#NaturalHair!

How to Determine Hair Type on Natural Hair

In the natural hair community hair typing is a popular discussion. Knowing your hair type is very useful in understanding why your hair responds to certain products and why it doesn’t respond to others.  Knowing your hair type is very useful in understanding which hair styles are best for your hair.  Knowing your hair type is very useful in understanding how to care for your hair.  Here are 3 basic things I’ve learned about type 4 hair in comparison to type 3 hair.

Gel

Women with 4abc coily/kinky hair as myself, find very little success when using gel to define our curls. While type 4′s can use gel, it is much better used for slicking and smoothing, than for curl definition. Watch this video of what happened to my type 4 hair when I tried defining my hair with gel. Get ready to laugh. LOL

Women with 3abc coily/curly hair, find great success when using gel. Her curl pattern is brought to life and held into place. Many type 3 curlies don’t even need to use gel in order to see their true curl definition because her hair has a very defined curl pattern, naturally.

Hair Styles

Women with 4abc coily/kinky hair as myself, have very little curl definition and lot’s of frizz.  Loose styles (afros and twist outs) don’t maintain moisture as well as braided or twisted styles do.  Type 4 hair also holds twists and braids with ease, no barrettes or bands are needed at the ends of the hair. Check out some of my favorite hair styles here.

Women with 3abc coily/curly hair have lot’s of curl definition. Loose styles can maintain moisture, but braided and twist styles don’t hold as easily, tending to loosen and become frizzy sooner.

Hair Care

Women with 4abc coily/kinky hair, have to moisturize frequently! When we don’t our hair is greatly effected by the lack of moisture.  For me I find success in moisturizing my hair every 3-4 days, but there are many who must moisturize on a daily basis.  Oils and butters absorb into the hair strand very easily.  Less washing is recommended to maintain moisture into the hair.  Check out my regimen, especially if you’re struggling with dry hair.

Women with 3abc coily/curly hair don’t need as much moisturizing, but all hair needs moisturizing and type 3 curlies are no exception.  The difference when it comes to type 3′s, is that if she moisturizes too often or if she uses heavy moisturizers, her hair will be heavy, weighed down and oily.  Frequent washing may be needed to control the moisture levels in her hair, this is especially true for type 3a.

My Hair

As I’ve stated time and time again, my hair is type 4, more specifically, I’m a type 4b with a hint of 4a in the very very back.

Jenell's Naked HairIn the video below I share what my naked hair looks like when it’s completely dry.

In the video below you can see  what my Type 4 hair looks like both wet and dry. Scroll to about 2 minutes and about 15 seconds. Enjoy!

Hair Type Charts

Here are a bunch of hair typing charts that you can use to help you determine what your hair type is. Click on the picture to enlarge and read details.

Source¹ NaturallyCurly Source² LOIS Hair Type System

 

About Jenell B Stewart

Jenell Stewart MS, the founder and editor in chief of the award winning website KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com dedicates most of her free time educating and uplifting women with natural hair by way of her extremely popular website and YouTube channel. Jenell has been featured in Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise.com, and starred on the Dr.Oz television show as a Beauty Expert. In 2012 she was named one of Essences top Instagramers and that same year KinkyCurlyCoilyMe won an award for “Favorite Website” of the Natural Hair Community.
  • Chicago Chica

    This is enlightening.  I don't subscribe to  hair typing because I think that it further divides naturals.  However, I know the importance of knowing your hair type in order to use the best products for your hair.  After I reading this, I've discovered that my hair is actually 3c/4a.  My curl pattern is easily defined with gel.  No matter what I do with my twist-outs, my hair does get frizzy.  I will have to take another look at the products in my stash.

  • JenellyBean

    Thanks for sharing

  • Growtotheflow

    Hey Jenell, I’m signed up for your castor oil challenge and was wondering if I get bonus points for you using my picture :-) that’s me in the photo up top in the grey.

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

       OMG!!! Britney!!! Is this really you!!!!
      No way! This is sooooo amazing. I love you!
      You totally get bonus points!!!

      • Growtotheflow

        Yup, it’s me lol. You are an absolute sweetheart and your site is awesome! I’m happy to see my curls go to good use ;-)

  • Mooodi

    Why use the ACV rinse??  I am new to natural hair and still learning

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Hey love,

      We have a great post on ACV in our “mistress in the Kitchen” section. You can find this section by hovering over our “HAIR” menu at the top of the site.
      ACV can be used as a clarifying hair treatment. Basically, it gets your hair squeaky clean by removing excess buildup from products and the environment.

  • Estelle

    This was very good. If it is possible I think I am a mix of 4a and 4b, so we have a combo of products to keep it healthy. I am glad I finally found products that work. The product trial period was no fun because my hair looked so dry and messy. Now I have a great shine and looks great. I am glad I found you on youtube, because you kept me motivated in that transition stage. Thanks.

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Hey Estelle!

      Yep it definitely possible to have more than one hair type on your head. Many women do.
      I’m so happy you found me bc helping women is what I am all about. Don’t be a stranger.
      Muah!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mrs.stepurcookiesup Deandra Gordon

    i am confused

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Hey love, what is confusing you?

      • http://www.facebook.com/mrs.stepurcookiesup Deandra Gordon

        my hair is tight and thick and curly . But some arctiles say its 4a and others say its 4b . It spiral and springs back every time but other pieces in the middle are z shaped patterns . i don’t know what type to call it .but my hair is easily defined by just the right hair butter. maybe my hair is just different

        • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

          Sounds like you have a mix of 4a and 4b which is very common.

          What is most important is that you learn what your hair needs and how to take care of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1446035977 Cathy Miller

    Hello Jenell!  Do you ever use regular conditioner as a leave in?  My daughter has hair like yours, and i left in her regular conditioner and it finally doesn’t look dry!  Also, i saw you posted an updo on Facebook today.  Do you have a tutorial?  Thanks so much for all you do to share your knowledge!! :)

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Hey Cathy,

      I don’t use regular conditioner as a leave in mainly because I have great leave in conditioners and I feel nervous about leaving a product that says to rinse out. Shea Moisture has conditioners that say you can rinse them out or leave them in, so for their conditioners I leave them in.

      But I love that you tested this out on your daughters hair and got great results. Our journeys are so unique that we all get to try new things.

      As for the picture I posted on FB I just tried the style out this morning so there isnt a tutorial just yet, but give me a few days okie??

      Cathy, you are so very welcome love, I am very very very happy to have loyal readers as yourself who participate on this site and on the facebook etc. I love getting to chat with you all!

  • Kim MCIVER

    do you have to cut all ur hair off to go natural even if u haven’t had a perm in over a year

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      In order to become natural you have to cut off ALL of your relaxed hair. You can chop them all off now. Or transition for a while and then chop them off later.

    • http://www.facebook.com/latisha.linder.7 Latisha Linder

      You can continue to transition for as long as you want and slowly cut the relaxed ends off, as the new growth grows out… that way you won’t have to do a drastic cut all at once.

      • http://www.tastyberri.blogspot.com/ blessed_coils

        I tried to transition and I did for 4-5 months, and then I was just really so ready to Big Chop. How do you manage both textures?
        Subject: [kinkycurlycoilyme] Re: How to Determine Hair Type on Natural Hair

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1356860384 Tee Equality Martin

    I’ve noticed there’s no info on your page for folks wyth Loc’s!! We too are interested in the upkeep of our Dreds!!  Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks!!

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Hey love,

      We can definitely increase our info on locs. Give us some time.

  • LiLi JB

    What if you have two or even three different textures? How do I treat that. In the front of my hair it is 4ab (definitely in the 4 family) and from the crown back its 3 family. How should I handle my hair!? Frustrated to say the least :)

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Many of us have various hair textures on our head. You will have to try things out and evaluate the results. What is frustrating you right now?

  • fantasia1drive

    I’m having a really hard time determining what my hair type is. If possible, can you check out my video to help me determine my curl patter? My youtube video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTBPJrR6KjI&feature=plcp

    I would appreciate a reply if you have the chance in my inbox on youtube

    Thanks

  • Danielle

    I just did my big chop and hope to learn so much more from your blog and YouTube videos! (dsmileybface on YouTube)

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Congrats!! How do you feel??

      • Danie B

        I am still adjusting to this new hair stage. My hair is constantly dry and it’s too short to do anything with it. (I’ll be two months post next Friday). I have joined your castor oil challenge so I hope to gain more length so that my hair can be twisted and styled. My hair is a type 4 just like yours, as far as a/b/c goes, I am not sure.

  • ChrissyDee

    i m am mixed Indian (mulatto) and my hair is thick and straight with a slight curl, it is not frizzy at all but resistant to style. It is difficult to determine my hair type..

    Can you please help me.

  • Ohsodamsel

    should people with 4c hair use the same products and have the same hair technique as someone with 4b coily type hair? I have been following your channel and blogs for over a year now, and have bought some of the products you use on your hair, because I admire your hair growth and definition. I know have grow at different rates, but I have come to believe my have is of a different texture an or definition then yours. If you will just shed a little light on this please, because I am very discouraged in contemplation of giving up my natural journey do to the failed success.

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Hey love,

      Women in the Type 4 family can use the same things. How your hair will respond to the of course, is very personal. All hair need moisture.

  • Ohsodamsel

    I also have you heard of Naked treatment? I had this treatment done on my hair and now I feel like it has set my natural hair journey back because of the invasive use of heat. Do you think I need to big chop and start over with my hair.

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      I’ve never heard of the naked treatment. Care to explain?

  • Tamika Major

    I learn so much from this site!! My hair is definitely 4c, its dry and has little to no curl definition. I am learning what it needs but am struggling with the curl definition.

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      That’s awesome!
      Unfortunately, it will be difficult to enhance natural curl definition on 4c hair. Although it can be done. Most women with type 4b and 4c hair, find great success in achieving curl definition from twist outs and braid outs. Have you seen my tutorials?

  • jobeth

    If not gel then what should I use??

    I am a 4b/c. I have a pretty good hair regime but I use eco styler gel. Sometime I have great success and other times I could break out my clippers and my favorite dye and let it all fall. I’m wondering what products I can put in rotation when my eco styler fails me. I’ve found that I have to be versatile with my hair and continue to mold with it so I’m just rollin :) chao!

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      Curly puddings might work, but you can also try twist outs and braid outs.

    • tiffany avery

      You really should try adding raw honey to your gel (i use eco styler) will help give the gel a better, longer hold. You can get the honey from the Vitamin Shoppe. Add 1/3 honey to your gel.

  • napa valley

    is it possible to have type 2 hair mixed with type 4 hair? Because i see u’s z’s and s’s in different parts of my hair and sometimes on the same strand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ollicia.richard Ollicia Sunshine Richard

    I did the big chop but i still dont know what my curl pattern is….

  • ChrissyDee

    Hi,
    I am still a bit confused as to what type of hair I have. According to your “Hair type” guide it does not fall into any category. However it comes closest to Type 2a, but I am not white I am Black and my hair is not fine as described in your guide. It is very thick and even more coarse along the hairline to the point of breaking. Also it is very very dry especially since I started transitioning. Its been six months now.

    Please help me determine my hair type

    • Ellie J.

      You can still be a 2a if the pattern of your hair is close to that (long waves, no curls). You’d just be a kinky-textured 2a. I think in perhaps all hair categories, there are a range of differences in the texture (as far as how it feels and/or looks); the two extremes being silky and kinky/cottony/fluffy.

  • http://www.naturallycurly.com/ blessed_coils

    I definitely love your twist outs…amazing definition. I have curly envy… :-(

  • K Gisselle

    Hi,
    I am new to the natural hair world. I have been perming my hair for a long time and I am ready to do something different. I’m ready to go natural. My last perm was back in November. How would you recommend I go about this transition.
    P.S I washed my hair myself this past weekend and it was a bit of a challenge.
    Thanks so much

  • Briana Porter

    I believe I’m coily springy,but I’m not certain. I tried a twist out on my hair using eco styler gel, my hair was so hard and crunchy i thought it was going to break apart lol… I’m still having trouble finding my go to product.

  • truthisurnotthatcool .

    Hi.I really have difficulty finding my hair texture. All I have to do is put some elasta qp leave-in and softee shea butter and my curls are pretty much defined, but they are pretty small. The small the curls I hear is 4c, but ppl say 4c isn’t defined. I need help????? And my edges don’t really get that baby hair look with gel, just some of it. With gel it’s superly shiny. lol

    • Ellie J

      Listen, I say ignore the nonsense about 4c hair being undefined or no curl pattern or can’t clump. The basis of the system is curl diameter. So use that (i.e., the diameter or curl size) to determine the letter. If your hair clumps, semi-clumps, or doesn’t clump at all, you’re still a 4c (or a or b). There are so many hair type variations, so who can say what a 4c can or cannot do? The number and letter only tell about size and pattern, not about texture, shine, clumping, volume, etc.

      BTW I’ve heard somewhere that the difference between 4a and 4b is whether the hair clumps or not, but to me, that is inconsistent with the rest of the Andre System where everything else is based on SIZE and PATTERN. Just saying ;o)

  • Marai

    I still don’t know what the hell I am and it annoys me. Some parts of my hair are 4A others are 4C. I’ve given up on trying to figure out what group I fit into!
    My hair DRINKS UP humectants and freaks out at the littlest bit of protein. Water, glycerin, and olive oil are my friends. I also love honey.
    But yet and still, I know nothing about my hair type. Oh well!

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      It’s possible to have more than one hair type and texture on your head. Sounds like you’re very in tune with your hair.

  • tmac

    Is there a way I can send you a pic of my hair? I’ve been transitioning from perm-natural for 2 years now and I don’t know which texture I am. I want to get “Heatfree” sew in hair but I want to get the texture that best fits my natural pattern. Please help!

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      You can share a pic of your hair in the comments here.

  • M.Clark

    im most definitely a 4c with a hint of 4b for my hair……..I would love to have 4a hair because the curls seem to fall easily and I just love the coils

    • queenbee9

      All 4a hair does not coil the same–it has to do with texture and silkiness and diameter of the hair. My 4a hair is very, very soft and though it coils very well, it also is easy to frizz up in places so that it looks like a coily, frizzy mess. Gels do help define the curls and hold the frizz back but I hate the feel of gels and so do not use them to define my curls. My 3c curls probably are the ones most people like the best but since my head is a true mixture, those kind of curls mingling in with 4a, 4b hair makes my head look like it does not know what it wants to do. the more textures, the more different techniques have to be employed as what is good and works for my 3c or 4a hair is not necessarily what my 4b hair wants,

  • queenbee9

    I WAS a 3c/4a with 4b in the crown (4a in the front 1/4, 4b in the crown and 3c in the back 1/3 BUT after just 6 henna treatments my curl pattern has loosened to the point that I am a 3c/4a in the front–a bushy, crimpy I don’t know what it really is (but very little curl but real soft) in the top and around a 3b in the very back–very silky, almost straight with a slight wave instead of magic marker sized coils. Lesson learned, back away from the henna or at least do not overlap them. These textures are negatives to me because I am interested in sisterlocks and the kinkier the hair, the better.

  • Melissa Bradley

    Hello..so u know you have a sleeping disorder when at 1245am cst you’re up doing this…I took strands of hair from the front, middle and back of my head to determine my porosity and curl type. Now I’m fully aware everyone has multiple hair types, I’m not concerned about shrinkage. I just want healthy growing hair so please help me determine my hair type mix and what products are best for what you’re about to see. I placed the strands in water the front sank immediately, the middle stayed afloat and the back took almost 3min to sink. All 3 strands curled as soon as they hit the water, shucks I had to fight them into the water. Lol. Anywhoo please see pic below to see all 3 different patterns. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

    • queenbee9

      It is pretty difficult to determine hair type from a few strands–you can have several types on your hair. the strands you pulled show a definite zig zag to parts but the distance between the crimps is not a 4c. It is best to see how your hair looks when dry, then wet it and see how it looks.
      After that, if you have any defined coils, apply gel to the wet coil and see if it stays as a defined coil or does it flatten out. if it straightens out–you are probably not dealing with type 3 hair . If you braid a section when wet yet have lost the defined braid out after a few hours you probably have hair that does not behave like type 4 hair. If you take a picture of your front and sides it will be possible to put you into a type per se but whether your hair behaves “true to type” will depend on how soft and what the texture of the strands are like. Don’t be surprised if you are more than 1 type. most of us are.

      • Melissa Bradley

        Thank you. I have soft cotton ball hair, that is fine for the most part but medium fine in the middle. I was finally told by a stylist that I have 3c4ab hair and that I need tp detangle more often bc my hair easily knots up if I wear it out or dont do much with it. I’ve tried wearing two strand twist but the hair doesnt hold well, I still do it though and just re-twist when necessary. My hait also sheds way more than people say natural hair should and I was advised not to style my hair while it’s wet. I deep condition and use protein treatments. I do use castor oil and I’ve also learned less is better for my hair.

  • Melissa Bradley

    Apparently the pic did not post..trying it again.

  • Melissa Bradley

    Finally

  • KState710

    This whole hair typing thing is very confusing and also very aggravating to me. Everyone says that knowing your hair type helps find products that work, ok I can understand and go along with that part of it, it makes perfect sense. On the other hand I rarely find a product that works for me like it does anyone else I’ve met. With all the charts and pics out there the hair looks different on each one so it is impossible to ever tell which hair type you really are. When trying to lump myself into this chart I consider myself a 4b girl but some people have called me a 3c, which is insane to me. My thought process is that if your freshly washed hair will naturally form an afro without any teasing and prodding from you, you are in the 4 category. Then people differ on if your hair should be wet, dry, have product in it or not when determining your curl pattern. Then the absolute worst part of it is the judgment that comes along with this “typing” if it’s not kinky enough then you’re this or if it’s too kinky you’re that. I feel like we are in internet School Daze with the Wannabes vs the Jiggaboos. It is extremely upsetting that we are still HERE all these years later, making each other feel bad, whether intentionally or not because of something we cannot control, but try to with magical products. Wow, did I start Monday off like that? Now that I’ve said all that….be well curlfriends!

    • queenbee9

      To determine a type of hair –see it in its natural state:

      1. Dry–wet hair is not natural because it cannot stay wet
      2. Note the texture with NO PRODUCT but also note whether gel can cause a coil to form or not

      It IS confusing because too many people are out there saying too many things. If your hair can naturally form an afro without individual curl definition then it is type 4 but if you have a large, loose curly fro then that is another story. In cosmetology school hair is divided into categories based on curl pattern –but also based on TEXTURE–hair that is silky and slides without the ability to easily mat or intertwine is called “round cell” hair because under the microscope this hair appears to be rounded cell patterned–colloquially this is also known as white girls hair (though not all whites have hair like this)

      Flat cell hair describes afro textured hair because under a microscope the cells appear flattened or squished, this type of hair comes out of the scalp in a very tight coils and tends to intertwine and is easy to snap. The idea of the hair type chart has degenerated because there are too many opinions and not enough science in deciding what is what.

      wavy hair is a combination of the two with some cells looking like wavy roundish cells and some being flat and bumpy looking…

      For ease of deciding, it often is best to wash your hair, then let it air dry, keep in mind your hair can be more than one type. If it dries in a frizz and you cannot see individual curls or coils, then it is 4b or 4c. If you see a few coils but it is very tight about the size of a crochet needle this also is 4b but more trending nearer to a 4a.

      If you have coils that are so defined that definite curls or coils dangle down and cannot be patted into a smooth fro, then you have 4a hair.

      4a hair often will respond to gel and will get defined coils.

      Type 3 hair is often referred to as mixed girls hair–it will appear as springy coils or large banana curls that are silky hair that easily flows through ones fingers. If a person’s hair is coily like that but only when wet they may have 3b or 3c hair if those ringlets stay defined when the hair is dry.

      Really, the reason for type 3 definition is that these are the people who benefit most from wash and go without hygral fatigue. The natural oils in round cell hair allow it to be washed often without damaging the hair–BUT this is not true of afro textured hair which can be damaged if exposed to too much water continually without emollients.

      Typing CAN be a good tool or can be a divider but it does not have to be–in the end, the only thing it is really good for is helping to determine which products to use and even that is open to speculation. USE WHAT WORKS–but also work with what you have.

  • Danielle Oxendine

    PLEASE HELP! I’m so confused. :(
    I THINK that I’m a 3b, but I’m not sure.
    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is a few characteristics of type 3b hair.

    *Medium amount of curl, from bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews.

    *Type 3 hair has a lot of body, it is easily styled in its natural state or straightened with a blow-dryer.

    *Curls are well-defined and springy.

    *There is a definite loopy “S” pattern

    The thing is, my curls are well defined and springy while my hair is wet. But even if I let it air dry it get’s super frizzy (even when I don’t touch it) & if I blow dry it, I seriously look like I have an afro. My hair will NOT straighten with a blow dryer. I do have the loopy “S” pattern. My hair typically does have a lot of body, and it straightens pretty well with the right hair straightener. But the slightest bit of moisture and “poof” it gets frizzy. :/

    I’ve tried different types of conditioners, hot oil treatments, leave in conditioners, (I’ve even went like 3 days without shampooing it to see if my natural oils would help, but nothing does. My hair is pretty much unmanageable :( & I don’t know what to do.

    So I MAY be a 3b, but Idk. I can’t find anything in common with the other hair types really. OH! Another thing is, when my hair dries, (weather it be blow dried, or air dried) my curls no longer hold form, like they don’t stay together. the best way that I can describe it is like every strand of my hair pretty much lays on top of one another, so it looks terrible.

    Gel doesn’t do right in my hair, it takes forever to dry, it makes my hair feel stiff as a nail, and my curls clump up into groups.

    Moose doesn’t work because it’s like it’s not strong enough, the slightest touch, or a little wind and my hair is everywhere.

    Hairspray does alright I suppose, doesn’t always look great and I must admit that it makes my hair slightly harder than I prefer but I don’t really have many other options.

    Any advice would be AMAZING! I seriously need to figure out my hair type so that I can take some sort of control over my hair. Another reason is I’m considering extensions, so knowing my hair type would help me when it comes to buying the hair.

    Thanks. :)

    -Danielle

    • queenbee9

      One of the problems with hair typing is that it may describe a curl pattern but FAIL to describe a TEXTURE. Type 3 hair is silky –similar to type 1 and 2 and while subject to frizz individual sections should appear silky when dry–if it is a frizzy fro when dry with very few defined coils then you more than likely have type 4 hair.

      If you have crimps (a wavy s pattern) but do not have defined corkscrews about pencil sized or a little smaller, then you are probably a 4 b NOT a 3b. If you want to see 3b hair on a natural head, look at my pics for the Fall challenge, week 5. The hair will be in a loose corkscrew when wet and a tight springy coil that is about magic marker sized when dry–the hair will be glossy and silky not frizzy or coarse in feeling. You can see the silkiness of that hair. Now, if you have a rougher textured hair that is wavy (s waves) but is poofy when dry that hair is 4b also. In the back of my head (at my nape) the hair is 3b/3c and is like “mixed girls hair” BUT in the top of my head, the hair is big, loose crimps but is cottony and poofy when dry so is 4b hair even though it is soft and in waves (it is not like mixed girls hair but is like a wavy, afro texture)

      the key is NOT just curl or coil size but hair texture. This is WHY if you have type 4 hair you will NEVER, EVER have hair like Tracy Ross no matter how much you grow it out–her hair reflects her genetics–Mixed chick–and is a combo of afro curls with white girl silky texture.

      In the front of my hair the hair is in springy coils when DRY this means the front is 4a. so what do I have –a mixture of 4a , 4b, and 3b and 3a.

      never try to determine your hair texture when your hair is wet–unless you live in the sea–otherwise the natural state of your hair is what it is like when it is dry. Hair typing is useful to determine which products to use–because some products help to promote the descending of the natural oil down a SILKY hair shaft and some provides moisture and glide to hair that is so corkscrewed and coily that extra oil and softeners are needed to feed the hair.

      I use type 4 products on many parts of my hair but they do nothing for the type 3 hair in the back 1/3 of my head, by the same token, if I try to apply products normally used for type 3 products on my type 4b hair it just sits there.

      For ease of maintenance and best results for twist outs, my type 4b does the best–my type 4a often goes a little crazy and my type 3 hair often straightens out under the same products or gets really coily and frizzy.

      For combo hair, it is best to use products meant for type 4a that would be hair when dry that forms tight coils about the size of a PENCIL or smaller —if your hair does well in twist, knot or braid outs you most likely have a type 4 hair. If it is not naturally silky and when pulled taut is not silky then it is not type 3 hair (usually)

      Hope this helps.

      • Carla Helené

        That was waaaaaay helpful! Thank you. So by your explanation, I have 4a hair on most of my head. I do use gels and cream stylers and they work wonderfully on my hair.

      • Ladylanita

        Have you seen the creator of Original Moxie? She’s white and I swear her hair is more cottony and coarse in texture than some black people. Our ethnicity and hair do not fit into neat little boxes (black is cottony, white is silky, “mixed” hair is somewhere in between). This isn’t like mixing up can of paint. You can have very elongated curls that are coarse in texture and tight coils that are fine and smooth in texture.

        • LittleBabyBug Jones

          so agreed! my crown section is straight up 3b but it’s also straight up kinked in texture- always catching and snagging on itself when given an opportunity, whereas the rest of my hair is naturally sleek/silky but the same curl size as my crown. yet that doesn’t make my crown section any less 3b/c-sized than the rest of my hair. it simply means i have kinky curly hair lol

      • LittleBabyBug Jones

        i am not so sure this is accurate, when you say this:Type 3 hair is silky –similar to type 1 and 2 and while subject to frizz individual sections should appear silky when dry–if it is a frizzy fro when dry with very few defined coils then you more than likely have type 4 hair.

        I don’t agree.

        I have type 3b/c hair and while my hair is silky and wavy (think the “brazilian” hair advertised in weaves/wigs) when wet, it will most surely puff up retaining a faint semblance of its curl when dry. if i go by what you’re saying then my hair is somewhere close to my son’s hair (he’s a true 4c) and our hair looks drastically different. True, we have a similar texture in that we have characteristically cottony hair when dry (my hair is cottony only in my crown but the curl SIZE is as big as the curl size i’ve seen even on a quite a few white women who are naturally curly). In fact the majority of true biracial children i’ve seen in real life have hair that’s just like mine, either my exact curl size or tighter, which is why many black people have questioned my ethnicity the instant they saw my hair, including quite a few very light skinned or multi racial individuals because they thought my hair was very “mixed” when in reality in my family everyone has type 3a to 3c hair, that easily looks wavy and of a sleek texture, albeit not “silky” (but when flat ironed becomes just as silky as white hair)

        due to texture, i’ve had my fair share of difficulty in the past in caring for my hair, but to “freeze” my texture in place so that when it dries the curls don’t frizz (they’ll still keep to their clumps but they get very voluminous and dry) i apply conditioner while my hair is still drenched. lots of it, and so when i stick to this wash n go method my hair looks very defined and “silky” thanks to the conditioner keeping my hair from puffing up. in my case, i would hardly say that negates the fact that my hair is 3b/c because it is afro-textured. after all, the curl chart simply describes curl PATTERN and NOT texture. no allowance is made for texture, as you can find white women with 3b/c hair as well as black women, but their textures can be totally different. it still doesn’t change the fact that their curls may be the same size. Most black people dont have silky hair like what you’ve described, but then neither do most mixed people. if you’re invoking hair texture as it relates to hair typing, then using the labels 3b/c and 4a/b/c is misleading, because that andre walker system doesn’t make an allowance for hair texture, as it’s somewhat of a given. But the Lois system and various others out there do. i guess what i’m arguing is that you can still be a 3b/c and yet have a typical afro texture of hair. Most 3b/c’s in fact, do, which is why you’ll see many 3b/c’s, including those with silky hair, doing braidouts and twistouts even though their curls are very loose.

    • queenbee9

      This is my 3b hair at the nape of my neck (it used to be 3c but then I used henna on it and lost some of the curl, I will post another set with the same hair when it was 3c) note that the hair is shown DRY and this is the natural curl pattern with NO PRODUCT, then the same hair is wet and note there is little difference in shrinkage or texture–

      • queenbee9

        Same hair as above but with no henna –shown both wet and dry–this is my 3c hair. Is your hair like this?

      • Guest

        here is the same hair without henna. It is 3b almost 3c. If it was corkscrewed, it would be 3c but since it is s patterned it is 3b- more important than simply the curl, note the TEXTURE especially when dry:

      • queenbee9

        The hair in these pics was my nape hair before the henna. It was 3b/3c. It would be 3c only if it was in true coils or corkscrews but it is a loose s wave– the first pics are wet, the second is dry unstretched and with one side stretched.

        • Shani

          Hmmm. See..this is confusing. My hair looks like this when wet; however, some parts are a little more coily and I get shrinkage mostly in the middle. My hair in the front has very loose waves. The sides are wavy-curly. I think I have a mixture of 3a and 3c maybe but not sure.

    • Chen

      If you find out the answer to your dilemma, do you mind letting me know? I have the same problem with my hair. I haven’t used and gels or anything of the sort so I don’t know how my hair would react to that.

      I think I’m more of a 3c though.

  • queenbee9

    4a/3c hair with conditioner being combed through–note the size of the curls/coils. these “curls are still defined when dry and without product–the hair appears then more as corkscrews about the size of a number 2 pencil–after product is added it loosens up to a large curly coil-this is my 4a hair in front.

  • queenbee9

    The finer the texture or the softer the hair, and the more misleading typing can be. For certain parts of my hair, I have to go by what it looks like when dry AND how it performs or does NOT perform due to weather /products and manipulation. this hair at the crown or top of my head is 4a trending more towards 4b hair. I treat it as 4b hair. If I try to put gel on this hair (I can make great defined cork screws with or without gel all over my head EXCEPT for the top of my hair) the hair will straighten completely out–when it dries it will look like matted Barbie doll hair with frizz–not good. It does well with a butter and as a braid out or twist BUT will not stand up for a fro— it is best brushed or pulled loosely back into a bun even as a puff it will not have defined curls or coils without a rod set. this hair’s texture is naturally crimpy, puffy. it does not kink up per se but it is not easy to style either. Please excuse the orientation of this pic.

  • cb

    my hair looks like 4C. but it is thin, fine and soft…still 4C

    • queenbee9

      Super, fine, 4c look up Urban Bush babes…on youtube

  • Brandi Nicole Graham

    Can somebody ANYBODY tell me what type of hair this is??

    • Nikki

      You need to apply product to your hair to see its true curl pattern
      Product isn’t going to make your hair a looser pattern or give you a false reading
      Apply product when the hair is moisturised you will see. Kink or. Curl and then go from ther

    • queenbee9

      Don’t apply product, product can change the curl pattern and make it appear looser. I disagree with Nikki. I can put product on my hair and change my 3c hair to almost bone straight–but you should try some water on it then let us see it, also try using a moisturizer so we can see what your hair type is when it is not thirsty. Right now your hair type is Type T for thirsty hair , water will help the hair coil into what it really will be when properly moisturized

    • Adriana

      I’d say you’re a 4b (no curls definition, product or no product).

      You did say “bone dry & no product”, but… your hair looks frizzy and seems to be lacking moisture. Try following an intense hair TLC schedule for 1 month by applying a hair mask to it, every 2-3 days:
      Tues. Thur. Sun.
      1st week –> Hydrating Hydrating Nourishing
      2nd week –> Nourishing Hydrating Nourishing
      3rd week –> Hydrating Nourishing Reconstructor
      4th week –> Hydrating Nourishing Hydrating

      Please adjust as your hair improves from being dry and brittle, i.e. do a hair elasticity test and use only the hair mask your hair calls for.

    • Ellie J.

      I think it’s type beautiful. I know hair can look dry, but feel soft. To me your hair looks soft…don’t know what it feels like, lol. I don’t think you “need” to add and products to make your definition “pop”. It’s fine as it is. Since there’s no visible clumping, I’d say your a 4b, but to really know the diameter of your coils, it’d be easier to see a few shed hairs on a paper next to an object (like a paperclip, pencil… and why not a ruler?) for comparison.

      It’s weird because in all other categories (1-3), type is determined by curl diameter/size. However, when you get into the 4 type, hair is scrutinized by coil size and clumping. Why not (talking in general) have 4a be a certain sized coil, clumped or not? Shiny or not?…same for 4b and 4c…Hair typing has its benefits, but it also needs amending.

      Side note: Frizz isn’t a bad thing.

  • Breanna

    How early is too early to tell your hair type? I have friends who said their new growth didn’t turn out to be their real hair type, and can relaxers have affected the texture? I haven’t done my big chop yet, I’m debating going natural, and my new growth seems shiny, but coarse and coily. My friend’s hair was the same but as it grew , it went from looking like a 4b to a 3b. Please someone help I’m confused.

    • queenbee9

      Both relaxers, long term heat use AND coloring can affect hair texture. Long term heat use does not permanent change hair texture and new growth can show signs still of relaxer use–this kind of hair is called “scab hair” and represents transitioning hair that still shows signs of chemical use.
      When first transitioning, count on your hair taking about 3-6 months to show you what it really is like, this can be an even longer process if you use color, Many dyes that lift also affect the disulfide bonds that give hair its natural coil and so people can be fooled. If transitioning, allow both textures to grow together, keeping in mind that relaxed hair is much weaker and more fragile than the new growth so either keep it uber moisturize or lightly flat iron where the two types of hair meet (called the demarcation line_ to take the pressure off the weaker relaxed hair then be prepared for a revelation. Natural hair growth is a PROCESS give yourself TIME. Don’t be in such a hurry to learn typing or even what products to use, the most important thing for new transitioners is to give hair plenty of moisturizing, deep conditioning, and use an oil to seal and moisturize your hair. if you are growing for length, try to minimize doing too many hairstyles and let the hair rest–feel your hair both the relaxed and natural DAILY to see if it needs moisture, properly moisturized hair no matter the texture, should be springy and feel slightly moist and soft.
      good luck!

  • Vee Hx

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen examples of type 3 hair, which is what I think I have. What determines if you are 3 or 4, thickness??

    • Peachez

      No, the curl. If your hair is very coiled or slightly curled.

    • queenbee9

      Hair types are determined by how far apart the curl appears and the diameter of the curls or coils.

      a curl is a rounded circle or semi circle and you can have true curls when the hair coils around in one circle. If the hair only makes a semi circle it is a wave.
      both type 2 and 3 hair have waves 2a hair is a wave spaced far apart, type 3a is a wave spaced much closer (looks like silky crinkles) BOTH have an S wave.

      Type 2b hair is a deep curl that is almost closed but is big and fat like a banana sized bump–Type 3b is a deep COIL, a coil is nothing more than a wave that goes around and around and is really curls stacked on top of each other like a slinky.

      If the coils are really large say the size of a marker–they are 3b hair, if they are the size of a pepsi or coke can they are 2c hair .

      The number represents the presence of curls and the SPACING between bends and the curls repeating.

      The letter represents the LOOSEST curl pattern of a certain size with A being the loosest of a certain size curl and C being the tightest for a certain size curl.

      This means:
      3a curls are really large loose waves spaced about and inch or more apart the curls are about the size of a quarter

      3b coils or curls (can be a combo) are about the size of a magic marker and are fat coils think Shirley temple curls

      3c are tighter, springer coils, about the size of a number 2 pencil or maybe a little larger

      4a coils (now the curls are not only stacked but placed even tighter together) are small like about the size of a crochet hook but you can see they are tight, springy coils

      4b coils are so tightly stacked that it is hard to see the coils except in a few places, instead the hair appears to have spiky curls in some places that bump up but if you take a strand of 4b hair and set it in water to loosen it then stretch it out, it will slowly spring back into a coil then will get tighter

      4c hair is even tighter than 4b, the hair looks so tight that the curls cannot be seen , they look like spikey cotton and the curls are so tight that when washed, they slink up on each other until the hair looks very short–this hair is fragile not because it shrinks but because the coils are fragile with every bend the hair is easier to break, also the tight coils can catch on each area of lifted cuticle causing it to tangle easily.

      Type 3 hair is also characterized by texture though type 4 hair can also be very silky with tight cuticles, type 3c often has more lifted areas and can be both frizzy and silky, types 3a and 3b are often smoother and silkier especially with the addition of conditioners to help flatten and smooth out the cuticles.

  • Sienneh Subah

    lol i just realized today i have 4a and 4c hair all mixed. lol i used to be so confused. I felt like my texture always changed

  • clittle

    Thank you for showing your naked hair. I’ve been searching hi and lo to find someone with my curl type to compare. ( I can’t figure out the charts) I believe my hair is mostly 4b with hints of 4a and 4c ( for now I know once I cut the processed ends it may change).But for now Whoo hooo… I can start the hunt for a few styles.

  • Sienna Jaymon

    I’ve got 2A/B but I want to know how to get 3A or 3B without it being perminant

    • queenbee9

      3a or 3b would be either s waves (3a) or large coils (3b) 3c would be tighter springer coils. If you want to get this but really only have large waves in your hair try using setting lotion or gel and a perm rods and a drier. You will get the coils once your hair dries (roll your hair up with end papers and make sure to get your head good and wet with setting lotion or gel–put the rods in up and down so you will have a coil not sideways which would give you a roll not a coil) put them in then get under a drier, when they dry they will feel hard and crunchy.
      Take your fingers and put a teeny tiny bit of oil on them or conditioner, and gently run this over the coil, winding it around your finger if they try to unravel or get frizzy, you can also use a product with silicone so that not so much frizz will get into the coils. Use a satin bonnet to sleep in and you may be able to keep the coils for 2-4 days especially in the cold, dry air of winter!

  • Rissa

    What is my hair type? I am not sure on what it is can you please tell me

    • queenbee9

      3a which is a loose s wave pattern, great to use gel on for a more defined look if you do not mind gel–for softer hair with more manageability, look up the curly girl method and for products go to curl mart and look up the products recommended by people with type 3 hair . Type 3 is often called the biracial girl’s hair because many with mixed ethnic heritage have a looser pattern that is still prone to a bit of frizziness but does not respond well to relaxers and many type 4 products. be sure to check out the reviews for products if you look up some for your hair–depending on the density and other characteristics such as texture and how your hair acts in different seasons, you may also find some type 2 and 4 products useful. don’t lock yourself in–just go and read on curl mart about each product then look up the reviews, most people who review also list their hair type so you can see how a certain product worked for certain hair–your hair looks like classic type 3 hair and the lack of coil makes it more towards a 3a with maybe a bit of 3b thrown in.

    • Adriana

      Considering the evident afro texture I’d say that you are a 4A – like Leela James. From the pic, it’s clear that your hair doesn’t have a definite curly pattern; it’s more like a continuous S wave. Or maybe you’re a 3c/4a? Whatever hair type, just rock your natural hair ;-)

      IMHO:
      3A == Mya, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift and Chilli
      3B == Kerry Russel, Thandie Newton and Jennifer Freeman
      3C == Holly Robinson-Pete and Tracee Ellis Ross

    • LittleBabyBug Jones

      3b/3c.

    • JustMe

      I don’t think you’re a 3c or a 4 because I think that’s more of a tighter curl or coil. It looks to me like you’re more of a 3A with a looser s curl pattern

  • SexyM

    Can you help me, please? My hair type is confusing. it grows out looking straight by the ends curl? What hair type is that.

    • Shay93

      If you wash your hair and use Beautiful Textures Rapid repair Deep conditioner a generous amount and comb it out with the product in it just be sure to work the product in the hair then put a shower cap over it and let it sit for about 25 minutes your hair should look completely curly.

  • Cyndi Gosselin

    Hopefully you can help. I believe my daughter’s hairtype is 3a. She is now 12 years old, and in high school, and we would both love if she could be able to manage her own hair (I still wash & style it for her…). A friend recommended using Just for Me Hair Texturizer, but I’ve heard that her hair type might not respond well to it. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions that we can use to make her hair less frizzy and easier to manage?

    • Cyndi Gosselin

      Here is a pic after 90 minutes of working in a TON of products in her hair. Looks great for a while, but after a few hours it gets all frizzy again. Also, I find the products really dry out her hair.

      • Shay93

        I have a similar hair type and what I do is wash my hair with just conditioner. I use the Aussie Moist 3 minute miracle. It is a deep conditioning treatment, but I use it to wash my hair. When washing make sure to use a generous amount and detangle as you wash to make sure the product is distributed evenly. Let it set in the hair for about 10 minutes then rinse. Sometimes I completely rinse, sometimes I don’t so its optional just rinse out most of it. After that I make sure my hair is completely detangled, still wet, and apply Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner and use a very generous amount. This can be used as a leave in so I do not rinse it out. You will still be able to see the product in the hair, but I just scrunch it with the towel, but don’t over do it because once the hair dries it won’t show anymore. Let the hair air dry or diffuse it. No blow drying. This works for me and if I do get frizzing it is very minimal and if you don’t wash everyday just touch it up with the Beautiful Textures and its good to go. If you do choose to do this you can get the Aussie from Walmart and the Beautiful Textures from Sally’s Beauty Supply. Let me know how it works for you.

        • Cyndi Gosselin

          Thank you Shay93; I’ll try it and let you know :)

      • jo

        after shampoo, add a generous amount of olive oil and then use a mild conditioner. some oil should stay in the hair. and use any product you want to define. should help. you will even less product

        • Cyndi Gosselin

          Thanks Jo, will definitely try it!

      • JustMe

        How do you get her hair like that? Can I have details please? My hair is like the top picture (with a litlte bit more of an “s” looking wave but with the length and thickness her hair has) but no products so far have led to the results you got. Please, please, please help!

  • Ladylanita

    Jenell, I don’t know what’s up with this. I have a cottony 4a-c texture and I can rock a wash and go with natural coil definition. My 4c hair needs a bit more ‘motivation’ :-) in terms of finger coiling to help define the pattern but the rest of it only takes some smoothing with gel and I’m good to go once it dries. I will say finger detangling has made all the difference. Before that my coils were dispersed due to my detangling combing sessions so my wash and go’s looked like a hot mess.

  • Guest

    Can someone help me figure out my hair type? It’s weird, I have super wavy roots, frizzy middle and wild in the middle, and then it tapers into curls at the end. I can’t figure out what it is, any one have an idea? It tends to tangle pretty easy and I get a lot of shrinkage.

    • http://www.stargels.com/ mikal

      This is best nice hair style.

  • Cheshire_Waltz

    Can someone help me figure out my hair texture? The fact that I have really wavy roots, then it gets frizzy in the middle before curling at the ends throws me off a bit and I generally get a lot of shrinkage.

    • Ladylanita

      I would guess 4a just solely based on the ends. Your hair looks dehydrated. Once you build up your moisture levels the rest of it may start to look more uniform.
      What’s your regiment? Did you just start using new products?

      • Cheshire_Waltz

        I think that you might be right, I notice that I need to moisturize my hair a lot but I often have trouble doing that. But for my regiment is that I wear braids and use braid spray, oils, and when I take them down I henna it but I don’t put any acid in it, I just mix the henna powder with coconut milk and apply it as a thick creme. I then wash my hair and deep condition it. After that I wash that out and then put in a leave in conditioner and other moisturizers. I’m not married to any one product so I switch it up until I find one I like but right now I shampoo and condition with Aubry organics, sometimes Nature’s Path. I also like to use coconut and argon oil, especially when my hair is straightened. I just want to wear it out but the middle looks so… meh and clumped together that by the time I detangle it, it looks like I was trying to pick a fro and all the curls get picked out, bleh.

        • Ladylanita

          When you shampoo, how does your hair feel? Does it feel stripped or partly moisturized? Even though some shampoo’s claim to be gentle and moisturizing, they can still act like a clarifier and be drying on the hair. You may need to revisit your shampoo and look for something more moisturizing. It seems like you enjoy keeping a pretty organic hair care routine. Have you ever tried Giovanni Smooth as silk shampoo and conditioner?

          You didn’t mention co-washing so I’m not sure how you feel about it, but it can be very helpful when done correctly. I would recommend co-washing in between your shampoo regiment to build up the moisture in your hair, unless you can find a good moisturizing shampoo. Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Tamanu co-wash is natural and VERY moisturizing.

          I would also recommend you try the L.O.C. method (sometimes referred to as L.C.O. depending on the order of application). It involves layering your leave in conditioner, oil and hair cream on damp hair in order to seal in the moisture. This has done wonder for my hair, which is 4a-c. Here’s the products I’ve used that I recommend to all 4 range textures.

          Co-Washers: VO5 Moisture Milks conditioner(dirt cheap and get’s the job done), Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Tamanu co-wash ( VERY moisturizing)

          Shampoo (moisturizing): Giovanni Smooth as Silk shampoo (so moisturizing it almost feels like your co-washing, but I would use it less regularly than I would the co-wash)

          Shampoo (clarifier): Any shampoo will suffice as long as it removes build up, even your current shampoo if it’s drying out your hair. It could be cleaning your hair too well. Only use this once in a blue moon, especially with your hair being dehydrated.

          Deep conditioner: Shea moisture raw shea butter deep treatment masque ( you can doctor this up with olive oil, honey, castor oil, etc… to customize your treatment and it’s pretty reasonable in price and sold practically everywhere. I would use anytime I shampoo with a clarifier.)

          Instant conditioner: Shea moisture restorative conditioner (da bomb for 4 range hair! You can even leave a little in as a leave in, but I don’t), Giovanni smooth as silk conditioner (lighter than the Shea Moisture)

          L.O.C. method (L.C.O.) : LEAVE IN: Karen’s body beautiful leave in sweet ambrosia, As I Am leave in (a little heavier weight with the oils), Keracare Natural Textures leave in (lighter weight but detangles well); OIL: whatever you are currently using; CREAM: Keracare Natural Textures buttercream (lighter weight, but effective), As I Am double butter cream (heavier weight and great for winter weather), Jane Carter Nourish & Shine ( a little goes a long way just make sure to emulsify in your hands). Karen’s body beautiful, Camille Rose, Qhemet Biologics all have excellent creams, just find one that fits your budget.

          There’s many great products for 4 range hair. Sometimes you need a lighter and heavier weight conditioners depending on the weather so having various products in rotation will give you the benefit of customizing your routine according to the temperament of your hair.

          • Cheshire_Waltz

            Wow! So much information, thank you so much! When I shampoo it can feel a little dry and I actually have been thinking about trying Giovanni, I hear a lot of good stuff about it. As for cowashing, I’m open to it, just not sure at that would work with getting all the henna out of my hair, but I really have been feeling that my current shampoos do clean a touch too well. I haven’t heard of the L.O.C method before but it sounds like something that would really work for me. But wow I am totally going to try this out and see what works for me! Thank you very much for all of your advice :)

          • Ladylanita

            You’re very welcome! :-) L.O.C. has been a life saver for my hair during the winter months. It’s something I plan on continuing during the summer, just with a lighter cream.
            I wouldn’t recommend co-washing when you’re removing henna, But how often do you apply henna to your hair? In most instances I’ve heard of people doing it once a month or every few months. So if you start co-washing with that type of schedule, you could do it a few times a week just to build up your moisture levels and then shampoo once a week or bi-weekly. How ever often is required to keep your scalp clean. Just make sure your shampoo is moisturizing if you’re using it on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. With the type of routine you keep you shouldn’t get that much build up to need to clarify with a more drying shampoo too often. Hope that helps!

          • Cheshire_Waltz

            Hey I came across this in my old comments and I have to say thank you sooooo very much for pointing me towards L.O.C! I am currently sporting a curled braidout and I couldn’t be happier! I have to redo it every night (My hair just kinda does what it wants after a while and sleeping on it? I’ll try it soon but I think it will flatten and stay flat if I pineapple it. I’ve combed and fiddled around with my hair everyday before and since I’m gentle I don’t really see any ill affect.) But it’s big and soft and makes my hair look twice as thick! I have just been happily bouncing around with a smile and have gotten nothing but positive reactions from others. I’m going to pass these tips around! :)

    • TheDeester101

      Ok so if people say you’re 4a then I probably am also. My hair looks exactly like yours and my ends look exactly the same. And when I shampoo and condition the whole hair looks exactly like how your ends look. My roots are wavy too so I’m probably also a 4a.

  • EW

    Hello,
    I currently have two different textures, as I transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. My last relaxer was a year and two months ago. I still have a long way to go but would like to know what my natural hair texture is. Can someone help me identify my hair type? Also any tips or suggestions for transitioning hair.
    -Thanks

    • Ladylanita

      I would guess you’re 3b and the texture is fine.

      Be careful with your ends and try some protective styling. When I transitioned I was bunnin’ it for the longest. :-) After I washed my hair I plopped it with a t-shirt and slicked it back with gel. Jenell has a special section under the tab “Newly Natural” solely for transitioners. I would check there also for some suggestions.
      Your hair is going to be very fragile where the two textures meet + you have hair that is very thin and fine. Try some strengthening, volumizing products. One of Jenell’s favorite’s is Shea Moisture Yucca and Baobob anti-breakage masque. Nubian Heritage is another line you may want to check out.

      • EW

        Thanks

  • Ladylanita

    I have 4a-c hair and this my wash and go with Eco styler. It can be done. I get 75% shrinkage with the 4c section right above my ear, but it doesn’t bother me. I’ve learned to work with it. The key here is to find what works for your texture (coarse, normal, fine), porosity (low, medium, high), density etc… There is so much variety and diversity with curls. The Andre Walker system barely scratches the surface and tries to neatly assign billions of people to 9 neat little categories. It’s far from perfect and complete, but it’s become a helpful tool in terms of explaining the type of hair you are working with. Just use it as a guide, but don’t take it as the bible. At the end of the day they’re just letters and numbers. What matters most is how your hair responds to products, which may or may not be accurately predicted by this hair tying system.

  • Katy Obere

    So, I have been going natural for about 4 months, I haven’t permed my hair since September, I’m currently in a battle to decide what type of hair texture I have, when I wash my hair I have two different textures, I couldn’t provide a picture but I can describe it, my roots still have some scab hair and my roots are puffy, but the rest is spirals, when I looked up perms, people were saying perms curl your hair, but my mom told me I had a straight perm (to keep my hair straight), is my hair naturally curly or is it the perm? and can a perm bring out your natural curls?

    • Ladylanita

      It’s probably a little too early to determine your actual hair texture. You really need a good few inches to see some consistency before you can determine it. Many of us have coils/kinks/curls all on one strand of hair. It may start of wavy then turn kinky and then coil up at the ends. That’s why I stated earlier Andre Walker’s system is far from perfect and inclusive of every curl pattern. The best you can do is keep your hair moisturized, moisturized, moisturized Protect your locks until it grows in a bit more if you are slowly transitioning. Very soon you will have your answer or at least have more hair to ask others to properly determine the pattern and texture.
      Also, know that the term “scab hair” is controversial and debatable. I get the concept, but some people believe it’s just an excuse to cover up the real texture of our hair (ie: it should be curly over bushy). If I don’t define my curls with gel or put a moisturizing cream in it, they will look exactly as you described yours– puffy with some spirals (ie coils). That hasn’t changed since I stopped relaxing, which was roughly two and a half years ago.
      A perm is not a relaxer, although out of bad habit we tend to use them interchangeably. Your mom was correct. Perms have an active ingredient called ammonium thioglycolate that waves the hair. Relaxers are chemical straighteners that use hydroxides (sodium, lithium, or calcium) depending on the strength of the formula. .
      You’re just starting your journey. Just be patient. You’ll hear that a lot :-) I know I wanted to know my texture because I thought it would help me determine how to take care of my hair. Honestly, it didn’t! :-) I figured that out through trial and error and just by looking at other naturals with similar textures to mine and trying out products. It was hit or miss, but eventually you get a routine down for yourself. What I’ve found to be helpful is just knowing the range. If you are a 3 or a 4. Breaking it down further from there can be tricky. Many people have multiple textures also, so don’t be surprised if you don’t fit neatly into one of those categories.

  • Katy Obere

    What is my hair texture?

  • Katy Obere

    This is what I meant by my roots being puffy but my ends are curly, what texture do I have? :o

  • adwoa

    hi i have a problem i have hair breakage with my front hair it makes me strress out sometimes i have been natural for a year now

  • http://www.stargels.com/ mikal

    This site is best video in this site and gain the many information hair style’s..thanks.

  • Gabbi Prince

    I am still in the process of transitioning from having a perm to being natural but it will be a year in June. I only have a little but of perm on my ends but I was wondering how to determine what pattern I am? I believe I am a 4a because when my hair gets wet it curls up into a spiral. When my beautician washes it, it appears to be wavy/curly at the top and the bottom is more curly. I have very dry hair so I’m very confused with determining my curl pattern. Please help?

  • Stace Hamilton

    This is a very lovely website and lovely post. Thanks for helping us determine which hair is ours. I always figured I was a 4C and this confirmed it. The photos also helped a lot. <3

    Stace

  • simplysweet

    Not sure what the big deal is concerning hair type….as a natural, I think it adds extra drama to a liberating experience. I’m happy with the hair growing out of my head; I’m confident, I love my curls, kinks, coils, or whatever else people want to call it. I’m just happy being me. Be blessed!!!!!

    • Renee Elam

      I agree^^ what’s all the fuss about “hair type” in the end you still have to find out what agrees with YOUR hair n what doesn’t. I feel like it does add drama to a liberating experience too. Ppl caught in wanting to be type “3-” instead of embracing anything 4. Keep in kind that’s why ppl began getting relaxers in the 1st place!

  • Charmaine15

    If i was to cut my processed ends off what do you think my hair type would be.

    • Thighs Like What

      This looks like my hair. I have sections of 3C, 4A, 4B, and 4C. In other words, there’s no point in trying to classify my hair cuz I have alittle bit of everything.

      Those little zigzags…I have those too. I don’t know what type that would be??

  • Kia

    this system is so flawed. it’s already a negative connotation that kinkier hair is “bad” hair. if i had one thing to ask andre walker, it would be “why in the hell did you make kinky hair type 4 hair with it being at the bottom instead of reversing it?”

    and by reversing it i mean type 4 hair would be type 1. type 3 would be type 2. so on and so fourth.

    1st place is associated with the best. so why not make type 4 women and men feel as if for once in their life their hair isn’t coming in last place?

    idk….just my view point.

  • Thighs Like What

    I have everything from 3C to 4C. Or at least I think I do.

    I don’t waste my time with this system because it doesn’t help me determine proper treatment or handling. Every head of hair is different…even if it LOOKS the same.

  • LovelyNaps1114

    This doesn’t make any sense. If natural hair is supposed to be on the kinkier side, why wouldn’t the kinkiest be labeled as type 1? It doesn’t make sense for the hardly nappy, loosened hair to be at the top

    • Jess

      Least to greatest

      Least textured to most (or greatest) textured

      I think that’s a better way of thinking about it.

  • http://vhanna26.typepad.com Vera

    I haven’t had a relaxer for nearly ten years now, but I haven’t considered myself much of a naturalista either. Mostly, I would wash and condition my hair and just pull it back in a pony tail or up in a bun. On occasion, I would flatiron it, Honestly, looking at the pretty curls on so many naturals in ads just made me sad, like my hair was too bad–yes I said bad–to get that look. Lately, I’ve been wanting to try something new. I still can’t figure out my hair type. When I wash it, it gets curly yet some of the ends get straight, and the back kind of cotton balls. it detangles pretty well and it does have some sheen and wave when I pull it back. it shrinks a lot when wet, and turns into a soft cotton ball when humid. My best guess it that I have a mix of 4b with some a and perhaps c although many times I feel I’m just a 4n for nappy. Yet I’m learning lots, and perhaps, someday, I’ll get that cute twist out or wash and go.

    • Nikki Newton

      I kind of have the same problem as you. When my hair is wet it gets longer, but the back becomes spiraled, the mid section of the hair becomes wavy/kinky and my roots become like an “s” shape (so I case s/kinky) once it starts to dry it gets a little shorter. I air dry my hair. I have no idea on what to do or what to use on my hair. I do use, Argon, coconut and tea tree oil. I don’t use anything with aloe because I’m allergic to it. I use Got2Be Heat Protectant when I do straighten my hair which isn’t often. Maybe once every 2 months. What do you do to maintain your hair?

  • Lovemycoilz

    This is false advertisement …. Women with 4a hair has no problem defining with gel, but women with 4c hair like yours do.

    • http://www.twitter.com/JasmineSkyHigh JasmineLaBelleza

      LMAOOO shady palm trees!

    • TheDeester101

      Lol I was told that I was 4b/4c and I have no problem with defining with gel. But after looking up coarse 4a hair, I saw that mine looks like that with 4b. I think I’m 4a/4b.

  • TheDeester101

    I’m mad. I’ll never truly know what my hair texture is. With a wash and go, the front part of it looks like it’s 3c and the rest of my hair looks like it’s 4a. I use Eco styler to do my wash and go. This is my hair when it’s dry.

    • TheDeester101

      Ok so I have a newer picture of my hair but I still can’t determine my texture yet.

      • Laura

        I’d say 4b/4c.

        • TheDeester101

          Really? Lol ok. I didn’t think I was 4b because I didn’t have a zigzag in my hair. I have some 3c strands after taking care of my hair properly I noticed lots of 4a strands too so that’s why I was confused. But I think you’re right about the 4c thing too although I do see a curl pattern in my hair.

          But I don’t understand why my hair looks like 3c/4a with a wash and go lol.

          • TheDeester101

            Oops it’s right here.

        • TheDeester101

          This is my hair with a wash and go.

  • Nikki Newton

    I have a question, my hair at the ends are kinda spiraled curled, in the middle it’s kind of kinky wavy and then towards the root it’s kinky coily, what do you suggest I try or use? Do you have any recommendations for hair like that.

    • Char

      Do you flat iron often? From my view, it looks like your hair may be heat damaged a bit. Heat damaged hair creates a wavy pattern, but it is not your true hair texture.

      • Nikki Newton

        No, I do not apply a lot of heat. I flat iron only once a month or two months. No more than that. Even when I was younger my hair was like that. I don’t blow dry either. I let my hair air dry.

        • Laura

          Even flat ironing your hair once can cause serious damages. I can ruin your curl pattern. I suggest that you get a ‘deva cut’. And wait a few months to see your true curl pattern. When I look at your pictures all I see it damaged hair. You don’t really have I curl pattern going on and your hair is thinner at end. It’s definitely damaged.

  • Nikki Newton

    Can you please tell me what hair type this would be. As you can see it’s “S” wavy, straight and somewhat curly with a little kink, but not a lot. It confuses me.

  • Tricia

    This system is annoying. When my hair is wet it is 3c/4a but when it dries it is 4b and within 2 to 3 days it stretches on its own with no curl definition unless I wet it all over again. I’ve tried so many curl defining products that don’t work ,I’m just frustrated!

    • http://atrini.proboards.com/ Miss Sankar

      Have you tried a leave-in conditioner such as Eden Bodyworks coconut
      Shea leave-in or Cantu shea leave-in (this one is available at Target)?
      Your hair sounds somewhat similar to mine…(except I get no extension over time, only shrinkage) and I love the Eden Bodyworks
      for my hair but recently when I forgot my bottle at someone’s house so I ended
      up trying Cantu and it works pretty well as long as I section my hair
      and wet it well before applying. I actually have more than one different
      type on my head and it’s easily seen when I wet my hair to re-apply the
      conditioner. Don’t give up. Your hair probably just needs the right
      conditioner, and a tiny bit of TLC to do better. I have even stopped using the curl product that the natural hair expert recommended for me, because I can get curls without it by just using the leave-ins. Good luck!

  • CurlySpice

    This is so true. I have type 3 hair and have been trying to perfect a braid-out for the longest, but it stretches my hair or something too much, and it does not hold the shape. It is very frustrating. I decided to see if anyone else noticed this issue and found your post. I am making a similar post on my blog about type 3 hair pros and cons, as many people do not believe we actually have cons. I do not want to have to co wash my hair everyday or put it in a bun. I would love variety also, but my hair is my hair, and I have to accept that about it. Thanks for your post.

  • Katy Leggin

    Help what texture?

  • Franky

    I found a random type 4b strand in my 4c hair today. I was perfectly curly, defined & more shiny rather than matte. It was clump too.

  • Jinnifer

    What type of hair do I have and what is the best product for my hair?

    • hope

      4a and 4b

  • Lisa

    What’s my hair texture?

    • hope

      4a

  • Katy Obere

    So I’ve been transitioning for 11 months, around my 7 month I put got an african twist style and it grew a lot!, is it bad to get those hairstyles? I feel like since I’m not fully natural yet when I put the twist in I feel as if my permed ends were growing more than my natural hair

  • BlueCornMoon

    I’m a fine haired type 4; don’t care about the alphabet,really, because it depends on what products I use. I get tons of 4a looking curls with KinkyCurly& Knot Today, but let my hair be moisture starved or over clarified & it looks 4b/c. It looks one way with Carol’s Daughter & another way with Qhemet but that could change at any time depending on what mood my hair is in so I just sample until I find products that work ! Anyhow I’ve heard that porosity & whether hair is fine ,medium or coarse is more important than curl size. Some products absorb into the hair better than others & that can make a big difference

  • Mina Boseman

    How do I take care of my hair, it has 3 different textures. The front of my hair seems to be a 2/b the right side seems to be a 4/a and the left side a 3/c. It is so hard to maintain my hair and I have no clue how to make it all work together. Can you help me?

  • peppersmom

    I am so confused and on the edge of quitting. I am 16 months in and I really don’t know what to do with my natural hair, don’t understand “hair type” don’t know what products to use. Not to mention, I hate doing hair and I haven’t been able to find a “good” natural hair stylist in Atlanta…that’s affordable. I am finding that natural hair stylist are double the price I paid for a relaxer…SMH. I hope I can make it…

    • ChariQ

      I am SO WITH YOU!! I am about the same distance in as you. Ptobably time to cut off relaxed hair. No idea WHAT To do with this hair. My hair is no longer my “go-to feature”. It was so much easier to style with the relXer…”bad hair days” were eqsy fixes. Now every day seems like a bad hair day with no fix to be.

    • Dana

      What have you been doing with your hair? Have you done research online on natural haircare and styles? There are lots of relatively easy styles (twist outs, braid outs, bantu knots, rod sets) that you can learn and with practice it becomes much easier (and faster). As far as products, you’ll have to experiment a bit, but in general, find a good sulfate free shampoo, a deep conditioner, a leave-in and some kind of styler. I would research hair porosity, that will give you a good jumping off point. I don’t bother with hair typing much because ultimately I don’t think it’s that important – everyone’s hair has its own unique properties. Giovanni, Shea Moisture, Aubrey Organics and Kinky Curly make some great products for natural hair. Good luck!

    • Deltabeautee

      Hey I’m in Atlanta and I agree with the prices but I found a stylist reasonable and she is very knowledgable about natural hair! I’m transitioning with about 3 inches left of relaxer. Here’s a pic of my hair after she shampooed, conditioned and pressed it. If you have Instagram you can check out her page

    • Deltabeautee

      Pic

  • TheDeester101

    This is my hair with a wash and go. I still can’t determine my hair type yet because the W&G gave me different looking textures for some parts of my hair.

    • TheDeester101

      This isn’t that good of a picture and my hair was sweating out a bit so the top looks different. I do know I have some 4a in my hair because certain parts of my hair has more natural moisture in it than the other parts. The front of my hair was always looser than the rest of it.

  • Carey Grant

    I feel that I struggle to identify my hair type, but in reality, my hair is multiple hair textures and some seem to be a combination in the chart. While I appreciate Andre for taking the first step we need to take the next step in going more ind epth about the sheer variety of curls that we have. We are way beyond just 2-3 types.

  • Lola

    I am still so confused about what you’re of hair I have, I honestly think I am a 4b and c but might have 4a. All I know is that my hair doesn’t curl well and it’s always in a state of afro with a little curl definition on the top.

  • Tasha

    I’m currently transitioning and would like some help figuring out what my hair type is. I’ve attached some photos.

  • Malynn

    Little Miss, you are a straight GODDESS for posting this. I had no clue what my type was-too tightly curled on the ends to be 3b, too much definition to be any of the 4′s (except my 4a patch in the back) and too loosely curled ‘S’ pattern in the middle to be 3c. Took me awhile to figure out but I’m a mutt of 3b, 3c and 4a. Weird. It wasn’t until I saw all the types drawn out that I could understand and compare/contrast my hair. It has been a challenge- took me a year + 6 months to find even conditioners and stylers that worked well. Braidouts kill curl defintion after washing but a braid out on 4th day hair for me looks gorgeous, imho. It seems to soften the natural tight curls. My hair does not hold twists either- it is too fine and they slip out. It barely tolerates oil-i have to use it sparingly or not at all. I stay far away from smoothies, puddings( with 1 exception) and stick to light creams and one gel that i literally hoard.Having multiple textures on one head is difficult but very rewarding for me. I feel like im so unique and strange that my hair decided that being just one thing was boring, lol. To the ladies with multiple textures: it does get easier. You just have to play and see what your hair likes and what it hates. Once you get a routine with products that work-STICK WITH THEM. And don’t be afraid to experiment with weird things like fruit oils and such. Oh and WATER!!! I cannot stress that enough. I sometimes wet my hands under a faucet and use it to drench my hair at work. Once I realized that water was my hairs friend and not the enemy things got way easier.

  • Danyell Shante’

    I have absolutely fallen in love with this website it is sooo informative!!! I am currently transitioning & I’m having the hardest time tryna find products that work for me. I can feel my hair hating a product but you have very good points & I defiantly subscribed to your channel on YouTube I will be coming back!! :D

  • Brianna

    Can anyone tell me what hair type I have?

  • Brianna

    Can anyone tell me what hair type I have please?

  • Aliyah

    Um I’m a 4a with some 3c strands and my hair loves gel I gel a lot of curl definition with gel so that’s not true for everyone . .4a actually has a curl pattern. 4b 4c doesn’t . 4a is coily curly and 4b 4c is kinky “

  • Aliyah

    I don’t like when 4b 4c try to tell what 4a hair does . 4a’s don’t have no problem defining their hair with gel . 4a is coily curly but like tighter curl pattern than 3 type .

  • Spicy

    I agree, once I determined my hair type it helped me start to really understand how to select products. I struggled in the beginning and tried all kinds of stuff that did nothing to my hair. I now understand the type of products I need to achieve certain results.