To determine what your hair type is, there are various systems that help people classify their curl patterns. It is important to know your hair type. This will help you to know how to build a healthy hair regimen, the right product to use and how to care for your hair.
If your hair is oily, dry, or “normal.” It’s important to match your hair growth oil with your type of hair.
Many hair oils work for all hair types but it’s a good idea to find an oil that’s suitable for your kind of hair type – whether it’s dry, frizzy, or oily. Choose your oil wisely if there’s a specific hair issue you want to target.
The structure of your hair
As you probably know, there are several natural hair types, and each of them has its own special demands in terms of hair care. If you are struggling to figure out which type of hair you have, or you have no idea how to care for your specific type, we have prepared some tips for you that will make your life easier and your hair healthier.
Hair types are divided into four categories: straight, wavy, curly and kinky
When talking about African natural hair, most of the time we mean kinky hair (type 4), which is why we are going to focus specifically on the different natural hair types from this category (type 4)
- Hair type 1: Straight hair
Straight hair is very hard to damage, and also difficult to curl. This is because this hair texture easily spreads from the scalp to ends without curls or kinks, and is also the oiliest hair type. When you relax your hair, it turns to type 1 by default. That’s straight hair.
- Hair type 2: Wavy hair
Wavy hair has a texture between straight and curly hair and is likely to become slightly frizzy. Wavy hair can be tamed and easily styled.
- Hair type 3: Curly hair
Type 3 is curly hair, this is known to have an S-shape. The pattern of the hair resembles an ‘S’ shape and sometimes a ‘Z’ shape. This type of hair is usually voluminous and damage prone. If your curly hair lacks proper care, it can cause less defined curl
- Hair type 4: Kinky hair
Kinky hair features a tightly coiled curl pattern is often very fragile with a high density. This type of hair shrinks when wet because it has fewer cuticle layers than other hair types and because of this, is more susceptible to damage. This is where most Africans belong.
Kinky hair includes the natural hair types 4a, 4b, 4c. They might look similar to an untrained eye, but they are quite different in appearance and hair care. Let’s talk about that in more detail, starting with the 4a hair
Type 4 is broken down into 3 categories
This hair requires the use of many different products to make it more manageable
One of the things that makes kinky hair look great is detangling, but it might do more harm than good if you don’t do it rightly. Use some conditioner or oil and detangle your hair with your fingers and a detangling brush or a wide-tooth comb. This can prevent the hair from breaking that would be inevitable if you detangle the hair dry or with a regular comb.
4a hair is easily identified by its s-shaped curls, which closely resemble tight curls from the third category of hair types. The curl pattern of this hair is naturally defined, and the hair itself is usually soft and even silky, if properly taken care of.
4b natural hair is characterized by its ‘z’ shape. The hair curves and bends at sharp angles, and there is no defined curl pattern, as in the case with type 4a . It can experience shrinkage of up to 70%, making it look like the hair is much shorter than it really is (unless you stretch it).
4c natural hair looks very similar to the 4b hair, as it also has no defined curl pattern. 4c hair can experience intense shrinkage of over 80%, meaning that your 30 cm-long hair will look as if it is shorter than 10 cm, unless you stretch it out.