What Hair Type Do I Have?

Hair Type Chart By Crowns & Contours For Hair Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, Type 4

Maybe you're just starting your natural hair journey. Maybe your hair has been natural but you want to take better care of your curls and coils. You're probably filled with questions about so many things. The most important question being where do you start? Start by learning about your hair. More specifically learn what your hair type is.

But first, what is hair typing and why is it important? Does it even matter anymore?

The hair typing system we know and use today was created in the 90's by Oprah Winfrey's stylist, Andre Walker. It is a way to classify the way your hair curls. Though Walker's system has in recent times received some critique from the natural hair community, it still matters. This is because the more you know about your hair - the better you can care for it. 

The chart above highlights the 4 different categories of hair types- type 1, type 2, type 3 and type 4. Type 1 hair is straight hair. This hair type is typically fine hair. It can get oily and shiny easily as the lack of curls in the hair allows the oil from the scalp to go all the way down the hair shaft faster. 
Type 2 hair is wavy hair. Typically, wavy hair is thicker than type 1 hair. This hair type forms a loose 'S' shape. Hair can range from being 2A which is fine and loose wave, to 2B which is wavy and medium thick, or 2C very wavy and thick.
Type 3 hair is curly hair. This hair type has clearly defined curls when dry that may straighten out when wet. A characteristic of this hair type is bounce. In the range of type 3 hair, you can have the least tightly curled (3A), a combination of textures in the range (3B), or the tightest curl (3C). 
Type 4 hair is coily/ kinky hair. It usually does not appear to be shiny as this hair type is the tightest of coils. This means oil from the scalp does not go all the way down the hair shaft. Type 4A has very defined coils. Type 4B has less defined coils. Type 4c coils so tightly that it often does not present to be curly. Type 4 hair typically grows up and out as opposed to growing down. 
Hair Type Chart by Crowns & Contours For hair type 1, hair type 2a, 2b, 2c, hair type 3a, 3b, 3c, and hair type 4a, 4b, 4c
You'll see individual curls categorized in the hair type chart above. It is important to note that your hair can have a combination of hair types. Your hair is not limited to one hair type.
Now that you know what each curl type looks like, here's how to correctly identify your hair type. 
You want to do this on hair that is clean and has not been altered either chemically or with heat. Yes, hair dye and bleach can affect your hair's curl pattern. So try to do this on hair that has not been straightened or color treated. 
  1. Wash your hair. Get rid of any product that may manipulate your curls. You'll want to ensure your hair is healthy and not damaged. Damaged hair will not accurately show your curl pattern. 
  2. Section your curls in the different parts of your head, the apex which is the front, your nape which is the very back, your crown which is in the middle of your head, and your sides. 
  3. Separate a single strand within each area.
  4. Hold a white paper up behind the strand and observe the way it curls. Match the curl to the chart to identify the curl patterns in your hair.
  5. Allow your hair to air dry, then repeat steps 2 through 4. (This is important because some hair types curl differently when wet vs when dry, type 3 hair is a prime example of this.)

Most natural hair product companies create hair care products with your hair's curl type in mind. Knowing your curl type will help you to better pick products that will work for your hair. Check out the Crowns & Contours Caribbean Coils Collection for natural hair products for curly hair, coily hair, and kinky hair types. You know your hair type, now what's next? Do you know your hair density or hair porosity? Time to learn that next!

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