The Edit

What's My Hair Type?

Posted on Tuesday, 16 November 2021 - By Amelia

What do you mean by 'hair type'?

When we say hair type, we are talking about the amount of curl your hair has. As you may have guessed, like most things, the way your hair falls is determined by your DNA, and in particular, by the shape of your hair follicles. Without going into too much science, the flatter or more oval-shaped your hair follicles, the more curly your hair will be. Comparatively, the more circular your hair follicles, the straighter your hair will be.

There are four basic hair-types that hair can be classified in to:

  • Type 1 - Straight;
  • Type 2 - Wavy;
  • Type 3 - Curly; and
  • Type 4 - Coily.

    These hair types can then broken down into further subcategories which are based on the tightness and looseness of hair curls and coils. With me so far? Let's dive in.

    Straight Hair - Type 1

    As the name implies, type 1 hair is distinguished by the lack of curls that hair exhibits. While type 1 hair can be thick, coarse or thin, strands fall straight, without any waves or curls.

    Type 1 hair tends to get oily faster than other hair types. This can be exacerbated by over-washing, using heavy serums or butters, or any product that has oils high on the ingredients list. Because of this, type 1 hair is best styled with dry shampoo and texture sprays that are oil-free. Dry shampoo soaks up excess oils in hair without causing excess oil to be produced, while texture sprays are often light serums that won't clog down hair.

    Wavy Hair - Type 2

Type 2A

Hair that has a gentle, tousled texture can generally be classed as type 2A hair. Type 2A hair is often straight from the roots of your head to around eye level, but then from eye-level down to the ends, falls into loose, undefined waves.

Oil-based and creamy based products will often flatten out waves in type 2A hair, so should be avoided if keeping your natural waves is desired. Instead, using a light mouse or a gel to define waves are the recommended hair styling products.

Type 2B

Similarly to type 2A hair, type 2B hair curls from the midpoint to the ends. Type 2B hair however has more defined waves that typically form an S shape. While type 2B hair may require more effort to straighten, it is super easy to create beachy waves with a spritz of salt spray - perfect for the up coming summer months!

Type 2B hair is often susceptible to frizziness, so adding any anti-frizz product into your routine will likely make hair management 10x easier. Using a wide toothed comb can also help get through any potential tangles, while keeping your waves in tact.

Type 2C

Unlike type 2A and 2B hair, type 2C hair has defined S shaped waves from the crown of the head, all the way down to the ends. Type 2C hair is often thick, and like type 2B hair, can be prone to frizz.

When hair is wet, using a diffuser on the end of your hairdryer can help eliminate the frizz when hair is drying. Like type 2B hair, anti-humidity and anti-frizz products are going to change your hair styling game. Light-weight mousses can help keep wave-definition, while adding moisture and smoothing hair.

Find the products that work best for your hair type by looking at our Moroccanoil range.

Curly Hair - Type 3

Type 3A

Type 3A hair is characterised by S-shaped curls that form loose loops, with a slightly narrower circumference than the end of a glue stick.

The major styling tip for type 3A hair is to choose your hair brush wisely - many brushes not specifically designed for curly type 3 hair types can wreck curl definition, and lead to a frizzy mane (not exactly ideal). Opting for a brush that has more widely spaced prongs, or using a wide tooth comb will provide you with a better solution to removing any tangles or knots, while keeping curls in tact.

Ponytails have also been found to cause curls to lose their formation, so avoiding pulling your back for long periods of time will likely keep curls looking their best. This applies to all type 3 hair styles.

Type 3B

The curls in type 3B hair are about as wide as a lip-balm, so are tighter than those exhibited in type 3A hair. Curls are full of volume, and fall right from the roots of your head to the ends.Maintaining the spiral shape that type 3B hair typically exhibits requires adding moisture to hair. When choosing curl products, make sure you avoid ones containing silicone and sulfates - while they may temporarily control frizz, they often dry out hair overtime which leads to breakage, knots and split ends. Like type 3A hair, using wide toothed combs or brushes specifically designed for type 3 hair will help avoid frizzy-ness, and maintain curl shape.

Type 3C

Type 3C curls are tight and springy in a corkscrew-type shape. Curls are about the exact thickness of a drinking straw and can be fine, or densely packed.

Preserving the definition of type 3C corkscrew curls requires you to get up close and personal with your hair. Avoid brushes completely. Instead simply rake fingers through wet hair using a leave-in conditioner. Air drying curls rather than using a blow dryer will likely better maintain curl shape.

Pick the perfect hair brush for your hair type by checking out our Tangle Teezer Range.

Coily Hair - Type 4

Type 4A

Type 4A hair consists of tight curls or coils that if pulled, form an S-shape. A curl pattern is generally distinguishable, and curls typically can be wrapped around a chopstick. Type 4A hair needs LOTS of moisture. Deep conditioning masques, butters and creams are perfect options for maintaining coils and keeping hair healthy.

Type 4B

Rather than forming tight coils, type 4B hair generally bends into sharp angles, creating a zig-zag formation. The circumference of these coils is usually around the width of a pen, and strand thickness can vary from being fine to thick.
When hair is wet, use fingertips to gently detangle using leave-in conditioner. Leave in conditioner will add moisture to hair, helping hair maintain its shape. Next, separate hair into four sections and work a curling cream or gel down the length of each section, twisting hair strands around a finger as you go. Leave hair to naturally dry and you're good to go!

Type 4C

Type 4C hair coils are the tightest most densely coils out of all the hair types and are the most fragile. This makes the coils prone to breakage if combed too frequently or roughly, or when hair is left to dry out.

It is vital to frequently type 4C hair with rich leave-in conditioners as they require lots of moisture to stay healthy. Coconut oil and shea butter creams are preferred styling products, and some people have found that ditching shampoo and only rinsing hair with conditioners has beneficial effects on hair coils.

About the Author



Amelia

When she's not busy studying, Amelia joins us in our warehouse organizing stock and creating awesome editorial content for The Edit.