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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Hair Type

Ahead, It's like the every girl's guide to getting her best hair day. Ever.


What's your hair type? It's a question that can determine a lot about your daily styling routine. Does your mane fall flat with just the hint of humidity? Are you spending hours twisting your kinks into curls? We've arranged this comprehensive guide from superstraight, fine strands to coarse, kinky locks. Plus we've added celebrity examples to each of the 12 categories so you can be totally sure. To discover your natural texture, wash your hair and examine your strands in the mirror without any styling products. Still can't decide which category you fall in? Your head could have a mix of two or three! Ahead, It's like the every girl's guide to getting her best hair day. Ever.
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Type 1: Straight Hair 

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

Greasy, oily, limp, lifeless, frizzy, boring — all adjectives we hear to describe straight hair. But there is beauty in straight hair, too! If you wash your hair every day and have an addiction to dry shampoo, it's likely you fall into the straight-strand group.


Hair Type 1A  

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

Baby-fine, straight hair is the epitome of the 1A category. These strands don't hold a curl well and can be difficult to style. Common complaints include oiliness and a limp look. Keep dry shampoo on hand for an afternoon reboot, and avoid thick conditioners that can weigh hair down, giving strands a greasy look.

Celebrity examples: Dakota Fanning, Gwyneth Paltrow
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Hair Type 1B

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

Straight hair isn't a one-size-fits-all affair. Type 1B locks tend to have fuller strands with a slight bend at the ends, but no real curl. To give this type volume and texture, use dry texturizing spray at the roots before styling with a flatiron.

Celebrity examples: Lucy Liu, Kendall Jenner, Freida Pinto
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Hair Type 1C

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

The 1C category is primarily straight with a few waves hiding in the underbrush. It's superthick and particularly prone to frizz. This hair type can hold curls very well. However, to keep from looking like a fuzz ball after stepping outside, use a smoothing serum and the cool-shot setting on your blow dryer.

Celebrity examples: Rachel Bilson, Sienna Miller
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Type 2: Wavy Hair 

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

Most people consider the girls with natural waves to be the lucky ones. They have the perfect happy medium between curls and straight hair. But it can be tough to get waves to behave. Without the right combination of products, the winding strands can fall flat.

Hair Type 2A

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute


The 2A hair type can be classified as classic bed head. There's the occasional bend in each strand. Most girls with this hair type straighten their strands to get a sleek style. But if you want to rock your natural texture, air-dry it and use a curling iron to bend any limp pieces.


Celebrity examples: Amanda Seyfried, Kate Hudson
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Hair Type 2B 

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

Wannabe surfer girls get these relaxed waves using salt spray, but some girls are born with the textured look. These waves look best when finger-styled with mousse and a diffuser. The secret is to keep your hands off as much as possible. The less you touch the hair, the more waves you'll have in the end. Avoid the crunch by finishing your dry style with a few drops of hair oil

Celebrity examples: Kate Middleton, Joss Stone 


Hair Type 2C 

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

Call to mind that perfect wave that you can achieve with a waving iron like the Sarah Potempa Beachwaver curling iron. Picture thicker waves with sporadic curls throughout the head. Just like curlier hair types, these waves benefit from moisture and finger-styling. Schedule your deep-conditioning treatment at least once a week, and embrace all that is big, bouncy hair! 

Celebrity examples: Shakira, Lorde
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Type 3: Curly Hair 

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

Over the past decade, it has been the resurgence of the curly girl. Numerous big brands have been coming out with products geared toward ringlets and spirals. If you fall into the type-three group, we've got five words for you: put the blow dryer down.

Hair Type 3A 


mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

This curl type is largest in diameter and can also have a mix of wavy pieces. To get the maximum curl definition, use the scrunch method to style. Apply product to wet hair. Then, use a t-shirt or microfiber towel to squeeze curls while pushing strands up toward the scalp. This texture is easy to straighten, but it's also susceptible to heat damage. 

Celebrity examples: Taylor Swift, AnnaLynne McCord
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Hair Type 3B

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

Type 3B curls are stretched-out spirals that cascade down toward the shoulders instead of growing out away from the roots. Light gels mixed with leave-in conditioners can create smooth curls that bounce without the sticky residue. It's best to add stylers to this type while soaking wet, then let it air-dry. 


Celebrity examples: Halle Berry, Jurnee Smollett


Hair Type 3C

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

The curls of the 3C category are the thickest and most prone to frizz. The clearly defined corkscrew coils can range in size from a pencil to a small marker. To avoid crunchy curls, consider washing strands with a cleansing conditioner. This will cut down on flyaways and maintain shine. 

Celebrity examples: Kelis, Thandie Newton
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Type 4: Coily Hair

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

Type-four hair is the kinkiest, coarsest, and driest of all the hair types. Because of the many twists and turns of this texture type, it is very hard to get moisture to the scalp and maintain shine. The hair also tends to shrink down, making it very hard to determine the actual length of the locks. But despite all the #naturalhairproblems, there's nothing more showstopping than an oversize Afro.

Hair Type 4A

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

The 4A texture is denoted by a head full of miniature curls. The diameter of each small ringlet can range from that of a pen coil to a pencil. However, the hair can shrink down to less than half its length when dry. The wash-and-go method works well on this hair type. However, keeping a blow dryer with a diffuser on hand will help stretch curls to their maximum capacity. 

Celebrity examples: Syesha Mercado, Tracie Thoms 
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Hair Type 4B  


When wet, the Z-shaped kinks and S-shaped coils of 4B hair can be spotted. However, without the proper product regimen, frizz can quickly overcome any natural curl definition. Turn to light gels and styling butters to twist hair damp. Then, release the style for a more defined look.

Celebrity examples: Solange Knowles, Janelle MonĂ¡e
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Hair Type 4C

mage Source: Sharee Miller of Coily and Cute

When you think of 4C hair, flash back to the picked-out Afros that Pam Grier and Angela Davis rocked in the 1970s. There is no distinct curl pattern in this type, which makes it extrahard to detangle. This dense texture makes it very difficult to get any definition. 

Celebrity examples: Esperanza Spalding, Macy Gra

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Women's Magazine: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Hair Type
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Hair Type
Ahead, It's like the every girl's guide to getting her best hair day. Ever.
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