The hair typing system is quite a controversial topic among the natural hair community as some curlies believe that curly is curly and shouldn’t be separated into subsets.
Everyone’s texture is different and unique to them – so unique, in fact, that an individual may have more than one “type” of hair on their head (which is another reason why some curlies shun the typing system). With that being said, it can’t be denied that the typing system is still a great guideline to use to help aid in determining the type of hair products that may or may not work in you or your Afro Baby’s hair.
Having a general idea of your child’s hair type is a very important step in creating a daily hair care regime that actually works. For example, even though my Afro Baby has two very distinct hair types on her head (4-a and 4-b) I was able to use the hair typing system to discover that some products formulated for 4-c’s can be too heavy for her type of hair.
I often get asked at what point the typing system can be implemented on a child’s hair. Using my own children as a guideline, their “true” hair type did not appear until they were almost a year old; but you ultimately have to make the determination of whether or not the typing system can be applied to your child.
Ultimately, don’t look at the typing system as a full-proof solution, but as a great starting point. It will hopefully help you to narrow down hair products and be a great guideline to help you and your child through your natural hair journey.
The following is a breakdown of kinky-curly hair types based on the hair typing system created by stylist Andre Walker (of Andre Walker Hair and the Gold System).
• Type 4 Natural Hair •
Type 4A - "Springy"
Your little one may have type 4a hair if they have hair that is tightly coiled and when stretched creates an “S” pattern. You can see a distinct curl pattern with this hair type and it tends to hold moisture relatively well.
Type 4B - "Crimpy"
Your child may have type 4b hair if their hair has less of a defined curl pattern and creates what appears to be a “Z” formation when stretched. The hair will have bends and sharp angles and a cotton-like feel.
Type 4C - "Ziggly"
Your Afro Baby is a 4c hair type if her hair is densely packed with tightly kinked strands. This hair type IS capable of having a distinct curl pattern, but the proper balance of intensive and consistent moisturizing has to be achieved.
• Type 3 Natural Hair •
Type 3A - "Twirly"
Your child may be a 3a Afro Baby if they have big loose curls that are about the size of jumbo sidewalk chalk. Their hair may have a perpetual sheen and be seriously affected by climate. If your child’s hair “grows” after being out on a particularly humid day, they are more than likely a 3a Afro Baby.
Type 3B - "Spirally"
Your little one may be a 3b Afro Baby if they’ve got well-defined curls that range from bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews. Curls are about the size of a sharpie and can get quite temperamental if too many styling products are used.
Type 3C - "Coily"
Your child may have a 3c hair type if they have defined tight curls that look like corkscrews. Type 3c curls are approximately the circumference of a pencil or straw with lots and lots of strands densely packed together.