First and foremost this is a hair blog which was founded on the belief that everyone regardless of their nationality, genes and so on can have long and healthy hair. Now because of these factors I mentioned long may be different lengths to different people. However if you take care of your hair, you will experience good results and at least have the best version of your hair possible which is what we should all strive to achieve.
The Andre Walker (Oprah’s Hair Stylist) hair typing system is perhaps the most popular of all the hair typing systems (and the one which will be focused upon) and hair is classified into four major categories, Type 1, 2, 3 and 4 and they also each have sub divisions of a, b and c which will be seen below :
Type 1 – Straight Hair
Type 1a – Straight (Fine/Thin) – This hair type does not readily hold a curl, it is shiny, oily, soft and is not easily prone to damage.
Type 1b – Straight (Medium) – This hair type has a lot of body and volume.
Type 1c – Straight (Coarse) – This hair type is typical to people of Asian descent. It does not easily hold a curl and it is bone straight.
Type 2 – Wavy Hair which is usually coarse and consists of s shaped curls.
Type 2a – Wavy (Fine/Thin) – This hair type has a definite S curl pattern and is easily styled.
Type 2b – Wavy (Medium) – This hair type may appear a little resistant to styling and tends to be frizzy.
Type 2c – Wavy (Coarse) – This hair type consists of thicker waves and is resistant to styling and very frizzy.
Type 3 – Curly Hair when this hair type is wet it will appear straight however once it begins to dry it reverts to its curly state. Humidity makes this hair type curlier or frizzier. Some people who are mixed race may have this hair type. Type 3 hair has a lot of body and is easily styled in its natural state and can also be straightened quite easily. It is also shiny and has high elasticity with soft curls which are well defined. However it can be prone to damage if not properly cared for.
Type 3a – Curly (Loose Curls) – This hair type is shiny and thick. It can consist of a combination of different hair textures. It has a definite S shaped curl pattern and can be frizzy.
|3a Hair – Debra Messing|
Type 3b – Curly (Tight Curls) – This hair type also has a combination of different hair textures, with a medium amount of curl.
|3b Hair – Keri Russell (loved her in Felicity)|
Type 3c – Curly (Kinky/Tightly Curled) – This hair type is not in Andre Walker’s initial hair typing system. However it is dense and consists of tight curls in corkscrews.
|3c Hair – Tracee Ellis Ross (one of my hair icons)|
Type 4 – Kinky or Tightly Coiled: This hair type has sheen rather than shine, it is soft and is common amongst people of the African descent. Type 4 hair is fragile because of its wiry and tightly coiled nature. This hair type may appear coarse however it is actually fine with a lot of dense strands packed together. It would appear that hair type might be the most dry due to its extremely kinky nature which makes it difficult for sebum to hydrate the entire hair strand. A misconception about this hair type is that it does not grow, but it grows just as fast as the other types. However due to its fragile nature it tends to break easily so it needs to be handled with care. Also, this hair type has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type, it therefore has less natural protection from combing, washing, brushing, straightening, blow-drying and so on.
Type 4a – Kinky (Soft) – This hair type is very fragile and is tightly coiled. However it has a more defined curl pattern which is in form of an S curl pattern when stretched similar to that of curly hair. Type 4a hair tends to have more moisture than type 4b hair.
|4a Hair – Esperanza Spalding|
Type 4b – Kinky (Wiry) – This hair type is very fragile, tightly coiled and consists of a Z curl pattern. It does not have a well defined curl pattern as it bends in sharp angles like the letter Z and is therefore very wiry.
|4b Hair – Shingai Shoniwa|
Type 4c – Kinky (No curl pattern) – This hair type is not in Andre Walker’s initial hair typing system. Type 4c hair is even more tightly coiled than type 4b hair, with less curl definition.
|4c Hair – Viola Davis|
It is important to note that a person can have more than one type of hair on their own head say for example a person called Sonia who has 3a hair at the crown of her head and 3b hair at the back of her head. To determine your true hair type you can examine you hair after it has been washed and air dried with little to no product in it. Also if you have relaxed hair do not try to examine a strand of your chemically straightened hair to determine your hair type rather look closely at your new growth to find out your hair type.
I have type 4b/4c hair as my hair definitely does not have a curl pattern to it but like I said all hair is beautiful and healthy 4b/c can be extremely thick and lush.
Kindly share your hair type…
To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind….
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticise others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and to happy to permit the presence of trouble.
– Christian D. Larson.