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What is your hair type?
So, you have the letter part of the grade which goes as follows:
- The letter A would be a looser curl pattern.
- The letter B is a little more defined
- and the letter C is the tightest curl pattern of each group.
Now the numbers are graded from 1 to 4. Number 1 is straight hair without any curl pattern so curls start from the number 2 which is wavy textured hair, 3 is for curly hair, and 4 is for tightly curly to kinky* hair.
Type 4 – Kinky Curly Coily
|4a – Mixture of ringlets and kinks, curls when wet, may dry into less defined curls
|4b – Very tightly coiled or curled kinks are more distinct and curls may not be visible when dry. May look like zigzag curls.
|4c – Extremely tight coils that shrink very close to the scalp when dry. Curls may not be visible when dry.
Type 3 – Curly
|3a – Defined slightly loose ringlets – 3a
|3b- Deeper more defined S shape in coils
|3c – Tight spirals or coils
Type 2 – Wavy
|2a – Very loose wave: almost straight
|2b – Loose wave
|2c – Wavy with deeper S shape
Type 1 – Straight
|1 – This hair is oily, resilient and has no discernible curl pattern.
Now you can see from this hair classification system that you may have 3a hair in the back 2c hair in the front, I’ve even seen women with a combination of all three curl patterns on one head of hair!
If you still confused, here is how to tell just by looking at it. The best way to tell your curl pattern is by wetting your hair first. You make look like a 4c when you hair is dry, but really be a 4a because the hair can change in appearance when it is wet. And if your hair has been chemically treated, even if its been months or even years, you cannot accurately assess what your hair type is until you are fully natural.
I can’t tell you how many times I consult with clients about curl type and they want me to tell them their curl pattern when they haven’t cut off their relaxed or texturized hair. Ladies, in order to know for sure what you are working with, the chemically treated hair has to be removed, yes, even the texturizer.
If anybody was following my post on hair grading systems, you’d know I’m not that crazy about classifying my hair type into an a,b,c grade. I feel that the need for women to know there hair type has been carefully constructed by product manufacturers, the bottom line (to me) is it makes their pockets fatter. Think about it!
Non curl pattern specific brands are just as likely to give you the same results as curl pattern specific products. All you need to know is that for kinkier curls, choose a heavier product like a thick gel and for looser curls, light leave in conditioners or more liquid gels will do the trick.
Products work based on the curl pattern you already naturally have. No product will be able to change your curl pattern.