Natural hair typing is a bit controversial. It can be very useful for some, but others don’t like the idea of giving their hair any specific label. The natural hair types basically distinguish between wavy, curly and coils hair. Whether you feel these distinctions are relevant or not, it is helpful to know a bit about them to be able to follow discussions about them. It can also be helpful to know your hair because there are many products that are meant for specific types.
Type one hair is basically bone straight. Type two is a bit wavy, but still not too curly. The natural hair community is mostly concerned with types three and four. Type three hair has an “S” pattern with well defined, springy curls. This type of hair generally has a lot of body and is very fine.
There are two subsets within type three hair; 3A types having very loose curls and 3B types having tighter ringlets and corkscrews.
Type fours come in three subsets, 4A, 4B and 4C. Those with type four hair enjoy kinky, coily hair. This type of hair is extremely fragile and prone to breakage. Type four hair can be fine and thin or thick and coarse and can shrink up to 75% of its actual length. It is more prone to damage by brushing, combing, heat and chemicals than any other hair type.
Confused enough? Hair typing is confusing business. Many women have two or more different types naturally! This is all a part of our journey though, learning how to manage our hair just the way it is.