Straight hair has little-to-no wave—even after you’ve applied texturizing sprays.

Straight hair has the following qualities:

The scalp’s sebum, or oil, is easily able to travel down the hair shaft and hydrate each strand. This makes it shiny and smooth.Hair may tend towards limpness and oiliness as sebum builds up between washings.

Some people further break down straight hair into categories:

1A–Limp, fine, and soft, 1a hair has absolutely no wave. It doesn’t readily curl.

2A– While 2a is also very straight, it can hold a curl with a little help from products.

3A– This hair type may have ahintof a wave, resembling a very long “S” when grown out.

The biggest struggle with Type 1 hair is combatting oiliness. You’ll likely need to wash your hair every-other-day at minimum. You can also use products like dry shampoo to help refresh your tresses between washes.


Wavy hair strands cascade into distinct “S” shapes and may even have a hint of curl. Because hair strands are still relatively straight, wavy hair tends to have plenty of shine and may be less oily than pin-straight hair. In some cases, less porous wavy hair may even be a little bit dry. In this case, it can benefit from hydrating products such as a moisturizing shampoo or deep conditioner.

However, like straight hair, wavy hair usually lacks volume and lays fairly close to the head. (If you have especially dense hair, volume may not be an issue, especially after washing.)

Wavy hair can be further broken down into three categories:

3A–Barely-there 3a waves might show up after a trip to the beach.

3B– If your hair has distinct, cascading waves, you’re likely a 3B.

3C– Curly/wavy 3c has a mixture of waves and curls, and can easily curl with product. 

Wavy hair’s texture can be accentuated and manipulated in both directions—heat tools and blow-drying can yield shiny, straight locks, while texturizing and defining products might allow you to sport legit curls (for at least an evening).

The trick with wavy hair? Walking the fine line with products. Too little, and your hair might be dry and frizzy. Too much, and you’ll weigh down the texture your hair does have.

Try out nourishing conditioners and lightweight styling products. If your Type 2 hair is dry or prone to breakage, consider switching to a silk pillowcase.


Curly hair strands have a distinct “S” shape when lightly tugged. Curls come in all shapes and sizes—from curls the size of fat sidewalk chalk to those that could easily wrap around a Bic pen. Almost everyone with curly hair will notice that they have a range of curl widths, although strands tend to clump together in ringlets of a roughly similar width.

3A–3a girls have loose, bouncy curls that might flatten to waves after a few days.

3B– If your curls are about the size of a sharpie, you likely have 3b hair.

3C– More closely coiled, pencil-sized curls belong in category 3c.

All hair in the Type 3 category needs moisture to thrive. Most curly girls find that washing twice a week or so is all they need to keep their hair clean and healthy. It’s always key to use a hydrating, organic shampoo, a deep conditioner, and some hair vitamins to help maintain healthy natural hair.

Leave-in conditioner, spray-in conditioner, and hair masks can all be allies when it comes to keeping your locks luxe and smooth.

While your 3B curls may be fairly defined without product, the right styling cream can help combat frizz and provide enhanced shape.

You can also sleep on a silk pillowcase or place your tresses in a protective style to avoid breakage while you toss and turn at night. Talk about beauty sleep, right?

It seems all too simple to rule off curly hair as being all the same. You may see that you have loose curls, whereas others have tight, ringlet-like curls.


Coily hair is even more tightly wound than Type 3 curly hair. While some ladies with type 4 hair may still rock defined (albeit very narrow) curls, others have a more Z-shaped strand that doesn’t easily clump into ringlets without some added styling help.

Type 4 hair doesn’t benefit much from the scalp’s sebum, as this oil has difficulty making its way down the hair shaft. This can make coils dry, fragile, and prone to breakage. 

If you have Type 4 coils, your textured hair may look similar, whether it’s wet or dry. You’ll also experience lots of shrinkage—your locks look much shorter than they actually are!

Type 4 can be further subdivided into the following categories:

4A–If you have a head full of mini curls, you’re probably sporting type 4a strands.

4B– 4b ladies have a crimpy texture, with defined curls towards the end of their strands.

4C– Now that we’ve covered 4a and 4b hair,what is 4c hair?This hair type is crimpy or Z-shaped from end to end, with lots of shrinkage.

Type 4 hair is ultra-versatile—its unique texture enables ultra-voluminous hairdos and looks great in a variety of protective styles. However, because it’s so fragile, you’ll need to give it some extra TLC to maintain strength and length.

Whether your Type 4 hair is high porosity or low porosity, the key is hydration—find it from rice oil or almond oil. 

Putting your hair in twists or bantu knots can help protect it while pulling out the length of each strand so that you experience less shrinkage. Protective styles or wraps are a must at night.

Wash your Type 4 just once a week, and always use a leave-in conditioner. A weekly hair mask can help give you an added boost of hydration to promote hair growth and moisture. 

Note: You may find that 4b and 4b hair have many similarities. However, they are definitely different and require different care.