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The Types Of Curls And Patterns Found In Natural Hair

T. are a variety of curly hairs out t., from natural curls to weaves. But did you know that these curls have been differentiated into a variety of shapes and patterns? According to hairstylist, Vernon François“curl patterns are also identified by the shape that the strands of hair make, whether they kink, curve, or wind around themselves into spirals.” Types of curly hair – a detailed breakdown.


For ladies with natural hair, it’s easier to identify the kind of curls you have when your hair is wet. Oprah Winfrey’s hairstylist, Andre Walker, was the first person to classify the different hair textures into four different types:

  • Type 1 – Straight hair
  • Type 2 – Wavy hair
  • Type 3 – Curly hair 
  • Type 4 – Coily hair

However, NaturallyCurly further divided the hair types into 3 more subcategories each – A, B, and C – according to the diameter of the curl.

Types of curls in hair via Pinterest

Type 1 hairs are typically straight with no natural curls to them and are common to women of Asian descent. They are easy to care for and have a tendency of retaining their shine because the oil from the scalp travels down the hair shaft quickly. It’s however important to note that some women may not fit perfectly into one category or subcategory as they may have a combination of several hair types on their head which is absolutely normal. Types of curly hair – a detailed breakdown.

Take a look at other types of curls and hair patterns…

Type 2 – Wavy

This hair type has a natural wave and is usually thicker than Type 1 hair. According to the thickness of the hair and the shape of the waves, it is further divided into three subcategories:

  • Type 2A which is very fine, thin, and has loose S-shaped waves.
  • Type 2B is a little frizzier than Type 2A, with more defined S-shaped waves. 
  • Type 2C is more prone to frizz and the most difficult to style in this hair category as the waves are more tightly packed. 

Type 3 – Curly

This category of hair has more defined, springy curls that form spirals or ringlets with tons of volume right from the roots to the tips. Ladies with Type 3 hair are prone to suffer dryness as their curls act as a barrier to the natural oils from being evenly distributed down the length of the hair.

  • Type 3A hair has defined curls with a thick texture and a lot of shine.
  • Type 3B has tighter curls and may have a combination of textures. 
  • Type 3C hair has very tight curls or kinks. 

Type 4 – Coily or Kinky

This last category of hair is very coily or kinky with very tight, and sometimes well-defined coils. The hair tends to be fairly coarse in texture, sensitive, and prone to damage by heat and product. The three different subcategories for kinky hair are:

  • Type 4A which is soft in texture with tight, well-defined coils or kinks resembling tight corkscrews.
  • Type 4B with very tight coils that are less defined, soft, fragile, and look like the spring found in pens.
  • Type 4C with tightly coiled strands and are more fragile.

Featured image: Ronke Raji | Instagram 

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Titi Dokubo

A fashion and culture enthusiast who’s really a food loving adventurer at heart.

At ., we aim to inspire our readers by providing engaging content to not just entertain but to inform and empower you as you ASPIRE to become more stylish, live smarter and be healthier.

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