The History of Hair Texture Typing
Texture typing is a system of hair classification that was developed in the early 20th century. The original purpose of texture typing was to categorize hair textures in order to determine which products and treatments would be best suited for each type.
Over time, the hair texture typing system has evolved and become more complex, as the original system left out 4C textures which are common to Black folks and consist of strands that are soft, delicate and shaped in a "Z" pattern rather than a coil.
While the hair texture typing system is not perfect, it remains a useful tool for hair care professionals and people with natural hair to determine which products and treatments will work best for their hair type. You want to think of texture typing as a guideline rather than the rule, as many people can have multiple textures within their hair or not feel that they can place themselves solely in one category.
If you're interested in learning more about hair texture typing, keep reading! We'll go over the different hair textures and provide some tips on how to care for each type.
The Hair Typing System Broken Down
The hair typing system represents three general types of curl strands, type #2 (wavy), type #3 (curly), and type #4 (coily). The lettered sub-categorization of these types - from A to C - are based upon the diameter of the wave, curl or coil. Understanding the general categorization of your hair type can help you choose the best products for you the first time around.
TYPE 2: WAVY HAIR
This hair texture is usually a multi-textured mix between strands that aren't completely straight, and aren't completely curly.
This texture is one that can be easily weighed down by product, and so we want to stick closer to utilizing products lighter in nature that will give us styling and definition, but will not cause an overage of buildup on the hair. This hair type can also be very prone to frizz, and so utilizing styling mousses or gels will help to fight humidity and keep a light, long-lasting hold.
TYPE 3: CURLY HAIR
Type 3 curly hair ranges from a light curl to tight, curly tendrils, and usually have a combination of textures. They are defined and springy, with more height and volume at the root than type 2s.
This hair texture is one that can have curls ranging across wide diameters, placing great importance on the type of styling product that is used to define the curls. Type 3 hair can benefit from finding a good balance between satisfactory levels of moisture and strong stylers that will fight the potential for frizz and tangling.
TYPE 4: COILY HAIR
Type #4 coily hair may seem robust, but it’s actually the most fragile hair texture because it has the fewest cuticle layers to protect it from dryness.
This hair texture is one that can have strands that form a tight "S" pattern, all the way to an even tighter "z" pattern. This beautifully unique tightness and pattern results in strands that can become quickly tangled and lack moisture when left unattended. This hair type requires a large amount of water to remain hydrated, and the use of gels, moisturizing butters or creams help to lock that water into the type 4 strand. It's key to ensure the hair is not left untangled for a long period of time, and this can be helped by utilizing protective styles such as twists, flexi rods or bantu knots.
If you still have more questions about which texture you have, feel free to reach out to a curly hair help team member by filling out our product suggestion forms, asking your question in the chat or giving us a call at 519-624-4568!