What's my Hair Type? Types 1-4 Visualised
Did you know that there’s over 7 billion searches on ‘what is my hair type?’ It can be easy to get overwhelmed and lost in the pages and pages of results. But, from identifying your hair type to learning how to best care for it, we’ve got you covered with this ultimate and straightforward guide!
How to tell what type of hair you have
There are four sections of hair types, which are known as straight (1), wavy (2), curly (3) and coily (4). If you’re already scratching your head wondering which one best describes you, worry not - each section has four subsections (a,b,c) with their unique characteristics.
The shape of your hair follicle controls how curly your hair can be and is determined by your genetics (Healthline). Therefore, it is essential to know your hair type to find out exactly what products it needs and should avoid at all costs!
Find your hair type
Take a look below to find out what hair type best suits you:
Type 1 hair: explained
Type 1, aka straight hair, does not have a natural curl pattern (Healthline).
a) 1a hair type
If this is you, 1a hair tends to be the straightest of the straight hair type while also being the thinnest yet shiniest (Cosmopolitan). As straight hair is a flat surface, it is easier for light to bounce off its edges, increasing the appearance of shine (Glamour).
b) 1b hair type
While 1b hair isn’t relatively as straight as 1a types, it is still relatively straight! The main difference is a few bendy strands here and there, and 1b hair can be prone to greasiness overall.
c) 1c hair type
Unlike 1b hair, which can be thinner, 1c hair is typically thicker, rougher, and has a few more visible waves. In addition, due to the higher possibility of coarseness with 1c hair, those who often do chemical or heat treatments can fall into this subsection.
d) How to care for type 1 hair
The enemy here is heavy products, e.g., serums, thick conditioners and hair butter. Type 1 hair can typically become greasy, as it is effortless for our natural oils to travel down our hair shaft, hence why lighter products have the green light! Moreover, avoid over-washing your hair as this can result in the overproduction of sebum (oils created by our skin).
Type 2 hair: wavy hair
Usually, type 2 hair has an ‘S’ pattern that ranges from the crown of our head to eye level (Allure), consisting of a mix between loose waves and straight hair (Naturally Curly) and a fairly dry texture.
a) 2a hair type
Your hair is fairly straight from up to eye level, creating looser waves as it moves downwards.
b) 2b hair type
Similarly to 2a hair, the hair becomes wavy after eye length; however, it has more of an ‘S’ defining shape.
c) 2c hair type
The waviest of this subsection! Compared to the 2b type, 2c hair tends to become from a higher point of our head, typically the crown moving downwards. As a result, this hair type can be thicker in density and more likely to be a victim to frizz.
d) How to care for type 2 hair
All in all, due to having thin and frizzy tendencies (caused by dryness), it would be recommended to use moisturising products which can add back some hydration to type 2 hair. It would also be wise to invest in some curl-enhancing/defining creams, which can help to make your hair more voluminous.
Type 3 hair: curly hair
Unlike type 2 hair, which has a less definitive shape, type 3 hair can range from lighter curls to a more defined (tight) curl - a combination of textures is expected. Another distinguishing factor of type 3 hair from type 2 is its volume and height occurring from the roots (Byrdie).
a) 3a hair type
In contrast to 2c hair, which can have more waves than light curls, 3a hair instead has more light curls than waves. This hair type is also bouncier and easily affected by mother nature; yes, we’re talking about rain and wind!
b) 3b hair type
As 3b curls are tighter than 3a, the circumference is smaller and similar to a marker. This hair type is also known to be frizzier due to dryness.
c) 3c hair type
The 3c curls are a tight squad that are closely packed together, being the most voluminous of the three and the dryest. The circumference is smaller than 3b curls, decreasing to the size of a pencil.
d) How to care for type 3 hair
To help conquer the dryness that type 3 hair can face, nourishing oils that can help seal your hair's moisture are the way to go (the ByErim Luxury Hair & Beard Oil has a formula of 8 all-natural oils). Adding to this, when curly hair is wet, it is even more likely to break, so comb through your hair with your fingers instead, and avoid brushing until dry to reduce damage.
Type 4 hair: coily hair
Coily hair, also known as afro-textured hair (Allure), can range from tight curls to a zig-zag pattern (Z-shape).
a) 4a hair type
This hair type has the smallest coils with a mix of 3c curls, which can fit around a crochet needle.
b) 4b hair type
While 4a hair follows an S-shape, 4b hair is a lot denser with a zig-zag (Z-shape) pattern. Adding to this, type 4b can be of a drier hair texture than 4a.
c) 4c hair type
4c hair is a dramatically tighter Z-shape than 4b hair, but also a lot more fragile and shrinkage. Having said this, 4c hair is known to be versatile in terms of hairstyles, as it can hold them well.
d) How to care for type 4 hair
The tighter your curl pattern is, the harder it is for our natural oils to travel down our hair shaft. Because of this, type 4 hair is said to be the driest and most brittle of all 4. Therefore, in opposition to type 1 hair, type 4 hair needs as much moisture as it can get - queue hydration-rich products such as coconut oil, hair butter and leave-in conditioner.
Not only are the luxury ByErim hair care products rich in culture and backed by science, but they also reflect our core value of diversity. The hair & beard oil (perfectly mixes eight pure oils such as amla, argan & coconut) and hairbrush (made from bamboo wood & flexible/dense bristles) are designed for every single hair type. Today is the day to begin your journey!
Hair type images by: Cosmopolitan