Identifying Your Hair Type

March 29, 2014 |  LOVE EMBRACE INSPIRE | By Tiffany Nicole

Identifying your hair type can be very helpful in learning how to take care of it. Unfortunately most natural hair beauties realize that caring for your natural hair is not a carefree ordeal. After learning to love your hair, it's now time to embrace all that comes with being natural. Learn your hair type and purchase products that work best for your hair. 

There are four categories of hair types of which 3 out of 4 of them consist of curly hair. Type 1 texture is that of straight hair that does not curl naturally. Below are the other 3 which consist of different levels of curls.

Wavy hair is between straight and curly hair. The hair tends to have a softer 'S" shaped curl pattern and stays close to the scalp. Within type 2 hair, you will find tresses that are soft and subtle to tresses that are deep and defined. Wavy hair is prone to frizz, and the further down the wavy hair chart the hair is the more likely one will see less shine. 

Determining if you have Type 2 Hair:

  • Natural shine
  • When wet, takes on a natural 'S' shape
  • Straightening hair is a breeze
  • Prone to frizz up often

    Curly hair has a defined corkscrew shape pattern or an defined 'S' shape. Tight and springy these curls pack the head with lots of strands giving lots of body. This type of hair is prone to even more frizz than Type 2 hair because there is more tresses on this head than  average.  

    Determining if you have Type 3 Hair:

    • Natural shine
    • When wet and dry keeps a natural 'S' shape
    • Tight, springy curls
    • Thick and dense
    • Highly prone to frizz

    Kinky curly hair comes in all kinds of patterns. If there is an 'S' shape curl, it will be very visible but may be in smaller 's' shape. Some Type 4 curls will be so tight, they may look like a small 'z' instead. Kinky hair has a wide range of density it can range from fine to course. As far as styling, Type 4 hair should be handled with care, matting and tangling of this type of hair is more likely to occur. 

    • 4a - Super tight curls - circumference of the smallest crochet needle
    • 4b - Wirey 'Z' shaped 
    • 4c - Tightly coiled with no visible curl pattern

    Determining if you have Type 4 Hair:

    • Driest of all hair types (needs lots of moisture)
    • Most likely to have a 'Z' shape pattern
    • Very fragle and prone to breakage
    • Thick and dense
    • Highly prone to frizz

    When looking at my hair type, I have come to realize that many naturals have more then one hair type. Some may have a head full of the same curls, while others may see a little bit of each on different areas of their head. There are ways to disguise the many textures and make them look as one. Braid-outs, twist-outs, Bantu knot-outs and many other techniques are used to achieve a cohesive look.

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