What are black hair types?

Trying to figure out which of the black hair types you have? Knowing your hair type will provide you with a starting point for understanding the best care, styles and types of products that will give you the best results.

black hair types

Learning more about your unique black hair type helps guide you to the products, tools, and techniques that work best for your hair.

Before you do anything to your black hair, you should know exactly what you're working with so you can make the best choices for styling and treatment.

We totally agree.

The online hair care community made changes to include black hair types, but in the original version, there are four major hair types.

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black hair types

What is the different black hair die types?

Most African American and black hair types fall under type 3 and 4 with a minority being type 2. Here is a chart that lists the different hair types used in Andre's hair book along with the descriptions of each.

African American and Images of Black Hair Types Chart

Type 1 (Straight)

This hair is bone straight and not typical of black people or those with mixed African ancestry. The only way to achieve this look is by having a relaxer, pressing your hair straight or wearing a weave with straight hair.

Type 2 (Wavy)

This type has soft, thick waves with little to no curl. The hair tends to be coarse, stays close to the scalp in long 'S' shaped curves and doesn't usually have a lot of body.

Type 3 (Curly)

This texture is unique in that it's beautiful and soft with a 'Q' shaped pattern. This hair doesn't tend to have a lot of sheens but has tons of body. It tends to look straight when wet but curls as it dries.

black hair types

Type 4 (Coily|Kinky)

This group is the most highly textured of all the black hair types. It's very tightly curled and tends to be wiry. Some 4's have a looser coil with spiral shaped strands while others have a tighter kink with a zig zag letter 'Z' formation. The curl pattern makes this the driest and most fragile of all the hair types.

Here's another hair typing chart called a 'Curl Key.'

  • straight to minimal wave
  • open wave
  • wavy
  • curly
  • very curly
  • coiled
  • very coiled
  • zig-zag coiled

So, What's Your Type of Black Hair?

Have you looked at the characteristics of the black hair types and figured out which one you have? Hair typing is of natural black hair types, so if you're relaxed only take new growth into consideration before you decide.

The shape of your hair follicles is what determines how much or how little curl your hair has. The rounder the follicle, the straighter hair grows; while the flatter the follicle, the curlier hair grows.

A single head can have several different textures in it. Always use tips and products designed for the principal surface you have.

black hair types

An Important Fact About Black Hair TypesA question is "Can I change my hair type?"

If you've been wondering the same thing, the answer is no. Hair type is a genetic trait, and your DNA is something that can't be changed.

That's the reason why when you get a relaxer you have to get touch ups every so often. You can modify and alter the hair that's already grown out as much as you want but it always grows back the way your DNA programs it to.

black hair types

How This Black Hair Types Information Can Help You

Now that you know which category you fall under, you can start focusing on the products and techniques that are tried and true for your hair type and design the best regimen for your hair's special needs.

Join the conversation at the Black Women Beauty Central Online Community to talk about black hair types and find out which products, tools, and techniques would work for you.

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