Whether you’ve been rocking your natural curls for a while or are newly embracing your locks, knowing your curl type can be a huge benefit. In the past few years, products and information on how to care for your curly hair has come a long way. However, without knowing your curl type it can trickier to figure out what products and styling techniques work best for you.
You don’t need to feel daunted when it comes to figuring out your curly hair type. There is an agreed upon system for identifying curly hair types which includes a numerical designation for the curl family. Within the family, the tightness of the curl is defined by a letter, either a, b, or c. For example, if your curls are closer to straight, you would have curl type 1.
Why it’s important:
There are several reasons why you should know your curl type. It can help you figure out the best routine for your curls and what products will give you the best results. For example, if you have very fine, delicate curls, odds are you aren’t going to be utilizing the heavier products that are designed to help those with thicker, kinkier coils.
What else you need to know:
Porosity: If you didn’t already know, porosity refers to how quickly your curls soak up moisture. Knowing your hair’s porosity is important when picking the right types of products. If you don’t already know your curl’s porosity, dunk a strand in some water and observe if it floats on the top, sinks or stays somewhere in between. For those with strands that float, your curls are non porous, which means they don’t easily absorb product. You’ll need a heavier product to penetrate your curls. For those with curls that sink, your hair is much more porous and a light hold product will do the job.
Elasticity: Do you know how well your curls snap back into place? If not, try stretching out a curl to see how fast it recoils. If it doesn’t, your curls are most likely dry and in need of moisture. Add moisture back in with light, water based products like a defining gel.
Variance: Have you ever noticed that sometimes it seems as though you have two or more types of curls sitting on your head? Odds are it’s because you do! Your curls might fall between types or you might have several different strengths of curls. No worries! Just use a bit of stronger product on the sections where your curls might need some extra control.