The Different Types of Hair: How To Identify and Care For Each Type

First of, it is important you know every type of hair is beautiful no matter the shape, size or texture.

Decoding your hair type, curl pattern, porosity etc. is key to strengthening your hair health ad daily styling routine. Whether thick, straight, glossy, curly, long, short, matte – there are factors you must consider identifying your hair type.

What are the different hair types?

Based on hair curl type which is determined by the shape of hair follicle – your hair could either br

  • straight
  • curly
  • wavy or
  • coily

Your hair type is determined by genetics aka DNA – though you can change your curl pattern with heat o chemicals (like Hair relaxer)

The detailed classification of Hair Type according to curl patterns

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The subclassifications of A to C are based on the tightness of your curls.

Type 1: Straight Hair

Women with Type 1 hair are more likely to have greasy, oily, frizzy hair. And while straight hair can easily be taken care of – it lacks volume and can be hard to style. Keep dry shampoo on hand and avoid thick conditioners that could potentially weigh down your hair, giving your hair strands a greasy look.

Type 1A (fine hair)

image source: pininterest

1A hair is straight hair with no indication of curl or wave. In fact, women with !A hair find it difficult to even hold a coily. It is commonly seen in Asian women.

Celebrity examples: Dakota Fanning

Pro Tip: Common complaints include oiliness and a stiff look. Avoid thick conditioners as they can give hair srands a greasy loook. use a dry shampoo to reduce oil, grease and dirt.

Product Recommendations:

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

OUAI HAIRCARE – Dry Texture Foam

For an instant sexy look that you can blow dry sweep hair to the side. For a more depth appearance get a hairstyle with layers.

Type 1B (medium)

kendall Jenner

Type 1B hair tends to be thicker, more volume that type !A hair. Unlike fine hair, medium straight hair is very easy to manage.

Celebrity examples: Freida Pinta, Kendall Jenner.

Pro tip: To give this type volume and texture, use a dry texturing spray at the roots before styling with a flat iron. A sleek ponytail is perfect for this hair type

Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Shampoo


G2 Ceramic & Titanium 1.25” Hairstyling Iron

Type 1C (Coarse Hair)

Sienna Miller

The type 1c hair type is super thick and very prone to frizz. Although being capable of holding curls, it can be a little too hard to handle.

Celebrity example: Sienna Miller

Pro tip: Use a smoothing serum and a cool-shot setting on your blowdry to avoid a frizz look. Go for layered cuts that are long in length. Take advantage of its coarseness and go for a long and parted in the middle look.

Product Recommendations:

John Frieda

Frizz Ease Original Hair Serum

Bio Ionic

10X Pro Straightening & Styling Iron

Type 2 (Wavy Hair)

Type 2 hair is completely curly and bendable. This hair type is typically not too oily or too dry

Type 2A

Celebrity example – Kate Hudson

Type 2a hair is wavier than straight hair but not curly. Women with this type of hair can either strengthen their hair to get a sleek style or add extra bend to bring out its natural wave but also avoid using thick styling products can easily make your strands heavy leaving it weak and bleak. Use a water based mouse to make your hair fuller.

Product Recommendations:


The Wrap Party Styling Wand

Living Proof

Full Thickening Mousse

Type 2B

Celebrity example: Kate Middleton

Type 2B hair have a more defined curl S shape. Since they have a thicker diameter than 2A they are prone to frizz, but with proper styling using the right products (mousse + diffuser) the waves tend to look their best. For a more beachy look a spritz of salt spray would do the trick.

Product Recommendations:


VitalCurl+ Soft Defining Mousse

Type 2c

Celebrity example: Lorde

Type 2C hair have thicker waves – wave patterns start too close to the crown and fall downwards. People with 2c hair are more prone to frizzing than 2a and 2b in damp weather. Just like other curlier hair types, type 2c benefit from moisture and finger styling.

Pro tip: Use a non-lathering sulfate free cowash so as not to strip essential moisture from the strands, A deep conditioning treatment layered over a lightweight mousse will lock in your hair’s natural pattern along with moisture.

Product Recommendations:

Moroccanoil intense hydrating mask

Design Essentials

Natural Almond & Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse


Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash

Type 3 (Curly hair)

Curly hair ranges from tight, bouyant loops to loose, light curls. type 3 curly hair is often described as having more true curls than wavy hair.

Type 3a

Celebrity example: Zendaya

3A strands are S-shaped form from loose loops and also have a mix of wavy peces. The size of curls make it the easiest to manage and less susceptible to frizz. To get an utmost curl definition – the scrunch method should be used to style. Apply product then start scrunching it with towel/microfiber to soak as much of the water as possible while pushing strands up towards the scalp.

Pro tip: Avoid touching with your hands to avoid a halo full frizz. Spritz your hair with a curly refresher to maintain juicy springs.

Product Recommendations:


DevaTowel Anti-Frizz Microfiber Towel


Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-In Defining Creme

Type 3B

Celebrity example: Halle Berry

Hair type 3B usually have a spring ringlets with a circumference similar to your finger. The curls aren’t too thick or too delicate. Using a light gel mixed with leave-in conditioners help create smooth curls that bounce with o sticky residue. Apply products when wet and allow to air dry.

Product Recommendations:


Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Type 3c

Celebrity example: Tracee Ellis Ross

type 3c curls are a blend of bouncy and thick cork screws that range in circumference for a straw to pencil giving your hair major volume. They are prone to frizz, to avoid crunchy curls, washing with a cleansing conditioner will prevent flyways an maintain sheen, Instead of combing, rake through wet hair with finger tips after applying conditioner.

Product Recommendations:

Not Your Mother’s

Curl Talk Defining Cream

Type 4(Coily Hair)

Kinky or coily hair or Afro textured hair is a mix of textures from a tightly coiled, spring-like pattern (s-shape) to a zigzag pattern right from the scalp. Coily hair is naturally very dry and spongy also very prone to shrinkage.

Type 4A

Celebrity example: Issa Rae

The curl pattern for 4A hair is an s-shaped coil and can often appear curly. The cols can lose definition and moisture fast, the wash-and-go method works well on this hair type. A blow dryer with a diffuser helps stretch the curls to their maximum capacity.

Product Recommendations:

Drybar The Bouncer Diffuser

tgin Green Tea Super Moist Leave In Conditioner

Type 4B

Celebrity example: Solange Knowles

4B hair type are densely packed and have more z-shaped patterns. This hair type is soft to touch but also more fragile with varying thickness. 4b hair is more prone to shrinkage when wet. Light gels and styling butter help for more defined look.

Product Recommendations:

Maui Moisture

Curl Quench+Coconut Oil Curl SMOOTHIE

Type 4c

Celebrity example: Lupita Nyong’o

4c’s Z-shaped pattern is very similar to 4bs but way tighter and more fragile. The dense curls makes the hair have a distinct shape. The hair cuticles retain hydration meaning it requires hydration. Using a leave-in moisturizer will increase the length of those strands.

Product Recommendations:


Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Treatment Masque Packette

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