 4, mostly because its not too thick, and doesn’t form a big afro. The way the hair looks altogether is not what matters, rather its the coil pattern that really counts.
This is an image of them side by side
This is the most basic, when it comes to hair classifications. Like I said earlier, it doesn’t give the much needed information to build a regimen for your hair, though it gives a pretty good idea. What you really need to know is your hair porosity, the hair thickness is of great importance too. We will get to that later on.
Hope you guys enjoyed this little introduction. Please ask questions if you need any clarifications, and chat with me via my BBM channel.