Home Hair What Is Hair Typing?

What Is Hair Typing?

by Evenes Ruth Mafupa

So I have been asked this question several times and many also wanted me to tell them what their hair type is. A lot of work and posts have been done by others but because of those who may still need the information, I put the information for you to check for yourself and if it matters to you, to figure out what your hair type is. First and foremost though, I will concentrate on the well known or most used Andre Walker system or this post may become too long. It is not comprehensive but it gives you somewhere to start from especially for new naturals.

Type 1 : This is the straight hair type.

type 1

  • 1A   –    Very soft, fine, shiny, Hard to hold a curl style, hair tends to be oily, not prone to damage.

  • 1B   –   Medium texture with more body and volume
  • 1C   –   More course and difficult to curl. Most Asians have this hair type.

Type 2 hair : This is the wavy hair type and has categories A to C.

Type 2

  • 2A   –  This is fine and relatively thin hair, easy to handle and style. It has a definite S pattern and the hair generally sticks to the head
  • 2B   –   Medium texture with more volume and tends to be frizzy and is a bit difficult to style.
  • 2C   –   Course and prone to frizz. Tighter curls and has more volume and body.

Type 3 : Curly Hair

type 3


Has a definite “S” shaped curl pattern. Since the cuticle doesn’t lye  flat, it is not very shiny

  • 3A   –   Thick & full with lots of body. Definite “S” pattern with loose curls. Hair tends to be frizzy.
  • 3B   –   Medium texture with tighter curls. Combination texture is common. Hair tends to be frizzy
  • 3C   –   Not part of the Andre Walker system but has been added by the natural hair community. Hair tends to be much tighter than 3B and forms corkscrews with a courser texture, and is closer to the type 4 hair type.

Type 4 hair : Kinky or coily hair, extremely wiry and fragile. Tends to be dry and appears course although is is very fine and thin.

type 4

  • 4A   –   Has a definite S pattern and is closer to 3C with a tight curl. Tends to be fragile and takes to frizz easily.
  • 4B   –   Z curl shape as hair bends with very sharp angles. Tight coils and tends to frizz and shrink more. Very fragile.
  • 4C   –   Not in Andre’s system but generally added by the natural hair community. Hair has tighter coils of very fine hair densely packed close to each other. Tends to be dryer and shows no definite curl pattern mainly due to dryness and frizz since it has been proven now that when properly hydrated, it does have a curl pattern. This hair is very fragile, fine and thin and feels very soft to touch.

Hair typing Chart.


Now I know my hair type. So What?

Well, knowing your hair type is meant to help you understand the best products to use on your hair, the expectations from certain hairstyles and generally what your hair may need. As I said earlier, it is not comprehensive and mind you it does not take away the much needed experimentation on your hair because no two heads have exactly the same hair type and texture. Talking about texture, as in, fine medium and course also plays an important role in categorizing hair. Other factors to consider are porosity, elasticity and density. It is also common especially for type 3 and 4 hair to have a combination of textures all on one head. I personally think I have from type 4A to 4C all on my head. So understanding the hair type on your head is just the beginning or rather only a part of getting to know your hair.

Is hair typing your thing? Do you know your hair type? Tell me. I would love to know.

Many blessings to you and yours. 

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