The Differences Between Natural Hair Types?

natural hair types

Type 3 Hair:

Natural hair types in general show a lot of similarities and common factors. For those who have type 3 hair 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 hari is typically high in luster. The hair is typically easy to style, manipulate and straighten. Little hair products are needed to define these curls.


Those with 3a hair have the loosest curl pattern possible. any looser it will be wavy and not curly.  This hair texture usually has a high shine to it meaning it has a high luster. 3a hair textures do 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 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. photo credit IG: taty_froever


Those with 3b hair have similar proterties to 3a hair. This hair pattern also typically tends to be high in luster with lots of body and bounce to the hair. The curl pattern of 4b hair is slightly tighter and smaller than that of 3a. The barral 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 hair textures may need to sue leave in conditioners and lightweight curl creams to keep the frizz at bay. However it is still very easy to define curls

3b natural hair. the difference between 3b and 3c hair. my natural hair extensions photo credit OG: @naturalhairobsessed_


Those with 3c kinky curly hair have tightest of the curly categories. Other than the tightness of the curls 3c hair has a very unique feature that 3a and 3b do not have. 3b hair starts to grow up instead of down. Meaning that it will start 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 a good example of this texture.  3b will require some light weight 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 photo credit IG: curlgoalz

Type 4 Hair 

(See our latest post: Everything You Need To Know About 4A 4B & 4C Natural Hair.)

In general those with Type 4 hair have curly hair as well, however the curls are so small that we distinguish them by defining them as coils. A coil is just a tighter type of curl. Sometimes natural hair types like Coils are so tiny that is then referred to as kinky hair.  Type 4 natural hair textures are harder to manipulate and may require some advanced planning and a little work to change from one style to another.  It has little body and typically appears to have little to no shine or luster without the help of some oil based hair care products.  Healthy type 4 hair has a fair amount of sheen, is soft, and has a good level of elasticity when properly moisturized. 


Those with 4a hair are known to have a tight curly or our brand new coily hair extensions. A curl pattern is still clearly visible and the hair needs products to keep the curls defined and moisturized. Be sure to see the afro kinky curly clip ins for this texture!

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

photo credit IG: naptural85


Those with 4b hair  may or may not have a hard time defining their curls. It depends on their own personal knowledge of their unique hair. 4b hair is also very soft, fragile, and tightly coiled, those with 4b typically have less defined curls  and  red to add extra moisture to their hair to keep it healthy. Twists, bantu knots and braid outs are typically worn with this hair texture.  See the afro kinky curly texture listed on this page.

 photo credit IG: exclusive_afros


Those who have 4c hair will have a hard time finding their curl pattern. It is hard to get the hair to hand due to the tightness of the coils and extreme shrinkage this hair has. Those with this texture will have to do things that stretch out the length of the hair in order to style it. FOr example twist outs and braid outs. This hair texture loves products and the heavier the products the more the hair will elongate and show off the curls.  4c hair loves moisture and water based products. Water based products work very well when it comes to hydrating the hair however oil based products work well to seal that moisture in and are also great for style manipulation.

difference between 4a 4b and 4c hair textures. my natural hair extensions photo credit IG: bubsbee




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