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.


Keeping it Natural Even in Harmattan

It is the month of January here in Nigeria, characterized by the harmattan or ‘brown winter’ season. There is the cold in the early and late hours of the day and heat in the afternoon. We have to deal with the extremely dry desert-like air that hovers over the region air. I for one love this season except for the dust, dry skin, lips and of course my hair.

If not properly maintained, our hair will experience lots of breakage because of the low humidity. There is a massive loss of moisture from our hair to the atmosphere and thereby make our hair feel like sponge. But not too worry friends, let me share with you some of the things I learnt during my search for an antidote against the dryness.

We are all familiar with using vaseline and oils on our skin to prevent dryness or whiteness on our skin. In the same way, what you hair needs this period is: MOISTURE. Whatever routine we choose to adopt should be one that encourages moisture. Here are some of the ways I will be maintaining my hair this season.

  1. Diet– ‘we are what we take in’. Hence our diet is reflected in our hair. Drinking lots of water, at least 8 cups per day, is highly recommended. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can supply the hair with the necessary vitamins and minerals it needs for healthy growth.
  2. Washing and conditioning– Shampoos tend to dry out the hair. So for this period, I will be sticking with just conditioning washing popularly called co-washing. It helps moisturize dry hair without stripping away the natural oils our hair, defines curl pattern, softens hair while Restoring natural oils and eliminating chemicals left by shampoo. It is also important we deep moisturizing conditioning every week when we are not on protective styles. Simple treatments like hot oils which encourage moisture penetrating the hair follicle is also advisable.
  3. Leave-ins, oils and sealants– During this period, we should try as much as possible not to miss out on daily conditioning, moisturizing and sealants. My go to coconut, almond, castor, olive and tea tree oil mixture, which by the way I have been using for my skin for a little over 1 year now, is what i use as my daily moisturizer. I seal with Shea butter. some people opt for heavier sealant, leave-ins and moisture but I prefer to move around with my DIY moisturizing spritz containing just water, glycerin and some oils of choice for extra moisture when my hair feels dry during the day.
  4. Protective styling (PS)– More than ever before, we should engage in more protective styles as this protects our edges and tips. Weaves, braids and wigs are different ways to do PS. Please ensure yo do hot oil/prepoo treatment, detangle, wash, DC and moisturize hair properly a day before installing weaves as well as occasional to up moisturizing. Treat wigs like you treat your hair in this weather.
  5. Scarving– If you are lazy just like me when it comes to doing PS, then this is for you. Please stick to the satin and silk scarves as they do0 not absorb the moisture from the hair. If I choose not to use scarf, I just do a simple sort of PS style for the week that does not require daily manipulations. I also ensure my tips are properly tucked in.

You can check the recipe categories for more cheap and easy DIYs.

More tips?? please share…..

 Exhale… Inhale…..Let your nappy hair speak even in this BROWN WINTER.