Know Your Hair Type

Do you ever wonder what curl pattern your hair falls under? Or wonder what does 2a, 3a, and 4a even mean? Here's our breakdown for you:

How did this hair staging system come about? Celebrity hairstylist Andre Walker, whose clientele includes the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama, created the hair typing system in the 1990's to market his own hair care products.  His chart lists that there are 4 types of hair: Straight, Wavy, Curly, and Kinky.  Straight Hair is Type 1, Wavy Hair is Type 2, Curly Hair is Type 3 and Kinky Hair is Type 4. These hair types are then broken down into subtypes that includes A, B, or C (Note: Some of the subtypes were not included in the chart's original version) :

1a 1b 1c Straight Hair

2a 2b 2c Wavy Hair

3a 3b 3c Curly Hair

4a 4b 4c Kinky Hair

  • Straight hair is from fine and fragile, to coarse and thin, with no bend or curl
  • Wavy hair is from fine and thin, to coarse and frizzy, with a slight curve or S-shape
  • Curly hair is from loose, to corkscrew-like, with a curl or loop shape
  • Kinky hair is from tight coils, to z-angled coils, with a zigzag or spiral shape

According to Joane Amaye, at Allure.com, the subtypes A through C are based on the width or diameter of your wave, curl, or coil pattern.  

Hair texture can be Fine, Medium, or Thick. Fine hair is the most fragile and is thinner. Medium hair is thicker than fine hair. Thick hair is more coarse and fuller than medium hair. 

Hair density is the number of strands of hair on your head per square inch of the scalp. Density can be Low, Medium, or High. With low density hair, you are able to see the scalp more readily vs high density hair where the scalp is not as easily visible due to more strands of hair per square inch of the scalp.  

The porosity of the hair describes the dryness or moisture retaining capabilities.  Low porosity doesn't  absorb moisture well, but can retain it very well.  Medium porosity can absorb and retain moisture very well.  High porosity can absorb moisture well, but doesn't retain it very well. (From Naturallclub.com)

So, not all straight hair is fine hair, and not all curly hair is coarse hair. A person can have curly hair that is fine and thin.  Or it can be thick and coarse.  Same goes for straight hair. The hair type describes the curl pattern, but how the hair feels or behaves can differ for each hair type. 

Wew...learning your hair type can be exhausting!! Check out the informative video from Youtuber Iyda Michael below. She discusses the hair's curl pattern, texture, density, porosity and protein sensitivity and also gives great tips on what works best for your hair type.

Hope you enjoy,



"Andre Walker hair typing system - Women Health Info Blog". Women Health Info Blog. 2017-02-01. Retrieved from https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/the-hair-chart/.

Joane Amay. "How to Figure Out Your Hair Type. Solving an eternal mystery." Curl World. 2020, April 8. Retrieved from https://www.allure.com/gallery/curl-hair-type-guide

"What is my hair porosity and what does it mean?". Natural Club. 2017-10-30. Retrieved from https://naturallclub.com/blogs/the-naturall-club-blog/its-not-all-about-hair-type-porosity-and-natural-hair-care

Iyda Michael. (2018, May 3). Natural Hair Types and Tips. (Youtube Video). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulzmgfoOo3s