hair type

What type of hair do I have?

About 20 years ago, the natural hair movement was started and people started trying to understand their own hair. Before that time, most people resolved to using relaxers which made hair more manageable. For those that are wondering what natural hair is, its just when your hair does not have any chemicals and you don’t use anything to manipulate it.

How it used to be

Before people started finding out what type of hair they had or how to look after it around that time, there were not many options for curly hair. Most people even individuals with curly hair used to straighten it. It’s actually interesting at that time that there were no products that people with curly hair could use. It seemed that straightening your hair was the answer to everything.

It’s interesting how times have changed, so many individuals have learned to embrace their hair the way it is.

My journey

I remember my journey like it was yesterday. At that time, I did not know what to do with my hair. I would constantly blow dry it every time I washed it and I did not realize that it causes damage. Apart from the fact that I resolved not to use a relaxer on my hair at that time, should I ever consider it in the future, I will get it done professionally.

I was addicted to blow drying my hair, I did not know anything else. The first time I left my hair as it was, I was extremely frustrated. At that time, there were not too many silk bonnets or pillow cases and you just used what you had. Frizz free was non-existent so you just had your hair as it was. I remember walking around at that time with may hair and the comments I received, were quite hurtful.

I was fortunate that nobody in the family really said much, however whenever I went to the hairdresser at that time, I was never a priority, because my hair was deemed too difficult.

I persevered for the next 10 years and went to do a hairdressing course where I learned how to manage my hair. However, there was nothing on natural hair at that time.

20 years later, and now people understand and are more knowledgeable about their hair type. There are so many options when it comes to products that its difficult to miss out on anything.

Now this obviously leads to the questions, what is your hair type?

When I started discovering the various hair strands at that time, I considered my hair 4c, I did not even think much about it. I managed to convince my sister somehow to keep her hair natural and its a lot coarser than mine is. I helped her during the transition but like I said, we both did not have any product options.

Definition of hair types

Oprah Winfery’s stylist Andre Walker, came up with the definition of hair types in the 1990s and that started being used as a measure on the type of hair individuals had. (source: Wikipedia : )

As you can see from the list below, there were various other hair types that were discovered, because individuals started realizing that some descriptions mentioned were not accurate about their hair, therefore 3c and 4c were included in the list.

Andre Walker hair types
Type 1: Straight
1a Straight (Fine/Thin) Hair tends to be very soft, thin, shiny, oily, poor at holding curls, difficult to damage.
1b Straight (Medium) Hair characterized by volume and body.
1c Straight (Coarse) Hair tends to be bone-straight, coarse, difficult to curl.
Type 2: Wavy
2a Wavy (Fine/Thin) Hair has definite “S” pattern, can easily be straightened or curled, usually receptive to a variety of styles.
2b Wavy (Medium) Can tend to be frizzy and a little resistant to styling.
2c Wavy (Coarse) Fairly coarse, frizzy or very frizzy with thicker waves, often more resistant to styling.
Type 3: Curly
3a Curly (Loose) Presents a definite “S” pattern, tends to combine thickness, volume, and/or frizziness.
3b Curly (Tight) Presents a definite “S” pattern, curls ranging from spirals to spiral-shaped corkscrew
Type 4: Kinky
4a Kinky (Soft) Hair tends to be very wiry and fragile, tightly coiled and can feature curly patterning.
4b Kinky (Wiry) As 4a but with less defined pattern of curls, looks more like a “Z” with sharp angles

Source: Wikipedia

It was around this time that various brands and some individuals decided to start experimenting with various products to help their hair look presentable with less frizz and more coils.

If you look at the list below its easy to identify what your hair type is. It’s also good to use it for selecting products that are good for you rather than just selecting any type of shampoo and conditioner.

Looking back

If anyone at that time had asked me why I had my hair natural, I always had a response but I did not know the advantages of keeping it in its natural state. The main reason was due to the fact that it was more convenient to have relaxed hair.

Now, that I know my hair type and I am aware what products I should use, I find that its a lot easier to look after my hair and I don’t have to worry about the tangles as I know how to deal with it. I remember spending a whole day looking after my hair every single week, now I can spend up to 30 minutes and go about what I need to do.

There is no hair that is too difficult to look after, the main thing is that you need to understand your hair type and once you do, it will be a lot easier to find the right products to help in maintaining your hair.

Do you know your hair type from the list above? are you using that to help you when you select product. Stop wasting time on the wrong products and start using what is best for your hair.

Have a look through the various pages and see some activities you can do.


14 replies on “What type of hair do I have?”

Thanks for the insight. 

i for one does not know what type of hair I have so does my fiancee too. 

each time I go to the barber I notice my hair is cropping, lol, I think it’s as a result of poor relaxers I’ve used in the past. 

Now with this article I’ll learn to do better with my hair. 

Hi Samikingss, sometimes I find that as clients we always visit the same hairdresser that does our hair but we don’t really pay much attention because we assume that they know what they are doing. However, you are the one with the hair, at the end of the day it’s important to know what works for you. Speak to your barber as he may be able to provide you with some advice on what you can do. 

Thank you so much for sharing with us such a wonderful article and I love the long hair that I have and my hair is straight  and it is naturally .I didn’t know how to take care of this straight hair at first, but I can take good care now and my hair is very healthy. That’s why I had to understand the hair type and to keep the hair well clean and dry well .I use a brand new shampoo as well as conditioner to take care of my hair. But through your article I learned that if I ever curl my hair, how to take care of it and how to keep my hair well. 

Lastly, I hope you all enjoy reading this article and will share their new experiences with you soon .

Hi Shanta, I think once you accept the type of hair that you have, you learn how to take care of it. It’s funny that everyone wants to have what they can’t but you can always style your hair and make it curly temporarily and I think that works just as well. Thank you for your comment. 

The hair is one very essential feature of the human Body that makes or add more beauty to the human body.for the natural hair is the best as all you need to do is to know your hair type whether it soft or hard, curly or straight.Over the years I decided to stop using additives on my hair like; shampoos,dye and the rest as they do have effect on the,and most  these effects can be characterised by white aging hair.thanks anyway for share I learnt a lot for your article

Hi Feji, Thanks for reading my article, however that is interesting what do you use on your hair instead? It would be good to know. 

Thank you very much for this informative article. I’ve always wondered what kind of hair I have, how to take care of it and obviously how to avoid losing it.
Reading your article I realized the importance of our hair and what type of hair suits me. I think my hair is straight fine. Hair is very strong and hard to be damaged. I can say that I am very lucky in this regard. For some time I’ve been looking for a shampoo for this type of hair, do you think you could recommend me something?

Hi Nimrodngy, Thanks for reading it. You are very fortunate to have strong hair. Well shampoo’s depend on your lifestyle as well, but I will provide you with two options below:

Paul Mitchell Tea tree lemon sage thickening shampoo and conditioner

Aveda Rosemary mint shampoo

These tend to be great for straight hair. 

Hello, I really want to first appreciate your effort in putting this great website together and writing this article. Your story is really insightful and really informative. Getting to know the type of hair you have and what to do about it gives you a certain amount of confidence. I would like to share your article with some of my friends. Thank you very much

Hello Keri. Thank you for sharing this article to help us figure out the kind of hair that we have. I have some friends that keep their hair natural (well, a few females; others don’t). We usually call the natural hair “Virgin Hair” over here. Knowing our hair type will indeed help us take proper care of our hair and even spendss time in doing so. I find the table very helpful in determining my hair. However, I am not very sure of this. I don’t know if it’s possible for you to add pictures and even videos displaying the hair types. How possible is that?

Hi MiBiizy, Yes it’s actually also known as  “Virgin hair” however not many individuals use that term.  I am  currently working on that and will certainly add plenty of pictures and videos to help people understand how specific hair types look. 

Hey, I enjoy a lot while reading your story and type of hair. I found it is very useful for everyone like me.  20 years later, and now people understand and are more knowledgeable about their hair type. There are so many options when it comes to products that its difficult to miss out on anything. There were various other hair types. Your guide is very useful on type of hairs.

Hi Deepanshi, thank you for your comment. Yes it’s interesting that people don’t know their hair type. But it’s the best way to know how to select the best products for your hair. 

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