Coloured or white, but all 3c?!

I think 3c is the most confusing hairtype there is...
It seems that there are so many types of 3c! Now I'm just wondering is there a difference between being black or half black and having 3c hair or being white and having 3c hair? I feel that my hair is so different from a lot of other, white, 3c's. And I think that is so weird because we seem to have the same hairtype.
Is it just me or is there really a difference?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Hairtype: A whole lotta tight 3c
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I was wondering the same thing, hopefully someone has some insight.
http://www.youtube.com/Kittykat1374
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natural since 6/05
I don't know either... I'm caucasian and actually half of my hair is 4a, but I feel people will be like WTF? if I post that, so I just stick with 3c.

For the first time I cut layers all the way around, and it looks great. My 4a tendencies are more obvious too. Since I cut it I've been seeing people do something odd when they walk or drive past me... they turn to look at my face. I was talking to a AA gal at the drugstore and she said that she had had to take a second look at me... to see if I was mixed or white, because she had seen my hair from the back. I think that is what some other people are checking out too, since its mostly women, and I don't have a fantastic bum

Anyway, my point with this long story, is that hairtype isn't directly tied to race. I have seen many pictures of "ethnic" women here who have looser curls than mine. I've seen many people with what I would consider 3b curls and many people with what I would definitly call 4a curls... all just saying 3c. Its all subjective I guess.
3c, CG Fine hairs, med growth.
Formerly "Rainyday"
That is an interesting question... I think that classic 3C hair is very tight, well-formed corkscrews which is a somewhat common hair type for mixed women with some african ancestry, either a parent or going back further in the family tree. White women can have it too as seen here at NC. The thing is most of us have many different hair types all at once Personally, my natural hair is a very blended 3B/C with some 3A near the root when it is long.

I tend to post on 3C threads a lot because many of the other curlies who self-identify in this manner have somewhat similar hair. I also post/lurk on 3B threads too and have gotten some good advice and product recommendations that way, even though that particular hair type board is pretty inactive right now...

Maybe others with more insight will post their thoughts
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
Curly Dutch Girl, I look at the hair typing system to be all about the degree of curl formation. Now what you're referring to as far as racial differences in hair, I see as texture. In any one of the categories 2,3 or 4, an individual can have fine, medium or coarse texture depending on their background. I think if you are really looking for specific help in relation to that, then it helps if you say fine 3c or coarse 3c. The fullness also plays a part, so add thin or thick or maybe even the length.

Overall, it doesn't seem to really matter what your background is -- it's all very individual. Just looking around here at the different reactions in threads about oil, protein, sulfates, silicones and you name it, demonstrates that there is no one set of rules based on your skin color or even hair type, but rather, your individual hair needs.
3c representative of a 2c-4a curly clan.
Keeping it simple, natural & sulfate free. Fan of pure oils, butters & glycerin to moisturize.
Honestly, I think that the confusion over curl types is the result of people incorrectly classifying their hair. First of all, 3c was never one of the original hair types mentioned by Andre Walker in his book. It was "invented" by members on this website who felt that 3b and 4a didn't adequately address their hair type. I think it would be more useful for people to speak of the tightness of their curl pattern ALONG WITH the texture of their hair. People have a tendency to use 3c and 4a to refer to frizziness and coarseness, but this is never what the hair types were intended to denote. For example, my curl pattern is the same as a friend of mine, but her hair feels silky and is coarse (her curls hang) where mine feels cottony and each strand is pretty fine (my hair seems to float). As a result, we use very different products and different routines. Hair types don't seem to address this. [/i]
~Break the Chains of Your Mind and Your Body will Follow~

3b/3c/4a
http://public.fotki.com/Portae99/
http://photos.yahoo.com/Portae_99
Portae-

I've never read Andre Walker's book, and have based my curl self-description on the NC hair types which say that 3B is chalk sized curls and 3C is pencil sized curls... My natural curls are a mix (or blend) of these sizes - maybe the diameter of magic markers? to stick with the theme

I do agree that more detail is better than less when it comes to providing hair tips or advice, so I try to do that as often as possible. Pictures help a lot too.
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
Curltopia-
The hair types here are taken from Andre Walker's book, and he cites the 3b hair type as covering a wide range. For example, he lists Cree Summer ("Freddie" from A Different World) as a 3b. Nowadays on nc.com, most people would define her as a 3c. I think the problem came when people created the 3c category to describe a particular texture that they didn't feel was being adequately addressed. I think the problem, as I said before, is that curl diameter really doesn't tell you much about how an individual's curls behave.

In any case, I guess my point is that the categories are so confusing because posters here are using them incorrectly and the categories themselves have gotten all mixed up and confused.
~Break the Chains of Your Mind and Your Body will Follow~

3b/3c/4a
http://public.fotki.com/Portae99/
http://photos.yahoo.com/Portae_99
Portae-

Whoops, I just went back to the NC hairtypes link in the newbies section and you are right about NC hair types being based on Andre Walker's typology... D'oh

Here is what the NC web-site says about Type 3:

There are two subtypes of curly hair. Type 3A, hair that is very loosely curled like Julia Robert's or Susan Sarandon's is usually very shiny with big curls. The shorter the hair, the straighter it gets. The longer the hair the more defined the curl. Type 3B, on the other hand, is hair with a medium amount of curl, ranging from bouncy ringlets think of Shirley Temple and Nicole Kidman to tight corkscrews think of actress Cree Summer of television's Sweet Justice of jazz singer Cleo Laine. It's not unusual to find both subtypes coexisting on the same head. In fact, curly hair usually consists of a combination of textures, with the crown being the curliest part.

Addendum: Naturallycurly.com readers have suggested a third Type 3 subtype: 3c.
Type 3C, is hair with tight curls in corkscrews. The curls can be either kinky, or very tightly curled, with lots and lots of strands densely packed together. Some people refer to this as "big hair." Getting this type of hair to blowdry straight is more challenging than for 3A or 3B, but it usually can be done. This includes those with very tight curls but finer hair, as well as coarser hair. 3C has really really tight curls, like pencil or straw circumference. 3B is like sidewalk chalk or salt shaker circumference, and 4A is like coffee stirrer circumference.


The 3B descriptions are kind of all over the place, as a function of Andre's perhaps overly broad typology as well as the addendum. The problem may be that curly hair is considered Type 3 but there are SOO MANY KINDS and shapes of curls, not to mention texture and thickness, etc.. The Type 2 and Type 4 categories are a little more straightfoward, I think. But jamming all of us curly heads into the Type 3 category seems to be challenging...

Anyway, if you go by Andre's system, I am a 3B. By the NC addendum definition, I am a 3B/C. When I post, I do pay attention to hair type description as well as hair pictures to get a feel for whether someone has similar hair. Somehow, it all seems to work out even though I do agree that it is really confusing
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
Wow! Very interesting thread!
Thanks for clarifying that Portae!

So, then according to Walker,
I am a 3b?

ETA: This curly can't spell then!
Maya
3b/c CG routine
HG line DevaCurl
Password: Locks

The hair types here are taken from Andre Walker's book, and he cites the 3b hair type as covering a wide range. For example, he lists Cree Summer ("Freddie" from A Different World) as a 3b. Nowadays on nc.com, most people would define her as a 3c.
Originally Posted by Portae
I was thinking the same thing about Cree Summer's hair and the fact that most would categorize it as 3c. I think it was Andre Walker's intention for 3b to have a much wider range than what most people follow. Type 4 hair is easier to quantify because it's pretty much categorized as nappy/kinky (with it's varying degrees) hair across the board.

Interestingly, if you type in 3c (or 4a or 4b) on the Nappturality boards, the filters automatically turn it to "nappy". However, I think this was a result of too many transitioners hoping and praying that they'll end up with "good" 3c hair, and posters with obviously type 4 hair living in denial by saying their hair is 3c. Usually, those with 4+ hair who want to carry on that lie will say their hair is 3c because it's "ethnic" enough not to raise suspicion on a black hairboard, but loose enough to be considered desirably "curly" and not "nappy".

I can't help but laugh when I think about a poster on another hair board with 4a/b hair that SWORE UP AND DOWN she had type 2 hair even after members tried to tactfully correct her.


3b/c fine corkscrews and spirals. Naked hair above.


Wash: Elucence Moisture Balancing Shampoo
Condish: Shescentit Avocado/Honey Rinse
Moisture DT: Silk Dreams Vanilla Silk, Crece Pelo
Protein DT: Shescentit Okra Hair Repair Reconstructor
Leave-Ins: Shescentit Coco Creme, Darcy's Botanicals Sweet Cocoa Bean, Aubrey Organics Primrose Spray
Stylers: Aubrey Organics B-5, Shea Moisture Curly Souffle


Subject to change!
See, the whole "good hair" "bad hair" concept is soooo annoying and awful :x I just wish that we could make it go away.......
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
I think the problem came when people created the 3c category to describe a particular texture that they didn't feel was being adequately addressed. I think the problem, as I said before, is that curl diameter really doesn't tell you much about how an individual's curls behave.
Originally Posted by Portae
That is a very good point!
I base my hair type on the diameter, pencil circumference. That has nothing to do with the texture. My curls arren't all in corkscrews though, some strands are in corkscrews at the end.
What does 'coarse' and 'fine' means? Is 'coarse' a lot of clumping?
I have al lot of hair, when it's wet, my hair clumps well and my hair seems thinner and it hangs. When it's dry, the clumps fall apart into finer strands and my hair gets big.

I think it's terrible that some people consider 3c hair as 'better hair' then type 4 hair. I don't know the exact translation on the word 'nappy' but I consider all 4 + types as 'nappy.' Type 4+ hair is curly too, though! Nappy for me is just another word for hair type 4a and 4b.

The reason I started this topic, is that when I look at picures, the way my hair reacts on routines and products seems so different from other 3c's, especially when they are not coloured.

Thank you all for your thoughts and info!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Hairtype: A whole lotta tight 3c
Album
I know when I first came to NC.com in 99, I put myself in the 4a catergory. However, my hair has the diameter of a straw which puts me in the 3c catergory so I just say I'm a 3c or 3c/4a. In addition, I totally fit Pam Ferrell's description of wiry hair. So...my hair has a straw diameter, is wiry and did I mention flyaway? It's hard for me to find products because so many that are praised for black hair like Elucence and Carol's Daughter don't work for me. I'm one of those people that can't use pure shea butter or coconut oil. It's depressing.
What does 'coarse' and 'fine' means?
Originally Posted by Curly Dutch Girl
These are descriptions of what your individual strands look like.

F - Fine
Thin strands that sometimes are almost translucent when held up to the light. Shed strands can be hard to see even against a contrasting background. Similar to hair found on many people of Scandinavian descent. You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Fine hair is difficult to feel or it feels like an ultra-fine strand of silk. (I also wanted to add that fine hair is also found on people of African descent)

M - Medium
Strands are neither fine nor coarse. Similar to hair found on many Caucasians. You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Medium hair feels like a cotton thread. You can feel it, but it isn't stiff or rough. It is neither fine or coarse.

C - Coarse
Thick strands that where shed strands usually are easily identified against most backgrounds. Similar to hair found on many people of Asian or native American descent. You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Coarse hair feels hard and wiry. As you roll it back and forth, you may actually hear it.

You can find more information through this link:

http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/...#faq_hair_type

HTH
A wonderful mix of coils, curls, corkscrews, and kinks.

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Thanks for that Shyygirl. Very informative. While I've never been unclear about textures, the curl typing system is certainly challenging. I'm probably due for a re-evaluation, though honestly, I've gotten just as much info from those on the other end of the curl spectrum than I, so it doesn't much matter to me... As long as my hair is healthy and I'm doing my best to give it what it needs.

P.S. Now I know what all those iii's and other letters I've seen around mean. :::scurrying over to newbie section:::
3c representative of a 2c-4a curly clan.
Keeping it simple, natural & sulfate free. Fan of pure oils, butters & glycerin to moisturize.
I like the Long Hair Community description of hair types - it seems very on-point:

FIRST CLASSIFIER - Your curliness (or lack thereof)

The straight ones
1a - stick straight
1b - straight but with a slight body wave, just enough to add some volume, doesn't look wavy
1c - straight with body wave and one or two visible S-waves (e.g. nape of neck or temples)

The wavy ones
2a - loose, stretched out S-waves throughout the hair
2b - shorter, more distinct S-waves (similar to waves from braiding damp hair)
2c - distinct S-waves and the odd spiral curl forming here and there

The curly ones
3a - big, loose spiral curls
3b - bouncy ringlets
3c - tight corkscrews

The really curly ones
4a - tightly coiled S-curls
4b - tightly coiled hair bending in sharp angles (Z-pattern)
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

(taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
I agree Curltopia. Just read it over... No confusion there.
3c representative of a 2c-4a curly clan.
Keeping it simple, natural & sulfate free. Fan of pure oils, butters & glycerin to moisturize.
I was talking to a AA gal at the drugstore and she said that she had had to take a second look at me... to see if I was mixed or white, because she had seen my hair from the back. I think that is what some other people are checking out too, since its mostly women, and I don't have a fantastic bum

Anyway, my point with this long story, is that hairtype isn't directly tied to race. I have seen many pictures of "ethnic" women here who have looser curls than mine. I've seen many people with what I would consider 3b curls and many people with what I would definitly call 4a curls... all just saying 3c. Its all subjective I guess.
Originally Posted by rainyday
What an interesting thread-- I'm rather new, and my first thought was that I am a 3B. But then I started thinking, wait a minute, I am African-American and European American so maybe that means I am a 3C? I agree with you than you cannot tell what someone's ethnicity is based on their hair type.

Your story of the woman's comment at the drug store made me remember the comments I got from people growing up in Chicago. Complete strangers would approach me and ask, "What are you?" Even worse than in Chicago, I briefly went to college in a tiny town in Iowa where people actually asked if they could touch my hair and if I ever washed it. And they WEREN'T referring to CG!
"It is wrong to use moral means to preserve immoral ends." MLK, Jr.

Password= urban
Interesting discussions here. I too wonder about this question. The vast majority of 3b/c and 3c curlies seem to be of some kind of mixed race combination including African-American and some other ethnicity/ethnicities, whereas 3b curlies can include all races, including some people of mixed A-A and other heritage, whites, and any other ethnicity. However, there are some white people categorized as 3c as well, and it does seem to me that their hair is different in the curl pattern. The corkscrew type of curl and the accordion wave type of curl seem to be more common in mixed race curlies while spiral curls and ringlets seem to be more common in white curlies (of course, there are overlaps and exceptions.) I think a white person with extra-curly hair such as Nicole Kidman has a very different curl pattern than a Cree Summer or a Scary Spice.
I think a possible reason is that the hair cuticle of African people has a different shape than any other race - it is completely flat and nappy hair forms perfect circles, which no other hair type does, so perhaps when mixed, the cuticle shape is not the same as the oval cuticle of a European curly?
I think Portae's points about confusion over self-classification (I am still not sure where I fit in!) and about hair texture and behaviour being different than curl size are very good points. Another point is that many 3c's have relaxers or texturizers and have not seen our own hair in a long time. This would include me.
My hair also behaves very differently at different lengths. When really short, I have tiny, round, peppercorn curls that are sometimes almost a 4a. At chin or shoulder length, I have what CurlyDutchGirl and Portae describe - very big, pouffy, cottony, floaty hair. At bra strap length as it is now, I get bigger defined clumps that form and hold naturally, more stretched roots and heavy hair that hangs down quite well on it's own. My hair is extremely thick and very coarse, but feels very silky and hangs down as Portae describes her friend's hair, which could lead people to think I am a 3b, but my texturized curls are all mostly at least pencil size or smaller which is the definition of 3c. So, 3b/c seems to fit and I go with 3c when picking one because my biracial hair seems to behave and like to be treated like 3c hair with lots of moisture, brushing, braid outs, twist outs, heavy products etc. while most of the 3b's still talk about plopping, scrunching, not brushing, fighting flat roots and other techniques I never use and issues I never have.
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