Curl Care > Curl Type

How is my hair type determined?

The amount of curl in your hair is determined by the shape of your hair follicle. 

The more oval shaped your hair follicle is, the curlier your hair grows out to become.

Your hair pattern is determined by genetics. Your hair pattern may be be altered with severe heat or chemicals, but your hair pattern is in your DNA.

What hair types are there?

Andre Walker's hair typing system classifies hair according to one of four types:

Type 1: Straight
Type 2: Wavy
Type 3: Curly
Type 4: Coily or Kinky

The patterned hair types or curl types are further divided into 3 sub-categories:


“a” being loose
“b” being medium;
and “c” being the tightest curl pattern.

Type 2: Wavy (Loose curls)

Type 2 hair is determined by loose, undefined waves which can become wavier. It has a very loose 'S' patterned curl.

Type 3: Curly (Medium curls)

This hair type can come in loose and springy loops or ringlets. Curls spring from the roots and have ample volume.

Type 4: Coily (Tight curls)

This hair type is very tightly packed, and it comes in the pattern of a corkscrew, coil or
zig-zag 'Z'.

Good to note:

Multiple curl patterns

It is common to have a combination of curl patterns. You could have type 4C at your crown and 4A at your temples. Your hair could be straight at the root and wavy at the ends, but your hair will generally stick to one category of hair type i.e. 'wavy' or 'coily' hair. Don’t rule out a curl pattern because your hair doesn’t look like the illustrations. The reality is that most don’t fit perfectly into one sub-category, but this guide serves as a starting point in helping you to identify which category or sub-category fits your curl pattern the most.

Identifying your curl pattern

You can identify both your wet and dry curl pattern since water has the ability to temporarily adjust the curl pattern due to shrinkage. An easy way to identify your wet curl pattern is to wet your hair completely. To identify your dry curl pattern, style your hair with a curl defining gel and let it dry completely.

If your hair has been heat or chemically damaged, you probably won't be seeing your true curl pattern because it will be altered. An easy way to identify heat damage is to examine the hair strand and the difference between the pattern of your curls at your root, versus the pattern at the tips.


How do I care for my curls according to my curl type?

Type 2: Wavy

Type 2 hair is prone to frizz and tends to lie flat to the head. It reflects light sheen, but less than straight hair. The further down the wavy spectrum you go the less sheen the hair will impart. Sebum flows from root to ends with some interference.

To keep from flattening out that wave, steer clear of heavy products that weigh down on the hair. Instead, volumise the roots with a light mousse or use a gel to define those waves. You can opt for a diffuser, a toothy devise that snaps onto the end of your blow dryer and helps eliminate the frizz and create volume. Ensure your hair is properly dried with a curl towel to help encourage curl formation. Find the right balance between volume and definition by using products that deliver both, and applying less products at the root.

Type 3: Curly

Type 3 hair is considered to have lots of body and volume, and is densely packed with more strands than the average head. It is soft, prone to high frizz when roughly combed, and damages easily. Sebum flows slowly from root to ends along the curl pattern, which can lead to some dryness. It tends to be shiny and has more sheen than the other curl types.

Gently use a wide tooth comb to detangle your curls when damp or wet. Using a bristle brush on this type of hair can wreck curl definition and lead to frizziness so it can help to finger coil each strand to encourage curl formation during styling.

Instead of combing, you can rake through wet hair with your fingertips to not disturb curl formation and to encourage curl clumping. 

Apply naturally nourishing haircare products to moisturise the strands without weighing them down. Focus the application on your ends as they are the most fragile and oldest part of the hair. Ensure a regular routine of hydration that keeps strands soft and supple and free from breakage due to dryness. Apply natural gels to combat frizz and keep hair strands together.

Type 4: Coily

Sebum has a harder time flowing from root to ends, due to the curves in the hair. As a result, this hair type can be prone to extreme dryness. Coily hair is the driest hair type. It is more prone to breakage and requires a gentle touch when it comes to styling and combing. When dry or wet, this hair type has the wonderful ability to shrink up to 75% of it length.

Type 4 hair is the most fragile curl type, and can become more easily damaged because it has fewer cuticle layers and less natural protection. It doesn't take a lot for it to stretch out before breakage can happen, especially when combing is rough or too often. Type 4 hair is not as tolerant to excessive manipulation and heat styling as other hair types. With the right knowledge of care, this hair type can be hydrated and healthy!

Styling & Manipulating: Opt for finger combing if you prefer, but a wide tooth comb works great too. Remember to detangle while stretching out the hair by gently pulling down, to feel for tangles and allow them to be released. Detangle from the tips of your hair and work your way up to the roots, and work in sections. This hair type is prone to single strand knots due to manipulation, dryness, and excessive shrinkage which can be combatted by working on hair in (twisted) sections during the entire wash day process.

Moisturising: Apply more hydrating haircare products to moisturise and nourish the strands. Focus the application on your ends as they are the most fragile and oldest part of the hair. Ensure a regular routine of hydration that keeps strands soft and supple and free from breakage due to dryness. Apply oils and butters to add an extra layer of moisture and protection, and to add radiance to combat any dullness. Apply natural gels to combat frizz and keep hair strands together.

Keep hair manipulation low by opting for protective styles (braids, twists, buns and up-do's) and keeping your hands out of your hair when you can, unless you need to take care of it. Remember to moisturise your hair while it is in a protective style.

How can I start my Flora & Curl Routine?

Our 100% plant powered curl care is free of drying ingredients such as silicones, sulfates and drying alcohol; harmful ingredients such as parabens, synthetic fragrances or synthetic colours, and low-quality oils such as mineral oil and petrolatum. Our curl care is simple, sensorial, and rooted in high quality, potent and botanically hydrating ingredients.

Created for all curl types: With our recipes, a little goes a long way, so you should experiment with how much your hair needs. The less moisture or hold your curls require, the less of our product you simply use. Our products don't weigh down or build up because we avoid fillers.
Visit our hair goals page:

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