What Type of Curly Hair Do I Have?

curly hair types 4

Type 3 & type 4 hair show a lot of similarities and common factors. For those who have type 3 hair or buy kinky hair extensions, it appears to be wavy when it is wet. But as soon as it starts to dry it quickly returns to its curly state.

Those with type 3 hair tend to have a lot of body, bounce and shine to their hair. The hair is typically high in luster. The hair is usually easy to style, manipulate and straighten. Little hair products are needed to define these curls.

Those with natural 4a 4b and 4c hair textures have some of the unique and beautiful curl patterns! However, this texture is also one of the most complicated and tricky to care for due to its tight curl patterns. My goal of this post is to help you learn everything you can to find the best way to grow and maintain long, thick, and a healthy head of hair.





Those with 3a hair have the loosest curl pattern possible. Any looser it will be wavy and not curly.  3a natural hair types usually have a high shine to it meaning it has a high luster. 3a curly hair does not typically do well with our lovely natural hair weave, leave in conditioners or heavy curl creams as this will way down the hair and make it appear wavy instead of curly. This hair texture does best with water-based lightweight leave-in conditioners. These curls have a wide barrel sized curl. As the hair gets longer curls to drop into an “S” shape due to the weight of the hair making it appear to be more wavy than curly.


difference between 3a and 3b natural hair. 3a 3b natural hair textures. ombre natural hair. 3a natural hair for African Americans for best products and curl long and how to style with best cream and defining style and curl pattern

photo credit IG: taty_froever


Those with 3b hair have similar properties to 3a hair. This hair pattern also typically tends to be high in luster with lots of bodies and bounce to the hair. The curl pattern of 4b hair is slightly tighter and smaller than that of 3a. The barrel of the curl resembles that of a wide Crayola marker. #b hair is where you may start to see frizz and puffiness within the hair chart. Those with 3b natural textures may need to leave in conditioners and lightweight curl creams to keep the frizz at bay. However, it is still effortless to define curls.

3b natural hair. the difference between 3b and 3c hair. my natural hair extensions

photo credit OG: @naturalhairobsessed_


3c hair has a unique feature that 3a and 3b do not have. 3b hair starts to grow up instead of down. Meaning that it will begin to grown straight out in the direction the hair shaft point to then as the hair gets longer and has weight to it it will start to fall creating a rounded shape of the hair. A “curly fro.” Corbin Bleu is an excellent example of this texture.  3b will require some lightweight water-based hair care products to help define the curls and keep frizz at a minimum.



3c natural hair textures. The difference between 3c and 4a hair. My natural hair extensions


Hello, Type 4 Naturals! If you’ve made it to this post you’re probably looking for everything on Type 4 hair. Well, we’ve got you covered. This Ultimate Guide on Type 4 Hair covers everything on how to determine if you have Type 4 hair to taking care of your hair for protective styles. Let’s jump right in.



Type 4 hair is often referred to as nappy or kinky, but in fact, this is the curliest hair type. The curls are so tight that hair professionals refer to it as coily. These tight curls make z formations and tend to be very compact. Type 4 hair textures can be elegant and thick or wiry and coarse. Each naturals hair will vary. You may very well find that you have a mix of Type 4 patterns.

Type 4 hold it’s shaped and doesn’t bend easily to heat or water manipulation. Most Type 4 hair requires several rounds of processing (be it detangling, steaming, etc.) to achieve the desired style. Generally, Type 4 hair has a fair amount of sheen, is relatively soft and can have a good level of elasticity when appropriately moisturized.


4A hair is one of three patterns of the Type 4 spectrum. This hair type creates a tight s-curl that looks like a spiral or small coil. This definition shows through when properly moisturized.

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If you’re having a hard time determining if your hair is an S-shaped curl or a tight z-curl you’re probably a 4B, also known as right in the middle. This hair type has a mix of really tight s-curls or loose z-curls. 4b hair is often more flexible than 4C hair and can elongate a little further and stay elongated a bit longer than 4C hair.


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4C hair is densely packed and similar to a 4b, but this hair type typically has less definition and experiences more shrinkage. The tight z-curls range from super fine and soft to wiry and coarse. 4C hair usually has low porosity, taking longer to absorb and expel moisture. Oil-based products work well to seal that moisture in and are also great for style manipulation.

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Best Products

These products are ideal to help keep 4C moisturized without the build up. These products also aim to keep 4C hair manageable and soft.

  • Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil Extra Dark
  • CURLS Blueberry Bliss Control Paste

Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream


human Hair Extensions

Install products such as afro kinky curly clip ins to add more body and volume to your hair. You can also use – afro crochet hair so you can braid the sides

up on the sides or into a ponytail and add the afro kinky curly hair to add length your afro hair.



Here are some recommendations on how to manage your Type 4 hair to keep it moisturized, healthy and growing.


You should use a daily moisturizer to revitalize your curls. It will also make it easier to manage for quick styling in the morning. Use one of the recommended styling products above to create your desired style.



Depending on how active you are, you may find that your Type 4 hair only requires washing every 1-2 weeks.

  1. Use a detangler on damp hair before washing your hair to comb your knots out, without rushing. You’d be surprised at what slow detangling can do for your hair.
  2. Use a co-wash after rinsing out your detangler. Focus on the scalp to remove build up.
  3. Use a cleansing shampoo. One of our favorites is Shea Moisture Jamaican Castor Oil Shampoo. This shampoo cleans without stripping the hair.
  4. Finish off with a deep leave-in conditioner. Let this sit in your hair for 15 minutes under a cap or in a steamer for best results.


LOC Method

What makes the “Type 4 LOC Method” different than the regular LOC method? The process is the same, however, the products used for Type 4 hair should all be oil-based products.

Your leave-in should be primarily oil-based vs. water-based, your oil should be castor oil or coconut oil, and for the styling cream use one of the suggestions above.

type 4 hair

Overnight care

Silk or satin, ladies! Keep those beautiful tresses covered at night with a scarf or bonnet. If you have time, you may want to twist your hair before sleeping to stretch your curls for the next day.


curly hair types


  • Natural Flat Twist Styles – This is our favorite goddess look. Ideal for fancy affairs, special occasions or a no-hassle hair-do for the work week. Also, be sure to use our best straight crochet hair to add additional length to your house.
  • Crochet Braids – These are quickly becoming the most popular protective style to lengthen your hair without glue or wigs. With crochet braids, you can use hair like the coarse yaki crochet hair for styling. Crochet braids are super simple, and you can watch a great tutorial on that here.



natural hair types 4a, 4b, 4c hair








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