If you’re new to embracing your natural hair texture, the amount of info out there can feel overwhelming. One really good place to start is figuring out which curl pattern you have. Your curl pattern is a great place to begin learning what your hair needs to look and feel it’s best.
FUN FACT! Most people have more than one curl pattern—as if it couldn’t get MORE confusing 😅 the trick is to look at which type you have the most of and start there.
Why curl pattern is important
Generally, anyone who is not a Type 1 (straight hair) is considered a “curly’. Even if you have just the slightest bend in your hair, believe it or not it impacts your hair’s overall health. This is because that bend impacts how the natural oils in your scalp travel down the hair shaft.
Anytime that oil meets a bend in the hair, it gets stopped in its tracks. This is why the tighter the curl pattern, the drier the hair. Folks with tighter curls have oils that are stopped higher up, meaning their hair needs a little more moisture along the lengths and ends.
Type 2: Wavy Hair
Type 2a: You have a loose wave that generally starts below the ears. May be straight in some places.
Type 2b: Your hair may be mostly straight at the roots with a defined “S” shaped curl pattern starting at the mid lengths.
Type 2c: Your waves are likely more defined and start higher up, towards the roots. You may have a mixture of curls and ringlets, with your waves.
Type 3: Curly Hair
Type 3a: You likely have loose curls, with a large diameter (similar to a piece of sidewalk chalk)
Type 3b: Your hair looks like classic ringlets, with a defined “s” shape and a mid-sized diameter (about the size of a marker).
Type 3c: Your curls are likely very dense, and tightly coiled with a small diameter (the size of a pencil)
Type 4: Coily Hair
Type 4a: Your curls are likely very dense, and springy. Your hair is more than likely on the finer side.
Type 4b: Your curls are tightly coiled and likely do not follow the same “s” shaped pattern of the other curl types. If you were to lay one of your curls out, it would probably look more like a “z”.
Type 4c: Your curls are less defined than a 4b but have a similar shape and circumference.