If your new to the natural world then you probably may have stumbled across a few confusing words and phrases. The natural hair world definitely has its own jargon and without at least a basic understanding of it, you won’t be able to fully grasp and absorb the knowledge shared in the natural hair community. Throughout this blog I plan on explaining many popular terms as well as their meanings starting of with hair typing. Hair typing is self explained as a way to categorize and classify hair. The pros of using a hair typing system is that it helps you figure out what kinds of products, styles and methods are useful for your hair. It has also become a popular way for many naturals to describe their hair. Hair typing has also become somewhat controversial as well because of the sometimes negative way its used to praise those in a certain hair class over another which stems back to “good hair vs bad hair” talk. Personally I believe knowing your hair type is important and in conjunction with your porosity type is crucial in truly understanding your hair and what kind of products it needs to grow and stay healthy. There are several hair typing systems but there is one that trumps all others in popularity. The hair typing system created by Oprah Winfrey’s stylist Andre Walker is the one that I and many other naturals use. Specifically I use a modified version of his hair typing system which was created because many in the natural world believed his original system left out two important hair types.
Modified Andre Walker Hair Typing System
Type 1 in its most basic terms is straight hair. 1a hair is described as fine and very thin, type 1b is medium textured with a little more body than 1a and type 1c is the most fullest in this category and also most coarse.
Type 2 in its most basic terms is wavy hair. 2a is fine and very thin and also considered very versatile because it can be both straightened and curled easily. 2b has slight deeper waves with more body. 2c hair is pretty coarse and prone to frizziness.
Type 3 hair in its most basic terms is curly hair with a very defined s curl. 3a is very shiny and has a loose curl. 3b curls are loose ringlets. 3c hair is not included in Mr.Walker’s original typing system but is defined as tight corkscrew curls.
Type 4 hair in its most basic terms is kinky. 4a hair has tight coils and an s pattern like 3c hair when stretched. 4b has a less defined curl pattern and takes more of a z shape pattern with sharp angles and bends. 4c hair was also excluded from the original typing system. It is defined as a tight coily pattern.
Based on this system my hair falls within the 3c/4a hair range. There are also several other hair typing systems that you may want to check out such as the LOIS and FIA hair typing system. Another way used to classify hair is based on porosity which I believe serves an even more beneficial use to natural hair. Check out my next post on hair porosity.