Figuring Out Your Curl Type

Updated: May 31

You’ve spotted a new hair product on the shelves and have also seen it in advertisements that promise to tackle all your hair woes. You get excited and buy it, only to find that it makes no difference at all, or worse – creates new problems! 

The answer may be quite simple.

It’s because the product you’re using is not suited to your hair type.


Decoding your hair type can be confusing. Several different textures can exist on one head alone. However, all have to look cohesive when you style it. Controversy aside, many people have found that even if the curl system isn’t perfect, it can be super useful in identifying your curl pattern (or patterns) so you know where to start when you’re shopping for hair-care products.

Where to Start

Your curl type is determined by the shape of the follicle that your hair grows out of your scalp. Most people have some sort of combination of say, kinky, coily, wavy and curly. Your curl type is best determined while your hair is soaking wet.

A Simple Breakdown: Type1 (straight) Type 2 (wavy) Type 3 (curly) Type 4 (coily)

The sub classifications of A to C are based on the width or diameter of your wave, curl or coil pattern. The real beauty of identifying your hair type is finding a better understanding on how to care for your beautiful strands so you can have more versatility in your styling and you can stop wasting money in the stores buying the wrong products for your hair type.


Type 2A

Those with hair type 2A have a fine, barely-there tousled texture that’s very easy to straighten. People with this texture have to be wary of using heavy styling products that can easily weigh their strands down, rendering them limp and lifeless

Type 2B

2B hair lies flatter at the crown with defined S-shaped waves starting from the mid length. Strands are thicker in diameter than a 2A, and you’ll have to put a bit more elbow grease into getting it straight

Type 2C

2C waves are thick and more susceptible to frizzing. The S-bends are well-defined and begin at the roots. In between shampoos, use a non-lathering, sulfate-free cowash so as not to strip essential moisture from your strands

Type 3A

3A strands tend to be shiny with large, loose curls that are about the size of a piece of sidewalk chalk. Keep your hands (or brush or comb, for that matter) from touching your curls afterward, or you run the risk of having a halo full of frizz. To maintain those juicy springs, simply spritz your hair with a curl refresher, when it needs a boost.

Type 3B

Hair type 3Bs have springy ringlets with a circumference similar to a Sharpie marker. This hair texture can get dry, so look for styling gels that have humectants in them to attract moisture to strands. Advice: apply while hair is wet so you get definition without frizz. Find products that are sulfate and alcohol free, the main ingredient should be "Water"

Type 3C

3C curls are tight corkscrews that range in circumference from a straw to a pencil. Strands are densely packed together, giving way to lots of natural volume. Frizziness can be an issue with this type, so use a sulfate-free, creamy cleanser, alcohol free styling products and again, the main ingredient should be "Water"


This list should act as a helpful starting point but certainly not the end all. Understanding your personal hair type will help you tremendously. You will learn how much easier stylin your natural strands can be.


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