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Curl Type: Why It Doesn’t Matter And What You Should Focus On Instead

Curl type seems to be all the buzz these days. 

After spending quite a bit of time in the content creating space, one of the questions I get most often are “what is my curl type”.

…..and I get it….

…..everyone wants answers to what makes their hair “tick”. Labels help us make sense of the world and gather data to support that label. 

BUT….

There are so many other factors that determine the health of your hair and can help you better understand how to manage it. 

In my opinion, identifying your curl type shouldn’t be at the top of your priorities when starting your hair chronicles.

Today, I’m sharing a few things that I believe are much more important when accessing your curls/waves.

If you are new to wearing your natural hair pattern, and want support along the way, I have a special gift for you. 

Because curly/wavy hair care can be complicated, I created a 5-step system to simplify the  process. 

And I put together my 5-step framework in an easy to follow workbook that you can get for FREE by clicking here.

Curly/wavy masterclass

Curl Type: Why It Doesn’t Matter And What You Should Focus On Instead 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning that at no cost to you, I may make a small commission on anything you purchase through my link. But don’t worry, I never promote products that I don’t believe in or truly love <3 This just allows me to continue publishing quality content regularly. You can read my full privacy policy here

Your Curl Type Doesn’t Determine How Products Affect Your Hair

That’s right, your curl type has little (if anything) to do with how products affect your hair. That’s because your curl type really doesn’t have to do with the structure of your hair.

That being said, there are products designed with the intention of targeting a specific hair type. 

But even those are very broad. 

You will never see a product labeled “for 3a curls”. Because in reality that product will work on multiple different hair types. 

I’ve personally used products labeled “for thick coily hair” and had great success with them even though my hair is medium density and curly.

When products are designed for specific hair types, you will typically see them grouped into three different categories. 

  1. Wavy
  2. Curly
  3. Coily

Are there multiple categories within each of these curl types? Absolutely! 

…..and if you want to get all technical for fun, have at it! 

But at the end of the day, knowing exactly what number/letter your hair type falls into is not going to make or break your progress.

I actually think it hinders people from moving forward because they get stuck on this step. 

Understanding the porosity, texture, and density of your hair are far more important than your curl type because they help determine how products are able to penetrate your hair.

Most People Have Multiple Curl Types Throughout Their Head 

For example, throughout my head you will find curls ranging from 2b-3b. Those patterns are subject to change depending on the products I am using, the weather, and even my hormones. 

Because it is super common to have multiple curl patterns throughout your hair, it makes it very hard to identify a specific pattern. 

This leaves people feeling stuck in the “curl pattern” vortex and makes moving forward with products, treatment, and techniques difficult.

The truth is, the wavy, curly, coily world is an incredibly wide spectrum. Rather than trying to narrow your hair down to fit in a specific box, we should take a more general approach when it comes to curl pattern, and focus our energy on the actual building blocks of the hair strand. 

Hair Type Doesn’t Determine The Beauty Of Your Hair 

I cannot tell you how many times people have told me they wish they had curls like mine. Yet I’ve spent a good part of my life wishing my hair was straight, less curly, and even more curly. 

Sometimes it seems like everyone’s hair pattern is more appealing than my own. 

It goes back to the grass is always greener mentality. I guess it’s part of human nature to want what you don’t have.

There is not a magical curly type that will give you the “stamp of approval”. No certain level of curl achievement that finally says that “you have pretty hair”.  

Just because your hair has loose waves doesn’t mean it’s less pretty than the girls with tight coils. 

In contrast just because your hair has lovely waves doesn’t mean it’s prettier than the girl with coils. 

Wavy/curly/coils are unique by nature and there is nothing more attractive than someone who is unapologetically self accepting of them.

Because all curls were uniquely and wonderfully made.

They say the grass is greener on the other side, I say the grass is greener where you water it.

Rather than getting caught up in the comparison game, focus on learning about what your hair needs to thrive and create a consistent healthy hair care routine.

Accepting Your Curl Pattern

Hair Type Can Create A “Clique” Within The Curly World 

Your hair isn’t curly, you just have waves” AND “Wow, I wish I had curls like yours” are just a few comments I’ve gotten regarding my hair. 

You can easily get caught up in the flow of curl comparison, within the curl community.

The idea of a “curl type” can foster an us versus them mentality, which in my opinion defeats the purpose of a curl community. 

I’ve gotten negative comments for referring to my hair as curly, I’ve been scoffed at for calling my hair wavy.

At the end of the day, your curl pattern really is subjective. 

My goal, since day one, has been to create a space that welcomes all natural hair patterns and finds beauty in each and every one of them. I think we need to be really careful to not use our curl type as a way to exclude people. 

Curl Pattern Is Subjective

What You SHOULD Focus On Is Healthy Hair 

Before you get wrapped up in your curl pattern, let me tell you what you SHOULD  focus on and what truly is the most important aspect of wearing your hair naturally. 

Which is creating an environment for your hair to thrive. 

The whole purpose of wearing your hair naturally should be to create the best version of your hair. Not to have someone else’s hair.

Your goal should be to repair and restore your hair from the inside out and create a healthy hair care routine. 

You can do this by taking a thorough assessment of the structure of your hair shaft. 

These are the most important elements of your hair structure:

  • Porosity
  • Density
  • Texture 

Once you know and truly understand these three elements, you will be able to understand how products work and play a role in making your hair healthy. 

Carefully Access Your Hair 

What you should focus on rather than your hair type, is truly understanding the structure of your hair and it’s current condition. You can do this by taking a detailed hair assessment.

When it comes to a hair assessment, think more is more. You want to take a detailed assessment of every little detail. 

You can get a copy of my FREE curl assessment tool here.

  • The current condition of your hair 
  • Porosity 
  • Is it colored treated 
  • Is it damaged 
  • Are you experiencing hair loss
  • What’s the texture and density of your hair 
  • How products reacts to the texture and density of your hair 

Taking this assessment will help you better understand your hair, how to choose products, and how to balance protein and moisture. 

In Conclusion:

Your Curl Type Doesn’t Determine How Products Affect Your Hair

It is much more important to focus on understanding how your hair absorbs products, and what ingredients your hair needs to thrive. 

Most People Have Multiple Curl Type Throughout Their Head 

Since your hair pattern is not consistent, it’s more important to understand the structure of your hair. 

Curl Type Doesn’t Determine The Beauty Of Your Hair 

Whether you have tiny coils or loose waves, your hair is beautiful. Focus on your hair’s overall health instead of unrealistic expectations.

Hair Type Can Create A “Clique” Within The Curly World 

It’s important that we include all hair types within the curly world because all curls are beautiful! 

What You SHOULD Focus On Is Healthy Hair 

Turn your focus to carefully assess your hair and its current condition so you can understand how to create a healthy hair routine that will enable your hair to thrive. 

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Xoxo

Colleen

Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Hair Type 

Q: Do I have 2B or 2C hair?

While it’s hard to nail down an exact hair type, type 2b-3c would be on the curly end of wavy if that makes sense. This type would fall in the category of wavy/curly hair. 

Q: What is 3A curl type?

Type 3a refers to having loose spiraled curls throughout your head. If you hair is made up of large coils (the size of a large permanent marker) theres a good chance you have 3a hair. 

Q: What exactly is the Curly Girl Method?

The curly girl method is a method the puts an emphasis on trading damage products and habits with a healthy hair care routine. You can read more about it here.

Q: Is 2B hair curly?

2b Is typiallcy considered wavy. But if you have 2b waves with large coils mixed throughout, you may have a combination of curl types. I would call this a wavy/curly.

Q: How do I know my hair type?

Your hair type refers to how your hair curls on its own. You can read more about your curl type here

Q: Can you train your hair to be curly?

As with everything involving curly hair the answer is yes and no. You can encourage your hair to be more curly than it already is. However, completely transforming your waves into coils is probably not going to happen. You can read more about curly training here.

Q: Can straight hair become curly?

Yes! There have been many instances where straight hair has become curly. It’s usually due to a hormone change such as puberty, childbirth, or menopause. 

Q: Which hair type is most attractive?

All natural hair patterns are beautiful. The most attractive hairstyle is when a woman fully accepts her natural hair pattern and creates a healthy hair routine that produces soft, shiny, frizz free hair. 

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