How do you categorize your hair? Straight? Wavy? Curly? Coily? Relaxed?
Did you know that all the hair types mentioned above contain their own sub categories? You might think you’re a Type 1c, but you’re really a Type 2a – ormaybe you think you’re a Type 3a, but you’re really a Type 2c…
Confused? Don’t worry, so was I – until now!
Before we get into heavy details, let’s have a mini crash course on hair types – there are 5 types of hair:
Type 1: Straight
Type 2: Wavy
Type 3: Curly
Type 4: Coily
Type 5: Relaxed
Simple enough, right?
We can roughly know what our hair type is based off of these types, but the real challenge is categorizing our hair within our type! For example, Type 1 is consisted of Type 1a, Type 1b, and Type 1c. Although all these categories share the same type (Type 1), each category within Type 1 differentiates in characteristics.
Let me break it down for you:
Type 1: Straight
Type 1 hair is classified as hair with no curl and is naturally straight. Because of the hair’s lack of curl, Type 1 hair tends to be oily and shiny.
Type 1a is…
Flat with no body and is usually known to be the hair type that cannot hold any curl – it is straight from root to tip. This type is extremely rare and it is often Asian women whom fall in this category. If your hair is naturally pin-straight and can’t hold a curl, you have Type 1a hair!
Type 1b is…
Not completely flat and has more body than Type 1a; this is the category most straight-haired women fall in. The main attribute that distinguishes someone from Type 1a to Type 1b is the fact that a Type 1b hair type can hold a curl, while Type 1a cannot. Type 1b also may have some bends here and there, with ends that can curl under slightly, whereas type 1a has straight ends.
Is generally straight with, not waves, but slight bends throughout. Letting Type 1c hair dry on its own will accomplish the perfect tousled look; this look is natural and doesn’t require any heat tools. The strands of hair can be anywhere from thick or coarse.
Type 2 hair is hair with natural waves and forms an “S” shape. Although Type 2 isn’t oily like Type 1 hair, due to the texture and pattern of the individual hair strand, it is not dry either.
Type 2a is…
A hair type that contains several loose, beachy waves all over the head. These waves are more pronounced, rather than Type 1c’s slight bends. Being less frizzy compared to the other categories of Type 2 hair, it can easily be weighed down when too much product is applied.
Type 2b is…
Hair that has clearly-defined and tightly drawn waves. The luxury with this hair type is that, although the waves are more pronounced, the hair doesn’t poof or bounce up, and remains close to the head. Unfortunately, Type 2b is when the frizz begins to kick in – many Type 2b hair types have to use gel products to maintain the frizz.
Type 2c is…
Hair that has waves so tightly drawn, that they start to whirl around itself, forming loose spiral curls. Type 2c is the frizziest hair type within the Type 2 category, creating a bounce effect and some “poof” that draws the hair slightly away from the head.
Type 3 hair is hair that is classified as naturally curly, forming an “S” shape; Type 3 hair forms ringlets that are naturally defined, without the use of manipulation or hair-styling products. The reasoning behind why Type 3 is considered ‘dry’ is simply due to the fact that the oils cannot make it through all the curls, from roots to ends.
Type 3a is…
Hair that naturally forms loose, silky, Shirley temple curls. These curls are easily defined on their own, without manual manipulation. Not much product is required for this hair type.
Type 3b is…
A more spiraled and springy Type-3a-curl. This hair type is moderately defined on its own and is extremely frizzy. Due to the extreme frizz, styling aid is required – read below for a Type 3 hair product recommendation!
Type 3c is…
Is a hair type that is more tightly drawn and coily than a Type 3b curl. These curls are are highly textured and the individual strands are often closely packed together (known as “clumping”). They require some amount of manual manipulation in order to achieve defined curls, but they are not as smooth as a Type 3b curl.
Type 4 hair, known as “coily”, is hair that is tightly curled without any defined ringlets, as seen in Type 3 hair. Type 4 hair usually keeps its shape when wet, unlike Type 3 hair, and is also very dry due to the shape of the individual hair strands.
Type 4a is…
A coily hair type that forms tight, perfectly cylindrical curls that tend to have a width of a pencil. These curls are quite springy with a defined curl pattern, still being able to ‘fall down’, unlike Type 4b and 4c.
Type 4b is…
Tight and “crimpy“ in terms of pattern. It may be difficult distinguishing between Type 4b and 4c, so it’s important to note that Type 4b’s curls are still clearly defined, whereas Type 4c’s curls are not. Although the roots are not clearly defined, the ends of the Type 4b curls are.
Type 4c is…
“Z” shaped, zig-zag patterned hair, that shows little to no defined sections of hair. The hair’s texture for Type 4c ladies can range from thin/fine, to wiry and coarse. Type 4c hair is so tightly drawn, that it shrinks more than half of the hair’s length – fascinating!
Type 4 hair is prone to shrinkage, therefore by spraying TIGI’s S Factor Papaya Leave-In Moisture Spray, the curls will be weighed down enough to avoid premature shrinking after a blowout or twist out – all while maintaining a glorious shine!
Type 5: Relaxed Hair
Relaxed hair is its own type because relaxing the hair changes the natural curl’s pattern, which can vary from Type 1 to Type 3, when dry (in terms of texture). By this, we mean that a relaxed hair type can still be curly, but the curl pattern will be looser than the original texture. However, the hair will not take on the oilier nature of Type 1 hair, reflecting the drier nature of curlier hair types.