Fayola asks: Could you do something on how to work out your hair type?
I have loose curls/waves. They aren’t like spirals, more like a short frizzy bodywave. I don’t seem to fit into any of the category 3 or 4 descriptions I’ve read and obviously category 1 and 2 aren’t applicable due to my ethnicity!
It would really help me understand how to look after my hair appropriately and would help me choose the right products.
Hi Fayola, thanks for your question.
Hair typing can help identify the kind of hair that you have in terms of curl pattern. Determining the kind of curl pattern you have can help you choose products and hairstyles that are more appropriate for you.
As black or mixed race women, our hair type generally falls under the categories of 3 and 4 (Andre’s typing system). But it can be quite difficult to accurately determine the type of curl that you have against this system. Our curls can span from wavy to tightly coiled and may not necessarily fall under any one type. Some women (like me) have more than one type of curl pattern on our head. Mine is 4b in the middle and 4a round the front of my hairline.
Some women prefer to go with other systems but i’ve used the most popular one for ease of identification.
The best thing to do is look for the type that is closest to your hair.
The hair typing system is more about the degree of curl rather than race (i believe). So if your hair falls under type 2 for instance, then that’s fine. It does sound to me like you just might have a 2c hair type (or even 2b). If you don’t feel 100% comfortable with this than go with 3a (if that’s the next closest) and look for products and hair styles that will work for this type. You should still get good results from identifying with this type.
Here are some hair typing charts i found.
The chart below expands a little bit more on the curl patterns to include more sub-types as most people feel that afro hair cannot be categorised in just 6 sub-types. (But remember, most go with the chart above).
Also check out this post on hair typing here on the black hair media forum for a more in-depth chart of the different types of curl in each hair type.
There are others as i said before like the LOIS typing system but some do find it a little confusing.
Here is an article all about understanding hair types (It’s very long – 9 pages, but very helpful) and even introduces a new system to include 5 groups and no sub categories. Very Interesting indeed.
How can I tell what kind of curl I have?
My best advice would be to examine your hair while it’s wet or loaded with conditioner as this shows your true curl pattern. Obviously this is easiest whilst washing your hair.
So, the next time you’re co-washing or shampooing, keep a mirror close by to view how your hair looks when wet. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of it for your records. Pictures also make it easier to match up your hair to the charts above.
Shed hair can also be used for this purpose. When detangling, keep a few strands of your hair from your comb or brush and wet it. You can also take pictures of these, then compare it to the charts above.
Remember nothing is set in stone. You may not necessarily fall into any one category. Some people don’t even follow the hair typing system at all. They just feel their way out with their hair.
I hope this helps Fayola.
If anyone has any questions they want answered email me at NaturalHair.Advice@Gmail.com