Friday, March 9, 2012

What is my hair type? The Classification

For a long time I thought you could classify hair in 3 types:
1-White hair, straight or curly
2-Mixed hair
3-Black hair

This was until I went natural and started doing some research on internet how to take care of my hair. All of a sudden I would read about and hear people talking about type 4, type 3 hair and stuff in their articles or on YouTube.
So I decided to use my great friend Google to find more about hair type classification and I ran across the hair type classification system Andre Walker, Oprah's stylist, came up with.
Apparently he wrote all about this in a book named "Andre talks hair" (if one of you read this book, feel free to leave your opinion about it).
When I discovered this hair type classification it was like a whole new world opened up for me and it became clear to me that the type of hair you have on your head, was not all about the color of your skin.
So let's get to the point and let's work out this classification system.

Type 1 hair: Straight hair
Type 1 hair can be divided into a, b and c.
Type 1A: Fine, thin straight hair. Tends to be very soft and shiny and also oily. It's difficult for this hair to hold a curl and the hair is difficult to damage.

Type 1B: Medium straight hair. This type hair has more volume and body then the 1A hair.

Type 1C: Coarse straight hair. Bone straight hair that is difficult to curl. We see this hair mostly on Asian women.

Type 2 hair: Wavy hair
The waves or curls of this hair type forms throughout the hair in a letter S-form. Like type 1 hair, type 2 hair can be divided in three subtypes too.
Type 2A: Fine, thin hair with a definite S-pattern and it's easy to handle. It's easily straightened or curled.

Type 2B: Has a medium texture and is a bit more resistant to styling. It has a tendency to be frizzy.

Type 2C: Coarse and tends to have thicker waves. It is very resistant to styling and it's normally very frizzy.

Type 3 hair: Curly hair
This hair type has a definite loopy S-pattern. The curls are well-defined and the hair has a lot of body. The hair is easily styled into it's naturally curly pattern or easily straightened using a blow dryer.
Type 3 hair is soft and very fine, but come in great quantity, what might may people believe that the hair is coarse.
Type 3 hair can be subdivided into two subtypes.
Type 3A: Loose, big curls. The hair can have a combination texture and tends to be frizzy.

Type 3B: Medium amount of curls and the curls are tighter then type 3A curls. Also tend to have a combined texture.

Type 3C: Curly Kinky hair
This type is not from the official classification system, it is more a creation of the users from the website (great website by the way if you need information about hair care).
It falls between the 3C and the 4A hair.
Type 3C hair has tight curls in corkscrews. The curls can be either kinky or very tightly curled, with lost of strand densely packed together. Blow drying this type of hair straight is challenging but it can be done. The curls usually have a fine texture.

Type 4 hair: Kinky hair
This type of hair is very wiry, very coiled and most of all very fragile. Type 4 hair can range from fine and thin to wiry and coarse and it has lots and lots of strands densely packed together.
Since type 4 hair has less cuticle layers it is has less natural protection. Type 4 hair usually shrinks up to 75% of the actual hair length. Like other hair types, type 4 hair can be divided into subtypes too.
Type 4A: Kinky soft hair. Tightly coiled hair with a more definite curls pattern. When stretched it has an S-pattern like type 3 hair. it tends to have more moisture then 4B hair.

Type 4B: Kinky wiry hair. has a less definite curl pattern, more of a Z-pattern and has a cotton-like feel.

I have to say though that on the websites I use as reference to write this blog they do not mention type 4C hair, but I hear people talk about it every now and then in their YouTube videos or write about it in their articles about hair care.

So, as you can see hair type classification is not just about the color of your skin but more about the type of you hair. Now I see that someone with mixed hair can have for example a mix of 1A and 3B too and that mixed hair is not in fact always the white/black mix a lot of us mostly think about.
I hope this classification van help you understand your hair a bit more in order to understand better how to take care of your hair.
Remember, the more you appreciate nature the way it is, the more beauty you will find everywhere.

The websites I used to find my information for this blog are:

I didn't put pictures of all the hair types because I didn't wanted to make the blog too long, but just check out the first link and you will find enough examples of the hair types.

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