Curl Pattern ID

Straight Hair – Type 1

Straight hair has no curl or volume. It naturally reflects sheen, appears shiny and lies flat to the head. It is considered the most resilient hair because it is difficult to damage. Because sebum (the natural oil produced in the sebaceous glands of the scalp) is easily able to work its way down from the roots to the ends without the interference of curls or kinks, it is the most oily hair texture of all.

Sub Types:

  • TYPE 1A: Hair tends to be very soft, fine and thin.
  • TYPE 1B: Hair tends to have more body and volume and is a medium texture.
  • TYPE 1C: Hair is normally coarse, bone straight, and difficult to curl. Asian women hair typically falls into this category.

Characteristics to determine if you have Type 1 hair:

  • Doesn’t hold curls
  • High Sheen and Shine
  • Very Resilient
  • Difficult to Damage

Celebrities with Type 1 Hair:

 Jennifer Aniston  Gwyneth Paltrow  Lisa Ling



Wavy Hair – Type 2

Wavy hair is in between straight and curly hair. It has a naturally occurring loose S patterned curl. It is prone to frizz and tends to lie flat to the head. It reflects light sheen; more than curly hair, but less than straight hair. The further down the wavy spectrum you go the less sheen the hair will impart. Sebum flows from root to ends with some interference.

Sub Types:

  • TYPE 2A: Hair tends to be fine. It is easily handled and can alternate between straight or curlier styles freely.
  • TYPE 2B: Hair has a medium texture, tends to frizz and is resistant to styling.
  • TYPE 2C: Hair has a courser texture. It is resistant to styling and prone to high frizz.

Characteristics to determine if you have Type 2 hair:

  • Naturally forms a loose “S” pattern curl
  • Light sheen
  • Easier to curl or straightened
  • Prone to Frizz
  • Easier to damage than straight hair

Celebrities with Type 2 Hair:

Ashlee Simpson Carrie Underwood Shakira

Curly Hair – Type 3

Curly Hair has a definite “S” curl pattern or corkscrew like curls that are tight and springy. The hair type is considered to have LOTS OF BODY and is densely packed with more strands than the average head. It is soft, prone to high frizz, and damages easily. Sebum flows from root to ends with interference, which can lead to some dryness.

Sub Types:

  • TYPE 3A: Large, shiny, definite “S” shaped curls occurring naturally. The curl pattern is compared to the circumference of sidewalk chalk.
  • TYPE 3B: Corkscrew curls or bouncy ringlets measuring the circumference of a sharpie marker.
  • TYPE 3C: This type falls between the curliness of type 3 and the kinky pattern of type 4. It is tight corkscrew curl measuring the circumference of a pencil or straw.

Characteristics to determine if you have Type 3 hair:

  • Definite “S” curl or corkscrew pattern
  • Curl is tight and springy
  • Is shiny or has sheen
  • Has lots of body and is densely packed
  • Prone to Frizz
  • Easily damaged

Celebrities with Type 3 Hair:

Taylor Swift Alicia Keys Tracee Ellis Ross

Kinky 4a Kinky 4b


Kinky Hair – Type 4

Kinky Hair is very tightly curled with a visible “S” curl pattern. It can also have very little (i.e. Z-pattern curl) to no curl pattern at all. Kinky hair can range from fine to course and is very densely packed. When dry or wet, it has the ability to shrink up to 75% of it length. It is fragile and can become more easily damaged because it has fewer cuticle layers and less natural protection. Type 4 hair is not as tolerate to excessive manipulation and heat styling as other hair types. Sebum has a very difficult time flowing from root to ends, and encounters significant interference from this highly textured hair. As a result, this hair type is prone to extreme dryness. Kinky hair is the driest hair type and can appear dull. It is more prone to breakage and requires a gentle touch.

Sub Types:

  • TYPE 4A: Soft and very tightly curled with a visible defined curl pattern compared to the circumference of a crochet needle.
  • TYPE 4B: Wiry and has a “Z” pattern shape.
  • TYPE 4C: Very tightly coiled with no visible curl definition.

Characteristics to determine if you have Type 4 hair:

  • Very tightly curled or coiled
  • Has a Z-pattern curl
  • Is naturally very dry and can appear dull
  • Very fragile and prone to breakage
  • Highly susceptible to frizz
  • Very easily damaged

A misconception exists that this hair type does not grow. Kinky hair grows at the same rate as other textures. However, if not cared for properly, it is prone to breakage and can be damaged more easily than other textures. Treat this hair type like a fine silk blouse – cleanse gently, detangle softly, and avoid harsh chemicals.

Celebrities with Type 4 Hair:

Ya Ya DaCosta Erica Badu Macy Gray



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