Maple
Natural Hair types

Natural Hair Types and You

Published on Aug 15, 2015 in Bath & Body

This classic breakdown of hair types was introduced by longtime Oprah Winfrey Show hairstylist Andre Walker, who styled Oprah’s hair for many years, and has created many signature looks for a variety of individuals.

longtime Oprah Winfrey Show Hairstylist, Andre Walker, practically wrote the book on hair types.

longtime Oprah Winfrey Show Hairstylist, Andre Walker, practically wrote the book on hair types.

 Hair Type Chart

TYPE 1: Straight Hair

1aStraight (Fine/Thin)Hair tends to be very soft, shiny, oily, poor at holding curls but difficult to damage.
1bStraight (Medium)Hair characterized by volume and body.
1cStraight (Coarse)Hair tends to be bone-straight and difficult to curl. Common in Asian women.

TYPE 2: Wavy Hair

2aWavy (Fine/Thin)Hair has definite “S” pattern and is usually receptive to a variety of styles.
2bWavy (Medium)Can tend to be frizzy and a little resistant to styling.
2cWavy (Coarse)Frizzy or very frizzy with thicker waves; often more resistant to styling.

TYPE 3: Curly Hair

3aCurly (Loose)Curly hair that usually presents a definite “S” pattern and tends to combine thickness, fullness, body and/or frizziness.
3bCurly (Tight)As 3a but with tighter curling.

TYPE 4: Kinky Hair

4aKinky (Soft)Hair tends to be very fragile, tightly coiled and can feature curly patterning.
4bKinky (Wiry)As 4a but with less visible (or no) curly patterning.

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Another system of classification to determine hair types is determined by the curliness of the hair, thickness of hair strands, and hair volume.

Curliness

 Straight Hair

1aStick-straight.
1bStraight but with a slight body wave adding some volume.
1cStraight with body wave and one or two visible S-waves (e.g. at nape of neck or temples).

Wavy Hair

2aLoose with stretched S-waves throughout.
2bShorter with more distinct S-waves (resembling e.g. braided damp hair).
2cDistinct S-waves, some spiral curling.

Curly Hair

3aBig, loose spiral curls.
3bBouncy ringlets.
3cTight corkscrews.
Very (“Really”) curly
4aTightly coiled S-curls.
4bZ-patterned (tightly coiled, sharply angled)

Hair Strands

FFine
Thin strands that sometimes are almost translucent when held up to the light. Shed strands can be hard to see even against a contrasting background; similar to hair found on many people of Scandinavian descent. You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Fine hair is difficult to feel or it feels like an ultra-fine strand of silk.
MMedium
Strands are neither fine nor coarse; similar to hair found on many Caucasians. You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Medium hair feels like a cotton thread. You can feel it, but it isn’t stiff or rough. It is neither fine nor coarse.
CCoarse
Thick strands whose shed strands usually are easily identified against most backgrounds;
similar to hair found on many people of Asian or native American descent. You can also try
rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Coarse hair feels hard and wiry.
As you roll it back and forth, you may hear it.

Hair Volume

by circumference of full-hair ponytail
iThincircumference less than 2 inches (5 centimeters)
iiNormal… from 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters)
iiiThick… more than 4 inches (10 centimeters)

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