Knowing which black hair type you have can make styling and maintaining easier. Relaxed or natural, hair generally falls into one of four categories: straight, wavy, curly, or kinky.
Curly Black Hair
Curly black hair can be divided into types 2A, 2B, or 2C, depending on how loose or tight its S-shaped waves are. To keep them moisturized and defined, use a product such as Dove Amplified Textures Define N’ Moisture Styling Gel to keep your curls in check.
Four primary hair textures exist, three of which are most prevalent among black people: Straight hair type 1, wavy hair type 2, curly hair type 3, and kinky or coiled hair type 4. Knowing your texture can provide styling and care inspiration from others with similar characteristics.
Kinky hair can be defined by loose or tight coils with defined curls that vary in structure. As this type of hair is vulnerable to shrinkage when wet or after being styled with hot tools, using heat protection products and maintaining regular trims are vital to preserving its integrity and shape.
History of Hair Straightening
African slaves engaged in conking practices during the trans-Atlantic slave trade to straighten their naturally curly hair to match white culture’s beauty ideals and conform with European beauty ideals. One such conking trial involved applying a mixture of lye and egg that caused painful and damaging results; now, most black women prefer keeping their locks curly instead.
Hair type charts generally classify different styles based on their shape or pattern, such as curly or kinky locks under type 3, while wavy and straight locks usually fall under category 2 or 3. If you have wavy hair, try products to define and smooth out its curls and waves to give it more definition and sophistication. Dove Amplified Textures Define N’ Moisture Styling Gel can help achieve an elegant yet defined wave style.
People with curly hair have type 3 inches, typically described as bouncy and springy. This category includes type 3a curls, which form an “S” shape, and tighter coils called 3b curls that do not frizz excessively. People with kinky or type 4 hair often feature tightly wound strands resembling corkscrew-shaped waves when stretched. They require lots of moisture to remain healthy. A wide-tooth comb and quality hair mousse will assist in controlling these textures.
Natural Hair Care
Hair type charts are often employed by stylists to accurately pinpoint a person’s curl pattern. Although black hair type charts may also provide texture information, their main focus is curliness. Curly locks are resilient, easily styled, and versatile enough for many occasions. However, they may become tangled or damaged; natural products that do not contain sulfates, parabens, and silicone may help avoid this happening. Natural hair gel that works double duty as both hydrator and setting product can do wonders for curls, which typically dry out more quickly than other textures.
Women with 3B curl patterns boast springy and voluminous coils that form an S-shape throughout their strands, while 3C coils have dense corkscrew-like locks. Both textures of black hair can be styled into loose-flowing afros or even braided flat braids for effortless style options.
Understanding Your Hair Type
Hair typing can be an invaluable method of understanding and identifying your black hair type, providing insight into selecting styles, products, and routines designed to maintain its health and strength. Unfortunately, however, identifying your specific hair type may prove challenging. Black hair types can be divided into four groups based on their texture: straight, wavy, curly, and kinky. Kinky has defined curl patterns forming a Z shape. Kinky is often considered the driest black hair texture due to its sluggish curl pattern and may experience further damage, such as breakage. Regarding identifying your black hair type, two crucial aspects must be considered: curl pattern and density of strands. Type 4 hair features tight coils of densely packed locks; this style also tends to shrink significantly when wet, making it appear shorter than its actual length.