Identifying your curl shape and pattern is a vital component to learning how to look after your hair.
Did you know that there are four predominant curl types? The hair categories are 1, 2, 3 and 4, which are the curl patterns. 1 is straight, 2 is wavy, 3 is a curl and 4 is a coil patterned curl. There are then letters A, B, C which relate to the amount of frizz, A being the least frizzy and C the most. So, someone with straight but frizzy hair would be a 1C. It’s important to know that the frizzier the hair the less it absorbs moisture which is what will help determine the products you need to use for your hair type.
Identifying your hair type correctly will ensure you provide it with the adequate nourishment.
In this instance, curly hair requires different care to straighter hair types as it is more prone and sensitive to breakage. Due to the pattern that curly hair has it requires more hydration and nourishment as the natural oils stay predominantly on the top of the head. Natural oils are there to protect both scalp and hair but with curly hair, the oils struggle to reach mid lengths and ends, which is why we always advise people with curly hair to have regular in salon treatments to ensure hair stays healthy.
Coily hair types tend to be drier than a regular curl, which can then result in the hair being tangled more easily, which is why it’s important to detangle and elongate that type of hair.
So how to treat your hair according to your curl type?
3A - is a curl which is not very frizzy, generally easy to manage and needs hydration. Can be straightened with a round brush and will generally stay straight without humidity or water exposure. This type of hair is not overly susceptible to heat damage. The best style for this hair is to wear it in its natural form when the curls are defined with a serum, well-conditioned and also heat protected when heat is applied.
3B - 3B is not dissimilar to 3A - the curls are the same but there is a little more frizz, and might need more product to keep the hair hydrated such as Keracare thermal wonder collection to keep the hair straight and hydrated. This type of curl suits both defined curls and straighter styles using a round brush. I would finish off the style with a straightener to seal the moisture and keep the hair straight for longer.
3D - this hair can be styled straight and curly equally. It might need a pre -conditioner to hydrate the hair so that it is ready for thermal styling when wearing straight. ( such as Keracare thermal wonder collection). When worn curly - the hair might need support by wearing it in a twist (twisting the hair when damp (and applying define & curl by Keracare, and a leave in conditioner to hydrate and set the curl pattern), and then letting it out when dry) - this would help support the hair.
* for type 3 hair, we would suggest straightening with a round brush followed by a straightener to seal the cuticle straight.
4A - This is a zigzag hair pattern with minimal additional frizz; however, because the hair has high shrinkage, you would also want to apply moisture when elongating and styling the hair. Ideally one would wear this type of hair in its natural state - deep conditioning is always important - keeping the hair PH balance at a nice medium, rotating it between a hydrating and a protein treatment to keep the strength and moisture levels up.
4B - this hair is zig zag and coil patterned; but slightly more resistant (meaning it doesn’t absorb moisture as well). The easiest way to wear this hair is in its natural state, keeping it as hydrated as possible and this hair is in its best condition when minimising thermal styling.
4C - This hair type is zig zag and coil patterned; and frizzy. We want to retain moisture and the best way to do so it is by wearing it in a twisted form to lock in moisture. We recommend little thermal styling and bantu knots.
*for type 4 hair we would use a fork rake to straighten followed by a straightener.
Tips and tricks to help care for your curly hair
- Wearing a silk Turban can help protect your hair from daily aggressors such as humidity, bad weather, and heat. Wearing your turban can also prevent frizzy hair.
- Sleep on a Silk or bamboo pillowcase to reduce friction during the night. Excessive friction can create knots and damage to the hair in addition to unwanted frizz.
- Wear a Silk scrunchie over any other kind as it is kinder to the hair and will not cause any breakage or damage to the hair cuticle.
- Brush your hair before you wash it to detangle it as this will prevent breakage as brushing your hair in the shower actually damages it.
- When in the shower wash your hair using a curly hair shampoo and a curl enhancing conditioner. We recommend combing the hair with a wide tooth comb whilst the conditioner is on. Make sure to rinse abundantly to ensure no product is left which could cause greasy hair.
- I always recommend my clients use Redken one united multi-benefit treatment that delivers 25 benefits to improve manageability, protection and beauty. The spray works to reduce dryness and enhance the properties of other products for a nourished result.