How to Quickly Identify Your Hair Type

It’s no secret that a bad hair day can ruin your whole vibe and make you less confident in your appearance. Bad hair days are pretty much inevitable, but there are ways to decrease how often they happen. Maximizing the positive results of hair care can leave your hair looking great nearly every day. If you took a look around you, you’d see that no one’s hair looks exactly the same. So, how can you accurately take care of your hair in a way that is unique to you? The first step is to identify and know your hair type. To do this, you’ll have to learn and identify what you hair type is. Let’s go ahead and take a deeper look into what each hair type is and its defining characteristics.

Type 1: Straight Hair

hair type

Hair type is the natural shape and pattern of hair with no special hair products added or treatments done. It’s how your hair naturally dries after you wash it. There are four different types of hair: straight, wavy, curly, and coily. Within each of these four types are three subcategories: A, B, and C. These subcategories break down each hair type into specific characteristics and traits, making it easier to identify and understand your hair type.

The first type of hair is straight, and it’s identifiable by its lack of shape. Within type 1 are three specific categories: 1A, 1B, and 1C. Type 1A hair is fine, straight hair. It’s difficult to hold shape in this type of hair, and hair ornaments like bobby pins have a hard time staying in place. 1B hair is a bit thicker and has more natural volume. This type of hair often naturally dries with some shape, but ultimately there is no solid wave. Lastly, 1C hair also has more volume, and there may be some natural waves showing, but not many.

Type 1 hair tends to become oily quickly, so products like dry shampoo are a great way to avoid frequent washing since they help absorb oils near the roots. Because type 1 hair can lack volume, blow drying is a great way to add more depth. There are also many volumizing shampoos and conditioners out there to help give your straight hair a little more spice.

Type 2: Wavy Hair

hair type

Next, there’s type 2 hair, which is wavy. Waves differ from curls because hair moves back and forth in an S-like shape instead of in full circles, like ringlets or coils. Similar to 1A hair, 2A hair is fine, but it has some shape to it. If you’ve ever styled classic beach waves in your hair, that’s exactly what 2B hair looks like! There are definitive waves, and it’s a sought-after look. Then, there’s 2C hair which is wavy enough to where curls may start forming. It’s the thickest type of wavy hair..

Once hair starts having a definitive pattern like in type 2, frizz enters the scene! With this specific hair type, products to control frizz and enhance natural waves begin to be necessary. Mousse helps hold shape while moisturizing, but since the goal is to preserve waves, it’s best to limit product use to not weigh hair down.

Type 3: Curly Hair

If you have curly hair, then these next two hair types are for you! Type 3 is curly hair, identifiable by defined curls or ringlets. As type 3 hair goes from A to C, the curls get tighter, so 3A hair has the loosest curls, and may even have some waves mixed in. These curls are the easiest to style and work with given that they aren’t too tight or defined. Moving on to 3B, though, curly hair is more coarse and holds its shape better than 3A. It’s also good to note that this type is especially susceptible to frizz, as many curly-haired folks will know. 3C hair begins to have more coily curls. This type of hair will curl right from the root on down.

Curls are super common, so there are a lot of great products out there specifically for type 3 hair. Taking care of curls is all about moisturizing and frizz control, just like with waves. With varying shapes, patterns, and thicknesses of curls, it’s important to be careful how you comb your hair. Typically, brushing makes frizz worse, and it can even undo your curls. It’s best to use a wide-toothed comb for curly hair. Since so much care goes into maintaining curls, it’s important to research the best hair care techniques and products for natural curls.

Type 4: Coily Hair

Finally, there’s type 4 hair, which is coily. This type is similar to type 3, except the curls are more like coils or kinks, like tightly wound spirals. 4A hair is tight coils that typically aren’t too big, so they’re a bit more controllable. 4B hair, though, has more volume than 4A. In this subcategory, coily hair starts sticking out in multiple directions instead of falling down, like curly hair. The most volumized, tightly wound coils belong to the 4C subcategory. This is the last hair type category, and it’s so coily and kinky that there sometimes isn’t a clear curl pattern like with other types.

Type 4 hair is the most common hair type for black women, and it’s a type that can be prone to dryness and damage from how defined the coils are. Type 4 hair tends to struggle with dryness, so products to help with absorbing and holding moisture are extremely necessary to keep this type of hair healthy. You can check out this article here for basic hair care and tips for type 4 hair if you’d like to learn more!

Why You Should Know and Understand Your Hair Type

Knowing what type of hair you have lets you avoid those bad hair days we all dread because you’ll know exactly what your hair needs to be healthy. Many hair care products are made specifically for certain hair types. It’s important to know which products are healthy for your hair and which ones won’t be as effective. Certain hair types also react to heat differently, so if you know your hair type, you can avoid hair damage and breakage. Understanding your hair type lets you maintain appropriate and effective care for your hair.

If you’re interested in caring for all hair types and the science behind hair, become a licensed cosmetologist at Multimedia Makeup Academy of Esthetics, Cosmetology, + Special FX! With our comprehensive and in-depth curriculum, you’ll gain the education and experience needed to become an expert in all hair types and how to appropriately care for them. Everyone deserves beautiful and healthy hair, so become a cosmetologist who can help clients learn about their hair and how to maintain it.

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