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...
Type 1A: Straight hair that is fine and thin
Type 1B: Straight hair that has a bit more volume
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.
Type 2A: Wavy hair that is fine and very easy to straighten
Type 2B: Wavy hair that starts off flat at the root with medium-sized ‘S’ waves appearing at the midlength of hair
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!
Type 3A: Curly hair that is loose with curls the diameter of sidewalk chalk
Type 3B: Curly hair with curls the diameter of a magic marker
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!
Type 4A: Coily or kinky hair with ringlets similar to the diameter of a typical straw with a noticeable ‘S’ pattern
Type 4B: Coily or kinky hair with strands that bend at sharp ‘Z’ angles
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.
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