What’s Your Curly Hair Type? How to Decode Your Curl Type

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 the best wave or curl definition. 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 light brown type 2 wavy hair
Model with type 2A wavy hair faces forward wearing a black PPE mask
Model with very voluminous dark brown type 2B wavy hair looks to the side
Person with type 2C curly hair and blonde highlights takes a selfie
Close up of light brown type 3 brown curly hair
Side profile of woman with dark brown curly hair. She stands outside in blue sky surrounded by trees.
Model with blonde type 3B curly hair looking down wearing a PPE mask
Model faces the camera showing her very defined type 3C curls in light brown color hues
Close up of light brown type 4 brown curly hair
Young person with soft type 4A curls looks down revealing her neat center parting
Model with very short white blonde curly hair stands in front of a stone grey background
Model with dark brown type 4C hair wearing a red turtleneck top faces the camera smiling