Most people with textured hair have more than one type of pattern on their head, “so you may have a combination of, say, kinky, coily, wavy, and curly,” adds François. Identifying your curl shape and pattern(s) is best determined while your hair is sopping wet.
A simple breakdown: Type 1s are straight, Type 2s are wavy, Type 3s are curly, and Type 4s are coily. Easy, right?
The sub-classifications of A to C are based on the width or diameter of your wave, curl, or coil. Type As have a wider pattern size, Type Bs medium, and Type Cs the smallest of the three. “The real beauty of identifying your hair type is that you’re better at understanding how to care for your texture so you can have more versatility,” explains Anthony Dickey, the curl wizard behind the Hair Rules salon and brand.
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Type 2 (Wavy)
Type 2 waves are bendable, can be fine to coarse, and have a definitive S pattern that lays closer to the head.
Those with hair type 2A have a fine, barely-there tousled texture that’s very easy to straighten. People with this texture have to be wary of using heavy styling products that can easily weigh their strands down, rendering them limp and lifeless. If you’ve got this hair texture, be sure the products you’re looking for are formulated with a lightweight consistency.
2A waves typically lack volume at the root. Dickey recommends using an airy, water-based mousse, like the Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam, to add a bit of oomph at the base, making hair look fluffier and fuller.
2B hair lies flatter at the crown with defined S-shaped waves starting from the midlength. Strands are thicker in diameter than a 2A, and you’ll have to put a bit more elbow grease into getting it straight.
To enhance your natural surfer-babe waves, use a texturizing mist like the Ouai Wave Spray, which is enriched with rice protein for hair that is never crunchy or stiff. The Ceremonia Guava Beach Waves Hair Texturizing Spay is another great option for moisturizing and playing up your natural waves without weighing your hair down.
2C waves are thick and more susceptible to frizz. The S-bends are well-defined and begin at the roots. In between shampoos, use a non-lathering, sulfate-free co-wash so as not to strip essential moisture from strands, like the Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Shea Hydrating Co-Wash. This particular product was formulated to work beautifully on all curl textures.