Your Definitive Guide to the Curly Hair Type System
When Oprah’s hairstylist says something you sit down, take notes and digestive, and that’s exactly what happened when Andre Walker came up with the curly hair type system.
The system breaks down each general hair type into categories and then further splits them into sub sections. The system has been criticised by some for being quite narrow – how can you systemise every single hair texture out there? – but it comes in handy as a starting point for looking at your clients hair.
Due to the fact that many women with curly hair will have more than one curl pattern across different sections of their hair it’s best to look when the hair is wet and the curls sit together.
The chart grades curls from 2-4 (1 is straight hair) and then the sub-categories are from a-c. In the sub-categories ‘a’ is a wider in circumference curl, ‘b’ medium and ‘c’ is a tight curl.
Here we breakdown the complete curl type system –
2A – Tousled, light waves
2B – Thicker textured S-shaped waves
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“I think one of the smartest things I ever did for my career was not working for two years in the early 90s. I was being offered a lot of different movies but I just didn't see the point of any of them. People would say to me "How can you just be passing on all those things?" And my response was "Tell me a movie you've seen in the past year that I should have made." – Julia Roberts
2C – Coarser-textured waves/loose curls
3A – Larger, bouncy, loose curls
3B – Tighter, coarser curls – prone to frizzing
3C – Densely-packed tight curls
4A – Dense S-shaped coils
4B – Tight Z-shaped coils
4C – Super-tight zig-zig coils
Lead image via ASOS