Guide To Determining Hair Type

Andre Walker system

The Andre Walker Hair Typing System is the most widely used system to classify hair. The system was created by the hairstylist of Oprah Winfrey, Andre Walker. According to this system there are four types of hair: straight, wavy, curly, kinky.

  • Type 1 is straight hair, which reflects the most sheen and also the most resilient hair of all of the hair types. It is hard to damage and immensely difficult to curl this hair texture. Because the sebum easily spreads from the scalp to the ends without curls or kinks to interrupt its path, it is the most oily hair texture of all.
  • Type 2 is wavy hair, whose texture and sheen ranges somewhere between straight and curly hair. Wavy hair is also more likely to become frizzy than straight hair. While type A waves can easily alternate between straight and curly styles, type B and C Wavy hair is resistant to styling.
  • Type 3 is curly hair known to have an S-shape. The curl pattern may resemble a lowercase “s”, uppercase “S”, or sometimes an uppercase “Z” or lowercase “z”. This hair type is usually voluminous, “climate dependent (humidity = frizz), and damage-prone. Lack of proper care causes less defined curls.
  • Type 4 is kinky hair, which features a tightly coiled curl pattern (or no discernible curl pattern at all) that is often fragile with a very high density. This type of hair shrinks when wet and because it has fewer cuticle layers than other hair types it is more susceptible to damage.
Type 1: Straight
1aStraight (Fine/Thin) Hair tends to be very soft, thin, shiny, oily, poor at holding curls, difficult to damage.
1bStraight (Medium)Hair characterized by volume and body.
1cStraight (Coarse)Hair tends to be bone-straight, coarse, difficult to curl.
Type 2: Wavy
2aWavy (Fine/Thin)Hair has definite “S” pattern, can easily be straightened or curled, usually receptive to a variety of styles.
2bWavy (Medium)Can tend to be frizzy and a little resistant to styling.
2cWavy (Coarse)Fairly coarse, frizzy or very frizzy with thicker waves, often more resistant to styling.
Type 3: Curly
3aCurly (Loose)Presents a definite “S” pattern, tends to combine thickness, volume, and/or frizziness.
3bCurly (Tight)Presents a definite “S” pattern, curls ranging from spirals to spiral-shaped corkscrew
Type 4: Kinky
4aKinky (Soft)Hair tends to be very wiry and fragile, tightly coiled and can feature curly patterning.
4bKinky (Wiry)As 4a but with less defined pattern of curls, looks more like a “Z” with sharp angles