A classification for our curls? Yes, there is! And you don’t need to be a hairdresser or a professional to know what we’re talking about. In the rest of this page we are going to talk a little bit about the power of our curls and how to take care of them depending on their type. To identify them we only need to look in a mirror, our hands and a little patience to know our hair, let us help you and keep reading!
Why should you know your curl types?
Understanding what type of hair you have doesn’t magically make your hair feel understood and therefore stay hydrated and perfect all day, although it’s a fantasy we all dream of, it’s not going to happen. But it will make it a lot easier to choose hair products, what chemicals you need or which ones you need to remove how to make them look more defined and even the type of hairstyles that will work best for you. In addition to knowing a little more about you.
Classification and types of curls
Hair classification consists of the following 3 groups and their subgenres:
- Type 2 (wavy): 2A, 2B, and 2C.
- Type 3 (curly): 3A, 3B and 3C
- Type 4 (very tight curl, totally attached to the root): 4A, 4B, and 4C.
It should be noted that you can have not only one hair type but many more textures in each hair zone. You can have these, and even the straight type in some parts. As it can be the other way around: having straight hair but keeping any of these types can be both in the front and in the back, or on the sides.
- Wavy hair:
This is the second type of hair, after straight hair. This is where you begin to notice some light waves along with the hair, they are not yet curls but sometimes require the same treatments.
It is worth mentioning that they maintain more volume than completely straight hair, although they are not really curly hair yet. One of the characteristics of this type is that most of the waves are created at the ends of the hair, almost never in the root part of the hair. And they do not last long with curls or with a straightening iron. Its subtypes are:
- Type 2A:
It is characterized as “Californian” or surfer’s hair, it does not have a curl but its waves are quite large although the hair root is completely smooth. It does not maintain great volume and the hair tends to be somewhat fine but not very breakable.
- Type 2B
It is a hair with a thicker strand and more defined waves that go to the middle of the hair. These are the ones we achieve with the use of a curling iron and look beautiful if they are well moisturized naturally. They are a little closer to the root than the previous one, but not enough to be considered a curl. It is not very docile, so it is not friendly to heat tools.
- Type 2C
They are on the verge of becoming a curl, although they do not hold the shape completely. They are a bit frizzier, can grow out from the root but still do not assimilate to the S-shape that should be considered curly hair.
- Curly hair
We enter the category of heavyweights and is that those who already fall into this role their curls are more defined and we are talking about denser hair. Although this hair maintains great volume, it is quite porous and therefore does not absorb moisture well due to its extravagant shapes that do not allow the passage of sebum to the ends.
Here we can already see the S that characterizes curly hair, although it can vary in definition depending on the subtypes where the marker is. They maintain a delicate and flexible texture, although they tend to have more frizz than the previous types. It is divided into three groups:
- Type 3A.
It is a mixed type of hair, maintaining both waves and curls in some parts of the hair. The root does not contain fully curly hair, and although the previous stage is a thick strand, it maintains a rather delicate and with a very poor definition. It needs extensive care to maintain the definition of the curls.
- Type 3B
The curls come from the root down, in an s or spiral shape; it maintains great volume so in most cases it is quite abundant and maintains constant exposure to frizz.
- Type 3C
This is the generic curl we find, the most defined and one of the most beautiful. They are somewhat reduced in size and shrink to a large extent, but they are quite strong and do not shed definition easily. It does hold a lot of frizz but does not absorb moisture well.
- Afro hair
It is characterized by much-defined curls with a fairly small diameter. Generally, afro hair has a shrinkage of 75%, that is, when the hair is natural you can only see 25% of how long it really is.
Because it is so curly it is quite difficult to keep the hair moisturized, so afro hair is rough to the touch and much drier. It is important to combat these problems in order to keep frizz at bay. The most significant properties of its subtypes are:
- Type 4A.
It is quite mixed; it can have both waves and curls. They are as thin as a drinking straw and have a shrinkage rate of up to 55% of their length. It has one characteristic, and that is that it falls down, so you can still pass sebum through the hair, nourishing it in between. However, it keeps a lot of moisture at the ends and roots, so it carries a lot of frizz.
- Type 4B
Only z-shaped curls are visible, and they are smaller than the thickness of a pencil, are held upwards, and are composed of both thick and thinner hair. It is quite dry and coarse and therefore needs more moisturizing.
- Type 4C
There is no more curl definition, but some curls are held in their original z-up shape. It is untameable and full of frizz which ironically gives it that beautiful afro touch. It needs nothing but total hydration as the curls tend to form on their own and shrink up to 95% of their capacity, so you can maintain a great mane without anyone knowing it as it will always look frizzy unless you flat iron it, which is not at all advisable and less so in this type of hair that is so porous and sensitive.