Natural Hair Type Guide

Which type are you?

Type 4a

4a hair is tightly coiled hair with definite curl pattern that is prone to shrinkage, but will spring back when pulled. The circumference of 4a coils is close to that of a crochet needle. Moisture is critical for 4a hair. Use lots of daily moisturizers, gentle cleansers, and deep conditioning treatments to maintain a healthy head of hair.

4a celebrities: Beyonce, Kelis.

Type 4b

4b hair has a "Z" pattern and less of a defined curl pattern. Instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles and has a cotton-like feel. The hair is very wiry, tightly coiled and bent, and very fragile. Take great care when working with 4b hair.

4b celebrities: Erykah Badu, Esperanza Spalding.

Type 4c

4c hair is a tightly coiled, often has a zig-zag pattern and has almost no curl definition. It shrinks up to almost nothing no matter the length. 4C hair is often characterized as low porosity and extremely dry hair. But 4C hair can be manageable and manipulated into a variety of hair styles.

4c celebrities: Teyonah Paris, Solange.

Type 3a

3a hair has a definite, loopy "S" pattern with springy, well-defined curls. It also tends to be naturally big, loose and very shiny.

3a celebrities: Taylor Swift, Nicole Kidman.

Type 3b

3b hair consists of well-defined, copious curls ranging from tight corkscrews to bouncy ringlets.

3b celebrities: Leona Lewis, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Type 3c

3c curls are tight cork screws. The circumference is the size of a pencil or a drinking straw. This hair type is mostly referred to as Kinky-Curly. The curls are usually fine in texture, not coarse. The curls can be densely packed together or very loose. This hair type can be blow dried straight, but it may be more challenging. 3c hair is the driest of the Type 3 curls and requires more moisture. Because of the springiness and tightness of the curl, 3c curls shrink more than 3b and 3a curls.

3c celebrities: Tracee Ellis Ross, Rachel True.

The best way to see your curl definition is after you have washed your hair and your hair has air dried without product.

Ladies what’s your hair type and what hair regime do you follow?

About the Author

Amanda Dliwayo

Amanda Dliwayo

South African. World citizen. Currently based in Paris.

Traveler. Writer. Model. Teacher.

                     Natural. 4B/4C.

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