Caring for curly hair isn’t quite as simple as washing, drying, and heat styling. Your curly hair requires a little more effort to achieve those bouncy, fresh, and healthy curls that look absolutely glorious. After all, great curls come with great responsibility.
Most people with curly hair develop long and extensive hair care routines for their locks. They buy expensive products, spend hours scrunching and diffusing their curls, and follow a thorough nighttime care routine, only to still end up with frizzy, unmaintained hair in the morning. What a waste of time, effort, and money!
The main reason why your hair care routine isn’t producing desired results is that it hasn’t been customized to your specific curl pattern. All curly hair isn’t the same, and you should know what kind of hair you have so you can take care of it in the best way. Let’s find out why it’s important to identify your curl pattern and how you can do it yourself.
Why It’s Important to Identify Your Curl Pattern
It is a well-known fact amongst curly-haired beauties that caring for textured hair is a struggle. But, understanding your hair fibers, the way your curls form, and the layout of your cuticles can help make this process significantly easier.
Understanding that all curly hair isn’t the same and identifying your curl pattern will help you take the best care of your curls. Curl patterns allow you to determine the shape of your hair follicle, where your curls kink, and how they wind themselves into spirals. It helps you understand hair porosity and which products would be most effective in maintaining bouncy and shiny curls.
Different Types of Curl Patterns
The road to understanding your curls might be a winding one (pun intended) but we have simplified it below so you can learn to embrace and enjoy your curls!
People are often unaware of which curl pattern their strands fall into. So, Ultimate Curl Store has compiled a list of different curl types, along with some product recommendations for each. Let’s learn to embrace the curl!
If you have the type 2A curl, this means there is a slight wave in your hair. Most people with 2A hair type think of their hair as straight, but it’s really not. Your hair falls in the curly category too, and should be taken care of accordingly.
2A hair type generally has a lot of body and volume to it, which can lead to frizzy hair. It is a medium-to-low porosity hair type and can generally retain moisture well unless it has suffered from chemical or heat damage.
The best products for the 2A hair type are hydrating shampoos and water-based gels that minimize frizz.
If you have naturally-forming beachy waves, you’re one of the lucky ones! The 2B hair type is a favorite among most women, and it looks absolutely gorgeous without needing extensive heat styling. Hair in this category forms a loose S-shaped pattern with little bounce.
The 2B type can also struggle with frizziness, but it can be easily overcome with some hydrating products. You should use a deep moisturizing mask at least once a week to achieve more uniform and soft waves. Water-based serums and smoothing lotions will also help your hair look healthier.
People with deeper waves and well-defined S-shaped hair have the 2C hair type. This hair type is almost curly but still easily styled. It is more prone to frizz than 2A and 2B but isn’t quite as dry as a true curl since the general texture of this type of hair is still relatively smooth. However, this does mean this hair type is more susceptible to heat and chemical damage.
To keep the 2C hair type hydrated and manageable, you should be masking and oiling your hair every week. It smoothens the hair cuticle and reduces frizz, which in turn strengthens your hair and decreases breakage. Also, be sure to apply a light layer of a cream-based heat protectant before blow-drying or styling your type 2C hair.
Loose spiraled curls with gentle loops fall in the 3A category. This hair type shouldn’t be shampooed too frequently. So, it is best to invest in some dry shampoo for greasy scalp days. Since over-exposure to water is damaging to this hair type, you can ditch the traditional conditioner and instead use leave-in conditioners and mousses for healthy curls.
P.S. if you decide to straighten your Type 3A curls, make sure you have a generous layer of heat protectant on them. Not using protection can damage your curl pattern permanently and dry out your hair.
Tighter curls fall in the 3B category, and these locks have a spring back of around 2 inches. This is when your curl care starts to get properly tested. From type 3B onwards, hair strands become dry and brittle. With your type 3B hair, it is best to schedule one wash a week and use hydrating shampoos. Try to deep condition your hair before every wash and steam your hair to ensure the conditioner penetrates deep into your hair fibers.
When it comes to styling this hair type, creams and hair butter will serve you well. They lock in moisture and allow you to play around with your hair without messing with your natural curl pattern.
The 4A hair type is so coily that there’s only enough space for a toothpick to fit inside the curl loop. These curls have extensive shrinkage as they wrap up around themselves. The main thing that people with 4A hair type struggle with is keeping their curls hydrated and fresh without washing them too much.
The best way to care for the 4A hair type is by using generous amounts of leave-in conditioners, oils, and hydrating creams. You should also use curl-enhancing gels that are labeled firm-hold to ensure that your curls maintain their natural look.
Lastly, we have the 4B curl type, which is more of a zigzag than a circular coil. The 4B hair type is extremely fragile, high in porosity, and prone to breakage. That is why it needs some extra TLC on a regular basis to stay healthy and bouncy.
This hair type requires plenty of hydration to maintain its elasticity. You should also throw away the hairbrush and instead use a wide-toothed detangling comb to get rid of any tangles in your hair. Try to comb out your hair when it is still wet and scrunch it well to form beautifully enhanced curls.