A common misconception about black hair is there’s only one hair type. Thanks to curl patterns we are about to learn that there are many types of black hair. Curl patterns you say? It’s true. Black hair tends to curl but some curls are tighter than others. We need to know more about our hair to take care of it.
Curl patterns range from one to four; one is loose curls and four being tight or kinky curls. Two, three and four are broken down into subcategories because there are plenty of hair that fit into the three and four range. Here is the curl pattern in detail.
Type 1: Straight Hair
It is the most resilient hair type. It is hair damage and hair breakage-proof and full of sheen. However, this type is the hardest to curl and the oiliest hair of all. So if your hair can hold a curl longer than a few seconds and/or if you don’t wash your hair everyday to reduce the oil in your hair this is not your hair type.
Type 2: Wavy Hair
It is the easiest to go from curly to straight and from straight to curly. Of all the curls types it has the most sheen/shine. Anti-frizz/humidity products are your best friend. Type 2 is broken down into three types:
- 2a: Waves are loose. Think of the letter S as if the S was completely stretched out (but not straight).
- 2b: Waves are medium textured. It’s a mix of 2A and 2C. This combination makes the hair hard to style.
- 2c: Waves are thick. These waves make hair frizzy and almost impossible to style.
Type 3: Curly Hair
It is the curls that are well-defined and springy. Overall it’s those sought-after curls on commercials. However, the weather isn’t kind to this type of hair. It is also prone to hair damage and look dull. Too much or too little styling product will mess your hairstyle up. You must start your hair from scratch each day: cleanse, condition, moisturize and styling product. Type 3 is broken down into three types:
- 3a: Curls are loose. They curl but the curls look spiral and free.
- 3b: Curls are tighter than 3A. These curls are bouncy ringlets.
- 3c: Curls are the tightest. They lean toward type 4 (but not all the way) and they have a corkscrew shape.
Type 4: Kinky Hair
The curls are very tight and tough as it is hard to comb, but it is also fragile, thin and dry. Because of this you must be gentle with the hair. There’s no sheen in this curl pattern and it looks stiff. Type 4 also has the stigma that the hair cannot grow. This is false; mistreatment of the hair make it seem that way.
This hair must be treated like silk or delicate clothing: cleanse and detangle gently and softly. Avoid harsh chemicals, petrolatum oil, heavy wax and mineral and aim for natural products. Hair must be moisturized daily with creamy cleanser and hydrating conditioner. Wash out; use a rich moisturizer and a natural oil and butter cream. Like the previous two, type 4 also have three types.
- 4a: Hair gives off the S vibe like 2A but the curls are very coiled and drawn in.
- 4b: Hair is hard and stiff. Think of the letter Z as in a zigzag pattern or a crochet needle.
- 4c: Hair has the Z pattern like 4B but the hair can easily turn into a afro just by brushing it.
That’s why certain brands or certain ingredients don’t work on our hair. Black hair is not created equal. Finding the correct hair type for you will give you an idea of what works for your hair. There is no wrong type of black hair; they are all represented, recognized and respected.
Contact us if need help with your curly hair.