Straight, wavy, curly: These are the typical categories into which hair is divided. However, to find the perfect styling and grooming routine for you, you need to know these more detailed types.
If you were asked what your hair looks like, you would probably describe it as either curly, wavy, or straight, in addition to the color and length. These are the common categories when it comes to hair texture. But what we didn't know for a long time: There are much more precise designations than these three. Hairdressers have long used a different pattern that breaks down the texture of the hair in much more detail:
That's right, instead of three, there are four times as many, i.e. twelve hair types. Each of them is assigned a number from one to four and a corresponding letter from a to c. This results in the types 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c and 4a, 4b and 4c.
As can already be seen in the graphic, the number indicates the degree of curl, with 1 standing for straight hair and 4 for very curly or frizzy hair. The letters then denote how loose or tight the respective curls are. So 2a is wavy hair with big, soft waves, while 4c has lots of little corkscrew curls. Usually the hair then also gets thicker and thicker from a to c.
When describing your hair to someone who doesn't have you in front of them, it helps to know their hair type. But especially when it comes to finding the right styling and care products for you and bringing out the natural beauty of your hair. You should consider this for the respective hair type:
Category 1 includes straight hair that lies close to the scalp. This provides more shine, but can also lead to greasy hair more quickly.
Care tips: Hair type 1 should wash their hair regularly with a suitable shampoo and use natural products that do not weigh it down. If curls and volume are desired, powerful styling products must be used, otherwise, they will hang out very quickly. Type 1 should not sleep with wet hair and should protect hair from frizz with loose braids and satin pillowcases.
The second type is naturally wavy, the hair has an "S" shape. This hair texture is thicker than type 1 and can be seen as a transition from straight to curly hair. Due to the loose texture and shape, it is not as oily as Type 1. It often lacks volume at the roots.
Care tips: Since the waves hang out very quickly, they need support from styling products such as light gel or mousse that do not weigh down. In addition, the approach can be adjusted to the waves using volume products and crests.
With the third hair type, the curls are defined, spiral curls can already be seen and they have a natural shine. This hair texture is prone to dry hair, breakage, and tangles as the hair's thicker nature place it further away from the scalp.
Care tips: Here it is particularly recommended to use sulfate-free shampoo so as not to withdraw the natural moisture too much. Avoid heat as much as possible (otherwise use a heat protectant!) and chemical hair treatments, which also make the hair more porous. Rough materials such as cotton or normal towels should also be kept away from the hair and replaced with silk, satin, or microfiber to preserve the shine. A good moisturizer is essential here.
Type 4 hair is very tightly curled with lots of small corkscrew curls. The structure is zigzag-shaped. Hair retains its natural shape even when wet and is prone to dryness and frizz. Itchy, dry scalp is also a common complaint with this hair type.
Care tips: With type 4, the absolute focus is on moisture. Both the hair and the scalp should be supplied with nutrients and moisture through regular masks and appropriate scalp care. The curly girl method is the best choice (also for type 3). Also avoid sulfates, parabens, and silicones. Be sure to air dry your hair and do not use additional heat. Add leave-in conditioner or oil to your hair and wrap in a microfiber towel if needed.
It is probably not easy to determine the category exactly, because depending on the day, the hair tends to look different and there are often different structures in the hair itself. That's why it's perfectly ok to get started with roughly knowing the hair type and then deal with the hair in more detail bit by bit.