Curly Hair Guide: How Do You Know What Kind of Hair You Have

GUIDE FOR BLACK MEN FOR FIGURING OUT YOUR HAIRTYPE AND HOW TO MAINTAIN THEM: There is no doubt in the fact that people with African descent have one of the most beautiful strong and voluminous hair ever sported by people of the same region. However, it is also a fact that caring for African hair is a task and utmost care is the only way to make sure that your hair remains beautiful, strong and voluminous always. How to care for your beautiful locks also depends on the type of hair you have, whether straight, wavy, curly or kinky. The article hopes to give you an overall picture as to figuring out your hair type, how to take care of it and also how to go about styling it.  

How Do You Know What Kind of Hair You Have

Figuring out your hair type is the key factor in figuring out as to how to take care of it, cut it and style it. Hair type also involves understanding the different qualities that your hair has which includes texture, density, ability of the hair to retain moisture, elasticity and of course, curl pattern. The hair types can broadly be classified into the following categories 

Types of Curly Hair
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Straight Hair

Straight hair is termed as Type 1 hair. They are usually divided into further segments which are type 1a, 1b and 1c. Common straight hair qualities are; fine, thin and soft.  Straight hair could either be very oily or very dry. Thus, conditioning becomes a very important factor when dealing with straight hair.

Wavy Hair

Wavy hair is termed as Type 2 hair. They are also divided into further segments which are type 2a, 2b and 2c. Wavy hair is neither too dry nor too oily but is very frizz- prone. The hair type is between Type 1 and Type 2, meaning that the hair neither too straight nor too curly which makes it necessary to give it a different type itself. The best way to tackle with the frizz so common in wavy hair is to use anti frizz leave in conditioners.

Curly Hair

Curly hair is termed as Type 3 hair. They are further divided into segments which are type 3a, 3b and 3c. Curly hair has a curl patter which is a definite “S”. Curly hair usually is less shiny than straight or wavy hair as the cuticle does not lay down flat.  Curly hair can be bouncy ringlets or tight corkscrews. Shampoos and conditioners made specifically for curly hair are the best to keep the curls intact.

Kinky Hair

Kinky hair also known as tightly coiled hair is termed as Type 4 hair.  They are further divided into segments which are type 4a, 4b and 4c. Kinky hair in maximum cases is extremely fragile and wiry. Kinky hair has a very fine texture though giving the illusion of a very coarse texture and has several strands stuck together. The kinky hair type is the most common hair type seen in people from African descent. Kinky hair can be either in tight coils like seen in curly hair or can be less defined curls having sharp angels. Best way to maintain kinky hair is to get them cut according to your suitability regularly to keep them in control.

All about Curly Hair Guide: 

#1: All about Straight hair

A style that will always remaining trending is the straight hair. Straight hair gives the wearer a put together and sleek look. Straight hair is silky, robust and resilient but also they lack volume, easily become greasy and are boring if you don’t keep doing something to it now and then. As mentioned above, straight hair has been termed as Type 1 hair and is further divided into Type 1a, 1b and 1c.

Type 1a Straight hair:

Type 1 hair is shiny and soft but also wispy and thin. Type 1 straight hair need a little externally effected lift at the roots but are very easily styled and managed. The best way to show case this hair type will be to take a cut which makes the hair look voluminous such as layers.

Type 1b Straight hair:

Type 1b hair is easier to manage than type 1a hair as there is more volume and body present. Since the volume is not much it is manageable and you can try out various hairstyles when it comes down to it. Type 1b straight hair can look very good in any kind of styling and there is hardly any scope of going wrong.

Type 1c Straight hair:

Type 1c hair is stick straight and normally very resistant. The hair is thickest than can be seen in the other types of straight hair which is the reason for it being so resilient to styling. The best hair cut to compliment this hair type is layers with middle parting.

How to take care of straight hair:

  • Shampoo and condition the hair at least 2 to 3 times a week.
  • If the hair is very oily you can shampoo every day if required or shampoo as frequently as needed to have oil free hair.
  • Use conditioner and only apply it at the ends of the hair and not at the roots.
  • If the hair has been chemically straightened use shampoos specially made for the purpose and condition the hair daily.
  • The best kind of shampoo for afro textured hair is one which is sulphate free and a deep conditioner as it helps in keeping the hair shiny and hydrated.
  • Keep getting a trim in 4 to 6 weeks to remove the split ends.
  • Go in for such haircuts which give the hair a little volume.
  • Avoid heat application as much as possible and do not comb wet hair.

#2: All About Wavy Hair

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Having wavy hair is a sort of a blessing in disguise. You are literally able to live the best of both words as you can either straighten or curl your hair according to your fancy and styling wavy hair is very easy. As mentioned above, wavy hair is never too dry or never too oily and also as mentioned above wavy hair has been termed as Type 2 hair and is further divided into Type 2a, 2b and 2c.

What is 2A Wavy Hair:

Type 2a hair is loose and has an “s” shaped pattern. The hair is on the thinner side and usually it is very easy to manage as well as style them. Since the texture of the hair type is so fine, you can wear it till your shoulder as it gives an appearance of more volume and also a very trendy look.

How to take care of 2A hair

  • Shampoo and condition the hair at least 2 to 3 times a week.
  • If the hair is very oily you can shampoo every day if required or shampoo as frequently as needed to have oil free hair.
  • Use conditioner and only apply it at the ends of the hair and not at the roots.
  • Keep getting a trim in 4 to 6 weeks to remove the split ends.
  • Avoid heat application as much as possible and do not comb wet hair.
  • Apply leave in conditioner to control the frizz

What is 2B Wavy hair:

Type 2b hair is shorter and has a more (slightly) prominent “S” shaped pattern and resembles the beachy wave hair cut. However, the hair type is prone to a little frizziness. The hair type suits mostly all face shapes and the best way to wear it would be pinning the hair to the side due to the medium length of the hair and thickness.

How to take care of 2B hair

  • Shampoo and condition the hair at least 2 to 3 times a week.
  • If the hair is very oily you can shampoo every day if required or shampoo as frequently as needed to have oil free hair.
  • Use conditioner and only apply it at the ends of the hair and not at the roots.
  • Keep getting a trim in 4 to 6 weeks to remove the split ends.
  • Avoid heat application as much as possible and do not comb wet hair.
  • Apply leave in conditioner to control the frizz

What is 2C Wavy hair:

Type 2c hair has a very different “s” shaped pattern and is only curly at the borderline. It can be called as curly wavy hair and this type is extremely prone to frizziness. The hair type is also very resilient which makes styling the hair harder. The best way to wear this hair type would be to let it remain long along with parting in the middle, this way they will pull the hair down and you can avoid some frizziness this way.

How to take care of 2C hair

  • Shampoo and condition the hair at least 2 to 3 times a week.
  • If the hair is very oily you can shampoo every day if required or shampoo as frequently as needed to have oil free hair.
  • Use conditioner and only apply it at the ends of the hair and not at the roots.
  • Keep getting a trim in 4 to 6 weeks to remove the split ends.
  • Avoid heat application as much as possible and do not comb wet hair.
  • Apply leave in conditioner to control the frizz.

#3: All About Curly Hair

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Curly hair can be styled in diverse looks due to its texture and vibrance. This ability of diversity gives curls an edge and give everyone with curls a feminine look. Curly hair is very bouncy, versatile and requires less amounts of hair wash than straight or wavy hair. As mentioned above, curly hair has been termed as Type 3 hair and is further divided into Type 3a, 3b and 3c.

What is 3A Curly hair:

Type 3a hair has loose and big curls. Such curls are very sensitive to to climate changes but are also one of the easiest to manage. The best way to wear the hair type is to put it up in a ponytail with a few strands hanging on the face. The curls give a feminine and soft look.

How to take care of 3A hair

  • Shampoo and condition the hair at least 2 to 3 times a week.
  • If the hair is very oily you can shampoo every day if required or shampoo as frequently as needed to have oil free hair.
  • Use conditioner and only apply it at the ends of the hair and not at the roots.
  • Keep getting a trim in 4 to 6 weeks to remove the split ends as curly hair is very prone to split ends.
  • Avoid heat application as much as possible and do not comb wet hair.
  • Apply leave in conditioner to control the frizz.
  • Re wet your hair to control frizz if necessary using a spray bottle.

What is 3B Curly Hair:

Type 3b hair type well defined curls which are springy along with bouncy ringlets. The hair strands are not fine or coarse but of medium thickness and it is extremely frizz- prone. The best way to wear this type of hair would be to take a blunt haircut and part it in the middle. The cut and the length will help with not getting curls on the side of the face and will show a look of natural beauty.

How to take care of 3B hair

  • Shampoo and condition the hair at least 2 to 3 times a week.
  • If the hair is very oily you can shampoo every day if required or shampoo as frequently as needed to have oil free hair.
  • Use conditioner and only apply it at the ends of the hair and not at the roots.
  • Keep getting a trim in 4 to 6 weeks to remove the split ends as curly hair is very prone to split ends.
  • Avoid heat application as much as possible and do not comb wet hair.
  • Apply leave in conditioner to control the frizz.
  • Re wet your hair to control frizz if necessary using a spray bottle.

What is 3C Curly Hair:

Type 3c hair is a mix between coily curls, tight corkscrew curls and bouncy curls. Though this type of hair is more coarse than the other types of curly hair. The best way to wear this type of hair would be to put a head band around the crown area. Also, since the curls in this type of hair is tight, it would be better to keep them up and away from your face.

How to take care of 3C hair

  • Shampoo and condition the hair at least 2 to 3 times a week.
  • If the hair is very oily you can shampoo every day if required or shampoo as frequently as needed to have oil free hair.
  • Use conditioner and only apply it at the ends of the hair and not at the roots.
  • Keep getting a trim in 4 to 6 weeks to remove the split ends as curly hair is very prone to split ends.
  • Avoid heat application as much as possible and do not comb wet hair.
  • Apply leave in conditioner to control the frizz.
  • Re wet your hair to control frizz if necessary using a spray bottle.

#4: All about Coiled (Kinky) hair

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Coiled or kinky hair is most commonly seen in people of African descent. The hair type is fun and has immense volume. Not much styling is needed when it comes to kinky hair as the hair volume does most of that work. As mentioned above, coiled hair has been termed as Type 4 hair and is further divided into Type 4a, 4b and 4c.

What is 4A Kinky Hair:

Type 4a hair has tight coiled curls and ranges from fine textured to wiry.  You will get an appearance of thickness because the strands are packed together. The best way to wear this look would be to go simple and let the curls you have go wild. You can style your hair in any shape and length that you want. The best look is to go natural.

How to take care of 4A hair

  • Use products specifically made for hair which is fragile.
  • Avoid heat application as much as possible as the hair is very fragile.
  • Go for a look that will make the coils look longer as kinky hair is prone to shrinkage.
  • Keep the hair moisturized and use conditioner to give it a shiny look.

 What is 4B Kinky hair:

Type 4b hair type has a “z” shaped pattern. The hair can also have varying degrees of thickness. The hair has a soft feel, many times being described as “cotton-like” and has close to 75% shrinkage. The best way to wear the hair would be to get short dreads. Dreads are low maintenance and will give one a youthful look. Also, dreads can be tied back and worn loosely as well and can look pretty sophisticated.

How to take care of 4B hair

  • Use products specifically made for hair which is fragile.
  • Avoid heat application as much as possible as the hair is very fragile.
  • Go for a look that will make the coils look longer as kinky hair is prone to shrinkage.
  • Keep the hair moisturized and use conditioner to give it a shiny look.

What is 4C Kinky hair:

Type 4c hair is very similar in properties to type 4b hair. It also has a “z” shaped pattern and due to the presence of so many zig- zags in the hair, the hair has the appearance of one shape. The best way to wear this type of hair would be to get a full blown afro. Afro is a symbol of style and self- expression and can be seen being sported by many well known icons.

How to take care of 4C hair

  • Use products specifically made for hair which is fragile.
  • Avoid heat application as much as possible as the hair is very fragile.
  • Go for a look that will make the coils look longer as kinky hair is prone to shrinkage.
  • Keep the hair moisturized and use conditioner to give it a shiny look.

Conclusion

Therefore, before going in for any hair cut or hair style do try and figure out the kind of hair you have and the type under which that hair texture falls. Figuring out your hair texture will help you understand the kind of care you need to give your hair as well. Though, the article mentions the different kind of hair kinds and their types, people with African descent will mostly have kinky hair as the hair kind is attached to that region.

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