Know Your Curl Pattern
How well do you know your curls? Since the term “curly” means a lot of things to a lot of people, it’s worth taking a closer look at your texture. When you understand your curl pattern, it’s easier to find the best styling techniques, products and haircut.
The curly experts at NaturallyCurly came up with a Texture Typing ℠ guide to help you care for and style your curls. How it works: Curls are grouped into the most common types (wavy, curly and coily) and then divided into subtle shape distinctions within each category. Before you get started, make sure your hair is healthy and moisturized. You may have to wait a few months if you are in the process of growing out heat or chemical damage, but it’s the best way identify your curl pattern.
Another important thing to keep in mind: Most people are a mix of curl patterns, so it’s totally normal to have multiple curl patterns on one head. You may want to treat those parts of your hair differently, using heavier products in one area, and lighter ones in another. Your stylist can also use this information to customize a cut that accommodates your multiple curl pattern so one section doesn’t look longer than the other. Read on to get to know your curls even better!
Type 2: WAVYTop Concerns: Fighting frizz and finding light products that give hold
Go-To Products: Mousses, leave-in serums and heat-protectants
2A Your wave pattern is close to straight, but has a loose, gentle bend.
2B:Your waves are mostly straight at the roots and more defined waves form below eye level.
2C:Your well-defined waves start at the roots and mix with actual ringlets.
Type 3: CURLYTop Concerns: Curl definition, fighting frizz and avoiding drying products
Go-To Products: Creams, gels, gentle shampoos
2C/3A Your spirals are similar in size to the large sidewalk chalk.
3B: Your ringlets have the circumference of a Sharpie marker.
3C: Your ringlet width resembles a pencil or a straw.
Type 4: COILYTop Concerns: Maintaining moisture, avoiding tangles and shrinkage
Go-To Products: Daily conditioner, deep conditioner and leave-in conditioners
3C/4A Your strands have a small, tight S-shape.
4B: Your curls have more of a small, tight Z-shape.
4C: Your strands are less likely to clump into a “coil” unless styled like a twist out.
Shampoo for defined, frizz-resistant curls
Conditioner for defined, frizz-resistant curls
Leave-in treatment for defined, frizz-resistant curls
Long-lasting hold and shine, without stickiness or buildup.
Strong hold with frizz-free definition and shine.
Instantly recreate defined, hydrated, frizz resistant curls.
Nourish, stretch and elongate curls.
Controlled definition of a gel with the soft subtle conditioning of a cream
Lasting hold and shape free of frizz, flyaways, and flaky residue
Videos & Articles
Learn more in these related articles and videos.
Check out the hair care products and tools you need for gorgeous curls.
Learn everything you need to know about getting healthy, glossy curls.
Here’s how to beat frizz, tangles and triangle hair so you can make the make most of your curls.
Get expert advice on taking care of your naturally curly hair.
Style vlogger Morgan Brown shows you how to create the Curly Faux Hawk with Curl Nourish & Curl Stretch Pudding in 4 easy steps.
Style vlogger Andrea Brooks shows you how to create the Curly Side Braid with Curl Nourish & Curl Renew in 4 easy steps.
Want amazing summer hair? Avoid these common hair mistakes during the warmer months.
Learn how to cut down on frizz, tangles and damage with these drying techniques for curly hair.
Want amazing curls every day? Explore the essential hydrating tips for curly hair.
Discover our top curly hair care and styling techniques to help prevent dryness and damage.
Use these simple hair styling tricks to bring out extra bounce in your naturally wavy hair.
Get defined, frizz-free curls with this genius curly girl hair styling trick.
Find out how to pick and apply curl cream for soft, shiny curls with flexible hold.
Fending off frizz is a daily battle for women with wavy, curly or coily hair. These strategies will help.
Learn how to keep your curly hair in top condition while you grow it out.
Here's how to bring bounce back to your curly hair the day after you've washed it.
Try styling your wavy hair upside down to create volume and lift, and prevent your waves from falling flat.
Make the most of your naturally wavy hair with these 6 tips.
From styling tips to hair care products and even getting a haircut, discover the best solutions for bringing bounce back to your curly hair.
Add these brilliant hair styling techniques to your wavy, curly or coily hair routine.
Learn about the top hair styling techniques for shiny, smooth curls.
These are the best lifestyle, hair care and styling habits for healthy looking curls.
Learn how to avoid the 5 most common curly hair care and styling mistakes.
No matter what type of curls you have, this is the hair care and style regimen you need to follow.
Discover pain-free ways to remove tangles from your waves, curls or coils.
Deciding when to wash your curls depends on your hair texture.
Learn how to expertly mix products to create any curly look.
If your curls look dull, frizzy or lack definition, it's time to deep condition.
Discover the trendy curly hair technique that helps preserve your curls while you sleep.