Home Curly Hair How To Figure Out Your Curl Pattern

How To Figure Out Your Curl Pattern

by Chelsea Castonguay
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curly hair


Have you spent a lot of time and money on products, hoping for your dream curls only to have them fall short of expectations? It could be that you aren’t treating your curls appropriately for their type.

In order to get your best curls, you need to figure out your curl pattern. Curl patterns are generally separated into three groups; wavy, curly and coily. In order to determine your pattern, examine your curls when they’re at their healthiest, which means minimal damage and well moisturized. This means you’ll have had to stop using heat tools and putting chemicals on your curls for at least three months. Once you start examining your hair you’re likely to notice that you have more than one type of curl in your hair which is ok! Knowing this will help you figure out what products to use where in your curls.

Wavy curls:

Waves tend to be looser, in an S shape. Women with this curl type need mousses, gels and serums that will help combat frizz, hold their delicate strands in place and won’t weight their curls down. If your curls have a slight bend, they are most likely Type 2a waves. If your curls are straight at the root with the bend closer to the ends, your curls are probably Type 2b. For waves that start at the roots and end in ringlets, you’re dealing with Type 2c.

Curly hair:


If you have spirals or defined coils, you might have Type 3 hair. These hair types need to use creams and gels to help avoid frizz. If you have larger curls that are defined, you’re working with Type 3a curls. If your curls are smaller, about the width of a marker, they are Type 3b. Finally, if the circumference of your curls is about the same as a pencil, they’re Type 3c curls.

Coily hair:

This hair type has super tight, thick coils which can make it seem much shorter than it actually is. This hair type needs to work hard to incorporate and maintain moisture in their strands, as they tend to dry out easily. If your curls are tight and the size of a knitting needle, they are most likely Type 4a. Type 4b are tighter and look like a spring in shape. Type 4c, while similar to 4b, are usually even denser.

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