Hair types: which ones are (straight, curly) and how to care

If you have always believed that hair comes down to straight or curly hair, this post will show you that there is a huge variety between these two extremes.

Knowing your hair type is important to understand what may or may not work for your locks. This way, you will be able to identify what are the strengths and those that you will simply have to accept and extract the best of them


Understanding classification

Initially, the hair is divided into 4 large groups, starting at 1 and ending at 4. This first classification concerns the curvature of the strand, therefore, number 1 is the type of straight hair, while number 4 covers the curly strands .

The second classification is represented by the letters (a), (b) and (c). They are responsible for pointing out the different textures that the thread itself can have, be it thicker or thinner, for example.

Did you find it confusing? Calm down that you will understand:

Type 1

This is where the extremely damp hair is going to be! Without any curl, type 1 hair is usually very oily. This is because the absence of curvature causes the oil produced naturally by the hair to pass quickly along the length and reach the ends.


Type 1A hair, with very fine threads that stick to the head, is the famous hair that the “cow licked”. This type of lock also doesn’t hold anything, not even a clip!


It has the same characteristics as type 1A with regard to oiliness, but because it has a medium yarn it is a little more full-bodied. This way, you not only hold clips and other equipment, but also manage to hold curls made with babyliss, for example.


The thicker strands weigh the hair, making it the most difficult type to style. Still, it continues with the same characteristic of a lot of oiliness along the entire length.

Type 2

In this category, the threads already have some waviness, which grows gradually according to the letters (a, b, c), always in the shape of S. However, the root remains smooth in all subcategories.


Even with type 1 features, hair 2A does not have much volume, especially at the root, which remains oily, but the length is no longer affected. The yarn is thin and has an “S” shape, but is very elongated. As it already has a natural undulation, it is easier to model.


This type of hair has a tendency to have frizz. In addition, the modeling of the threads is a little more compromised, as the “S” is already more defined, so the hair has “memory” of its original curvature.


The “S” of this type of wire is so closed that it starts to form some curls, spaced along the hair. The formation of the curls means that the strands are no longer so attached to the head, resulting in hair with more volume and movement.

Type 3

This type is exclusive to curly hair, however, depending on the level of curvature, it may still have some trace of the previous types. Usually, they are more dry, because the oil produced at the root cannot reach the tips, due to the curls that “hinder” their trajectory.

In addition, they tend to be more opaque, even if they are hydrated, for a very simple reason: the shine is due to the amount of light that falls on the wires and is reflected. The presence of curls reduces the surface, that is, less light arrives and, therefore, it is less reflected, resulting in less shiny hair.


It still has a smoother root, but soon afterwards, the curls already begin to appear. Usually, they are very big and wide, they look like they were made with babyliss.

However, as they still have traces of straight hair and the strands are thin, the curls come apart easily. In addition, they tend not to be able to maintain the volume, giving the impression that they “wilt” throughout the day.


In this subcategory, the curls are already born from the root and their texture already tends to be rougher, not as silky as 3A wires. The wire is more full-bodied and forms more closed curls, some even form “soft”.

As the bunch is more defined, it usually does not come apart for any reason. In addition, the strands are drier and bulky.


The 3C hair is full of soft, the curls are very closed and also start from the root. As it is approaching curly hair, it already has a higher dryness level than the previous subcategories, especially at the ends.

In addition, it keeps the curls for even more days, as they are extremely defined. Wires of this type are usually thin and fragile.

Type 4

The level of dryness of these threads is even higher than those of the previous types, for the same reason: the oiliness cannot reach the length and ends due to the curvature.

They are also known to have a lot of volume, and there is the beauty of this type of yarn. The curvature increases so much in this type, that its last category is even without form.


This type of hair, like 3C, has super closed curls, very defined, but which differ when they are wet. 3C hair loses a little bit of curl when the strands are damp, while 4A has well-structured curls, regardless of whether they are wet or dry. In addition, in this subcategory, the threads already have a more dry appearance.


The trademark of this type of hair, for sure, is the volume. The well-known black power is already possible with these wires. As the curls “stick” to each other and get tangled, they are more fragile and deserve a lot of care at the moment of clearance.

Some variations may adopt a zigzag or “Z” shape and are very dry.


In this last subcategory, the hair alternates between strands that follow the zigzag pattern and strands that have no definition. Because the curvature is even closer together, 4C hair suffers from the shrinkage factor.

Hair can shrink by up to 75% due to its structure and are extremely dry.

More than one texture, can you?

If you’ve just read all these descriptions of the 9 types of hair and are terrified that you can’t identify with just one, rest assured. It is very common for people to have more than one, two or, in some cases, even three different textures in their hair.

The care of each type of hair

As explained above, there are many varieties of hair, so it is natural that the care for each one of them is quite different. The routine of the wires can vary from washing, passing through the finalization, until reaching how to sleep so that they wake up wonderful the next day.

In the sequence, we will talk a little more about these care and tricks with the wires.

Type 1: Straight

The excess oil that accumulates in the wires, due to the ease with which it can reach the ends, makes it necessary for this type of hair to be washed every day.

However, many people are mistaken when they think that, because they already have a good distribution of oiliness, straight hair does not need hydration.


In the step of cleaning the hair, choosing anti-residue shampoos can be an alternative to combat the dreaded dandruff. It is more recurrent in this type of hair, precisely because of the excess oiliness of these strands.

The next step is hydration, which, as has already been said, is essential for straight hair to also be healthy.

Examples of washing products are:

  • Amend Smooth Chemical Free Shampoo ;
  • Garnier Fructis Smooth Absolute Shampoo .


Even hydration itself can help control oiliness, because once the hair is hydrated, the hair understands that there is not so much need to continue sending the oil to the ends.

However, it is clear that straight hair does not need as much hydration as curly or curly hair. Here common sense and identifying the need for your hair is worth it. Typically, hydrations vary between 1 and 2 times a month for this type of hair.

Some products for hydration are:

  • Elseve Quera-Liso MQ Treatment Cream ;
  • Perfect Smooth Silk Treatment Cream .


The conditioner finishes the last washing step, and the choice of the most transparent ones should be prioritized over the milky ones. In addition, it should always be applied halfway down, so it will not affect the oiliness of the strands.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Lee Stafford Poker Straight Conditioner ;
  • Fructis Smooth Absolute Conditioner .


For straight hair, the ideal is to use products that are light so as not to weigh the strands and thus allow them to have movement.

The leave-in is the perfect type! Because, normally, it does not have oils in its composition, the leave-in will not take the balance out of your hair, however it will discipline your locks.

In addition, several versions already have thermal protector in their formulation, which will leave your hair super protected from the excessive heat of the flat iron and the dryer.

To give that volume on the wires, which are more wilted, the use of dry shampoo is a great option! In addition to removing the oily aspect of the strands, this product helps to give more volume, especially at the root of the hair and is a practical option for day to day.

Examples of finishers are:

  • Extreme Smooth Silk Combing Cream;
  • Frizz Ease Secret Weapon John Frieda Finishing Cream .

Type 2: Corrugated

The care with wavy hair is very similar to that of straight hair. However, because they have a little more movement and form, using products that enhance the waves is the main thing!


When choosing which shampoo is best for this type of hair, always opt for those that are in the middle zone, neither totally transparent, such as anti-residues, nor the milky ones that are moisturizers.

A good tactic is to choose a shampoo that is white, but still more transparent than opaque. They will guarantee a good cleaning on the wires, but without making them look dry.

Some examples are:

  • Capicilin Curls Shampoo;
  • Botica Cachos Bio Extratus Shampoo .


If hair hydration was already important for straight hair, here it becomes even more in demand. However, it should still be done in moderation and according to the need of the wires.

The ideal is to test until you find the extent that the threads are neither too oily nor dry. In this type of hair, it is possible that the frequency of hydrations in the month also varies according to subcategories (A), (B) and (C), as the classifications influence how close the waves are.

Products for the hydration of wavy hair can be:

  • Inoar Divine Curls Treatment Mask;
  • Salon Line Mask To Curl Treatment To rock .


For these strands, the conditioner can already be more milky, but even more transparent than opaque, so that the strands do not weigh, after drying the hair. Examples:

  • Capicilin Love Curls Conditioner ;
  • Conditioner John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls .


Unlike straight hair, wavy locks can use combing creams to complete them. However, when choosing this type of product, it is important that in its composition there are no oily components.

The advantage of using combing creams for this type of hair, instead of leave-in, is the possibility of shaping the strands. Since they have waves, type 2 locks can be more easily shaped with the use of combing cream.

However, it is worth mentioning that they also need to be protected against excessive heat from flat iron and dryer with thermal protectors.

Some finishers for wavy hair are:

  • Mousse John Frieda Frizz Ease Curl Reviver;
  • Combing Cream Salon Line Cachos dos Sonhos .

Type 3: Curly

From here, the hair will need more steps of care for those who are always wonderful.


Although many people do not give due importance, washing is an important step for the healthy aspect of curly hair.

This is because whoever has this type of hair, usually uses many finishing products, for example. That is, if the cleaning of the hair does not occur correctly, the accumulation of product can obstruct the hair follicles, harming the health of the hair, especially the growth.

The priority in choosing shampoos for curly hair should be for the milky ones, as they will not harm the hair, quite the opposite: they will already help to make them more hydrated.

However, due to the large amount of product used by this type of hair, it is recommended that an anti-residue shampoo is used once a month, or some other that has a more cleansing action.

Shampoos recommended for curly hair are as follows:

  • Shampoo John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls;
  • Shampoo Meu Cacho Minha Vida Lola .


One of the most valued stages for curly hair is hydration, and rightly so. As already explained above, curly hair has a great tendency to become dry, due to the difficulty of oil reaching the length and even more at the ends.

Since the natural oils cannot be distributed throughout the hair, hydration needs to be done by external agents. This task will be performed by masks and moisturizing creams.

Again, for this type of hair, the subcategories will influence not only the frequency with which hydrations should be done, but also the types of elements that may or may not be in the composition of the product.

Type 3A yarns, as they still have traces of straight hair, mainly in the root and texture of the yarns, usually do not respond very well with products that have oily elements in their formula.

The wires of the 3B and 3C subcategories, on the other hand, tend to absorb even the most oily masks even better, but even so it cannot be anything too exaggerated.

Therefore, some recommendations for hydrating curly hair are:

  • Dove Ultra Curls Treatment Cream ;
  • Capillary Mayonnaise Tô de Cacho! Power nutrition .


To close the hair cuticles tightly and thus ensure that hydration will have an effect on your hair, it is necessary to use the conditioner. Here, the whiter and more opaque the conditioner, the better!

This can be done with the following products:

  • Conditioner Pantene Curls Defined ;
  • Conditioner Tresemmé Perfect Curls .


Both curly and curly hair have countless possibilities and finishing options, such as: combing cream, leave-in, gelatin, gel and so on.

Each type of product can enhance or prioritize some type of effect, such as volume or definition, for example.

Again, the rule here is to go testing and see what works and what doesn’t work for your type of bunch.

However, some examples are:

  • Silk Boom Definition Combing Cream ;
  • Curl Activator I Choose Curls Intense .

How to keep the curls longer?

Depending on the type of curl of your curl (A), (B) or (C), they will have a greater or lesser tendency to fall apart over the course of a day or even after a long night of sleep.

To prevent this from happening, there are a few techniques and tricks:

The famous pineapple bun

This technique is very simple and consists only of taking all your hair, right on the top of your head, and passing it through a piglet as if you were going to make a ponytail. But you don’t finish the movement, you leave it in half. This way you will have a bun right at the top of your head.

The amount of hair that will be in contact with the pillowcase is much smaller, in addition the strands that will be brushing during the night are the ones close to the nape of the neck.

So, as much as they get a little messy, in the morning when you undo the bun, they will be hidden, leaving space only for your beautiful curls.

Satin pillowcase

For those who remember physics classes, there is the phenomenon of electrification of bodies, remember? No? Calm down, let’s refresh your memory.

Whenever 2 bodies of different materials come into contact and rub, one of the bodies transfers electrons to the other body. That is, one body is more positively charged, while the other is more negatively charged.

And what does this have to do with your curls? It’s simple!

The friction generated between its threads and the pillowcase causes the hair electrons to be passed to the conventional pillowcase, so your hair is positively charged and the pillowcase is negatively charged.

Protons, which have a positive charge, are responsible for stimulating the appearance of the then terrible frizz.

Now he was interested, right?

Satin, on the other hand, causes less friction between the pillowcase and your hair, therefore the transfer of electrons is less, and the result is less frizzed hair.


All of these techniques will only really help if your submission is done well! For this, many people use the tape to straighten the curls. This technique consists of dividing the hair, separating these strands and then applying cream.

Then, run your fingers between the strands, that way the hair will be with “ribbons”. Then just knead a lot, from the bottom up!

Thus, the curls will be much more defined and for a longer time!

Type 4: Curled

Anyway, we arrived at the last type of hair: the curly ones. These strands are certainly the most dry of all varieties, but they are also the ones with the highest volume!

The steps and care are very similar to those of curly hair, but there are still some peculiarities.


Just like type 3 hair, curly hair should be washed with moisturizing shampoos so that the little oil present in the hair is maintained.

Despite this, there is still a need to wash from time to time with anti-residue shampoos, for the same reason already mentioned: the accumulation of products in the hair must be eliminated.

What most differentiates this step of care between curly and frizzy hair is the frequency with which the strands must be washed. Among the subcategories, people who have type 4B report that there is only the need to wash the wires once a week, for example.

And, although many people understand this as a lack of hygiene habits, it is not. This is just a readjustment, according to the needs of each wire.

Some examples of shampoos for curly hair are:

  • Amend Hydra Curls Shampoo;
  • Shampoo Elseve Hydra-Max Colágeno.


Hydration is also the watchword for curly hair. Some subcategories need to do hydration up to 2 times a week. For that, some indicated products are:

  • Haskell Treatment Cassava Afro Mask ;
  • Moisture Treatment Mask Yenzah Sou + Curls.

In addition, products with a lot of oil usually work very well on this type of hair. However, it is worth remembering that the characteristic of curly hair is to be dry, so no matter how much hydration is done, the hair will not be silky, as this is a peculiarity of the type.

However, moisturizing frequently prevents the hair from becoming even more dry.


Very similar with curly hair, type 4 also needs conditioners that are whiter and milky, as this ensures an even more hydrating and cuticle-closing action.

Indications for curly hair are:

  • Afro Cassava Haskell Conditioner
  • Conditioner Elseve Extraordinary Oil Curls


In addition to all those products already mentioned above, curly hair can also count on vegetable oils as finishers. They help to make hair look more supple and shiny.

Because they have much more defined curls, they usually do not fall apart easily, and do not necessarily need techniques to maintain the definition for longer.

However, many people use the techniques already mentioned, to facilitate care and storage the next day.

The techniques can be performed with the following products:

The common care among the different types of hair

There are some techniques that help keep hair healthy and can be used on different types of hair.

Before presenting these techniques, it is important to note that there are people who believe in these techniques and others who simply do not believe. Regardless of which side you are on, testing and seeing if your hair accepts is always a more interesting way!

Capillary Schedule

This technique consists of alternating the type of products that you must pass on the wires. The stages are divided into reconstruction, nutrition and hydration. These 3 treatments, theoretically, work to replace everything your hair loses over time: proteins , vitamins and water.

However, many people do not agree that it is possible to replace such elements, as the hair is a dead tissue and therefore is not able to absorb. Furthermore, these treatments are not supposed to reach the cortex (central part), only the cuticles (external part).

Still, even if they only reach the cuticles, the effects are visible, but they will be fleeting.

Anyway, let’s explain how the technique consists:

There are several calendars on the internet showing how the capillary schedule should be done. Usually, there are 4 weeks of treatment, and it must be done 3 times a week, always respecting an interval of 48 hours between one and the other.

Here is just one example, to make it easier to understand:

Check the capillary schedule for very damaged hair:

  • 1st week : Hydration, Nutrition and Reconstruction;
  • 2nd week : Nutrition, Hydration and Nutrition;
  • 3rd week : Hydration, Nutrition and Reconstruction;
  • 4th week : Hydration, Hydration and Nutrition.

For slightly damaged hair:

  • 1st week : Hydration, Nutrition and Hydration;
  • 2nd week : Hydration, Hydration and Nutrition;
  • 3rd week : Hydration, Nutrition and Hydration;
  • 4th week : Hydration, Nutrition and Reconstruction.

For healthy hair, without dye or any type of chemical

  • 1st week : Hydration, Hydration and Nutrition;
  • 2nd week : Hydration, Nutrition and Hydration;
  • 3rd week : Hydration, Hydration and Nutrition;
  • 4th week : Hydration, Nutrition and Reconstruction.

Revitalized from the soul, or just more superficially, what matters is that your hair is beautiful and healthy, isn’t it?

No e Low Poo

This technique is indicated for those who have dry and dry hair, and as this is a characteristic present in curly and curly hair, many people adopt No and Low Poo .

The method, as we know it, was proposed by Lorraine Massey, in her book ” Curly Girl “. The hairdresser presents a method in which some components should be avoided, so that dry hair does not become even more dry after washing, moisturizing and finishing itself.

These components are: sulfates, insoluble silicones and petrolatum, which includes paraffins and mineral oils. They should not be present in the products that people with curly, curly or dry hair use, as they remove the little oil that these threads have – it is the case of sulfates.

Meanwhile, insoluble silicones and petrolatums do not have a real moisturizing function and only create a protective cap on the strands, which is great as long as your hair is already hydrated. Otherwise, they will only prevent moisturizing agents from entering the strands.

Sulfate, being a highly cleaning agent, is used to remove insoluble silicones, paraffins and mineral oils. That is, it is a cycle, using paraffins, insoluble silicones and mineral oils, and then having to use sulfate to clean the hair.

No Poo

People adept at the no poo technique do not use any type of sulfate when cleaning the hair and, as a consequence, do not use any product that contains insoluble silicones, paraffins or mineral oils.

To do the cleaning of the threads, the co-wash method is the most suitable, which is characterized by the choice of using a conditioner for cleaning instead of a shampoo. These conditioners must also not contain any of the prohibited components.

Low Poo

In the low poo technique, the hair should be washed with products that have surfactants, such as Cocoamidopropyl betaine, which is capable of removing insoluble silicones, instead of using strong sulfates.

That is, if you want to make low poo  products with strong sulphates and petrolates they should not be used!

Now that you are already an expert when it comes to hair, just find out what your hair type is! Once you find out, the care will be much easier and this will help you to accept your natural hair, as you will know the positive and negative points of your locks!

With all this information, you will also be able to choose which techniques you want to test and adopt to keep your hair looking better!