You know if your hair is straight, wavy, or curly, but do you know the specific type? The hair types range from 1A, the straightest of them all, from 4C, which is the curliest that hair can get. Look below to see what type of hair type you have.
I’m going to focus more on the 4A-C spectrum. Kinky hair is actually the most driest hair type, because all those curls stop your scalp’s natural oils from getting to the ends of your hair. On straight hair, the oils follow easily onto one straight path, which is one of the reasons why they feel the need to shampoo frequently. Curly hair doesn’t have it so easy, since it has to go through all those twists and turns.
Who said straight people don’t have kinks?
They said it’s not funny, but I beg to disagree.
Now that we have the obligatory terrible pun out of the way, back to the topic at hand.
Type 4 Hair
Type 4A hair is an S shape pattern, with visible curls. Generally speaking, it keep moisture pretty well, but like all curly hair types it can be frizzy and dry. Because this hair has a defined, natural curl pattern (that I’m not secretly jealous of), wash-and-go styles can be a great option.
- Gentle, no-sulfate shampoos
- conditioners with coconut oil
- hair butters
- clarify your scalp with shampoo using tea tree oil or jojoba oil
- Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Cream Shampoo
- OGX Nourishing Conditioner, Coconut Milk
- Cantu Shea Butter Hair Dressing Pomade
Type 4B hair has a Z shape and has a less defined curl pattern than the other hair types. Instead of being curly, the hair kind of sharply twists to the other side, creating this Z pattern. This hair type often experiences about 75% shrinkage of it’s actual hair length. Type 4B and lower can hold braids longer than the other hair types.
- Do heat-free styles to reduce shrinkage by using perm rods, curl formers, or flexi rods
- Use a T-Shirt or a microfiber towel to dry hair after washing it, other cloth will strip its natural moisture and cause tension on the strands
- Prepare your hair for shampoo by using coconut oil or castor oil in your scalp
- Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil by Sky Organics
- SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Intensive Strengthening Masque – 12 oz
- Coconut Oil Hair Mask 8 oz 100% Natural Hair Care Treatment by Premium Nature
Type 4C is made of hair that almost never has visible curls without the use of styling techniques. The curls here are actually so small and coiled that the overall appearance looks like a soft cloud. Type 4C can range from fine and thin, to coarse and thick. This hair shrinks up to more than 75% percent (yup).
- Use an oil to contain moisture (like olive oil or coconut oil) as a leave-in to maximize protection from the elements
- Cover your hair at night with a silk or satin cap to protect your hair and prevent breakage
- Use a deep-moisturizing conditioner every two weeks or so to restore moisture to your hair
- Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Conditioning Co-Wash, 10 Ounce
- Milk Protein & Olive Oil Leave-in Treatment, 8 Ounce
- Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Moisturizer by Jergens, 16.8 Ounce
Since Christmas is coming along, now you can ask for all those fancy hair products.
If you have any questions about the tips listed above, or if you want to give a tip of your own, tell me in the comments below!
Updated for clarity and to protect one’s identity.