Different hair types

Mixed race hair comes in all textures, curl types and conditions such as; tight curls lose curls, afro curls, ringlets, fine, coarse, dry and frizzy. Once you have identified the kind of hair your child has, you can start researching ways of dealing with it through regimes and hair care routines.

Straight to minimal wave
Straight to minimal wavy

Description: (often known as type 1)
Comes in a variety of textures from thin (fine) to thick (coarse).
Hair grows down from the scalp.
Typically has trouble keeping curls in especily if it’s coarse.
Tends to lack body or volume.
It is less prone to frizz.

Open wave

Description: Open wave known as type 2a looks almost identical in appearance to type 1 but with barrel curls at the end.
It is defined by a loose big open wave.
It straightens easily using a warm temperature straightener or simply by brushing it straight.

Wavy / loose curls

Description: Type 2B, Distinct S-shaped curls with uniform wave pattern.
More tight then open wave and can be brushed straight aswell.
Some body volume or end curl and is less prone to frizz.
However, damaged type 2 hair can lose its waves and can end up with a type 1 frizzy appearance.

Curly hair

Description: Curly (Type 3) ranges from a variety of curls from ringlets to loops; spirals to corkscrews. They are 3 different types of curly hair.

biracial-hair Description: Type 3A Well defined by a loopy “S”.
Springy, naturally big, loose and often very shiny.
Hair grows out straight or loosely wavy, and then makes big, full curls.
Can be straightened easily.

0000womanhair1lt8 Description: Type 3B Well-defined, springy, bountiful curls that range from bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews.
Hair grows out with a tight wave and curls at the ends
Can be straightened but not so easily as type 3A.
Generally isn’t particularly shiny and its texture can be quite coarse.
Use gels and creams to reduce frizz and add definition.

very curly Description: 3C Very curly: defined S curls shapes forming into coils.
Curls can look either kinky or very tightly curled.
Type 3c hair maintains its curliness when wet and maintains a tight curl when dry.
Voluminous with strands packed together.
The very tight curls are usually fine in texture.
Blow drying hair straight is a challenge and not as easy as type 3A and 3B but can be done.


Type 4: Often referred to as kinky hair.
Can be thin, thick or a combination of both.
Has some volume. Likely to be compact and less movement than curly hair.
Some frizz and easily tangled.
Can be easily damaged by excessive combing, brushing, curling, blow-drying and straightening.

There are two types of coiled hair

4a-hair Description: 4A Tightest curl, forming a tight coil. Much tighter than 3c hair .
Characterized as a skinny, thin curl.
When short, it looks undefined, but curls when wet.

Description: 4B Has cotton like feel and considered to have a Z pattern as the coil is so tight, there is no definition.
Curls directly from scalp
It does not curl naturally in wet nor dry state.
Very fragile and must take great care when working with it.
Texture ranges from fine; thin to wiry; coarse with lots strands densely packed together.
Hair often shrinks up to 75% of the actual hair length.

2 comments on “Different hair types

  1. Thank you for posting this article!! It is very helpful. I have a biracial daughter and this helped me figure out her hair type.

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