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Help! What’s My NATURAL HAIR CURL PATTERN!? Curls, Coils, Waves and Zig-Zag!

Help! What’s My NATURAL HAIR CURL PATTERN!? Curls, Coils, Waves and Zig-Zag!

Help! What’s my Curl Pattern!?

We know that natural hair lingo can be confusing, but we got you covered! Once you learn the properties of your hair, you’ll be well on your way to finding products that help your hair thrive. Leggo! 😜💯

➰What’s My Curl Pattern➰

If you’re new to the natural hair game, one of the first and most-visual properties of your hair that you'll want to figure out is your Curl Pattern - or more simply put, your curl shape! It’s helpful to learn what your Curl Pattern is because it helps to set realistic expectations on certain styles and looks that your hair will actually be able to achieve naturally.

For example: if you're looking to create small spiral coils but you naturally have loose waves, or alternately, if you're looking to create large barrel curls, but you naturally have tiny z-pattern coils. Knowing what hairstyles your natural curl pattern can realistically achieve will help you to save time while experimenting with different techniques, products, and hair tools.

Popularized in the 1990s by Andre Walker, and built upon by the natural hair community, hair texture is generally categorized into 4-numbered groups and 3-lettered subgroups. [Keep in mind that your strands can be a mixture of different curl patterns!]

Curl Type 1 - Straight : If your hair is straight, you can consider yourself to have Type 1 Hair! As you'll see, not all Straight Hair is the same...

Natural Hair Curl Type 1A

Type 1A: Straight hair that is fine and thin

Natural Hair Curl Type 1B

Type 1B: Straight hair that has a bit more volume

Natural Hair Curl Type 1C

Type 1C: Straight hair that is coarse and is typically curl resistant


Curl Type 2 - Wavy : If your hair is wavy, you’ll fall into the category of having Type 2 Hair! Wavy hair also has three subgroups depending on the size of your curl.

Natural Hair Curl Type 2A

Type 2A: Wavy hair that is fine and very easy to straighten

Natural Hair Curl Type 2B

Type 2B: Wavy hair that starts off flat at the root with medium-sized ‘S’ waves appearing at the midlength of hair

Natural Hair Curl Type 2C

Type 2C: Wavy hair that has defined ‘S’ waves starting at the root [this hair texture is more prone to frizz than other type 2 textures]


Curl Type 3 - Curly : If you describe your hair as curly, consider yourself to have Type 3 Hair!

Natural Hair Curl Type 3A

Type 3A: Curly hair that is loose with curls the diameter of sidewalk chalk

Natural Hair Curl Type 3B

Type 3B: Curly hair with curls the diameter of a magic marker

Natural Hair Curl Type 3C

Type 3C: Curly hair that is tightly curled with a diameter of about the size of a pen


Type 4 - Coily/Kinky : If you describe your hair as coily or kinky, consider yourself to have Type 4 Hair!

Natural Hair Curl Type 4A

Type 4A: Coily or kinky hair with ringlets similar to the diameter of a typical straw with a noticeable ‘S’ pattern

Natural Hair Curl Type 4B

Type 4B: Coily or kinky hair with strands that bend at  sharp ‘Z’ angles

Natural Hair Curl Type 4C

Type 4C: Coily/kinky hair that has the appearance of having an undefined texture, but upon closer inspection, has a zigzag pattern.

Feel free to download our Melanin Haircare Natural Hair Curl Type Chart for easy reference! 

Your tresses can span a variety of different textures - all beautiful in their own way! Learning your hair type is one of the many characteristics that you can use to define your strands! Later on, we'll dive into how to determine your Hair Porosity and Hair Density, which are two other important hair properties you'll want to know to master your natural hair.Melanin Haircare Twist-Elongating Style Cream

Whether you're looking to set your 3B curls or 4A coils with a soft hold, fluffy Wash and Go, or you're looking for the ultimate moisturizer to help nourish your strands throughout a protective style, The Melanin Haircare Twist-Elongating Style Cream has got you covered! This buildable, yet lightweight styling cream works on ALL Curl Types for a multitude of styling options and looks! Grab YOURS TODAY at MelaninHaircare.com

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