What Type of Hair Do You Have?
Aug 22, 2022 | By Maria Eliza Pineda
Different hair types require different hair care. Do you know how to tell the difference? Find out using our guide and how to take care of it.
The first step to taking good care of your hair is knowing what type of hair you have. Using random products without really knowing what your hair really needs is a fruitless effort. If you’re still not completely sure about your hair type and get lackluster results from your hair care routine, there is a chance that you’re not giving your hair the right attention. You might be drying it out, over-moisturizing it, weighing it down, and more.
There are no products that are one size fits all. To find out what products you should be using and what your hair care routine should be like, does your hair absorb enough moisture? Do you know what hair porosity means?
Straight hair, wavy, curly, or coily. Not quite sure what your hair type is? Have a look at the guide below.
1A hair is pretty straightforward. See what I did there? It means that your hair has very minimal waviness to it and is pretty much stick straight. Your hair strands are more prone to over-moisture or oiliness. Something to watch out for is limpness and lifelessness. Make sure to put some volume around your roots and get a good cleansing shampoo to use regularly and a deep cleansing shampoo to use once in a while to get rid of the buildup that will weigh your hair down.
2A hair is just slightly wavier than 1A hair. You will know that you have 2A hair if you see some really loose S-shaped, beach waves throughout your hair. Your hair will still be mostly straight, but with a little curve to them. 1A hair has a similar texture to 2A hair in the way that they are both prone to oiliness and limpness at the roots. Make sure that you also get a good regular shampoo and deep cleansing shampoo that will put some volume in your roots and get rid of the excess sebum.
Photo from Tori Kelly's IG account
2B hair is where hair starts to really get those fully formed S-shaped waves. This hair type usually has a lot more volume than 1A and 2A hair, but it also is prone to dryness and frizz. 2B hair is best cared for with a balanced routine of hydrating the ends and strands and putting volume at the roots. For 2B hair, make sure that you have a gentle but still thoroughly cleansing shampoo and a deep cleansing shampoo every once in a while. Your waves will also benefit from a small amount of leave-in conditioners or gel to get rid of frizz and form them nicely.
Photo from Pinterest
2C hair is still considered to be a “wavy” type of hair but its S shape is a bit tighter than 2B waves and more defined. As your hair gets wavier or curlier, it tends to get a little drier. 2C hair can be just a tiny bit drier than 2B hair which means you have to get a good conditioner and lightweight shampoo to give your hair moisture but keep it voluminous. You also won’t need to wash your hair as often. 2C hair can also benefit from curl creams and gel to form the waves nicely and keep the frizz to a minimum.
Photo from Pinterest
3A hair is the first of the “curl” category. The previous hair types were in the “waves” category.
Instead of an S shape, your hair will really start to form that perfect loose ringlet. 3A hair is very voluminous and dry. It’s less about creating volume and more about defining your curls and giving them the moisture that they need. You should be using a really lightweight shampoo for regular use and a good conditioner. You won’t need to wash your hair often, but you might need to put in a little more styling products to define your curls, so you will still need to deep cleanse and deep condition every once in a while. You might also benefit from a treatment that will enhance shine but keep your curl pattern intact.
Photo from Pinterest
3B hair has a bit of a tighter curl pattern than 3A hair. The ringlet could be wrapped around the barrel of a wide lipstick tube. 3B hair is prone to more “shrinkage” which means that because the curls are a little tighter, they will appear shorter. Keeping the moisture and definition in your hair is definitely top priority. A super gentle shampoo or co-wash would be best for your hair as to not dry it out. You will need to wash it even less as this type of hair can be very dry. Leave-in products like hair oils, curl creams, and gel would be great for defining your curls and keeping them nice and shiny.
3C hair is the last hair type in the “curls” category. This has the tightest ringlet that can be wrapped around a pen or pencil. 3C hair is extremely voluminous and would benefit from even less washing and washing with hydrating co-washes and conditioners. Although your curls will already be super defined, adding in hair oil, curl cream, and gel will keep the frizz down and enhance your curls’ shine.
4A hair is the first in the “kinky” category. This just means that the ringlets are super small and shrink up significantly. This hair type is super voluminous. Instead of growing downwards, the volume and shrinkage will have your hair grow taller and wider in a gorgeous poof of curls around your head. This hair type is very dry and would need even more infrequent washing with a co-wash and moisturizing conditioner. Adding shine and moisture back into your curls is the priority, so a good hair oil, curl cream, leave-in conditioner, and gel will be your best friends. However, since you are using a lot of product in your hair, you will also need to have a good deep cleansing shampoo and deep conditioner once in a while.
4B hair has an even tighter kink. Your ringlet will look more like a Z shape and its circumference can wrap around a knitting needle. This hair type is also extremely voluminous, prone to shrinkage, and dry. You will need to wash it only when necessary: when there’s too much product buildup. You won’t get any excess sebum and your hair will not have any problem with volume. The top priority is to keep it healthy and hydrated by using moisturizing products such as humectants, emollients, hair oils, and leave-ins. For styling, you can use curl creams and a gel to define your curls and keep the frizz to a minimum.
Last but not the least, 4C hair is the kinkiest amongst the hair types. 4C will have the most amount of shrinkage and the tightest curl circumference, so your hair will look as though it is growing taller as opposed to longer. This hair type is extremely dry, so again, washing when only necessary is the best. Use co-washes and deep conditioners to hydrate your hair and keep it healthy. Lots of hair oil or “pre-poo” before washing and detangling is important so that your hair doesn’t get matted and it can continue to grow. Even 4C hair is very dry, it still requires some deep cleansing once in a while to get rid of buildup.
All Hair Is Good Hair!
Always remember the motto: all hair is good hair! Whatever type of hair you have, you are beautiful and your natural hair is gorgeous, too. All you need to do is take good care of your locks so they stay healthy and happy so that you can wear your natural hair with pride.