NAPPY 101- Types of Natural Hair

Last week I started this new write-up thread discussing the basics of natural hair. The last post NAPPY 101- Natural Hair Basics defines natural hair as well as the benefit of going natural. Now I will be writing about the different classes of natural hair as simply as I can be. This post is for the benefit of new and upcoming naturalistas or even old naturalistas who aren’t so clear on this subject.

Natural hair can be classified based on the texture and curl pattern it possesses in its natural state.  After much research, I present to you my summary:

Major Types– based on the curl pattern.

TYPE 1- straight hair

TYPE 2- Wavy (to curly) hair

TYPE 3- Curly (to kinky) hair

TYPE 4- Kinky (to Coily) hair

Sub-Types– based on the diameter of the curl.

Type A- Fine texture

Type B- Medium texture

Type C- Coarse texture


(Straight fine)

•  Difficult to style.

•  Don’t hold a curl well.

•  Bone straight hair.


(Straight medium)

•  Like 1A but with fuller strands with a slight bend at the ends, like false- curls.

•  Hard to curl.


(Straight coarse)

•  Hard to curl. (i.e. bone straight)

•  Primarily straight with a few waves hiding in the underbrush.

•  Super thick

•  Prone to frizz.

•  Can hold curls very well.


(Wavy fine)

•   “S” wave that sticks close to the head.

•   Fine hair.

•   Have a natural sheen but not like type 1 hair.

•   Usually lack volume and definition.

•   Easily straightened or curled.


(Wavy medium)

•  “S” like Type 2a, but closer to the head.

•  Slightly frizzier on the crown of the head

•  Tends to lose curl definition easily.


(Wavy coarse)

•  Coarsest of the type 2 series with a few more actual curls.

•  More resistant to styling.

•  Frizzes easily.

•  Loses curl definition more easily.


(Curly Loose Curls)

•   Well-defined loopy “S” pattern the size of a sidewalk-chalk.

•   Curls are springy.

•   Has a lot of body

•   Easily styled in its natural state or straightened.

•   Soft and very fine.

•   Prone to frizz.


(Tight Curls)

•   Bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews curls.

•   Sharpie size of curls.


(Tight Curls or Corkscrews)

•    Type 3c hair has tight corkscrews curls.

•    Curl size: Pencil or straw.

•    The curls are either kinky, or very tightly curled, with lots and lots of strands densely packed together.

•    Difficult to straighten than 3a or 3b.

•    The very tight curls are usually fine in texture.




•   Tightly coiled hair, forms a perfect cylinder and springy.

•   “S” pattern, much like curly hair, when stretched.

•   Has most moisture in the type 4 series.

•   Has a definite curl pattern.

•   Only type 4 hair that falls down.

•  Curl diameter of a crotchet needle.



•  “Z” or zigzag tight crimpy curl pattern.

•  Less of a defined curl pattern especially at the ends than at the bottom.

•  Feels like cotton.



•  Similar to 4B but with little or no curl pattern/definition.

•  Shrinks up to 75% of the actual hair length.

•  Has combination texture ranging from fine/thin to wiry to coarse.

Worthy of Note

Order of increasing sheen, moisture and resistance to damage

4C    images       1A

Order of increasing body/ density, fizziness and resistance to styling

  images     C   

  • The oiliness of straight hair is as a result of the presence of its natural sebum which extends to the ends without the interference of curls or kinks.
  • Type 4 hair is quite fine, generally very fragile and densely packed.
  • Most people have combination hair types.


….. And More Pictorial Illustrations for Hair Type Chart





Was the post explanatory enough? Do you have any other question based on this post? I would appreciate your feedback in the comment section below.

How best can I correctly determine MY hair type? My next post on this thread will address this.


NAPPY 101- Natural Hair Basics

Gorgeous Little Ladies -

Natural hair, simply put, is one whose texture has been manipulated chemically using relaxers and texturizers or other chemical straightening methods. Depending on the ethnic group, natural hair can range from the straight to kinky and different curl diameters. There is also observable differences in the structure (but same basic chemical composition in terms of keratin protein content), density, and growth rate of each hair. Natural hair can be classified based on the type of curl pattern they possess. Each have their different pros and cons as well as different ways to manage them. Whether we are about starting out our natural hair journey by doing a big chop or we want to transition, our success at attaining a healthy hair starts with knowing the basics of our hair.

For natural hair, it is not a one size fits all.

Natural hair is very fragile even though it look strong. Extra care is therefore needed in caring for it.

Benefits of natural hair

  • Versatility in styles- wash ‘n’ go, Twists, braids and cornrows, locks, Afro or TWA, bantu knots, ponytails, buns, tapered cuts, loose styles and even fixing weavons.
  • Rain becomes a friend rather than a foe. Because water is a natural hair first friend, you do not have to be overly concerned about your hair when it rains.
  • Saves cost, especially when you are not a product junkie. If you are like me that prefers the natural homemade recipes for my hair, you don’t have to worry about introducing chemical from products on to your hair and your body too.
  • You are not scared of sweating out especially during exercise.
  • Raises your self-confidence.

Natural hair can be classified based on the curl pattern formed. This will form the basis of our next discussion on NAPPY 101.