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Hair Types: Finding Your Texture

hair types

What’s your type? Silky-straight? Extra-curly? Bouncy and thick? Every head of hair is different, and while some hair is coarser, finer, straighter, or drier than others, that’s okay! The key to managing YOUR particular head of hair, whatever it may be like—and keeping it healthy—is knowing what type of hair you have in the first place, no matter what your ethnicity is.

That’s where this handy guide to understanding hair types comes in. Based on the work and findings of Emmy-winning Oprah stylist and author Andre Walker, this information is meant to help you understand the different hair types that are out there, and then identify your own natural hair type.

Essentially, there are four main hair types. Numbered from 1 to 4, these categories represent a range of hair textures, from the ultra-straight to the super-curly; as the numbers get bigger, the curls get tighter. The hair also loses moisture and grows more fragile as the hair type gets curlier and curlier—a surprising fact for most women—but never fear. Armed with the knowledge of your correct hair type, you can make almost anything happen with your tresses!

So let’s get started:

Type 1 Hair: Straight and Free-Falling

This is your standard, straight-as-a-bone hair type. Type 1 hair, whether fine or thick, has little to no curl, and generally hangs straight down, loose and free. Of everyone, people with Type 1 hair are most likely to have problems with oily scalps, and this type of hair doesn’t hold a curl easily. But oh, it’s a breeze to wash-and-go!

Celebrities with Type 1 hair: Cher, Rachel Bilson, Yunjin Kim, Frieda Pinto

hair extensions quizhair extensions quiz

Type 2 Hair: Wavin' in the Wind

Wavy with a little bounce, but slightly more resistant to straightening or styling, Type 2 hair is probably more common than Type 1, and definitely abounds on TV and in the movies. This is because Type 2 locks have just enough natural body and curl in them to move, but not so much as to get unruly. While frizzies can be a problem for Type 2 hair, it’s usually tamed easily with styling products.

Within the Type 2 category, there are three subcategories. All Type 2 hair seems pretty straight when wet, but the differences occur when the hair is dry. Type 2a tresses have just a hint of a bend in them, forming more of a “C” shape when completely dry, while 2b and 2c hair types twist into an “S” curl pattern and are more susceptible to frizz.

Celebrities with Type 2 hair: Rihanna, Scarlett Johannson, America Ferrera, Lisa Bonét, Sheila E, Kelly Hu

Type 3 Hair: Worlds of Curls

With even more curl definition than Type 2, Type 3 hair bounces, loops, springs, and generally runs riotous all over. Don’t be fooled, though. Type 3 hair is usually fine and—surprisingly—easier to style and blow-dry than even Type 2 locks. This is because the natural sheen, softness, and elasticity of Type 3 hair make it come almost pre-styled!

Like Type 2 tresses, there are three different varieties of Type 3 hair. While all three form a definite “S”, wet or dry, the difference is all in the size of the curl. People with 3a hair have curls about the diameter of a piece of children’s sidewalk chalk (about 1- 1½”). On the other hand, Type 3b ringlets are about the width of a marker, or the same diameter as a medium-sized roller (about ½”). Type 3c curls—which are not mentioned in Andre Walker’s book Andre Talks Hair, but which many women find describe their unique locks better than any other hair type—are very tiny, well-defined corkscrews, about as narrow as drinking straws (¼” and smaller). In fact, if you picture a straw-set, you’ll be picturing Type 3c hair!

Celebrities with Type 3 hair: Taylor Swift, Debra Messing, Alicia Keys, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sophina Brown

Type 4 Hair: From the Motherland

This is the hair type most African-American women have, before relaxer services. Tightly coiled, wiry-textured, and even kinky, this hair type is often misunderstood, even categorized as “bad”. But Type 4 hair has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and, if fully understood and cared for properly, is beautiful.

There are two subgroups of Type 4 hair. Type 4a is a bit curlier and “flops” out, or grows downward, more than 4b hair. Coils of 4a hair are likely to look like tiny Os, around the width of a knitting needle (just forget about inches), while 4b locks zigzag instead of curling, creating a fluffy, Z-shaped pattern, much like a strand of yarn. Both of these curly hair types are very fragile, despite the way they seem strong, and like to “stand up” more than swing or fall.

Celebrities with Type 4 hair: India.Aarie, Macy Gray, Leelah James, Janelle Monae

Determining Your Hair Type

So how do you figure out which hair type is actually yours? Simply wash your hair, comb it out, and see what it does. Watch your roots and new growth if you currently use a relaxer or other chemical services that alter your hair’s texture. Let your hair air dry, and watch the curls form, tighten, or fall away, as the case may be. You’ll soon see what your hair looks like in its natural form—and be ready to find the Best Hair Extensions for Your Hair Type, Best Hair Styles for Your Hair Type, and Hair Care by Hair Type: Working with What You’ve Got to Make it Healthier (all coming soon)!

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So do we! When placing your order, be as specific as possible. We hand-pick each and every order. Since our hair is purely natural, there can be slight variations in curl patterns and/or color. Tell us what you're looking for!

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TERMS & CONDITIONS

Membership

  • Membership is available to all qualifying individuals 16 years of age and over. For partner stylist you need to be approved as a licensed cosmetologist before becoming a VIP Pro member
  • Perfect Locks reserves the right to refuse membership to any applicant and membership may be terminated at Perfect Locks discretion and without cause.
  • Membership is subject to any and all rules adopted by including our online, showroom terms and conditions and by all applicable laws
  • Members cannot add on any other promotion to discounts received from the membership program (sales, coupon codes)
  • Members cannot use their VIP discount on products that are already discounted such as bundle deals, clearance items
  • Members are subject to the same return policy applicable for all Perfect Locks customers for products purchased. The terms can be found on the website
  • Membership is approved once the membership fee is paid in full and settled by the financial institution
  • Free Shipping is applied to each order greater than $100

Membership Fees

  • Membership fee is for one 12-month period from the date of enrollment of the Primary member
  • The program is intended for individual use only, our membership is valid for the primary member only and is not transferable

Membership Renewal and Cancellation

  • Your membership will be automatically renewed for yearly subscription and your payment method will automatically be charged at the then-current subscription rate until you cancel your subscription renewal. Member will need to call Perfect locks customer support to cancel subscription auto renewal
  • Membership fee is non-refundable and cannot be cancelled once processed
  • Membership changes can take place from VIP to VIP Pro provided the member qualifies as a stylist and pays the amount difference between the two programs. The annual membership becomes active after the date of switch.

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As part of our order processing procedures, we may screen received orders for fraud or other types of unauthorized or illegal activity. We reserve the right to refuse to process an order due to suspected fraud or unauthorized or illegal activity. If we suspect fraudulent, unauthorized or illegal activity, we may reject your order or we may contact you at the phone number or email address you provided to confirm your order. We also reserve the right to cancel any accounts or refuse to ship to certain addresses due to suspected fraud or unauthorized or illegal activity. We take these measures to protect our customers as well as ourselves from fraud or other unauthorized or illegal activity

General Disclaimers

  • Perfect locks reserves the right to make changes to the member program as it seem necessary at anytime of the membership
  • Product prices and availability are subject to change without notice
  • Member recognizes that the Perfect Locks Brand and Trademark are the valuable property of Perfect Locks alone.will do nothing, actively or passively, to devalue the brand. Examples of such devaluing include but are not limited to; using Trademark on products not supplied or authorized by Perfect Locks, using Trademark on unauthorized besides Perfect Locks’s websites, using Trademark at tradeshows without preapproval from Perfect Locks, using Perfect Locks’s images and professional photographs for use promotion other than Perfect Locks’s products. Damages will be due for breach of her clause in the amount needed to restore the value lost.
  • The Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of California.