Curly Hair Type System

Your Definitive Guide to the Curly Hair Type System

by akesha / last updated March 12, 2020

When Oprah’s hairstylist says something you sit down, take notes and digest, 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

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2B – Thicker textured S-shaped waves

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

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Backstage ‘Nannigans!!

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4B – Tight Z-shaped coils

4C – Super-tight zig-zig coils

Lead image via ASOS

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