Find your curly hair type | ATTITUDE (2024)

Find your curly hair type | ATTITUDE (1)

People with curly hair are often envied: their curls give them a distinct personality and an unmistakable presence that turns heads. But it would be wrong to believe that sublime curly hair type does not come with its very personal share of problems!

We are all unique, that's what makes us so charming and there are as many hair styles as there are human beings. Knowing what hair type we have can help us take care of it, keep it healthy, and bring it to its full potential with the proper hair care routine.

This is why hair type classification systems have been invented, such as the one popularized by Andre Walker, which divides hair into four categories, three of which regroup the different types of waves and curls and redivide them into subcategories.

In order to demystify curly hair types and understand its very specific needs, we will focus on these three main categories, namely wavy, curly and coily hair, by explaining what differentiates them, what defines them and what their needs are. But first, let's see what hair is made of, so we can understand it better.

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The hair fiber is made up of three different parts: the cuticle, the cortex and the medulla. The cuticle is a set of layers that cover the hair, forming an outer shell and repelling water. The cortex looks like a cell and contains keratin and melanin, which determine the texture and color of the hair. Finally, the medulla is an open area in the center of the fiber, which is not always present.

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Type two hair is often flat near the root, and wavier near the ends. The sebum is therefore easily distributed near the scalp, but does not travel evenly to the ends, which means that they tend to be drier and sometimes brittle. When wavy hair is thin, it is easy to style, but the task is more difficult if it is thick.

Wavy hair therefore needs more body and definition, in order to harmonize the distribution of sebum, restore volume at the root and define the natural curl. A shampoo and a conditioner that amplifies the curls are advised: these will add shine and structure to the hair.

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Type 3 hair often has an shape, varying between looser and tighter curls, giving it volume and dimension. Since sebum is difficult to distribute from root to tip, this type of hair can be fragile and brittle, despite its robust appearance.

Curly hair needs hydration and elasticity in order to improve its resistance and strengthen it. To define the curls without weighing them down, use a shampoo and a conditioner which provide light hydration.

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Type 4 hair has a twisty pattern or a "Z" shape that shrinks when wet, as it has fewer cuticles than other types of hair. High density tight coiled curls are the most fragile of all and tend to suffer from severe dryness.

That's why coily hair needs to be nourished with a shampoo that will deep cleanse without dehydrating it and a rich moisturizing conditioner that will keep it supple and healthy. It is also important to get the right styling tools, such as detangling combs specially designed for this type of hair, to avoid breaking them and to facilitate disentangling.

Tips for all types of curly hair

Regardless of your specific curly hair type,here are five tips to apply to all textured hair:

  1. Don't use a towel to dry your hair.

    Do not wring out or rub the hair with a towel after washing: gently twist it in the shower to remove excess water instead.

  2. Use a diffuser.

    If you blow dry your hair, use a diffuser, in order to distribute the heat more evenly and to avoid overheating the hair.

  3. Only detangle your hair with wide-toothed comb.

    Do not brush your hair or detangle it when it’s dry: instead, use a wide-toothed comb when it is wet and coated with conditioner.

  4. Always verify your hair care products ingredients.

    Pay close attention to the ingredient list of your shampoos, conditioners and other hair care products: some ingredients can harm the hair structure and even your health. To give you a hand, you can rely on the EWG Skin Deep database, which will help you find healthy and safe products.

  5. Sleep with a satin pillowcase.

    Sleeping with a satin pillowcase or nightcap can help prevent tangled curls and hair breakage while you sleep.

Of course, there is plenty of other tips and tricks for pampering and caring for our curls. With the advent of social media, lush, natural hair has become popular ... and we're happy about that, because it's so much easier to share advice now! The bottom line remains the same: having great shampoo and conditioner that is natural and contain ingredients that are right for your hair type is the first step to healthy hair.

That’s why we’re so proud to launch our shampoos and conditioners for curly hair, in three variations to meet all the needs of different types of textured hair. Whether your hair is wavy, curly or frizzy, you will find the ideal natural, vegan and ECOLOGO certified hair products to create your own personalized routine.

We hope this little guide has helped you better understand curly hair types. To help you find the ideal hair care routine, we’ve also created a 7-questions quiz to help you find the right products. Take the test!

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Find your curly hair type | ATTITUDE (2024)


How do I figure out my curly hair type? ›

To identify your curl type, you may remove a few strands of hair, while it is wet, and lay them flat upon a surface, watch what happens as the strands dry. This can help you determine your curly hair type: S shaped curls - If your locks bend in a loose S shape, then you're likely to have a wavy hair type.

Are my curls 2B or 2C? ›

2B hair consists of 'S' shaped waves in the lengths, but sits relatively straight at the roots. 2C hair has even more defined 'S' shaped curls that start from the root and continue down the lengths of the hair. Once you've identified you have wavy hair, you should also explore your hair's porosity.

How to tell what your curly hair needs? ›

The 2-second moisture vs protein deficiency test for curly hair. If your hair breaks or snaps when brushing or styling, it is not strong and needs protein. If your hair looks limp, matte and dry, it needs moisture.

How do you find out if your hair is actually curly? ›

If you're still unsure about your hair type, you can try the strand test. Take a small section of your hair and wrap it around your finger. If it forms a spiral or coil, you likely have curly hair. If it remains relatively straight, your hair may be more on the wavy or straight side.

How do I pick out curly hair? ›

As mentioned before, the trick to picking your hair is doing so only at the roots once your hair is dry. This technique will give you that added height and volume you're looking for. When you pick at the ends, you may harm your hair and cause unwanted frizziness or breakage, disrupting your curl pattern.

What do 2B curls look like? ›

Type 2B hair has a tighter pattern than 2A but is still not as tight as 2C. The wave begins to form midway down the hair shaft and can spiral into ringlets at the ends. There is still quite a beachy feel to 2B hair, although it is generally a little more defined than 2A hair.

What does 2A curls look like? ›

Then we get deeper into texture; 2a wavy hair, specifically, is really loose waves. Your waves are wide S-curves that can be straightened in a flash. Your texture may be described as “tousled.” You have very little volume at your roots and you've probably found that some products weigh down your hair.

What does 2C curls look like? ›

2C hair falls somewhere in the middle of the curly hair types and is characterized by the S-shaped curl. “2A and 2B hair are looser waves, while 2C hair starts to form more of an S-shaped curl,” says Matias. “You can begin to see the ribbon of curl in 2C. It will hold curl definition longer than 2A or 2B.”

Can wavy hair have ringlets? ›

Wavy Hair can be classified by three curl types: 2A - A slight wave to your hair. 2B - Medium Wave form in the hair. 2C - Wavy hair that starts to form ringlets, especially when hydrated (wet) and styled correctly.

Does curly hair look better wet or dry? ›

Though both wet and dry styling can help you get magical results, there are some important differences in the way that your curls will reach their final form. Wet styling is more likely to lead to defined, frizz-free curls. Curls will clump into bigger sections, which can help curls stay in place.

What does unhealthy curly hair look like? ›

Common signs of damaged curly hair include split ends, frizz, breakage, and a lack of curl definition. Damaged curly hair may also feel rough and dry to the touch. To combat these issues, it's essential to use hair care products that are specifically formulated for curly hair.

How do I choose a haircut for curly hair? ›

One of the most important things you can do before deciding on a new hairstyle is to consider your face shape. It's a fact that certain hairstyles look better and lend themselves to particular face shapes, so it's definitely worth taking a minute to think about.

How do I know my curly hair type? ›

Identifying your curl shape and pattern(s) is best determined while your hair is sopping wet. A simple breakdown: Type 1s are straight, Type 2s are wavy, Type 3s are curly, and Type 4s are coily. Easy, right? The sub-classifications of A to C are based on the width or diameter of your wave, curl, or coil.

Why does my hair look curly when wet but dries straight? ›

Your hair is wavy when wet, yet dries straight

Wet hair reveals your natural pattern. If you spot kinks, this is the sign that you don't have straight hair. Instead of brushing your hair post shower (and encouraging your natural waves to drop) don't touch it while it's drying and see how it turns out.

Is curly hair seen as feminine? ›

Associated with femininity and beauty, curly hair is highly attractive to many men. Men are drawn to the soft, natural look of curly hair and how it frames a woman's face. Curly hair can also be seen as a sign of youth, which is a factor that many men find attractive.

Do I have 2c or 3A curls? ›

If your hair has defined, corkscrew curls, then it's 3A type. If your hair has looser waves, then it's type 2.

Are my curls 3B or 3C? ›

3b is bold, beautiful, and bouncy, while 3c is corkscrew-shaped and tightly curled.

What does 2a curly hair look like? ›

Then we get deeper into texture; 2a wavy hair, specifically, is really loose waves. Your waves are wide S-curves that can be straightened in a flash. Your texture may be described as “tousled.” You have very little volume at your roots and you've probably found that some products weigh down your hair.

How do you work out if you have curly hair? ›

Take a small strand of your hair and wrap it around your finger. This is also known as 'finger curls'. If your hair holds the pattern or ringlet then you more than likely have curly hair.


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