Finding your curl type can be confusing! Everyone’s natural hair is unique, and while categorizations are helpful, hair isn’t mean to be put in a box! Several textures can exist on one head alone, and your hair may fall between categories. Plus, there’s some debate among natural hair stylists as to whether the current curl typing system is too narrow. 

But even if it’s not perfect, it’s what we’ve got to work with, and knowing your curl type can help you learn how to care for your natural hair. In today’s blog post, our Birmingham natural hair salon will help outline how to type your own hair. And if you’d like a professional to take a look at it, schedule an appointment with SwoopeHair natural hair salon! We offer free consultations, as well as a Facebook education class for people who want to learn more about how to care for their natural hair.

How To Start

Did you know that your curl type is determined by the shape of the follicle that the hair grows out of on your head? If you’ve got flatter or more oval-shaped follicles, your hair will be more curly. If the follicle is more circular, then you’ll have straighter hair. The curl pattern is also identified by the shape the strands make, like whether they kind, curve, or wind around themselves in tight spirals. Many people have more than one kind of hair type, so you may have a combination of curly and kinky, or wavy and coily etc.

Simple Breakdown of Types

Here is the most simply breakdown of types:

  • Type 1 – straight
  • Type 2 – wavy
  • Type 3 – curly
  • Type 4 – coily

Within these types, there are sub-classifications of A to C that are based on the width of your wave, curl, or coil pattern. Type A is a wider pattern, Type B medium, and Type C the smallest of the three. 

Type 2 (Wavy)

Type 2s have bendable waves, and they can be fine to coarse hair. They have a definitive S pattern that lays closer to the head.

Type 2A

Those with type 2A hair have a barely-there tousled texture with fine strands. It’s easy to straighten and lacks volume at the root. Those with type 2A hair should avoid heavy styling products.

Type 2B

Type 2B has thicker, coarser strands than 2A, and it’s harder to straighten. It has defined S-shaped ways that start around midlength on the hair.

Type 2C

Type 2C waves have well-defined S-bends that begin at the roots and are susceptible to frizzing. 

Type 3 (Curly)

Type 3 hair can range from loose loops to tight, springy corkscrews. 

Type 3A

Type 3A hair tends to have large, loose curls that have the diameter of the size of a piece of sidewalk chalk. They can easily become a frizzy halo, and scrunching with product helps emphasize the curl texture.

Type 3B

Hair with type 3B has springy ringlets with a circumference about the size of a Sharpie. This hair type can get dry, and it does well with hydrating styling gels.

Type 3C

3C curls are tight corkscrews with a diameter of about a pencil. They’re densely packed together and provide lots of natural volume. 

Type 4 (Coily)

Coily, or kinky hair, forms very tight, small curls, that zig-zag right from the scalp.

Type 4A

Type 4A hair features a dense, springy, S-patterned coil with a small diameter, about the size of a crochet needle. 

Type 4B

Type 4B curls are densely packed and bend at sharp angles. 4B hair can be shaped in many different ways, but needs to be well hydrated.

Type 4C

Type 4C is similar to 4B, but the strands are more fragile and the zig-zag pattern is so tight that it can sometimes be hard to see with the naked eye. It’s very versatile and prone to shrinkage.

Swoope Hair Natural Hair Salon

Our Birmingham hair salon specializes in helping women enjoy incredibly healthy, natural hair. We use high-quality products and innovative techniques to create stunning, personalized results for every single client. Whether you choose to relax your hair, let your curls bounce, rock braids, or more, we can help you discover the style you’ve been dreaming of! Check out our hairstyles page and book with Brittany Swoope and Swoope Hair today!