*This* is How You Decode the Curly Hair Types

Anyone with curly or wavy hair knows that every head of curls and coils is different. You might have loose, tumbling tendrils, or soft, bouncy loops, or tight, textured zigzags – or a mix of all three. That's why the curly community has come up with a way to help you decode your curly hair type, and it all comes down to a simple numbering system, spanning 1 (straight hair) to 4 (coily hair), with A, B and C patterns in each group.

The curly hair types system proves a useful guide when you want to know how to care for and style your hair to get wave or curl definition. Plus, if you're a hairdresser, you can use it to help your clients get the best from their texture too. After all, a styling routine for 3C curls will be very different to 4C zags. Here, we reveal what the hair types actually mean, and how you can figure out which group (or groups) your locks fall into. This is what you need to know…

Close-up of type 2 wavy hair texture.
Model with type 2A wavy hair looks down.
Model with type 2B wavy hair faces camera.
Model with type 2C wavy hair faces camera.
Close up of light brown type 3 brown curly hair
Model with type 3A curly hair looks to the side.
Model with type 3B curly hair faces camera.
Model with type 3C curly hair faces camera.
Close-up of type 4 curly hair texture.
Model with type 4A curly hair glances down.
Model with type 4B curly hair faces camera.
Model with type 4C curly hair faces camera.