Type 3 vs Type 4 - Is hair typing BS?? Cross Post

I was under the impression that these were the differences in the two types:

Type 3 hair was straight when wet and curled or waved once dry.

Type 4 was already curled/coiled when wet and when dried tightened up.

Therefore, I would be considered Type 4 being that my hair is wavy and curly when wet. This is what I classified myself as until others said I was in Type 3. After being on different forums I'm just starting to feel like this whole thing is bs. Especially since I doubt anyone has the same hair type on their head.

What are your thoughts on the subject.

If you believe in the whole Hair Type schemata how do you determine the difference between Type 3 and Type C?
Do you even think this is valid or is this whole hair typing thing bs in your opinion?

Just curious....

I had only heard of Andre Walker's hair typing theory before joining this site and that is where I obtained this information. I've provided below:


Type 4
According to Andre Walker, if your hair falls into the Type 4 category, then it is kinky, or very tightly curled. Generally, Type 4 hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very fragile. Similar to Type 3 hair, Type 4 hair appears to be coarse, but it is actually quite fine, with lots and lots of these strands densely packed together. Type 4 hair that is healthy won't shine, but it will have sheen. It will be soft to the touch and will pass the strand test with ease. It will feel silkier than it will look shiny.

Type 4 hairs looks tough and durable, but looks can be deceiving. If you have Type 4 hair, you already know that it is the most fragile hair around. There are two subtypes of Type 4 hair: Type 4A, tightly coiled hair that, when stretched, has an S pattern, much like curly hair; and Type 4B, which has a Z pattern, less of a defined curl pattern (instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter Z). Type 4A tends to have more moisture than Type 4B, which will have a wiry texture
Type 3
When this type of hair is wet, it appears to be pretty straight. As it dries, the hair goes back to its curly state. When curly hair is wet it usually straightens out. As it dries, it absorbs the water and contracts to its curliest state. Humidity tends to make this type of curly hair even curlier, or even frizzier. Type 3 hair has a lot of body and is easily styled in its natural state, or it can be easily straightened with a blow-dryer into a smoother style. Healthy Type 3 hair is shiny, with soft, smooth curls and strong elasticity. The curls are well-defined and springy.
Andre defines two subtypes of curly hair. First, there is type 3A hair which is very loosely curled and usually very shiny with big curls. The shorter the hair is, the straighter it gets. The longer the hair is the more defined the curl. Then, there is type 3B hair which has a medium amount of curl to tight corkscrews. It's not unusual to see a mixture of these types existing on the same head. Curly hair usually consists of a combination of textures, with the crown being the curliest part. Lastly there is a type 3C, is hair type that is not in Andre Walker’s book, but many people suggest that it should be. This type of hair can be described as tight curls in corkscrews. The curls can be either kinky, or very tightly curled, with lots and lots of strands densely packed together.
YouTube & Twitter <<TheCurlyFitChic
www.thecurlyfitchic.com
Fotki<< Updated 2/10

Last edited by NaturallyCurlyEnnovy; 06-09-2009 at 12:08 PM. Reason: Added Andre' Walker's Hair Typing Methodology
Man, all I know is that if I go the hair dresser and describe my hair as 4a/4b/3c, I'll get this as a response. I haven't found typing to mean anything outside the wev. And, it really hasn't helped me pin down products and methods. I have tightly coiled, corkscrew hair that is very dry. That's the only hair description I go by. In fact, I think finding curlies with similar dryness and texture, not the curl type or size, has been more beneficial to me.
4a, fine coils. low/med porosity. "It's springy. Like a slinky."--My Lil' Cousin

I use products on 90% dry hair.
Wash: Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castille Soap.
Conditioner: Tigi Bedhead Moisture Maniac/Suave Humectants
Moisturizers: Long Aid
Styler: Ecostyler Clear/ Vitamin E Oil
It's not that it's BS per se.. one can see differences in curl size. A wavy haired 2a is very different from someone classified as a 4b and the differences are obvious. And yes no one would mistake me for a 3a type.. again the difference is obvious.

It's just that so many people put so much stock in curl size only that they forget about the other factors that matter, not to mention it seems to bring up all the negative good hair/bad hair monsters. Different just means "different", not "better or worse than".
"The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everybody else."
"...rationality is not necessary to sell things.."
My staples: Mane n Tail (cowash), Garnier Fructis Sleek n Shine (leave in condish), Grapeseed oil or shea butter (sealing), Organic Root Stimulator Elasticitea (leave-in condish & light hold)
sunshine75
Guest
Posts: n/a
I agree with BekkaPoo. Not BS "per se." I think it's more a matter of what people want to do with it.

Like I find the typing as a way of identifying curl type more based on the size/thickness of the curl than what happens to it when it's wet. It's great (especially on NC) for seeing others with the same type of hair and what works for them so you can try it too.

The BS comes in when people get so caught up in the hair types and try to use them as "qualifiers." It can get a little deep when people want a different type of hair then they actually have. Like some with straighter hair with a flip on the end want it to be 3a when it's 2a, or someone with pen size coils want it to be 3c when it's 4a. It's just a way of identifying so you can see what works. Not a way of identifying "better or worse" - as was already said.

I think BekkaPoo said it better, but thought I'd add anyway.
Man, all I know is that if I go the hair dresser and describe my hair as 4a/4b/3c, I'll get this as a response. I haven't found typing to mean anything outside the wev. And, it really hasn't helped me pin down products and methods. I have tightly coiled, corkscrew hair that is very dry. That's the only hair description I go by. In fact, I think finding curlies with similar dryness and texture, not the curl type or size, has been more beneficial to me.
Originally Posted by springyhead
exactly lmao

It's not that it's BS per se.. one can see differences in curl size. A wavy haired 2a is very different from someone classified as a 4b and the differences are obvious. And yes no one would mistake me for a 3a type.. again the difference is obvious.

It's just that so many people put so much stock in curl size only that they forget about the other factors that matter, not to mention it seems to bring up all the negative good hair/bad hair monsters. Different just means "different", not "better or worse than".
Originally Posted by BekkaPoo
ITA it is useful to some extent but too many people need validation and/or labels to make them feel secure about themselves (and their hair)
fOtKi



i am officially the Kettle; call me Black. thanks.

I'm better than people who think they are better than others; even though that's hypocritical in itself, im a better kind of hypocrite than others.
I also agree with Bekkapoo. Hair typing also leaves out the other factors such as strand size, hair thickness, oily or dry scalp, hair dryness. These all affect how hair reacts to certain products and techniques. Also, sometimes certain traits are added to hair types that are not universal or the norm. For example, type 2s have fine, silky, frizz-free hair and type 4s have coarse, frizzy hair that has to be manipulated into forming curls.

One other thing, Andre did not have type 3c. NC added that. Type 3Cs were included in the type 3B. See example of Juliana Margolies as type 3b. By NC standards she would probably be 3c with some 3b.
3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
It's not that it's BS per se.. one can see differences in curl size. A wavy haired 2a is very different from someone classified as a 4b and the differences are obvious. And yes no one would mistake me for a 3a type.. again the difference is obvious.

It's just that so many people put so much stock in curl size only that they forget about the other factors that matter, not to mention it seems to bring up all the negative good hair/bad hair monsters. Different just means "different", not "better or worse than".
Originally Posted by BekkaPoo
exactly
Banned
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,630
Send a message via AIM to helloyellowbird
Man, all I know is that if I go the hair dresser and describe my hair as 4a/4b/3c, I'll get this as a response. I haven't found typing to mean anything outside the wev. And, it really hasn't helped me pin down products and methods. I have tightly coiled, corkscrew hair that is very dry. That's the only hair description I go by. In fact, I think finding curlies with similar dryness and texture, not the curl type or size, has been more beneficial to me.
Originally Posted by springyhead
Haha, me too! I don't pay that much attention to hair types... I just try to find someone's hair that looks the closet to mine (I think my hair is a lot different to most) and I try some of their products to see if it works for me :P Some people do get offended if their hair type is classified as a 4b when they want to be a 3b... :S
Thank you so much for all of your feedback. I was curious as to everyone's thoughts. I had recently seen another post to a link with yet another technique to determine hair typing and I was a little frustrated. I have been using the same products (Curls) for a couple years and I was trying to look for something else so I can have at least two options. But, I when I tried to find products based on "hair types" it was pretty useless to me because it doesn't look like my hair type to me.

So now I'm just viewing (some may call it stalking) different people's fotki's to see if they have similar hair and trying to get an idea. Which still isn't a guarantee because I've seen people that have similar "hair type" but use a product that I've already tried that does not work on my hair! Seems like I've been on the hunt for a new Shampoo, Conditioner and Styler for way too long.
YouTube & Twitter <<TheCurlyFitChic
www.thecurlyfitchic.com
Fotki<< Updated 2/10
I just try to find someone's hair that looks the closet to mine (I think my hair is a lot different to most) and I try some of their products to see if it works for me :P Some people do get offended if their hair type is classified as a 4b when they want to be a 3b... :S
Originally Posted by helloyellowbird
I do the same thing with trying to find someone with similar hair.

Another reason I asked that question was because I feel I have 4a hair. However, when I see people post pics of of their hair and ask what type it is and there hair is very similar to mine, it's always labeled in the Type 3 family. It goes to show that no matter what each individual will have their own interpretation!! Gotta love it!
YouTube & Twitter <<TheCurlyFitChic
www.thecurlyfitchic.com
Fotki<< Updated 2/10
I just try to find someone's hair that looks the closet to mine (I think my hair is a lot different to most) and I try some of their products to see if it works for me :P Some people do get offended if their hair type is classified as a 4b when they want to be a 3b... :S
Originally Posted by helloyellowbird
I do the same thing with trying to find someone with similar hair.

Another reason I asked that question was because I feel I have 4a hair. However, when I see people post pics of of their hair and ask what type it is and there hair is very similar to mine, it's always labeled in the Type 3 family. It goes to show that no matter what each individual will have their own interpretation!! Gotta love it!
Originally Posted by NaturallyCurlyEnnovy
I think that there is a huge difference between the curl pattern and needs of the hair. Judging from your pictures, I would put you in the 3b category. However, the products that your hair responds to may be the same as those used by 4Bs instead of 3As. That is because the typing system don't take into consideration the traits of the hair.

But I also follow yellowbird's advice of not paying any attention to typing. I've found a few people here whose hair looks similar to mine, but many of the products and techniques that work great for me are popular among coarse 3As and medium 4As. That's because we're all fighting dryness -- not because we have similar curl patterns.
3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
FWIW, I find the type classifications most helpful in identifying problems and solutions. Most of the time I find the (general and) 3b section of the CurlTalk boards most helpful. But it's not foolproof. For instance, I can't remember ever seeing a reference to one strand knots in the 3s. The first time I strayed into the 4s, and I ran into a reference to them, I was so relieved to find out I wasn't the only person on the planet who got them.
Peace,
Morgan

Baby Fine 3B, low porosity, normal density and elasticity
CGing since July 2008
your hair is very beautiful and curly.your curls are very well defined. back to the subject at hand....curls and waves come in a degree of sizes.my hair is crazy.im a black female with straight wavy,partially curly hair.and it dries likethat.it only draws up about 2 or 3 inches though.not poofy...etc....its weird.i cant even form a coil around my finger with my hair.but you would think i could.so my intake on matters is.....we all...mostly just have a veriety of curls!!!!hair typing really isnt helping much anymore.theres an array of multitextured hair now.
yes and no , no because it can help you find somebody that maybe a hair twin and can help you MAYBE but yes because of a couple of reasons
1.) People are delusional about their hair type and bc with visions of a texture similar to yours and put up a hissy fit when they hear otherwise
2.) There are other people who have witnessed the first and even though they mean well they " TRY" to put you in your place about what you hair is or isn't or go on and on about how the first isn't important

In my experience it is better to just look at pictures and try to decide for yourself and if you must ask don't take the answers personal
http://public.fotki.com/ChallahBack/

Transitioning from fitting in to standing Out ......

DON't mIND ME I havE AN AdvancEd case of CapS LOck DIharreA
Yes....hair typing is BS. No two 3cs are the same, no two 4as are the same, no two 4bs are the same. Different products work for different people.

Seriously, what the hell is the point??
Hair Type - 3c, with a touch of 4a and a touch of 3b

Favorite Detangler - Any conditioner with high amount of behentrimonium mehtosulfate

Favorite Leave-in Conditioners - Suave Coconut, Giovanni Smooth and Silk and Giovanni Direct Leave-in, Pantene Relaxed and Natural

Favorite Hair Moisturizers - Silk Elements Hairdress
@memee1978: First thank you for the compliment!! Second, I do agree that we do have a variety of textures on one head so it can definitely negate the typing.

@ChallahBack: I don't necessarily agree with you about your first point regarding the hair twin. Only because that can only work if you agree on your hair type. If I think of my hair as a 4a and another person thinks of their has as a 3c, but our hair looks the same....then what? We wouldn't even find each other if we were specifically looking for someone with the same "Hair Type." But, I do agree with everything else!!

@KindredsTwin1983: Exactly, what is the point! I recently tried to use a product that worked for someone with the same hair type and it did NOT work for me in any way! My hair is a mess right now.
YouTube & Twitter <<TheCurlyFitChic
www.thecurlyfitchic.com
Fotki<< Updated 2/10
We are a society of labels, especially in the United States. When it comes to race we first see skin color; hair isn't any different. We must be branded and classified into X group vs. X group. Thing is, I believe these categories have more of a negative impact on black women who are natural, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish. All I know is I got all sorts of hair "types" on my head, just like I have all sorts of skin tones on my body, as a black woman.
great point corlykinks!!!!
2c3ab waist length when stretched or flat ironed or wet.
I kind of think it is bs, because at the end of the day it's curly hair. BUT it is helpful as previously stated by many others and can be beneficial especially when it comes down to products. I have yet to find anyone with my texture or hair type at all. And I'm ok with that. I'm actually estatic. As a trade off I get to indulge in my pjism and stalk fotkis. As also stated before all the hair typing does is put you into a box. I was actually annoyed when someone tried to type me the other day I said to her hey it's just curly hair. So thanks for your post.
[LEFT]confused curls
addicted to henna

Fotki
We are a society of labels, especially in the United States. When it comes to race we first see skin color; hair isn't any different. We must be branded and classified into X group vs. X group. Thing is, I believe these categories have more of a negative impact on black women who are natural, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish. All I know is I got all sorts of hair "types" on my head, just like I have all sorts of skin tones on my body, as a black woman.
Originally Posted by CoilyKinks436
Amen sista!!

I kind of think it is bs, because at the end of the day it's curly hair. BUT it is helpful as previously stated by many others and can be beneficial especially when it comes down to products. I have yet to find anyone with my texture or hair type at all. And I'm ok with that. I'm actually estatic. As a trade off I get to indulge in my pjism and stalk fotkis. As also stated before all the hair typing does is put you into a box. I was actually annoyed when someone tried to type me the other day I said to her hey it's just curly hair. So thanks for your post.
Originally Posted by Wild Curls Raquelle
I was thinking I found a couple people, but the products they used I couldn't because of the protein in those particular products. So I tend to stalk fotkis too. I can get new hair styles to try too when I do that!! Your welcome for the post. Sometimes I just get so upset. Seems like we as black people are constantly trying to classify each other. The older I get the more disturbing it comes that we haven't grown.
YouTube & Twitter <<TheCurlyFitChic
www.thecurlyfitchic.com
Fotki<< Updated 2/10

Trending Topics


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com