Naturally Curly Hair Types- What’s Yours?

Hey chickadees!

What are you doing right now? Celebrating NHF with us? Well of course you are! And HNLH is happy to have ya (even if its not Friday as you read this post). I write a lot about hair types and that’s because knowing where you fit in on the hair spectrum can be super helpful in both understanding and taking care of your hair.

Categories of Curls

It is generally accepted that curls can be categorized from type 2 to type 4, though if you read Curly Girl: The Handbook, the author Lorraine Massey takes it a step further by demonstrating where curls fall based on the spring method. Pull your curl down as far as it can go and take note of where it lands and also measure where it is at its natural dry length. The in between is your spring and your curly type falls in:

Fractal or Zigzag for 9- to 16-inch spring

Corkscrew for 9- to 12- inch spring

Corkicelli and cherub for 5- to 10- inch spring

Boticelli for 5- to 8- ich spring

Wavy for 2- to 4- inch spring

S’ wavy for 1- to 2- inch spring

Related: Curly Girl the Handbook Review- Beware if you Have Curly Hair

Screenshot from Curly Girl the Handbook

Easy enough? Well to be honest, it wasn’t the most clear to me. My spring indicated that I’m wavy though my hair looks nothing like the models in the book ??? *certainly a head- scratcher.* This method of discerning your curl type has been extremely helpful to many and if you haven’t done so yet, I’d recommend reading my review of the entire book here to get the full scope on what this gamechanger is all about. Though this book has been elemental for me, in both understanding and embracing my natural hair, I like to go by a different method to find where I fall in the hair type game. This method involves a visual chart and you can easily see where your hair fits in based on one or more of the drawings. Remember that your hair can fall in more than one category!

Which Hair Type(s) are You?

Type 1

Straight hair. I haven’t forgotten about my straight- haired sisters, but this one is self explanatory. Your tresses hardly have any bends and if you fall in type 1, it is no secret. Bone straight and banging! Very Jennifer Aniston- esque ;).

Type 2A

Slight waves. You have some bends in there that make it clear that you are not in the first category, but actually belong among the wavies. You have fine hair in terms of density and because you are nearly straight you might find it necessary to take those natural waves out. However, Sofia Vergara (Gloria from Modern Family) falls in this type and she often wears it proud and beautifully!

Type 2B-2C

Soft waves and Defined waves. Your hair bends even more often giving the appearance of tousled, sexy beach waves! Defintion is not a problem when your hair is wet and the unique S’s give onlookers something to smile at. Shakira and Mariah Carey totes fit in here with their uber wavy, super fly locks.

Type 3A

Classic curls. You definitely fall in the curly category and your twisting swirls are proof as such. You might find that wavy bits are interspersed throughout your hair but on the whole its curly through and through. Some of my curls fall in this type and it is funny to see them thrown in with the others. Singer, Mya and actress Annalyne McCord are both great 3A ambassadors!

Type 3B

Spiral curls. Here is where most of my curls fall. 3b’s can surely see spirals and even unconnected C’s (look like the letter C) throughout their mane. 3b’s usually have a deep curl and many find that they have curls from many different types depending on what part of the head you look at. Alicia Keys and Leona Lewis fall easily with the 3b crowd.

Type 3C

Corkscrews. The 3c’s have tight curly hair and are actually a perfect segue into the next category which comprises of the land of tight curls! BUT 3’cs are still quite curly and a trademark is the very flattering corkscrew type of curl. 3c’s are the start of the coily types. Actress Rachel True (who is totally one of the queens of curly hair since day) falls in this category and since the start of her career she shows how bad*** it truly is!

Type 4A

Slightly coiled. If you have been blessed with slightly coiled hair you will notice the tightness of the strands on your head. 4a’s look best when they let their inner goddess out and embrace volume and the mane that they were gifted with. 4a’s notice the spirally coils every time they gaze at their hair. The beautiful Sophie Okenedo is a 4a governess.

Type 4B

Kinky. Whereas 3b’s notice unconnected letter c’s in their hair, 4b’s often take note of the unconnected v’s within theirs (or z’s). 4b’s arguably have the best name of the lot: kinky, and those who have 4b have some of the tightest curls of all the curl sisters. Singer Solange is a great candidate for this category and we all know the power that her hair always brings.

Type 4C

Super Kinky. And here is the tightest curls of them all! You have curls that are thick as thieves in terms of the strands sticking together. Z- shaped strands and tight coils can be found on your head and often they look like that cute spring in push pens. The fierce actress, Lupita Nyong’o, always brings the 4c magic.

Related: What Indian Healing Clay did to my Hair- A Must Read for Curly Girls!

The Curl-Cessation

Now you know! Those are all the patterns out there that represent your wavy/curly/coily/kinky hair! To fully know/understand where you fall you should endeavor to wear your natural hair to really see what it is made of. Those that chemically treat or consistently straighten will certainly yield results that are different from reality. Wet your hair, condition it with a botanical conditioner, let it dry and listen to what your curls tell you. If you really want to see what your natural hair is made of, I have found that no better treatment shows the way than Indian Healing Clay. That’s it darlings, the NHF fairies have blessed us once again! I hope you enjoyed this post… who run the world? Curls! (and our bone- straight sisters) don’t forget to:

  • Let us know your hair type and any and all of your thoughts in this post by commenting below ⇓
  • Share this post on your fav social sites by clicking the buttons as you see fit 😉
  • Subscribe! You don’t want to miss any thing that the handbook has for you!
  • Have a wonderful Natural Hair Friday and take care of your curls like its NHF every day!


4 comments on “Naturally Curly Hair Types- What’s Yours?

  1. I love all your information. I can’t wait to find out what hair type I am. I think 3b, 3c, but I am not sure!! I am ordering the indian healing clay right now!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *