How Do You Know If You Have Type 3 or Type 4 Hair? (How To Identify Your Hair Types)

All women’s hair types are not the same. Specifically, there are four major hair types; Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4.

By paying attention to your curl pattern, you can figure out your hair texture. And lucky you if you find out!

Knowing your hair type could be the secret to having the ideal healthy hair you’ve always wished for.

It will influence how you take care of your hair, from the hair creams to the shampoos to even how much heat/heat product you’ll apply.

You’ll start choosing the right products, applying the proper hair regimen, and drastically reducing the risk of damaging your hair, once more!

In this post, we will look into two of the most common hair types: Type 3 and Type 4.

We’ll discuss;

  • How to identify your current hair type
  • The best hair care tips suitable for your hair texture
  • And how to maintain and enhance your hair texture to your taste

So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Firstly, What Are The Various Kinds Of Hair Types

Generally, we have four kinds of hair types; 

  • Type 1 Hair
  • Type 2 Hair
  • Type 3 Hair
  • Type 4 Hair

Photo cred: Nappy 101

Celebrity stylist Andre Walker invented this classification in the 1990s.

Andre – who happened to be Oprah Winfrey’s official stylist – created the Andre Walker Hair Type System, which classified women’s hair into four categories; Straight, Wavy, Curly, and Coily/Kinky.

However, I wish I could look at your hair and tell you it’s strictly one of these hair types. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

Photo cred: Omid Armin

The Andre Walker Type System, while correct, is not entirely perfect. A woman could have two or more hair types at once.

Maybe a straight and curly hair type, or a coily and wavy hair type, or any sort of mixture.

Hence, based on observation, women’s hair textures were further divided into 12 subtypes, which include Type 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4c.

Nonetheless, this article will teach you whether you have type 3 or type 4 hair. So if that’s what you are here for, read on!

How To Know If You Have A Type 3 Hair

According to Andre Walker’s Hair Typing System, Type 3 hair is the curly hair texture. 

Photo cred: HairFlair

It looks like a stretched spring running from the scalps to the tips. Here are the following subtypes of Type 3 hair;

3A Hair

If your hair texture is loosely curly, thick, and has bigger spirals, then you are a 3A hair.

It looks like a progressive “S” stacked on top of each other from the scalp to the hem.

Photo cred: naturallycurly

How To Care For Your 3A Hair

  • Make sure to oil your hair every week, at least once. This would give it the softness it needs.
  • You have to regularly comb your hair, to evenly spread the sebum right from the scalp to the hair tips.
  • To reduce frizziness, make sure to sleep on silk pillowcases
  • When drying your hair, carefully part all over it. This will prevent hair loss or breakage.

Type 3B Hair

The 3B hair almost looks like 3A hair, except the spiral curls resemble ringlets rather than stretched-out springs.

Photo cred: cosmopolitan 

This type of hair texture is usually voluminous, dense, and more coarse than the 3A hair.

Tips For Caring For 3B Hair

  • Condition your hair more than you wash it. Preferably 2 to three times per week. However, stick to washing or shampooing your hair only once per week.
  • Use moisturizing products as often as you can to help reduce frizziness
  • Don’t always use heating options. Or at least use the heater on a low setting. And we always recommend heat protectants before heating.

Type 3C Hair

Type 3C hair is usually a combination of the Type3 and Type 4 hair – curly and coily.

Photo cred: stylecraze

The curls are round in a full circumference the size of a straw.  They are less stretched and denser than the 3A and 3B hair.

Hence, the 3C hair is the most voluminous of Type 3 hair.

Tips On Caring For Your 3C Hair

  • When washing your hair, gently scrub through using your fingers to avoid breakage because 3C hair is more fragile than its counterparts. 
  • Ensure there is a lot of moisture retention by using moisturizers.
  • A trim would go a long way to enhance the styling – as long you don’t overdo it.
  • Deep condition twice a month, especially if you have dry hair.
  • Wash your hair 2 to 3 times per week.

How Do You Know If You Have Type 4 Hair?

Also called coil or kinky hair, Type 4 hair is usually a more tight-knitted zig-zag patterned hair texture.

This hair type is usually common among African – American women. With literally no space in between, it’s considered the densest hair type.

Let’s see what your sub-type of the 4C hair looks like.

Type 4A Hair

4A hair usually comes with mixtures of type 3C hair textures, except the spring curls are extremely tiny and wiry, making it look more coily than curly.

The hair texture is tightly curled, although the “S” is still slightly visible.

Photo cred: TCB naturals

How To Care For Your Type 4A Hair

  • Ensure you moisturize as often as possible
  • Avoid high tension or tight hairstyles whenever possible
  • It’s recommended to use sulfate-free shampoos
  • Keratin treatment would help keep your scalp healthy (A)

Type 4B Hair

If your hair has a zigzag patterned hair strand, rather than being curly or coily, then you have a 4B hair.

This hair type is not only tightly cured, but it’s also very dense and voluminous.

Photo cred: HairFlair

Depending on your hair color, the zig-zag pattern can be seen from a distance. But a more convincing experiment would be grabbing a strand of hair and slightly dragging it down.

If it shows a sharp edge and zig-zag pattern, you have a 4B hair.

Tips For Caring For 4B Hair

  • Always keep moisturizing
  • Sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase to effectively combat frizziness
  • You don’t have to wash your hair always. But if you do, use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and finish the regimen using quality moisturizing oil.

Type 4C

Of all hair textures, 4C has the most densely parked strands of hair. The curly pattern is almost the same as the 4B hair, but they are tighter, thinner, and more coarse – Typical African Hair.

They are also very delicate and are highly prone to breakage.

Photo cred: Naturallycurlly

How To Care For A 4C Hair

  • Like every type 4 hair, moisturizing is the biggest factor for maintaining your hair quality and health.
  • Use protective styling as much as you can
  •  Use hair products that will keep your scalp healthy
  • It’s recommended to trim your hair at least every six to eight weeks
  • Comb your hair gently, and it’s best done when wet. 

Bottom Line

All hair types are beautiful in their own way.

However, the modes of caring for them are usually different, but you can only know the correct care regimen by first understanding your hair type.

From then on, it would become easier to select the best hair product, hair regimen and styling suitable for your hair type.

It’s only a matter of time, and that ideal, picture-perfect hair will become a reality.



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