Okay so this is going to be a trip on the curly hair controversial train. But I think its a journey worth taking, so buckle up! I’ll be showing you type 2 wavy hair, type 3 curly hair and type 4 coily hair. But also, why your curl type doesn’t matter when it comes to finding the best products that will work for your wavy and curly hair, and how to care for your curls. I’ve got type 3a curly hair, but I’ll be going through all the wavy, curly and coily hair types in this post.
Type 2 Wavy Hair
I figured I should probably explain what curl types are. Type 2 curls are wavy, swavy and loose, almost stretched out, tousled curls. Think of the hottest hair trend in recent years, boho waves, which everyone from celebs, models on the runway to the girl next door have all been trying to achieve! 2a – the most subtle curly hair pattern/type, a slight wave or kink to the hair. 2b is loose and bendy S-shaped strands but still more of a wave than a curl. 2c are more defined S-shaped curls which start from the root. It’s also worth saying, type 2 wavy hair is not failed curls!
Type 3 Curly Hair
Type 3 curly hair is springy, bouncy, defined curls and ringlets. 3a curly hair is more defined and less elongated than type 2 wavy hair, but rather a more compact, bouncy S-shape. 3b curls are more defined, bouncy spirals. 3c curly hair is tighter, corkscrew-like ringlets. My type 3a curly hair crush is Ayesha Malik, or @spisha on Instagram. Growing up and all through my teens I had healthy, type 3a curly hair. After years of heat and colour damage, I had type 2 wavy hair – barely! Now, after embracing my naturally curly hair, developing my Curl Maven Method, I’ve got my healthy type 3a curly hair back again!
Type 4 Coily Hair
Type 4 coily hair, commonly referred to as Afro-textured or kinky coily hair, are compact coils, ranging from tight S-shaped to Z-shaped curls. This curl pattern usually has lots of body and volume, and is very prone to tangles. Type 4a curls are like ringlets, but more compact and dense. 4b curls follow a Z-shaped pattern, which is less defined but very coiled. 4c curls are the tightest curl pattern. Curls rarely clump together without help, and shrinkage can be up to 50% of the natural length. I absolutely love Whitney White, or @naptural85 on Instagram. Her YouTube channel is amazing, not to mention her (updated) DIY flaxseed gel recipe!
Why Your Curl Type Doesn’t Matter
The first and biggest reason why your curl type doesn’t matter is because it can, and almost always will change. Buying products for your wavy or curly hair according to your curl pattern/type is like shopping for clothes according to your weight. Admittedly it’s not the best analogy, but it’s the best one I could come up with! We could go shopping for clothes together, both be a size 10 but our weight could be completely different.
You may start out with 2a or 2b waves, and after following the Curly Girl Method or my Curl Maven Method, your curl type could evolve to 3c ringlets! That’s why embarking on your curly hair journey is so exciting. Because it’s a journey, it’s a process. Wait until you see what my hair looked like before I started the Curl Maven Method, the picture’s at the end of the post!
Here’s another reason why it doesn’t matter, because you can have multiple curl types on one head of hair! My curly hair has a mix of all the type 2 waves and type 3 curls. Back in the day, before heat and colour damage, I still had multiple curl patterns in my hair! Curly hair is rarely ever just one curl pattern!
A lot of people have combination skin, most people have one breast larger than the other and one foot that’s bigger than the other. And don’t get me started on the brows! So the likelihood that all your curls are going to be the exact same type and pattern is pretty small. No matter where you are on your curly hair journey.
Here’s What Does Matter
Go with me on the clothes shopping analogy, because it’s all I’ve got. Just like we shop for clothes according to our size, we should learn how to shop for products and care for our curly hair according to our hair’s porosity. This is what really makes a difference when it comes to what products do and don’t work for my curly hair, and all the different curl types on my head. You can click here to read my ultimate guide to hair porosity, how to find out what your hair’s porosity is, and what products work best for each type of porosity too.
But this post is for anyone stressing over what curl type their hair is, especially for those starting out on their curly hair journey. It really doesn’t matter, it’s just a great way to measure your growth and progress. In ten months, I’ve gone from a solid 2a wave (see picture below) to a 3a curl (see picture above). Before I ruined it, my hair was a 3b – 3c, so I’m looking forward to getting to that point again, and appreciating every single one of those curls!
Here are my favourite curly girl products and where to find them – with discount codes and mostly worldwide shipping!
Check out these curly girl techniques which will enhance and encourage curl pattern and reduce frizz – great for all curly hair types!
And finally, here’s my ultimate guide to hair porosity – what really matters when it comes to finding what will and won’t work for your hair.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the tips, advice and product recommendations. Click here for more information on my Curl Clinics™. A completely bespoke curl consultation service tailored to suit you and your wavy or curly hair. Designed to help get your waves and curls back and achieve your healthy hair goals.
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