Coily Hair Type Guide: A Full Guide and How to Care for Your Curls and Coils

Learn the D.N.A of your hair type and style inspo.

Searching for a coily hair type guide? Today is your lucky day! It’s no secret that natural hair comes in all unique forms. If you’re a naturalista who is learning how to care for your hair, then knowing your hair texture is the perfect first step to knowing how to cater to your hair and its needs. Let’s face it, natural hair can have some challenges, but the routine you implement in your hair journey is what grows your understanding and makes taking care of your hair so rewarding. Finding what compliments your hair best is the best thing you can do to keep your coils moisturized, well-nourished, and protected. Therefore, we have created a coily hair guide to help you with just that!

Curly Hair Types infographic
Learning your curl type is a great way to adapt your hair care routine.

The first step you can take in your natural hair journey is studying your curl pattern. Identifying what curl type you have can sometimes be draining, but it is a crucial part of figuring out what works best for your curls. From loose 3a curls to tight coily 4c hair, everyone has a different curl pattern. At the same time, curly is on the looser side, coily hair trends to consist of tighter curls that form into an afro-texture. Are you trying to learn more about your curl pattern? Check out our guide below.

Curly Hair Guide –  3A, 3B, 3C

Coily hair guide
Type 3 curls tend to be on the looser side of the curl pattern spectrum. Photo by Wilker Lauriano

3A hair is the loosest type of texture on a curly hair diagram. Type 3A and 3B are spiral and sometimes wider, while 3c is the tightest of the 3.

3A is loose curls, but where to start to see more than just 2c waves? 3A hair often has lots of volume since the curls are much bigger. A great product for 3A hair types would be the TRESemmé Flawless Curls Hair Spray. This lightweight hair spray complements great with 3A hair and tames the flyaways that the spirals might bring out. For 3A hair types, it would be best to use light leave-ins that can provide moisture to the hair and definition without overweighting the curls.

In contrast to 3A, 3B is more of a condensed spiral rather than the S shape. This would cause more volume considering the change in curl shape. In the 3B hair type, you start to have a rounded shape as the spiral hair stands layer on top of one another. A great leave-in recommendation for this hair type would be SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner, which suits all hair types. Using this product on 3B hair types would be advised to use a sparing amount.

3C hair types have the most definitive spirals that have a tighter appearance than 3A and 3B. This curl spiral can be compared to a corkscrew, which can also lead to more shrinkage and volume… For this hair type, it is recommended to use heavier products and gels that can moisturize and tame the frizz.

Coily Hair Guide –  4A, 4B, 4C

Coily hair consists of tight curls. Photo by Megan Ruth

Type 4 hair is known as coily, kinky hair. Type four hair has tight, small hair strands. In 4a hair, the hair is slightly coiled, but your definition is still there and easy to notice. 4b hair is zig-zag curls where you start to see the kinks form. These coils are more densely packed, and is where detangling starts to become a challenge.

In 4c, your curls are so tight that the definition is not always visible. 4c is kinky hair that is known best for forming afros. 4c is also known for its shrinkage. The best technique for 4c hair is working in sections. 4c hair is beautifully thick, kinky, and full, so is it important that the right routine is implicated that helps your hair stay moisturized. Type four is known as the hardest hair to manage because it is the thickest and more coarse type of hair out there!

When It comes to type four hair, the key is knowing your porosity and taking the time to detangle thoroughly when needed. A great product for type four hair would be the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque. This product does a great job in repairing and nourishing Type four hair which is known to be dry. Adding more moisture to your routine can keep your hair healthy and give it the strength it needs to grow!

Having Various Curl Patterns at Once

coily hair guuide
Having multiple curl patterns is perfectly normal and can even elevate your look! Photo by Alison Erickson

Do not be alarmed if you have two different curl types! Sometimes you may find that you have 2 different hair patterns at different sections of your hair. Natural hair comes in different varieties, so 2 different hair types aren’t always a sign of heat damage. It just means you need to find a way.

to cater to every part of your hair. We love the TRESemmé Extra Hold Hair Gel. Try using this as a technique to create your desired hairstyle! This gel is great for people with different curl patterns, as it gives you more control and volume while reducing frizz.

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