Finding out your curl type can be like decoding some secret text. 2A, 3B, 4C? We have all heard of them, but knowing what it means and how it pertains to your hair type can be confusing. For instance, you may think that your hair is type 4, but in reality, it’s type 3. And in all honesty, none of this even matters if you’re not sure what it means.
We want to help you break down the hair type code and help you take the next step in nourishing and loving your hair. Why? Because knowing your hair type will be the jumping-off point for finding products that will work right for you.
In general, the curl system focuses on four different types:
- Type 1: Straight
- Type 2: Wavy
- Type 3: Curly
- Type 4: Coily
In addition to these four main types, each category also has a sub-type, classified into A, B, and C. These sub-classes meaning how loose or tight your curls, and are defined by the hair strand’s diameter.
We will focus on the last three types of hair, as they are the ones with the most discernable differences between them. It is also good to note that you may not perfectly fit the mold of these hair types. Also, you may have several different categories of curls on your head.
Type 2 hair is one of the easier hair types to bend and manipulate, besides type 1 or straight hair. It is most commonly characterized by it’s looser S-shaped curl pattern and can be either fine or coarse.
- 2A: This hair type is characterized by its loose wave pattern, often known as beach waves. This particular curl sits much closer to the head and doesn’t have much volume to it. While this type of hair requires moisture, make sure you don’t use too much, or it will weigh down the hair.
- 2B: With thicker strands, type 2B hair is a step up in the definition department, and it will take more effort to be straightened. This hair type will also need a texturizing spray to define the waves a bit more.
- 2C: Finally, this hair type is more prone to frizzing and has the most definition out of this category of hair. The biggest thing that needs to be done is to lock in the moisture. Using a leave-in conditioner will be a great help to keep the hair from frizzing. Our suggestion is to use a little bit of the ONE Rejuvenating Conditioner to make the strands shine.
Buoyant loops, springs, and corkscrews are the epitome of this hair category. While they are prone to have some incredible shine, this hair type can also get frizzy if you don’t take proper care of it.
- 3A: Type 3A hair tends to be loose, large curls full of bounce and shine. To retain these curls, applying a nourishing conditioner will have them always bouncing. A little tip to keep these curls intact is to refrain from brushing through your curls with your fingers, as this will only cause frizz.
- 3B: These springy ringlets are smaller than their Type A counterpart and are prone to drying out. To keep these curls moisturized, using a deep conditioner will be your saving grace. Our personal favorite to use is the ONE Avocado Hair Smoothie.
- 3C: The curls for this hair type are often densely packed and full of volume. But with all the natural volume that comes with this type of hair comes the chance of frizz. Giving your hair a good co-wash, like our Strawberry and Banana Hair Smoothie, will help give your hair the moisture it needs
From tight small curls to zig zags, type 4 hair usually comes to mind when you think of traditional afro-textured hair. These beautiful, kinky coils can suffer from significant shrinkage, so moisture will be its best friend.
- 4A: These curls are similar in shape to the S-shaped curls of type 2 hair but much more densely packed and voluminous. Keeping a moisturizing routine will keep these curls popping and in shape.
- 4B: This particular type is characterized by a sharper “Z” shaped curl that lends itself to hair that can be shaped and styled in beautiful ways. Utilizing styling creams will be an essential tool to define the hair’s texture and lengthen.
- 4C: This tightly coiled hair texture can have beautiful styling potential and is the most prone to shrinkage and dryness. With this hair type, using a liberal amount of moisturizers, such as a leave-in conditioner or hair oil, will help in maximizing the length and sealing the hydration into your hair.
Extra Tip: Hair Porosity
Besides just knowing your general hair type, learning your hair porosity will also help find products that will give the desired results and moisture for your hair. No matter what your hair type may be, its ability to retain moisture will be what helps your hair come alive. Lucky for you, we have plenty of tips for finding your porosity here.