Andre Walker was the first to introduce a classification system into the hair world. He broke curls into four types and subtypes, ranging from Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, to Type 4. The number references the four prominent curl families: straight, wavy, curly, and coily. Whereas there are letters that refer to how tightly wound your curls are. Identifying your curls type may seem like an intimidating task, but it gets easier with this guide to curly hair.

Type 1 (Straight)

Type 1 is sweet and simple; it’s for the naturally straight-haired—or in other words, the absence of a curl. Although it shouldn’t be considered a ‘curl type’ but that’s just how the system begins.

Type 2 (Wavy)

A woman with wavy hair


Wavy hair falls right between the straight and curly hair categories, with hair lying flat and straight at the roots and falling into an S pattern with length.

Type 2A

This type could easily pass off as Type 1 if it weren’t for the slightest waves at these ends. They’ve got a loosely tousled texture that needs a little bit of volume for their fine strands. So, if that’s you, steer clear of strong styling products.

Type 2B

Type 2B hair lies flat around the crown but has a more definitive S pattern that starts mid-length. There’s more volume than 2A, and you’re going to have to put more effort into taming those frizzies on the top of your head.

Type 2C

There’s the definite S bend that starts right at the roots with a frizzier texture and more well-wounded curls. You’ll want to avoid over-washing this hair type as it can dry out the hair severely.

Type 3 (Curly)

We’re referring to spiral curls here—once that every straight-haired girl wishes they could have. They’re the loose and bouncy ringlets paired with fluffy curls that form the perfect loops. There’s also tons of volume from the roots to the ends.

Type 3A

The cheekiest of them all: large loose and shiny curls that can be easily styled. It’s all fun and games until the weather changes. You’ll be taming a lion mane in that case. Style your curls when you’re sopping wet, and don’t forget to use a wide-tooth comb with lots of curl-defining creams.

Type 3B

The curls only get tighter here—the 3B curls are springier and coarser that holds great volume. Anti-frizz creams and moisturizers are your absolute go-to for enhancing and protecting the curls with lots of shine.

Type 3C

3C is a density punch with tight corkscrew curls that are packed tightly. Use oils and creams for those tedious curls.

Type 4 (Coily)

The infamous kinks and coils that are oh so tight! Although the curls may not be as defined when wet or dry, they are thick and fluffy. These are the most fragile of all curl types, with strands holding small curls with spongy texture from the roots to the ends.

Type 4A

We’re moving in with the smallest, well-defined S pattern that retains moisture better than any other type 4. Oils, gels, and creams will be your best friends, and using the classic hand scrunching technique will maximize your coily texture.

Type 4B

Bended in a zigzag Z shape, this texture is prone to losing moisture, breakage, and shrinkage. But on the bright side, loading up on creams and leave-in conditioners on wet hair should do the trick for shaping and defining.

Type 4C

4C is even tighter, with strands that are prone to shrinkage. Hydrate your hair from the roots with a leave-in oil for maximum moisture retention.

That’s that! If you still have hair concerns, you can head to Hair Extensions of Houston for consultation and salon services. We’re a full-service salon offering hair extension installation, maintenance, coloring, and styling services in Houston, TX. Book an appointment today at our hair salon Houston!