Do you want to beautify your hair? Then, you should start by knowing your hair type.
Indeed, knowing your hair type is essential as it will give you indications on the proper hair regimen to follow. Also, you’ll buy the right products for you, and not because you saw it on TV!
Now, to help you, there’s the hair type chart developed by Andre Walker. He is a celebrity’s hairstylist famous for taking care of Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry, Barbara Bush, and Michelle Obama. When he launched his hair care line, he came up with this hair type chart? Thus, many newbies were able to take care of their hair properly thanks to his indications and advice.
I must warn you that his hair type chart is quite controversial. However, it’s still a good starting point if you need guidance about the way you should take care of your own hair.
Let’s discover your hair type and the regimen you must adopt!
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How to determine your hair type?
For most people, you can determine your hair type when your hair is dry. However, if your hair is very curly, coily, or kinky, it’s better to determine your hair type when it’s wet. Why? Because it’s when your hair is wet that your hair type is more apparent.
Also, you must know that it’s possible to have several textures on your hair. And for me personally, this is a nightmare! For instance, I do have a mixture of 4B and 4C hair. So, I have to manage these two textures daily.
Hence, you have 4 hair types in the chart:
- 1: straight hair
- 2: wavy hair
- 3: curly hair
- 4: kinky or coily hair
Moreover, within each type, you have subcategories: A, B, and C. These subcategories refer to the width of your curls, texture, coils, or waves. For instance, Type A refers to the loosest curl pattern while Type C means that you have the tightest curls. Meanwhile, Type B remains in the middle.
Now that I have explained how the hair type chart works, let’s examine the different hair types and subcategories.
Type 1 hair: Straight hair
Type 1 hair lies flat on the scalp. This hair type shows no curl pattern. However, it can be thicker or thinner. Thus, this hair type is the only one divided according to the texture of the hair and not by the curl type. There are three sub-categories in Type 1 hair:
- 1A: straight, fine hair
- 1B: straight, medium-thick hair with some volume
- 1C: straight, coarse, thick hair
According to Andre Walker, straight hair is easier to brush and often looks shiny and healthy. In some people, the scalp can produce too much sebum, especially for type 1A.
Guidelines for Type 1 hair
To remedy the above mentioned issue, you must follow some oily hair tips that I shared in a previous post:
- avoid washing your hair too often
- use light oils and serums on your hair ends
- style your hair with textured sprays
Type 2 hair: Wavy hair
Wavy hair is easily recognizable with its S-shape. Nowadays, it’s one of the most popular hair textures because it gives a tousled look that can soften facial features. Moreover, this hair type enables you to style your hair in a variety of ways. There are three sub-categories in Type 2 hair:
- 2A: slight curls, straight roots
- 2B: more defined curls, straight roots, some visible frizz
- 2C: thick hair with S-shaped waves – it’s the most voluminous of Type 2 hair
Guidelines for Type 2 hair
For this hair type, it’s better to use lightweight products that won’t weigh your hair down, but will help it retain its moisture. Therefore, choose products with a high concentration of oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
Also, this hair typically lacks volume at the roots. Consequently, you must use water-based mousse to style your hair. Thus, your hair will look fuller and fluffier.
Type 3 hair: Curly hair
Curly hair is characterized by spiral curls. Also, curl thickness varies, as it can be loose or tight. When healthy, curly hair is silky and even.
Nevertheless, due to the poor distribution of sebum throughout the hair due to curls, curly hair is often dehydrated. Thus, this complicates the sebum’s propagation on the whole hair strands. There are three sub-categories in Type 3 hair:
- 3A: looser and thinner curls, with a defined S-shape
- 3B: fuller, wider, and tighter curls; thicker hair than Type 3A
- 3C: thick, tight curls, voluminous and supple hair
Guidelines for Type 3 hair
Here are some advice to take care of your Type 3 hair:
- use a moisturizing shampoo and nourishing conditioner to wash your hair
- once every two weeks, use a nourishing hot oil treatment to moisturize your hair and scalp
- choose the right oils for your hair: jojoba, sunflower, argan, or coconut oils are recommended for your hair type
- avoid using products containing silicones, unless you want to use heat on your hair. In this case, use a silicone-based heat protectant before drying or straightening your hair
Type 4 hair: Coily/kinky hair
With this hair type, you have tight, well-defined curls that are voluminous and full of movement. Often, you meet this hair type with people of African descent.
The hair texture appears thick, but it’s prone to dryness and frizz. Also, this type of hair requires a lot of hydration and can easily break or become damaged. Therefore, it is essential to moisturize and nourish hair regularly, using appropriate products. There are three sub-categories in Type 4 hair:
- 4A: hair with tight curls that appear elastic and full of movement and generally dry
- 4B: hair with tight, less-defined Z-shaped curls, with thicker or thinner strands
- 4C: hair with extremely tight curls; hair is thick and tends to shrink a lot
Since your hair has tight curls, how can you take care of it? In his book, Andre Walker recommended to relax this type of hair because it’s hard to handle. Respectfully, I disagree. Indeed, it looks like making a hierarchy between different hair types; with Type 1 being better; and Type 4 being the less desirable hair.
Personally, I think that each hair type has its challenges, its advantages and shortcomings. But this doesn’t mean that you should outrank a hair type from others! So, I advise women with Type 4 hair not to relax their hair if they don’t want to.
Moreover, relaxing your hair is not innocuous. Indeed, it has some bad side effects on your hair and even on your health. But I’ll come back to that in another post…
Guidelines for Type 4 hair
Here are some advice to take care of your Type 4 hair:
- use hot oil treatments to deeply nourish your hair once to twice a month
- wash your hair less often – every week to every two weeks
- moisturize your hair often
- use hair masks to keep your hair shiny, healthy, and moisturized
- avoid products containing sulfates, parabens, synthetic dyes, and silicones – the more natural, the better
- favor products containing ceramides and keratin to deeply repair your hair
- always cover your hair with a satin scarf/bonnet before going to bed to retain moisture
Summary: how to use the hair type chart to take care of your hair
As we have seen earlier, the hair type chart is not always perfect. However, it’s a good tool to help you define your own hair routine, as well as the products you need. Indeed, what suits your girlfriend might not suit yours! Consequently, you must listen to your hair and figure out what products work best for you.
In case of doubt, don’t hesitate to visit your hair professionals in your usual hair salon. They will be able to determine your hair type properly and advise you on the products you must use on your hair.
If you want to go further on this topic, don’t hesitate to read Andre Walker’s book: Andre Talks Hair
Well, that’s all for today! What do you think of this hair type chart? Feel free to leave your comments below!
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