Updated: Feb 3, 2021
Your curly hair type is basically a classification based on your curl pattern(s). Knowing this is not vital for your hair care journey but may assist you when determining what products to use and how best to style your hair so there is no harm in knowing it.
Your curl type is determined by the shape of the follicle that your hair grows out of from your scalp. The flatter or more oval-shaped the follicle, the curlier your hair; the more circular the cross-section, the straighter your hair. Your curl pattern is also identified by the shape that the strands of hair make, whether they kink, curve, or wind around themselves into spirals," says hairstylist Vernon François.
The most widely used hair classification system was designed by Oprah Winfrey’s hair stylist, Andre Walker, and will be what you see all curly girls referring to when describing their hair type.
A simple breakdown: Type 1s are straight, Type 2s are wavy, Type 3s are curly, and Type 4s are coily.
The chart below breaks down the classifications and should help you to identify your hair type. Identifying your curl shape and pattern (or patterns) is best determined while your hair is sopping wet.
Most people with textured hair will likely have more than one type of pattern on their head. For example, my hair is a mixture of Type 3b and 3c textures.