This is a question most women should ask themselves. I didn’t know the answer and for many years it resulted in a lot of frustration and money thrown the drain on products that weren’t designed for my hair. For example, in the late 90s I wanted my hair to mirror Cree Summers’ beautiful kinky curls. I tried every spray, cream and leave-in I could afford at my local beauty supply store. After each disappointing product, I would head right back to the BSS in hopes the next bottle would reward me with the desired look.
It never did.
While my hair, in its natural state, is curly my actual texture and curl pattern is completely different from the actress. I didn’t know that until I came across a hair style system designed by Andre Walker, Oprah’s one and only hair guru. Walker classified hair into 4 (somewhat) easy to understand categories. Within each category, there are further sub-categories to help you define your hair type a little better. That is where it gets tricky. This categorization is adopted by many curl heads around the country and helps put things into perspective whether you’re looking for products to enhance your curl or control it.
Hair Type 1: Straight
Hair Type 2: Wavy
If you fall into this category, your hair when wet forms a loosely shaped ‘S’. Furthermore, your texture can range from thin (Type 2a) to somewhat thick (Type 2b) to very thick and coarse (Type 2c).
Hair Type 3: Curly
Those with Type 3 hair texture will see a tighter curl as their hair dries and more of an ‘S’ shape. The texture is fuller and sometimes frizzy. Type 3b looks more like ringlets or tight corkscrews with the circumference of a crayon.
Hair Type 4: Kinky
Kinky hair types have the most defined curl. It appears more like a zig zag and tightly coiled. This type of hair is the most fragile so be delicate when drying, combing, brushing or exposing to heat. Those with Type 4b will see less of a coil or curl and the hair will bend in sharp angles like the letter ‘Z’.
So, what’s your hair type?