The Hair Type Chart – Discover Your Hair Type

The Hair Type Chart

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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

Hair type 4a 4a – Mixture of ringlets and kinks, curls when wet, may dry into less defined curls
Hair type 4b  4b – Very tightly coiled or curled kinks are more distinct and curls may not be visible when dry. May look like zigzag curls.
Hair type 4c 4c – Extremely tight coils that shrink very close to the scalp when dry. Curls may not be visible when dry.

Type 3 – Curly

Hair type 3a 3a – Defined slightly loose ringlets – 3a
Hair type 3b 3b- Deeper more defined S shape in coils
 Hair type 3c 3c – Tight spirals or coils

Type 2 – Wavy

Hair type 2a 2a – Very loose wave: almost straight
 Hair type 2b 2b – Loose wave
 Hair type 2c 2c – Wavy with deeper S shape

Type 1 – Straight

 Hair type 1  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.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

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NubianPrizeAm JacksonTorkwase BurtsCarina Desiree Brooks-KingOneykia Craft Recent comment authors
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TMarie Hall

I have a mixture of hair… 4abc

Jordann Alease

type 3 but mostly 3c

Sunny Marie

Now all i need is chart to tell me how to work my 4C!

Demelza Pelswijk

Guess mine doesn’t exist

Cynthia Kilpatrick

Why is straight and stringy ranked #1?

Tabitha Dynasty B

I wonder who created this “chart” in the first place

Cynthia Kilpatrick

Yet another way to divide

NubianPrize
NubianPrize

It’s not # 1 as in the best. It’s #1 because Andre
( Oprah’s hairdresser who invented hair typing) decided to start with straight & progress to wavy curly & kinky. He could just as easily have started with kinky & gone to straight. What difference would that make? NONE.. The idea that #1 in this case is a value judgment exists only in the minds of people who like to sweat the small stuff. As I said in another post, I think hair typing of black folks’ hair is not all that necessary. For one thing we have waaayyy too many texture variations to make exact typing practical or even possible. I wore a huge afro in the 70’s & we all styled with just grease ,water & the few available products & had gorgeous ‘fros that had a wide variety of curl sizes & shapes. Now that we have all these products, typing is a big deal. Another crazy typing thing is that you can look at a particular photo & it’s called 3c or 4a,see the same photo on another site & it’s 4a or 4b; or 4 b or 4 c. Does that make sense?? I just tell folks I’m a type 4 because my hair can look like any of the 4s up there depending on what I put in it or what mood it’s in, the humidity level,whether or not I need moisture or clarification,etc,etc. JUST FIND PRODUCTS THAT WORK WITH YOUR HAIR !

Ana Silva

o meu e 3c

Mil Bacon Bleach

I like them all!!! I wish there was an ap for that lol

Melanie Worthy

3b&3c

Carina Desiree Brooks-King

4d lol

Somalia Gullette

The front of my head is 3c & the back is 4a. Weird.

Milesha McDowell

My hair used to be 4a now it’s 3c

Kisha N Lathan

Why from the heat?

Kisha N Lathan

Yeah I’m thinking I’m a 3c/4a

Brittany Leggett

The answer to your question way long ago Froncessca Curry mine was growing 4A-ish

Felicia Robinson

4c

Shante Willnevasettle

Sorta kinda miss my 3b/c hair…but i much rather prefer my hair relaxed…no more hair/comb battles!

Am Jackson
Am Jackson

I think someone needs to create a chart for natural hair. I don’t understand how straight hair can get a full number alone. I have several types that are not on this chart.