Infographic: Learning the Different Curly Hair Types

Your ultimate guide to curly hair types and how to care for them.

Welcome to the world of curls, a place where you’ll come across an array of beautiful waves or ringlets that all behave differently. As you may have heard before: No curly hair types are the same. The tricky part is identifying what type of curl you have. All curls behave differently, some hang, some dangle, and some frizz more than others. What’s more, they even feel different to the touch as the textures and density of the various curl types range from thin to thick. Once you’re familiar with your curl pattern, it then becomes easier to determine how you should care for your hair, what products to use, and the best ways to style. Read on to discover the different curly hair types along with a few tips for caring, as well as styling.

Curly Hair Types infographic
Use this chart to help identify your curl pattern.

Type -2 Wavy Curl Types

Girls with wavy curl types have hair that forms the shape of an S. This hair type is often confused as being straight, especially if the pattern is shaped like a 2A wave which has a very slight bend as opposed to 2B and 2C waves that have much more definition. Unlike curlier patterns, wavy hair tends to be less dry as the sebum from the scalp can travel down the hair strands easily. To care for type 2 hair, use a hair care system that provides a weightless moisture like Suave Coconut Milk Deep Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner which drenches hair with deep moisture for touchably soft, healthy-looking hair. To style and enhance waves, coat your hair with some gel and scrunch upwards with a paper towel or cotton t-shirt or use a blowdryer with a diffuser attachment.

Type- 3 Curly Curl Types

Type 3 curly curl types range from loose to corkscrew curls and is much drier than wavy curl types. Curls that fall under this category tend to have a high frizz factor, so hydration is vital. To care for this curl type look for a hair care system that hydrates the hair and controls frizz. We love the Suave Naturals line for serious hydration. Suave Sulfate-Free Cleansing Shampoo gently cleanses and calms frizz, and Suave Moisturizing Curl Conditioner moisturizes hair and tames fly-aways.

Type- 4 Coily Curl Types

From slightly coiled to kinky zig-zag coils, type 4 curly hair types fall on the dryer end of the spectrum. Due to its spring factor, this hair type tends to shrink much more than the others. You can either embrace your shrinkage, or try out natural hairstyles that stretch your curls like twist and braid outs. Women with this curl type often struggle with detangling, especially those with thick hair textures.

To care for this hair type, products that are super moisturizing and help with detangling are key. TRESemmé Botanique Curl Hydration Shampoo gently cleanses and nourishes the hair, while TRESemmé Botanique Curl Hydration Conditioner absorbs quickly into the hair without leaving a greasy, heavy feeling. Easily a fave duo of ours!

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Before styling this curly hair type, use Suave Cream Detangler Spray to improve manageability. Follow with a gel that helps with curl definition like Suave Define & Shine Serum Gel which provides a strong control and helps to tame frizz. If you’re styling your hair into a wash and go, use a diffuser to dry. For styles like twist outs and braid outs, air dry if time and weather conditions permit or sit underneath a hooded dryer until the hair is completely dry, then release and fluff.