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How to Figure out Your Hair Type with the Hair Texture Chart

Have you ever tried a product your friend raved about, only to see that it did no wonders for your hair? Or maybe you didn’t know your hair type needed more moisture, less washing, or more oil-based products. Whatever the case, it’s probably because you’re yet to understand the hair texture chart.

a picture showing the hair texture chart with wavy, curly, coiled, and straight hair

No two persons have the same hair type. It worsens when we consider the different races that make up the world. So, expecting a product to work on your hair just because it worked for Lady A is like expecting Caucasian hair products to work on Afro-textured hair. Both hair textures are worlds apart and unique in their different ways.

A pro tip to optimizing the best of your haircare routine is to know your exact hair type and stick to what works for it. That’s what we’ll cover in this article. Keep reading as we explore the hair texture chart and the hair types underneath it.

What is a Hair Texture Chart?

The hair texture chart is an alphanumeric visual explanation of the hair types and their textures. It consists of numbers one to four with subcategories A, B, and C. So, while you may have type 1 hair, it’s best to know the exact subcategory you fall under. 

One of the many hair typing systems that have proven accurate is the Mizani Texture Key. The chart is set on a scale from one to eight and places each hair texture into one of three categories: Wavy (1, 2, and 3), Curly (4 and 5), and Coiled (6, 7 and 8). 

hair types illustration

This texture key also explains common concerns, personality traits, and characteristics of each hair texture type. In addition, it breaks down the texture type, growth pattern, body, volume, elasticity, porosity, and maintenance of each hair type.

Before worrying about stretching, conditioning, and other hair routine terminologies, understand your hair and how to care for it. This journey often begins with understanding the natural hair type chart. Learning about your hair texture characteristics helps you adopt the perfect hair care routine. It’ll also ensure your stylist assesses your hair accurately and provides a service tailored to your needs.

ALSO READ: Hair Length Chart: How to Determine How Long You Want Your Hair

Types of Natural Hair

image showing different hair types

Hair Texture Type 1

If your hair looks straight or has little waves, it’s type 1 hair. It ranges from bone straight (type 1A) to straight with slight waves (1C).

This hair texture is fine but lacks body, volume, and any curl pattern unless manipulated. It has the most sheen and is hard to damage. Furthermore, type 1 hair is difficult to style because it is the most oily hair type, as the scalp sebum spreads fast from the scalp to the ends.

How to Maintain

  • It doesn’t need much product or moisture.
  • Use lightweight hair products that won’t weigh down your hair.
  • Wash 1A and 1B regularly, say two or three times a week, as they tend to be oilier than other hair types.

Type 2 Hair

This hair type ranges from beach waves to curls. It has more body, holds curls longer than type 1 hair, and it’s easy to straighten regardless of its natural waves. Furthermore, it’s less prone to frizz.

While 2A hair has loose S-shaped waves, 2B hair has moderate S-shaped curls from the middle to the tips. And 2C hair has well-defined S-shaped curls ranging from loose waves to tighter ringlets.

How to Maintain

  • Keep the blow dryer at low heat, or don’t use it at all.
  • Use a texturizing spray to enhance your natural waves.
  • Buy products in smaller quantities and test them first to be sure they’re suitable for your hair type.

Type 3 Hair

This hair texture is curly and voluminous and looks like the letter ‘S’ or ‘Z.’ It is highly climate-dependent and needs more moisture lest it becomes frizzy and damaged. While 3A has big, loose spiral curls, 3B has bouncy ringlets, and 3C has tight corkscrew curls.

How to Maintain

  • Apply a heat protectant before blow-drying your type 3 hair.
  • Avoid alcohol-based or any products that will dry your hair.
  • Use moisturizing products such as gels, mousses, and curl creams to fight off frizz.

Type 4 Hair Texture Chart

This hair type has tight coils from loops to spirals, ringlets, and corkscrews. It has a natural bounce and is prone to frizz. Furthermore, type 4 hair has a high density. It is fragile, more prone to damage, and shrinks when wet because, compared to other types on the hair texture chart, it has fewer cuticle layers than other hair types.

While 4a has tightly coiled S-curls, 4b has tightly coiled Z-curls, and 4c is tightly kinked with Z-patterns and less defined curls.

How to Maintain

  • 4 hair type is drier than other hair types and needs more hydration.
  • Before using any hair product, know your hair porosity. If you have a low porosity, use lightweight products, but if you have a higher porosity, then your hair type needs heavy and more moisturizing products.
  • Include deep conditioning and a hair mask in your haircare regimen.
  • Steam your hair to allow your cuticles to open up so products penetrate easily.
  • Wash your hair once a week instead of daily to keep it healthy and prevent drying out.
  • Wear protective hairstyles such as two-strand twists, three-strand twists, box braids, cornrows, etc.

ALSO READ: Everything You Need To Know  Regarding The Do’s & Don’ts of Hair Straightening

How do I know My Hair Texture Type?

photo of different women flaunting their natural tresses

An easy way to determine your hair texture is to examine your strands when they are entirely free of any product. So, wash, condition, and air dry your hair. As it dries, feel your hair. If it dries straight, you’re under the type 1 family. If it has zigzag ringlets or loose waves, you’re most likely a type 2. But if it curls or coils, you have type 3 or 4 hair.

What Determines the Hair Texture Chart?

hair texture chart showing different women

Genetics of hair type

Your genes contribute to your hair type. So, if your parents have type 3 hair, you most likely will have their hair type. However, the amount of curl in your hair depends on how many curly hair gene variations you inherited.

Therefore, two curly-haired parents may not always birth children with curly because it takes many different genes for that to happen. Curly-haired parents can also carry straight hair genes and pass them on to their kids. This explains why different people in a family may have different hair types.

Age

As you age, the oil glands in your scalp will shrink, and your hair may become finer, dry, grey, rougher, and thinner.

Your Environment

The environment can also affect your hair texture. For example, humidity or cold can make your hair frizzy, dry, or curly.

Maintenance

How you care for and style your hair can change its texture. Activities like bleaching, coloring, heat-styling tools, perming, etc., can affect your hair texture. 

How to Change Your Hair Texture

different ladies showing their hair types

Though it isn’t possible to change the genetical makeup of your hair, these temporary or permanent solutions can alter how straight or curly it looks:

Heat-styling tools 

Hairstyling tools, such as blow dryers, hair straighteners or curling wands, can transform your hair from straight to curly or vice-versa. They are easy to use but can cause damage if you use them too often in high heat. A pro tip is to use a heat protectant or keep them at low heat while using the hairstyling tools.

Natural Oils

Applying essential oils, such as coconut, almond, argan oil, etc., on your scalp can hydrate your hair and enhance its texture.

Using Hair Care Products

Hair products like hairsprays, shampoos, conditioners, leave-in conditioners, hair serums, etc., coat your hair strands. In return, they hydrate your hair and reduce frizz or curls.

Professional Treatments

This is a chemical process of perming or straightening your hair to permanently change its texture by altering the protein bonds in your hair. Its results can last for years, depending on the chemicals in the product your hairstylist uses. But when new hair grows, it’ll be your original hair type.

And that’s a wrap on the hair texture chart. Now that you know your hair type, it’s time to research the right products that will help you grow your hair better.

ALSO READ: Kibbe Body Types: Everything You Need to Know About It

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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