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The following is a breakdown of kinky-curly hair types based on the hair typing system created by stylist Andre Walker (of Andre Walker Hair and the Gold System).
Having a general idea of your child’s hair type is a very important step in creating a daily hair care regime that actually works.
The hair typing system is quite a controversial topic among the natural hair community as some curlies believe that curly is curly and shouldn’t be separated into subsets.
The reality (in my opinion) is that everyone’s texture is different and unique to them – so unique, in fact, that an individual may have more than one “type” of hair on their head (which is another reason why some curly’s shun the typing system). With that being said, I’ve found that the typing system is still a great guideline to use to help you determine the type of hair products that may or may not work in you or your brown baby’s hair.
For example, even though my daughter has two very distinct hair types on her head (4-a and 4-b) I was able to use the hair typing system to discover that some products formulated for 4-c’s can be too heavy for my daughter’s type of hair.
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I often get asked at what point the typing system can be implemented on a child’s hair. Using my own children as a guideline, their “true” hair type did not appear until they were almost a year old; but you ultimately have to make the determination of whether or not the typing system can be applied to your child.
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Ultimately, don’t look at the typing system as a full-proof solution, but as a great starting point. It will hopefully help you to narrow down hair products and be a great guideline to help you and your child through your natural hair journey.
Type 3 Natural Hair
3a - Twirly
Your child may be a 3a curly kid if they have big loose curls that are about the size of jumbo sidewalk chalk. Their hair may have a perpetual sheen and be seriously affected by climate. If your child’s hair “grows” after being out on a particularly humid day, they are more than likely a 3a curly kid.
3b - Spirally
Your little one may be a 3b curly if they’ve got well-defined curls that range from bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews. Curls are about the size of a sharpie and can get quite temperamental if too many styling products are used.
3c - Coily
Your child may have a 3c hair type if they have defined tight curls that look like corkscrews. Type 3c curls are approximately the circumference of a pencil or straw with lots and lots of strands densely packed together.
Hair Product Recommendations for Type 3 Curly Kids
Type 4 Natural Hair
4a - Springy
Your little one may have type 4a hair if they have hair that is tightly coiled and when stretched creates an “S” pattern. You can see a distinct curl pattern with this hair type and it tends to hold moisture relatively well.
4b - Crimpy
Your child may have type 4b hair if their hair has less of a defined curl pattern and creates what appears to be a “Z” formation when stretched. The hair will have bends and sharp angles and a cotton-like feel.
4c - Ziggly
Your little brown baby is a 4c hair type if her hair is densely packed with tightly kinked strands. This hair type is capable of having a distinct curl pattern, but the proper level of moisturizing has to be achieved. This hair type is most often described as being a “more challenging version” of 4b hair. It has a tendency towards being dry, so constant moisturizing is key. 4c hair is known for shrinking down to 75% of its true length.
Hair Product Recommendations for Type 4 Curly Kids
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