Types of curls: tips to identify, care for and define

Curly hair is not all the same, quite the contrary, there are several differences between them.

And did you know that there are different types of curls? That’s right, and there is even a classification to define what they are like.

If your hair is curly and you still don’t know which type it fits in, read this text and find out!

What are the types of curls?

Many products have in their indication for which type of curl the product is recommended, and that is why it is important that you know what type it is, in order to use the products that have been specially developed for your hair.

Curly hair is divided into 3 major classifications, divided into numbers:

  • 2: wavy hair;
  • 3: curly hair;
  • 4: curly hair.

Look at the image to identify its type.

Within this classification, there is still a division into 3 other classifications, which identifies whether the bunch is more open, loose or closed, they are:

  • A: hair with bigger and looser waves;
  • B: defined and closed hair;
  • C: hair with well closed and defined waves.

Putting it all together, we have the classifications of the types of curls:

  • 2A: wires with very light undulations, little definition and little volume;
  • 2B: hair with spaced waves that form in the middle of the strands and have little volume and tendency to frizz;
  • 2C: slightly more defined bunches, which come from the root and form large Ss;
  • 3A: wires with large loose curls and with volume, formed from the root;
  • 3B: defined curls, with volume and formed by the whole hair;
  • 3C: more closed and defined curls, with a very large and high volume;
  • 4A: closed and small curls, usually thin and fragile;
  • 4B: tightly closed and super defined curls that have great volume and tendency to frizz;
  • 4C: very tight and tight curls, with little definition and in the shape of a Z.

How do I know what type of bunch I have?

To identify which classification your hair is in, wash it with shampoo and conditioner and try to untangle it in the bath.

Then remove some of the water from the strands and, without any product, move your fingers to untangle it completely and knead them well to the root and observe their curl.

With the most natural hair possible, it is easier to know what it really looks like, as creams can make it heavy.

Notice if the curls are formed from the root or start in the middle of the wire, or if they are more drooping or super upward, do they have volume?

Do the wires form more closed or open curls? Or do they not even form a bunch, are they more open waves?

Every hair is different and don’t worry about not finding a type that fits your type perfectly. In the same head, there may be more than one type of curl, especially if it has already undergone chemicals, dyes or straightening.

What are the cares with each type of bunch?

Did you know that the type of curl can influence excessive oiliness or dryness of the hair?

So it is! If your curls are more open and loose, the natural oil can reach the ends, hydrating evenly.

That is why super curly hair has a tendency to dry ends, because the necessary oiliness has difficulty to descend through the tight curls. So it is at that moment that wetting can save your tips.

After identifying what type of bunch you are dealing with, we need to know which products and how to deal with each one.

How to care for and define 2ABC curls?

Type 2ABC hair tends to have a smoother root, and in case they are not finished in the ideal way, they end up not even forming curls, especially type 2A, as it needs products that hold well and help in the formation of curls.

For this type of hair, keep an eye on the product label, look for those that are specially named for wavy hair.

They have moisturizing ingredients, but are not overloaded with oils that can weigh on the threads and get in the way of setting.

A good combing cream or leave-in helps to “knead” the curls. If you are going to use the diffuser when drying, look for a product that has thermal protection, which prevents damage caused by heat.

How to care for and define 3ABC curls?

Curls with 3ABC curves are more defined and require more hydration.

Use products that were developed especially for curly hair, as they have moisturizing ingredients that help in the definition and shine of the hair.

Gelatin, mousse and gel can also be great allies when modeling curls.

Remember to keep your hair moisturized at all times, as this is what will ensure that healthy and shiny appearance to the curls.

For that, a capillary schedule can help you.

One of the biggest concerns – and biggest difficulties – of this type of hair is the day after . This is because the curls knead while we sleep and end up getting full of frizz and without definition.

And for that, just tie the hair up with a very loose elastic. Or even invest in a satin pillowcase, as it avoids friction between the threads, avoiding unwanted frizz.

There are also caps of the same material that can be used, but they are not recommended if you have very long hair or in large quantities, as they knead in the same way.

How to care for and define 4ABC curls?

If your curls are of the 4ABC type, very closed and well defined, the ends tend to stay dry.

This is because natural oil, coming from the root, finds it more difficult to descend through the waves and reach the tips.

And that is why it is necessary to moisturize your tips always.

If your hair has this characteristic, bet on a humidifier of tips and capillary oils to make the finalization, so that you will have healthy hair along the entire length.

It is possible to use only one product to complete the checkout. To do this, look for finishers that contain powerful oils like coconut or argan.

If you choose to use pure oil, mix a few drops in your styling cream or apply it pure after finishing.

But do not abuse it, as this can make your hair heavy and greasy, which will make it difficult when it comes to making volume.

How to untangle curly hair?

To untangle the curls, some strategies can be adopted to facilitate this process. Always try to start at the ends, and go up gradually, but do not do it with dry curls, this can break the ends.

Wet your hair and apply a combing cream, doing this in the bath is also a great option, because with the conditioner acting, the strands are much more emollient.

Also have the most suitable tools for your hair, a wooden comb and wide bristles can help a lot.

Can my hair have two types of curls?

Yea! Your locks can have several different textures, that is, several types of curls can form over the entire head, and that’s fine!

For example, at the top of the head, the curls can be bigger and more defined, already close to the nape they may not get as much definition and stay in the shape of S.

And don’t stick to just one type, your hair can have one, two or even three different textures, and that’s what makes it unique.

Can curls change types?

With body growth and development, there are several changes in our body, and sometimes the hair does not escape it.

Have you ever heard of people who had extremely fine and straight hair at birth, and over the years, especially going through puberty, their hair has taken other forms?

This is because the hair fibers, which were previously well aligned, end up being misaligned.

There are several factors that can cause your hair to change, such as major hormonal changes, chemotherapy, pregnancy and even some surgeries, such as bariatric.

All of this can influence your hair type, which is why yes , curls can change their shape over the years.

However, it is not a rule, as changes can occur, and this is normal, nothing can also be expected. Each hair is a hair.

How to recover the curls after straightening?

Do not freak out! It is possible to recover hair that has been subjected to straightening. It is not an easy or fast process, but it has satisfactory results.

The straightening changes the structure of the hair so that it is, instead of curved, well aligned, changing the keratin fiber that is inside the hair.

However, this process cannot change the hair that grows inside the scalp, which is why straightening needs to be touched up as soon as the root begins to grow.

And for those looking to take on their curls, the first thing to do is: stop applying straightening chemicals to the hair.

Stopping straightening your hair you will enter a process called: capillary transition. The wires will start to grow curly and, with the right products, they will become stronger, more resistant and nourished.

As you go through this process, new textures will appear and only after a long time, you will be able to define what type your hair is in and how to treat it correctly.

There are several products and treatments that help you to go through this process in the best possible way. For example, bet on fortifying and restorative masks, which act internally on the hair fiber.

Cutting the straight ends is also an option for those who want to be more radical, as they end up being pointy because of the chemistry and can weigh when it comes to forming the curls.

This will speed up your hair transition and make your hair worry only about recovering the curls, and no longer with straight hair.


There are 3 types of curly hair, the 2ABC that are wavy, 3ABC that are curly and 4ABC that are curly.

Each one has a different care and their own characteristics, and it is important to know what type of curl is to know how to care and have the best results, after all, who doesn’t like a definition, right?

These classifications were designed to make our lives easier, so we can learn how and what products to use when defining the beautiful curls.

So, did you manage to classify your locks? Tell us in the comments what kind of bunch you are, Minute Healthy will love to know!

Loading...