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Curly Hair Types: Which Type Of Hair Do You Have?

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Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of messages and emails from moms in this community (especially white moms of curly kids), asking for advice, hair care tips, and recommendations for products for curly hair. When my community sends up the bat signal, I answer the call — and we’re going to have the conversation with REAL TALK.

So let’s get into it.

Black hair is an enigma. It’s mysterious and wondrous, and it’s hard as hell to master — even for black people. Yep, I said it. There are black people who don’t know how to care for black hair. 

Some of us, are only rediscovering our natural texture and curl pattern, after years of relaxers and chemical processing. *Raises hand*

Some of us are also revisiting hair care routines, tips, and hacks that have been passed down to us through generations of women in our family. Our ancestors.

None of us know it all. So, if you’re here and you’re on that journey for yourself or your curly kids, we’ll go on this journey together!

Hair Types: What’s the Tea?!

What type of curly hair do you have?

The original hair types chart categorizes hair types into four major, including straight hair (Type 1)— but as a black curly girl, raising black and multicultural curly kids, I’m going to focus on the latter three hair types: wavy, curly, and kinky/coily. 

There are a variety of curly hair types, each with its own unique features. Wavy hair can be slightly curly or barely straight, but it has a tendency to be frizzy and unruly. Curly hair can be curly or wavy, but it can also have a kink in it. Kinky/coily hair is unique because it is made up of multiple types of curls: natural ringlets, tight coils, and waves. 

If you have curly hair, it’s important to understand that not all curls are created equal. Some people have wavy curls that are frizz-free and luscious, while others have kinky curls that are difficult to manage and can be very unruly. If you’re not sure which type of curls you (or you curly kid) have, you’re in the right place! I’ve created some charts to help you figure out what you’re working with.

Hair Types Charts

Type 2: Wavy Hair

Type 1- Wavy Hair

Type 2 wavy texture is a mixture of loose loops and coarse, thick S-shaped waves combined with curls. It tends to be flatter at the root and lies close to the head, getting curlier from the ears down.

Type 3: Curly Hair

Type 3 Hair - Curly Hair

Type 3 curly hair can be either light or tight curls, with a mixture of textures and shapes ranging from loops to corkscrews. They are bouncy and springy at the root, with more height and volume than type 2 curls.

Type 4: Kinky/Coily Hair

Type 4 Hair - Kinky Hair

Type 4 hair is characterized by tight, small curls that are naturally dry and can range in texture from fine to coarse. This hair texture is the most fragile because it has the fewest cuticle layers than other hair types and tends to be more dry. Kinky/coily hair is prone to shrinkage, so it’s often much longer than it looks, it’s important to maintain moisture and minimalize tangling.

Which type of curly hair do (or your curly kids) have? What are your favorite curly hair care tips? Leave your answers in the comment below and make sure to follow me on Instagram. Keep sending me messages and emails…I love hearing from my community!

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