Understanding Your Hair Type

A numerical system of hair typing was established to simplify types of hair and to provide more exact definition for the hair type. The following numbers refer to the amount of curl or wave in a hair. Type 1 hair is always straight. The number 2 indicates a slight wave to a frizzy wave. The number 3 begins the plunge into curly hair and the number 4 indicates extremely kinky hair.

However, just defining the amount of curl or kink in one's hair isn't enough to provide an exact hair typing. Hence, the letters a, b, and c are used to define the actual thickness of the strand. A types are thinner than b types, who are still less thick and coarse than type c hair.

Commonalities between the 4A, 4B & 3C Hair Types
The 4a, 4b & 3c hair types generally indicates some sort of African/Black people's hair, meaning that the hair is coarse and tends towards frizziness. The 3Cs absorb more water than the type 4, which means the hair will grow longer and somewhat stronger. Unfortunately, type 4 hair contains less cuticle layers than the other hair numbers, meaning it is difficult to grow long. Type 4 hair is delicate and can break easily, and because of its kinky quality it should never be brushed.

Breakage will be a major issue for the 4a, 4b & 3c hair type. Implementing wide tooth combs is one of the best methods for breakage control. Extra conditioning with specialized anti-frizz hair products for blacks is key to maintaining any sort of shine. Because all three hair types are relatively kinky and coarse, shine is difficult to produce. Using palm nut oil is a chief ingredient in the Tawira tribe’s recipe for black hair that is a good first step in hair maintenance.

One styling difference between the 4a, 4b & 3c hair type is that the 3c tends to have far more springy hair than the 4s. Hence, straightening this thick curly type can be a bit of an issue. However, type 4s are apparently very versatile where styling issues are concerned. It won't take much for 4s to puff, straighten, braid, or afro their hair. Type 3 retains more shine, so if you can manage a straight style with the aid of smoothing serum and a quality ceramic hair straightener, your style will possess greater shine than your average type 4s.

More info on your Hair Type

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