Figuring Out Your Curl Type
“What is my curl type?” many may ask.
Curl types are divided into numbers with partnering letters which determine the tightness of your curls the higher the number. The curl types that are commonly known are:
2A / 2B / 2C
3A / 3B / 3C
4A / 4B / 4C
The first type, 2A, represents very loose curls that can usually resemble waves. The last type, 4C, resemble the tightest curl pattern usually referred to as “kinky.” And you guessed it- the curls in the 3A through 3C range refer to curls that are in the middle- usually ringlets or S-curls.
Curls in the 2 wavy range cooperate with styling products like gels and foams. 2’s tend to lack height. This curl type is easier to manage than the others because it tangles less and retains moisture well which can also mean porosity is low. You will find product build up can happen quickly. Its recommend a to do a Build up Buster or clarify shampoo every few weeks if you don’t color. If you do color don’t worry the color will remove any product build-up sitting on the curls. Type 2 curls are easy to style but they do not hold too well so additional product or styling with a diffuser might be needed.
Textures in the 3 category experience characteristics of both the 2 and 4 types since they fall right in between. This hair type requires more of moisture but not as much as the 4 curl types. Creams and cocktails work very well for curls in this range as they provide the right amount of product to not weigh the hair down too much. However, 3A curls are very different from 3C curls so if your curls are closer to A, stick to gels and creams but don’t overdo the product. Those who are 3C (and almost 4A) can use creams and even custards since the curl pattern requires more maintenance and needs products will good coverage.
If you are in the 3’s you have the ability to change the look of your texture through product and technique. If you want loser type 2 curls you can use heavier creams and rake through without flipping or scrunching to create a looser texture. If you want tighter ringlet curls using lightweight foams and gels paired with a diffuser to add volume and tightness will give you ringlets, temporarily.
4A through 4C’ers have to work a little harder to maintain their curls since they are prone to dryness and dehydration. A porosity test can help determine your texture if you’re not sure. A close eye must be kept on this curl range along with the appropriate products. Custards, puddings and even creams are very compatible with this hair type. While this texture looks thick and dense many times its actually very fragile and care must be taken to avoid damage. When applying product make sure to distribute evenly and rake for full coverage. This hair type has a lot of volume which can be used to an advantage as it stands out and many hairstyles can come out of it because they will hold. This curl type does best being washed not to often, maybe once a week followed by a deep treatment.
If you find you fall into 2 categories No worries. But you will want to try to “marry” the textures. This can get a little tricky but the end result is worth it. Say you have tight curls in the 3B category all over except the underneath is in the 2 A category. We will recommend you use a cream to weigh down the top portion of curls and only do a downward rake motion. Except in the back in the area where the curls are loser apply a gel to volumize and scrunch up to set the curls. There are many different scenarios you can do to adjust for your texture. We offer free consultations if you need more help in determining your the best products and styling techniques to achieve your goals.
No matter your curl type, all curls are part of one family and all types have the ability to do different things which makes the whole concept much more diverse. At the end of the day, healthy hair is really all anyone really needs.
photo Naturally Curly.com
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