Your hair type simply determines whether you have straight or curly hair, however understanding the different hair types isn’t quite that simple since there there are several subcategories within the different types of hair.
There are four main types of hair: Type 1 - straight, Type 2 - wavy, Type 3 - curly and Type 4 - tightly curls. The hair type can be further broken down into A, B, and C based on the hair's curl patterns, density, porosity, width and length.
- Type 1 is straight hair and is often fine in texture, which can get oily and weighed down since the lack of curls in the hair means that the oil from the scalp goes all the way down the hair shaft faster than in curly hair.
- Type 1A hair is stick straight and fine.
- Type 1B hair is thicker – but is still very straight with medium texture so it has more volume.
- Type 1C hair is very thick and coarse, but still straight and shiny so it can be hard to make curls hold and last longer.
- Type 2 hair is in between straight and naturally wavy, with more curl than some types of hair but usually less than others. Wavy hair is more likely to become frizzy than straight hair, and are easy to style.
- Type 2A hair is wavy and can be fine and thin or a little coarser in texture. It normally has S-shaped waves, and is easy to style.
- Type 2B hair is wavy and medium thick, with more distinct S-waves and prone to frizz.
- Type 2C hair has distinct S-waves with more spiral curls that are thick and coarse. It can get very frizzy, and may be hard to style.
- Type 3 is curly hair that looks like the letter "S" or "Z". These types of curls go straight when the hair is wet and then go back to being curly and voluminous as it dries. It is easy to style and has clear springy curls.
- Type 3A hair is thick with big, loose spiral curls that can also get frizzy.
- Type 3B hair have a combination of bouncy ringlets and tighter curls.
- Type 3C hair has very tight, corkscrew curls.
- Type 4 hair is coiled very tightly. It is often very coarse, but in actuality, it is also fragile and easily damaged.
- Type 4 hair that is healthy, is soft, with tight and well-defined S-curls.
- Type 4B hair is also soft and fragile, with very tightly coiled with Z pattern curls.
- Type 4C hair has such tight curls that it may have less defined curls, often Z-patterned curls that are tightly kinked.