What’s Your Naturalista Hair Type?

natural hair

The first step into starting your natural hair journey is to determine what type of hair you have.

With this kind of information, you can then plan out what types of products to use, as well as the regime that you should follow. Here is my guide to help you figure out what natural hair type you have.

By: Louisa of Afro Hair Solutions

I’m Louisa, founder of Afro Hair Solutions. I have been natural since 2012, after relaxing my hair for over 10 years. I went natural when my hair completely broke off. I was fed up with receiving chemical burns from relaxers. I had tried all the products on the high street to combat the breakage. It just wasn’t working, and this was frustrating me.

Then I went on to YouTube and discovered a natural hair community. I learned lots about pH-balancing, porosity, and hair typing. In particular, hair typing helped me with my hair, because it helped me develop a regimen, learn the best way to wash my hair and to detangle my hair. And most importantly, it made it easier for me to identify with others in the natural hair community.

Check out Kimberly’s DIY Lavender And Burdock Root Detangling Serum tutorial here!

Today, I want to talk about hair typing. What is it? Do you know your hair type? Should you know your hair type? And, how can you tell your hair type?

natural black hair care

Who created “hair typing?”

Hair typing is a system to help us identify with and narrow down what type of steps, methods, and regimens can work for our hair. Andre Walker, Oprah Winfrey’s hairstylist, created this system to help inform women about their hair types.

What is the system?

The letters represent the diameter of the hair strand. In this case, it represents the diameter of the curl or coil.

Type 1- Straight Hair

Type 1 is straight hair, but according to Andre Walker, there are three different types:

  • Type 1A hair is fine, shiny, and thin.
  • Type 1B hair has more body than type 1A hair.
  • Type 1c hair is more coarse and is harder to curl than Type 1A or Type 1B.

Type 2- Wavy Hair

Type 2 hair falls right in the middle of Type 1 and Type 3. Type 2 hair is not too dry or too oily.

  • Type 2A hair is fine and thin. It is simple to style because it can be easily straightened or curled.
  • Type 2B hair tends to stick to the shape of your head.
  • Type 2C hair will frizz easily and is moderately coarse.

Type 3- Curly Hairnatural hair

Type 3 has a definite S-shaped curl pattern and doesn’t appear to be as shiny as Type 1 or Type 2 hair, because the cuticles doesn’t lay as flat.

  • Type 3A hair is very shiny and loose.
  • Type 3B hair has medium curls and can range from ringlets to tight corkscrews.
  • Type 3C hair was missing from Andre Walker’s Hair Typing System. See the “What’s missing?” section below.

Type 4- Kinky Hair

Type 4 hair is full of tight coils or curls and has a tendency to be wiry and fragile.

  • Type 4a hair is full of tight coils. It has a S shape when stretched out, liked type 3 hair.
  • Type 4b hair has less defined pattern of curls and look more like a Z, because when stretched out, it has very sharp angles.
  • Type 4C hair was missing from Andre Walker’s Hair Typing System, see the “What’s missing?” section below.

What’s missing?

Andre Walker left out the 3c and 4c hair type. This is because Andre Walker said, “If you can see a definite curl pattern, then you have 4a hair. If you can’t define a specific curl pattern, then you have 4b hair.”

According to Andre Walker, 3c- like 4c- isn’t an “actual” hair type. It was considered hard to define and doesn’t look too different from 3b hair.  The hair community added in 3c and 4c. 3c hair has been defined as tight curls or coils that look like corkscrews. 4c hair is more tightly coiled than 4b and has no defined curl pattern.

Why is it important to know your hair type?

If you don’t know your hair type, it might be difficult to develop a regimen for washing and detangling your hair. Hair typing lets us know what to do with our hair. It also gives us a direction of what products and methods work best for our hair.

You can find out how to use aloe vera oil for dry, thirsty hair here!

How do I know what my hair type is?

On your next shampoo day, wash your hair and while you’re detangling, take some of those loose hairs and place them on top of a white towel or kitchen towel. Let it air dry and see what kind of curl or coily pattern it develops. Then compare it to the hair typing chart below:

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Photo Source: Afro Hair Solutions

You might see that you have a number of different hair types!

What other things do I need to know besides my hair type?

When it comes to success in your natural hair journey, it doesn’t stop at hair typing. You should also know about:

  • Porosity
  • Density
  • pH balancing
  • Texture
  • Elasticity

I hope this will help you on your natural hair journey. Click here to sign up for my free e-Book, which tells you the best way to prevent hair loss and how to retain your natural hair length.

Have any other natural hair journey tips? Share with us in the comments below!

Author Bio

natural hairLouisa is the founder of Afro Hair Solutions. She started her natural hair journey after frustration from years of using high street product brands that just weren’t suitable for Afro hair.

To find a solution, Louisa experimented until she found the perfect natural formulas for her requirements. Her hair issues are managed and now it’s time to share the products and the information she learned along the way with those who need it.

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