What is my curly girl hair type?
If you would like to start the curly girl method, it is important that you know your hair characteristics. We can help you on your way in just three short articles. In addition to your curl type, hair thickness and density, we also explain in detail everything about your hair proprietary and the elasticity. And give you some styling tips.
In this article:
Different hair types
Each type of hair is different, with its own characteristics. That is why it is important to determine your own hair properties, so that you can see which hair care is best for your curls.
Curly hair can be divided into different curl types: wavy, curly and coily. If you know your curl type, you can adjust your routine, products and hairstyles accordingly.
With this knowledge you can provide a more beautiful and healthier curl.
Get to know your hair characteristics
Is this all new to you? Then it can be quite a challenge to determine which curl type you have. Maybe you have heard of curl type 2A and 3C, for example?
This image below shows what curl types there are. Can you recognize yours?
To find out which type best resembles yours, you may want to sacrifice a few hair strands by plucking them out off your head while your hair strand is still wet.
When your hair is wet it easier to compare them with the curl type chart.
About your curl type, first this
Curl type can be difficult to determine, because your natural curls are still hidden under a damaged or over-treated layer.
So, it is best to determine your curl type if your curls come out all natural if you have optimized your hair routine.
Your ‘real’ and healthier curls will then show themselves gently, allowing you to better judge whether you are a wavy, curly or perhaps coily type.
The different curl types from 2A to 4C
The numbers 2, 3 and 4 (1 is straight hair, let’s not consider this) identify your curl, while the letters A, B and C indicate how tightly curled your curls are.
You can have a combination of two curl types that are close together.
Hair type: 2A
Type 2A hair grows straight at the crown and creases toward the end. Curlheads with hair type 2A have a fine texture that is very easy to straighten and requires a minimal amount of styling.
People with this texture have to be wary of using heavy styling products that can easily weigh their strands down, rendering them limp and lifeless.
If you’ve got this hair texture, be sure the products you’re looking for are formulated with a lightweight consistency. We recommend to apply a volumizing mousse to freshly washed wet hair.
The waves form naturally when air-dried.
Look for shampoos and conditioners that won’t make your hair limp, but instead add a little bit of volume.
Hair type: 2B
2B hair waves lies flatter at the crown with defined S-shaped waves starting from the midlength. The wavy hair is more defined, but begin a few inches down from root with slight volume.
The wave usually forms throughout the hair in the shape of an “S” like Type 2a, but the hair sticks closer to the scalp. Type 2b waves might be slightly frizzier on the crown of the head and tend to lose curl definition easily.
Strands are thicker in diameter than a 2A, and you’ll have to put a bit more elbow grease into getting it straight.
Hair type: 2C
Type 2C can be described as a deep wave, is very well defined, or “a true definition of S-waves,” says celebrity hairstylist Marcus Francis.
These waves are the coarsest of wavy hair patterns. To take care for 2c hair, decrease frequent washing (or use a cleansing conditioner if you need to wash more frequently).
You can use a curl cream to enhance your curl patterns and sleep on a silk pillowcase to avoid frizz and tangles.
Hair type: 3A
Type 3A curls are known as some of the easiest types of curls to manage and with the right products, you probably don’t need a lot of styling. You can use light styling creams to help control strands when styling and drying.
Hair type: 3B
3B curls of hair are coarser, springier and tighter than 3A curls. They usually have the circumference of a Sharpie marker or your index finger.
Hair type: 3C
Type 3C hair has springs that are smaller and more tightly-packed than 3B, and they can vary from precisely defined to loose helixes. These are tight corkscrew curls with a lot of volume.
You can best take care of these curls with a detangling comb from tip to root. Prevent detangling from root to tip. This helps to reduce damage.
Further use gentle shampoos such as cleansing conditioners (co-washes), which clean and nourish simultaneously with higher ratios of conditioning ingredients.
Hair type: 4A
Here come the coils! Tightly coiled S-shaped corkscrews the size of a crochet needle. Coils are compact and dense but in a visible curl pattern.
These curls needs much more moisture than the type 3s due to its lack of layers on the cuticle (they protect the curls from drying out).
Hair type: 4B
4B hair curls are very tightly coiled like the spring in a pen and bends in angles like the letter z. The curl is tighter than 4a and less defined.
We can also say that people with 4B hair have densely packed strands and can bend in sharp angles like sharp Z-shaped angles instead of coils.
Hair type: 4C
4C hair is tightly coiled, so much you might not see the zigzag pattern without stretching it. 4C coils wrap around themselves with little to no drop to the curl.
Is your curl type wavy, curly or oily?
- Wavy or wavy hair is bendable and supple hair, the structure ranging from fine to thick, and has a clear “S pattern”. The hair is close to the scalp.
- Curly or curly hair is spiral shaped. The curls range from loose, bouncy loops to tight, springy corkscrews that shine but can also fluff quickly.
- Coily hair is usually called afro hair or kinky hair and is naturally very dry and spongy in texture. Afro hair can be soft and fine, as well as thick and coarse.
Curl types are also determined by the shape of the strand itself. While some strands lie in side-by-side waves, others wind around each other.
In fact, most people with curly hair have several different types of curl types. We will explain more about patterns below.
How wide is your curl: A, B or C?
The subcategories from A to C are based on the width or diameter of your wave, curl or afro pattern. A is wider, B is medium and C is the smallest of the three.
To better understand which curl pattern you hair falls into, it is helpful to understand the type of hair chart and find out about your curl pattern.
The curly girl method looks at the following five properties: curly hair types, density and thickness, porosity and elasticity.
In addition to curl type, these characteristics are also important to determine which products and styling work best for your hair.
Density of your hair
The density of your hair means the amount of hair on your head. This is also referred to as the density of your hair.
So you can have thin, medium or thick hair. You determine your hair density by grabbing a strand of hair close to your head and looking at your scalp:
- If you can see your scalp very well, you have thin hair.
- If you can see a little scalp, you have medium hair.
- If you can barely see a scalp, you have thick hair.
The hair thickness (also called structure or hair texture) looks at the thickness of an individual hair. You can have fine, medium, or coarse hair.
Keep in mind that the thickness of your hair should have nothing to do with your curl pattern. You can find out the thickness by holding one loose hair up to the light.
- If you can see your scalp very well, you have a thin hair type.
- If you can see a little scalp, you have a medium hair type.
- If you can barely see a scalp, you have a thick hair type.
Another way to determine the thickness of your hair is to hold one loose hair between your fingers.
Do you hardly feel the hair? Then you have fine hair.
Do you feel the hair well? Then you have coarse hair. If it’s in between, you have medium hair.
It’s important to learn why natural hair patterns are different. The texture of your hair is determined by the shape of the actual hair follicle.
Flatter follicles, or those that are more oval in shape, result in curlier strands, as hair extends from the follicle at a sharper angle.
Hair follicles that have a circle shape create straighter hair that lies flatter to the head. Patterns are also determined by the shape of the strand itself.
While some strands lie in side-by-side waves, others wind around each other.
You’re not there yet: also read our articles about porosity and elasticity
- This is how you find out the porosity of your hair : Porosity is about the extent to which your hair absorbs moisture and can retain it (measured by how long it takes your hair to dry after showering – is this fast or slow?). If your hair doesn’t easily absorb moisture, you need thicker, richer creams.
- Hair elasticity: what is it and how do you test it? Elasticity is measured by pulling out your curl and determining how quickly your curl returns. Doesn’t bounce back – quickly – is a sign of lack of hydration. With an imbalance you can, for example, suffer from dry or brittle hair.
And now? Which hair products are right for me?
Very nice of course that you now know everything about your hair properties, but what can you do with this knowledge?
In our three articles about hair properties you can read about curl type, hair thickness, density, porosity and elasticity and how to determine the properties of your hair.
Now you want to know for sure: which products are best for my hair and fit the curly girl method? We will soon write an extensive article about this. Keep an eye on our website.
A few styling tips to get you started
- For wavy hair types that are prone to tangling, like type 1A, 1B, 2A, and 2B, use the Blend Sea Salt Spray, which adds instant body and texture without drying out strands.
- 4B curls are most vulnerable when wet, so make sure your hair is well-conditioned before styling. Try a rich leave-in conditioner that can be applied on damp or dry hair.
- For curly heads with type 3 curly hair, look for product specifically designed to add definition and hydration, like a Curl Cream or a styling cream.
- If you decide to style your curls to straight hair, then you will need extra protection to keep form damaging your curl pattern.
Do you have any questions about your curl type, density, thickness, or the Curly Girl Method in general? Let us know in the comments, we are happy to help!