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What is my hair type? And, why is it important?

Many don't believe that hair typing is important but Kinky Peaches feels that hair typing is crucial when starting out as a new natural. Many get discouraged and waste hundreds of $$$ on products that don't work on their hair type. Saying "hair type doesn't matter" is like saying "there is no difference between dry and oily skin". Your regimen and the products you use will differ.

This guide was created to help you find your hair type then follow natural hair gurus who share your hair type but have already figured out tried and true tips and techniques for caring for your hair.

Step 1 - Find out what your hair type is.

We recommend going to a professional salon or stylist to get their assessment of your hair type. Many salons will give you a free consultation. If you don't have access to a professional, the following guides will be helpful in figuring out your hair type. Kinky Peaches follows Andre Walker (Oprah's hair stylist and author of the book Andre Talks Hair) Hair Typing System. NOTE - types 3C and 4C were not part of his system.

Type 3
When this type of hair is wet, it appears to be pretty straight. As it dries, the hair goes back to its curly state. When curly hair is wet it usually straightens out. As it dries, it absorbs the water and contracts to its curliest state. Humidity tends to make this type of curly hair even curlier, or even frizzier. Type 3 hair has a lot of body and is easily styled in its natural state, or it can be easily straightened with a blow-dryer into a smoother style. Healthy Type 3 hair is shiny, with soft, smooth curls and strong elasticity. The curls are well-defined and springy.

Andre defines two sub-types of curly hair. First, there is type 3A hair which is very loosely curled and usually very shiny with big curls. The shorter the hair is, the straighter it gets. The longer the hair is the more defined the curl. Then, there is type 3B hair which has a medium amount of curl to tight corkscrews. It's not unusual to see a mixture of these types existing on the same head. Curly hair usually consists of a combination of textures, with the crown being the curliest part. Lastly there is a type 3C, is hair type that is not in Andre Walker's book, but many people suggest that it should be. This type of hair can be described as tight curls in corkscrews. The curls can be either kinky, or very tightly curled, with lots and lots of strands densely packed together.

Type 4
According to Andre Walker, if your hair falls into the Type 4 category, then it is kinky, or very tightly curled. Generally, Type 4 hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very fragile. Similar to Type 3 hair, Type 4 hair appears to be coarse, but it is actually quite fine, with lots and lots of these strands densely packed together. Type 4 hair that is healthy won't shine, but it will have sheen. It will be soft to the touch and will pass the strand test with ease. It will feel silkier than it will look shiny.

Type 4 hairs looks tough and durable, but looks can be deceiving. If you have Type 4 hair, you already know that it is the most fragile hair around. There are two sub-types of Type 4 hair: Type 4A, tightly coiled hair that, when stretched, has an S pattern, much like curly hair; and Type 4B, which has a Z pattern, less of a defined curl pattern (instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter Z). Type 4A tends to have more moisture than Type 4B, which will have a wiry texture

The following photos are a great visual representation of the various hair types:

Step 2 - Find your hair muse.

Now that you know your hair type, it's time to find your hair muse and learn from the women who have mastered the art of taking care of your type of hair. We have online groups for your specific hair type and we've selected the top youtube gurus for your hair type.

Type 3

Type 3 hair is described in the Andre Walker classification system as "Curls are well-defined and springy. It isn't coarse, like many believe, but soft and very fine - there's just a lot of it."

Join our Type 3 Facebook Group

We recommend these Type 3 Hair Gurus:

Nia the Bee
Quest for the Perfect Curl

Type 4

Type 4 hair is described in the Andre Walker classification system as "kinky, or very tightly curled, with a clearly visible curl pattern. The hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very, very fragile. Type 4 hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/coarse with lots and lots of strands densely packed together".

Join our Type 4 Facebook Group

We recommend these Type 4 Hair Gurus:

Natural Chica