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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What is your hair type?

You may often find hair described as 1a, 1b, 2c, 3a etc in different hair website, blogs, forum etc. This hair type detection process was described by Andre Walker therefore it is widely known as Andre Walker System. The whole characterization is based on the texture and curl pattern of your hair.

Why must you know your hair type:
  • It will help you to characterize the need and process of your hair. For example, often specialized shampoo, conditioner, styling products target different kind of hair pattern and texture.
  • It will also help you to process your hair. Different kind of hair requires different time, products and procedure for curling, coloring, straightening etc. 
  • It will aid to styling as well. From selecting an easy to maintain haircut to the appropriate styling product, you will need to know your hair type. 
  • Most importantly, if you want to communicate about your hair, for example, asking expert opinions in hair based blogs, online community like Long Hair Community, Long Hair Care Forum, Naturally Curly, Curly Nikki etc, you will be asked to state your hair type. It is the first and foremost requirement.
So are you ready to determine your hair type? It is quite simple actually. According to Andre Walker System, hair can be divided to 4 types and subtypes.
  1. Type -1: Straight
  2. Type-2: Wavy 
  3. Type-3: Curly 
  4. Type-4: Super Curly
 (Image collected from net)

All the types with description and subcategory are described here: 

Type-1:  This is straight Hair. Hair is straight both in wet and dry state.
  • Type-1a: Fine/Thin – Really soft, shiny Hair. Has difficulty holding curls. It can be really oily most of the time.
  • Type-1b: Medium – Straight hair but with volume and body.
  • Type 1c: Coarse – bone straight hair with thick texture.

Type-2: This is wavy hair. Hair is straight in wet state but has an S-shaped curl pattern in semi-wet to dry state.
  • Type-2a: Fine/Thin – Hair has a slight S pattern. Can be easily style (i.e. Both curled and straight)
  • Type-2b: Medium – Hair has definite S pattern. Can be some what frizzy at places. Has some difficulty during styling. 
  • Type-2c: Coarse – Hair has S pattern which sometimes can look curlier than wavy. Has a lot of body compared to other wavy types. Really frizzy and resistant to styling.

Type-3: This is normal curly hair. Hair is bit wavy (S-shaped) in semi-wet state and starts to curl-up in dry state.
  • Type- 3a: Loose Curls – Pretty shiny hair. The hair will have a mixture of texture, that is some S-shaped wave and some curls/coils here and there. More S-shaped waves than curls though. Frizzy and difficult to style.
  • Type-3b: Tight Curls – Also of mixed texture but more curls and coiled shaped hair than s-shaped waves. Hair is thicker and frizzier than 3a.

Type-4: This is super curly hair. It is also known as kinky hair. It is really tightly curled/coiled which starts to form from semi-wet stage.
  • Type-4a: Soft – really fragile hair. Tightly coiled. With defined curl patterns.
  • Type-4b: Wiry – less definitions in curl patterns. The curls may shape like a Z. 
(Image collected from Net)

Here is a breakdown of wave/curl patterns for easier understanding. 

I have 2b wavy hair, a little frizzy at places but I am not complaining. It can be straightened with a blow dryer in a matter of 5-10 minutes and curled easily with rollers no need to heat. It can also hold style doesn't need any setting spray. Even the natural waves (which is how I normally wear it) can look fairly decent with little leave-ins :)

So what is your hair type?

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