Keeping Up With The Coils

By Darnelle Thompson

Keeping up with internet discussions on hair types and textures in the beginning of my natural hair journey (3 years to date)  was a huge shlep and to be honest, I found it unnecessary and boring as hell!  After some extensive research (I was bored), I  stumbled upon Naturallycurly.com’s hair references.

I’ve included excerpts of hair type 4 on here as it was not included on their site.

Type 4 – Kinky Hair

  • Type 4 is kinky, or very tightly curled, with a clearly visible curl pattern
  • Circumference: Crochet needle or even smaller
  • The hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very, very fragile
  • Type 4 hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/coarse with lots and lots of strands densely packed together
  • Type 4 hair has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type, which means that it has less natural protection from the damage you inflict by combing, brushing, curling, blow-drying and straightening it
  • Type 4 hair is known to shrink up to 75% of the actual hair length

There are two Type 4 subtypes:

  • 4b: Has a “Z” pattern, less of a defined curl pattern. Instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter “Z”; has a cotton-like feel
  • 4b celebrities: Solange Knowles

IMG_20160517_214243

 

  • 4a: Tightly coiled hair that, when stretched, has an “S” pattern, much like curly hair. It tends to have more moisture than 4b; has a definite curl pattern

 

Tips

  • Use styling creams, butters and oils for type 4 hair
  • This hair type needs extra moisture and tender-loving care because it can be fragile
  • Detangle hair with a lot of conditioner in your hair and use a comb or detangling brush
  • Let hair air dry or use a hood dryer
  • Do not use a brush or comb on your dry curls
  • Reduce tangles by sleeping on a satin pillowcaseor wrap hair in a satin cap

Type 3c – Curly Kinky Hair

Subtype 3c is really more than a subtype. It’s a type NaturallyCurly members developed because the original system left out this hair type, which falls between 3b and 4a, having its own special characteristics.

  • Type 3c hair has tight curls in corkscrews
  • Circumference: Pencil or straw
  • The curls can be either kinky, or very tightly curled, with lots and lots of strands densely packed together
  • Getting this type of hair to blow dry straight is more challenging than for 3a or 3b, but it usually can be done
  • The very tight curls are usually fine in texture
  • 3c celebrities: Alicia Keyes, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Tracee Ellis Ross

IMG_20160517_215439

Tips

  • Use styling creams, butters and oils for type 3c hair
  • This hair type needs extra moisture and tender-loving care because it can be fragile
  • Detangle hair with a lot of conditioner in your hair and use a comb or detangling brush
  • Do not use a brush or comb on your dry curls
  • Reduce tangles by sleeping on a satin pillowcaseor wrap hair in a satin cap

Type 3 – Curly Hair

  • There is a definite loopy “S” pattern
  • Curls are well-defined and springy
  • Type 3 hair has a lot of body; it is easily styled in its natural state or straightened with a blow-dryer
  • It isn’t coarse, like many believe, but soft and very fine—there’s just a lot of it
  • Combinations of Type 3a and 3b curls are common

There are two Type 3 subtypes:

  • 3b: Medium amount of curl, from bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews.

Circumference: Sharpie size

  • 3b celebrities: Keri Russell

IMG_20160517_215522

  • 3a: Curls are naturally big, loose and usually very shiny.

Circumference: sidewalk-chalk size

  • 3a celebrities: Debra Messing

IMG_20160517_215408

Tips

  • 3a’s: Use gels and creams that offer light moisture and curl definition
  • 3b’s: Use gels and styling creams with extra moisture and serious frizz control
  • Use duckbill clipson the crown of your head to lift top curls
  • Let hair air dry or use a diffuser
  • Once your curls are dry, rub a little pomade into the palm of your hands and smooth over your hair gently
  • Do not use a brush or comb on your dry curls
  • Reduce tangles by sleeping on a satin pillowcase

Type 2 – Wavy Hair

  • The wave or curl forms throughout the hair in the shape of the letter “S”
  • Type 2 hair sticks close to the head; it won’t bounce up, even when layered

There are three Type 2 subtypes:

  • 2c: Thick and coarse and more resistant to styling and will frizz easily
  • 2c celebrities: Jennifer Nettles, Daisy Fuentes, Brittany Snow
  • 2b: Medium-textured and a little resistant to styling; has a tendency to frizz
  • 2b celebrities: Joss Stone, Nelly Furtado Carrie Underwood
  • 2a: Fine, thin and very easy to handle; easily straightened or curled
  • 2a celebrities: Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Watts, Cate Blanchett

Tips

  • Use lighter products such as mousses or gels that enhance curls, but don’t weigh them down
  • Use duckbill clipson the crown of your head to lift top curls
  • Let hair air dry or use a diffuser
  • Once your curls are dry, rub a little pomade into the palm of your hands and smooth over your hair gently
  • Do not use a brush or comb on your dry curls
  • Reduce tangles by sleeping on a satin pillowcase

 

What’s your hair type?

Hit us up on Instagram (@alpha.she),  Twitter (@AlphaSheDotCo) and Facebook (Alpha She) using the hashtag #CoilBreakdown #WhatsYourHairType

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s