What’s your hair type? Are you a 3b or a 4A?
Many women with kinky hair are interested in determining their hair type.
Because there are certain differences related to care by hair types.
What’s your hair type? Take a strand of your hairbrush and lay it on a flat surface. Your curl type is determined by the shape of the follicle from which your hair grows on your scalp. The flatter or oval-shaped the follicle, the curlier your hair; the more circular its section, the straighter your hair.
ANDRE WALKER CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM
It is important to be clear on a few points before we start talking about hair types and textures.
There are several hair classification systems, including the Andre Walker classification system, the LOIS system, and the FIA hair classification system.
In this article, we will only talk about the Andre Walker classification system, which is the most well-known.
This does not mean that the Andre Walker system is necessarily the best or the most accurate.
Type 4: Kinky Hair
Type 4 hair: It is “kinky” or more precisely full of tight curls. Generally, type 4 hair is also dry and fragile.
Often, they appear thick, but they are actually very fine, with several fine strands of hair tightly packed together.
Note that type 4 hair is one of the most common hair textures among Black individuals.
- Type 4A hair is full of small curls. They exhibit an “S” pattern when stretched, somewhat like type 3 curly hair.
- Type 4B hair has a less defined curl pattern and resembles more of a “Z” as the hair bends with very distinct angles.
- Type 4C hair is finer and more fragile, with “Z” shaped curls that don’t really form curls. These are the most fragile of all hair types.
Type 3: Curly Hair
Type 3 curly hair: Curly hair has a well-defined “S” shape texture.
Since the cuticle is not flat, you’ll notice that type 1 (straight hair) or type 2 (wavy hair) hair appears shinier than curly hair.
- Shiny and supple are the characteristics of type 3A textured hair with large curls.
- Type 3B hair has a moderate amount of curls, ranging from springy spiral curls to tight corkscrew curls.
- Finally, type 3C hair features tight curls with volume.
Type 2: Wavy Hair
Type 2 wavy hair: Type 2 consists of wavy hair that is generally not too oily or very dry.
The idea is that type 2 hair falls in the middle of type 1 and type 3.
- Type 2A hair is fine and thin. They are relatively easy to style as they can easily be straightened or curled.
- Type 2B hair is characterized by waves that tend to conform to the shape of your head.
- Type 2C hair easily curls and is quite thick.
Type 1: Straight Hair
Type 1 straight hair: Generally, type 1 hair is straight.
However, Andre Walker classifies this hair type into three very specific segments: type 1A, type 1B, and type 1C.
- Type 1A hair is described as fine, very thin, and soft, with notable shine.
- Type 1B hair is of medium texture and has more body than type 1A hair.
- Finally, type 1C textured hair is the most resilient to hairstyles and relatively thick compared to other type 1 hair types.
Initially, type 3C and 4C hair types are not included in Andre Walker’s original system but they have likely been included by a member of the kinky hair community.
Type 4C Hair: What are the differences?
Natural type 4c hair is the tightest of all hair textures.
The rigidity of this texture results in significant shrinkage, making them drier and more fragile.
It is quite common for most natural 4c hair to experience extreme shrinkage (70% or more), making them appear much shorter than they actually are.
When 4c hair is in its natural state, freshly washed, often dry, and product-free, a defined curl pattern is generally not evident.
Tight 4c curls also result in an extremely dense mane that easily tangles and generally lacks natural luster.
4c hair curls are typically fine strands of hair that are extremely vulnerable and prone to damage and breakage.
Caring for 4c hair requires a lot of patience, tenderness, and love.
However, once you find what works for your hair, caring for it isn’t any more difficult.
1 – Combatting Hair Shrinkage
The shrinkage of 4c hair leads to knots.
A popular way to counteract this phenomenon is to keep 4c hair stretched in sections or protect it using heat-free methods such as thread braids or twists.
2 – Don’t neglect the hydration of your 4c hair
The strands of natural type 4c hair make it difficult for sebum secreted by the scalp to travel from the root to the tip of the hair.
In return, this texture is more prone to dryness than others.
Maintaining a good water balance allows the hair to be more elastic and less brittle, which means less hair fall.
Pay special attention to your ends when applying a moisturizing product, and don’t forget to seal in moisture using an oil or butter.
Make deep hair masks to give your hair the necessary hydration. Hydrate your hair after every wash.
Remember to keep the hair hydrated when in protective styling.
Twists, braids, bantu knots, or flat twists help keep the hair stretched, minimizing the risk of tangling and fighting shrinkage.
If done properly, twisting or braiding creates beautiful definition and elongation of the hair.
3 – Keep your hair strong by treating it with proteins
Extreme shrinkage and a predisposition to tangling make 4c hair very prone to breakage.
First and foremost, consider doing protein treatments to help strengthen and repair the hair.
Use these ingredients:
- dairy products
This reduces the risk of breakage and hair fall.
Healthy hair has a good balance between proteins and hydration. Without this balance, weakened natural hair breaks.
However, you won’t need to use a protein treatment with every wash, except in cases of extreme breakage.
And if that’s the case, it might be time for a trim. We recommend doing a protein treatment every 4 to 6 weeks.
In any case, listen to your hair! You’ll likely notice when your hair needs a little more strength, so use a protein treatment at that time.
Over time, you’ll learn what frequency works best for you and be able to refine your hair care routine.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Respecting a hair care routine is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Do things at your own pace and know that you’re in it for the long haul.
With a little patience, rest assured that the reward will come sooner than expected.
Do you have 4c hair? If so, share your best tips with us below!
Bonus: a few extra tips!
- Massage your scalp
- Use gentle and nourishing shampoos, conditioners, moisturizing, repairing, or anti-hair fall hair care products. Rinse thoroughly.
- Create a real hair care routine or ritual.
- Apply hair creams, balms, and milks.
- Do oil baths and try out new oils (Ylang-ylang oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, macadamia oil…).
- Dry your hair with a microfiber towel.
- Avoid Brazilian blowouts, coloring, straighteners, flat irons, curling irons.
- Repeated brushing can weaken the hair in the long run.
- Use hair ties without metal ends.
In any case, kinky hair is naturally dry. Avoid anything that can make them even drier, split, or brittle.
Taking care of your natural hair is crucial to having a supple and easy-to-style mane!