Knowing your hair type is a very important part of your natural hair journey. Took me about five(5) years to figure this out, mostly because I was ignorant and didn’t even know I needed to know this.
If I had known earlier I would have treated my hair better and known how to manage it. So today I’ve decided to source some information for you on how to find out your hair type and the do’s and don’t depending on what type of hair you have.
There are several other hair types but today I’m focusing more on the most common types of hair for black people.
Type 4 – Coily Hair
Type 4 hair can range from fine and thin to wiry and coarse with lots and lots of strands densely packed together. Coily hair has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type, which means that it has less protection from the damage inflicted by combing, brushing, curling, blow-drying and straightening.
Type 4a is tightly coiled hair that has an “S” pattern. It has more moisture than Type 4b coils and has a visible curl pattern. The circumference of the spirals is close to that of a crochet needle. The hair can be wiry or fine-textured. It is usually fragile with high density. Type 4a hair has fewer cuticle layers than other hair types, which means it has less natural protection from damage.
- Co-wash with a moisturizing sulfate-free cleanser.
- Clarify your scalp with shampoos containing tea tree or jojoba oil.
- Use thicker natural emollients like mango and shea butters to maximize your wash-and-go, twist-out, or bantu knot-out style after washing
- Teyonnah Paris
- Andrea Lewis
- Yaya Dacosta
- Sopie Okonedo
Type 4b strands have a “Z” shape and a less defined curl pattern. Instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter “Z.” Type 4b hair is tightly coiled and can feel wiry to the touch. Type 4b hair can range from fine and thin to wiry and coarse with many strands packed densely together. This hairtype often experiences shrinkage up to 75% of its actual hair length. Type 4b coils can hold altered styles well in comparison to Types 2, 3, or 4a hair.
- Practice the LOC or LCO Method to keep coils moisturized.
- Pre-poo with coconut oil or castor oil to help retain natural oils in your scalp.
- Create a heat-free style on stretched hair with perm rods, Curlformers, or flexi rods for maximum definiton and less frizz.
- Use a t-shirt or microfiber towel to dry hair after washing; terry cloth will strip its natural moisture and cause tension on the strands
- Chrisette Michele
- Solange Knowles
- Jade Cole
- Willow Smith
- Syesha Mercado
Type 4c hair is composed of strands that will almost never clump without the use of styling techniques. Type 4c hair can range from fine, thin, soft to coarse with densely packed strands. Some say Type 4c coils look identical to 4b except that the curls are tightly kinked with less definition. Tighter coily hair can shrink more than 75%.
- Use a creamy humectant as a leave-in to maximize protection from the elements.
- A curl defining custard or gelee can stretch the coil safely for twist-outs and braid-outs.
- Cover your hair at night with a silk or satin cap to protect your hair and prevent breakage.
- Use a detangling co-wash with slippery elm or marshmallow root.
- Lupita Nyong’o
- Viola Davis
- India Arie
- Erykah Badu
- Lydia Forson
Also so note that some people have a combination of hair types, I’ve noticed I have type 4a at the back of my hair with the rest being a combination of 4 B and 4C. To be honest it can get confusing sometimes but I love learning as I go.
So do the test and tell me what type of hair you think you have.