In the African American community women often compare hair types and find it hard to truly embrace the hair type that they have. Just because one curly hair type has a looser curl pattern doesn’t mean that that type of hair is better or easier to manage; and just because another curly hair type has a pattern that is kinky and coiled doesn’t mean it can’t be manageable. Will it take time for you to learn about and understand your hair and what products work for you? Absolutely! Let’s start learning our hair types and embracing them in order for us to care for our natural hair.
3A hair types are known to have nice perks of defined loose curls but battles with frizz. Anyone with this hair type should be light on oil and products in order to have a nice hold for defined curls. Conditioning is also good for 3A hair curls and helps with dryness.
3B hair types have curls that are tighter than 3A hair types, yet the curls are still defined. This texture can be coarse and thick. Be light on products in order to avoid buildup, and use sulfate free and silicone free cleansers. Anti-humectant styling cream works for less frizz and more definition to curls, and if in need of moisture, use sweet almond oil. Sulfate-free cleansers and silicone free products promote growth, and avoid buildup.
3C curly hair types are known as the corkscrew shape and have tighter curls than all of the other hair types. Some great techniques for those with this hair type is to avoid using heat and to use protective styles to stretch your hair. Stretching hairstyles include twist out, bantu knot out, perm rod sets, and braids. Use medium botanical free gel that isn’t harsh but provides great definition for your curls. Deep conditioning once a week is highly recommended for 30 minutes to hold moisture and elasticity.
4A has an “s” curl pattern shape and usually has no problem retaining moisture, but just like other hair types it is more prone for dryness. This hair type has high density and has great definition with wash n’ go’s, twist outs, bantu knot out styles after washing. Products that are great for this hair type include tea tree oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter.
4B hair types tend to have a “z” shape pattern and have a more cotton like appearance. This hair type is more prone to dryness and breakage and has a whole lot of shrinkage. This means that without stretching, this hair type appears shorter than it really is. Protective styles would include: twists, buns, braids, low manipulation roller sets, and puffs. Moisture cleaners and deep conditioning will help to avoid breakage.
Type 4C hair has a curl pattern that will consist of a lot of detangling. 4C hair has a mixture of strands from fine, thin, and soft. 4C coils look similar to 4B except that the pattern contains tight kinks with less defined curls. With this hair type the shrinkage is also real. Similar to 4B hair types, this hair type also shrinks giving the appearance that the hair is shorter than it really is. Helpful products for healthy hair include using a creamy humectant as a leave-in for protection. Use a curl defining custard that can help define twist-outs and braid-outs. Covering your hair at night with a silk or satin cap as well as using silk and satin pillowcases will protect your hair and prevent breakage.
By Faith Turner
Edited by Victoria Krute
Layout Design by Renita Singleton