We all know about straight, wavy, and curly hair types, however, did you know that hair typing can be much more specific? Hair typing is related to the amount of curl, texture, and thickness you see in your hair strands. Knowing your hair type is important when picking hair care routines, products, or even hairstyles for your specific hair type.
Andre Walker’s Hair Typing System
Andre Walker’s hair typing system is one of the most popular and can help you determine your hair type. Within each category, there are three subcategories detailing the amount of curl, texture, and thickness of the strands. With 12 hair types in total, how do you determine yours? For some people, it is possible to have more than one type of hair, and picking just one type may not be easy. However, if you’re curious to know whether you’re a 1C or a 4A, you’re in the right place! We’re going to go over every category in the system to help you identify your hair type.
Type 1: Straight
The first hair type in the system refers to straight hair that tends to be shiny and oily. Within this type of hair there are three subcategories: 1A, 1B, and 1C.
Type 1A hair is completely straight and tends to be extremely flat, thin, with little to no body but with a noticeable shine to it. It is quite rare but many Asian women fall within this category.
Type 1B is straight but not as flat as 1a and is characterized by its medium texture. It can hold a curl, especially at the ends, and it has more body and texture.
Out of the three types, 1C is the one to that has the most body and soft bends. It is the one most likely hold a curl and it is loose in texture.
Type 2: Wavy
Type 2 hair is the happy medium between straight and curly. The hair strands have a “s” wave to them and are not to0 oily and not too dry. It has three specific subcategories: 2A, 2B, 2C.
Lucky type 2A hair owners have those natural beach waves that many of us wish for. It is not as frizzy as the other type 2 hair categories, making it quite easy to style either curly or straight.
Type 2B hair is composed of defined, tight waves that tend to stick to the shape of your head. This type of naturally wavy hair is usually accompanied by a bit of frizz.
The frizziest hair out of the three, type 2C hair consists of waves that are very tight making them curl around themselves, adding a bit of bounce. The hair strands also tend to be a bit rougher than the other type 2s.
Type 3: Curly
This third hair type can also be classified as the “s” shaped hair. These naturally defined curls in the form of ringlets are quite dry due to the natural oils found in the scalp not reaching the entire hair strand. This type of hair also has 3 hair types: 3A, 3B, 3C.
The 3A hair texture consists of your typical Shirley Temple curls that are loose. Because of its lack of tightness, it gives the hair some shininess. This type of natural hair is convenient since it doesn’t require much styling or product to look great.
These curls are either spiral ringlets with a bit of a bounce or tight corkscrews. This hair type can be very frizzy and may require styling gels or hair creams. Many half-Black women tend to have this type of hair.
Type 3C hair was not originally part of the Andre Walker hair typing system. It was later created by NaturallyCurly.com. The hair type consists of tight and highly textured curls. Curls are reasonably defined, however, they are not as smooth as the other two types of curly hair.
Type 4: Kinky Hair
This final type of hair is known for being types of hair strands that curl tightly but unlike type 3 hair these curls are not defined and it tends to be very fine but with several strands packed together making it seem less fragile than it really is. This is a common hair type for many African American women.
Type four hair is quite dry because of the shape of each individual strand of hair. Because of the highly textured curl pattern, the natural oils produced at the scalp don’t reach more than one or two inches down the hair shaft. Type four hair texture also tends to remain the same whether dry or wet. Like all other hair types, there are three different subcategories: 4A, 4B, 4C.
Typically involves tight coils that when stretched demonstrates an “s” pattern. The curls tend to be cylindrical and springy in nature. This type of hair has more of a defined curl pattern and is looser than the other type 4s.
Unlike the cylindrical pattern of 4A, this type of hair takes on more of a tight and crimpy curl pattern that, when stretched out, forms more of a “z” instead of an “s”. The ends of the hair shaft tend to have a more clearly defined curl pattern than the roots.
Like type 3C, this hair type was not originally part of the Andre Walker’s Hair System. However, type 4C hair consists of zigzag-patterned curls that tend to show very little or no definition at all. An interesting fact about 4C hair is that it tends to shrink when dry by a little more than half of its length.
As we can see, there are many of different hair types and textures and it is a lot more detailed than simply straight, wavy or curly. Figuring out how to determine your specific hair type is easier with the help of this list.
Remember that your hair should be in its natural state when trying to determine what type of strands your hair consists of. Wash your hair with a gentle shampoo, allow it to dry naturally without the use of blow-dryers or even towels. They can change your natural hair slightly and make it harder to determine the type. Once your hair is dry, you can start to look at different sections of hair and decide along with the descriptions in this article what your hair type is. Remember it is also normal to have more than just one type of hair!