The Different Curl Types and What to Know.

What’s are the different curl types?

We hear it a lot: “I’m a 3a, I’m a 2c” or “I have tight coils.” But what does that mean? And how can you tell what type of curl pattern you have? 

Your curl pattern is your genetic makeup, and it’s unique to you. 

Some people have curly hair all over their head, while others just have a few loose curls — it is completely your choice of how you wear your hair. In this article, we’ll answer some questions about common curls and hair types. 

So what are the different curl patterns? Read on to find out!

Tight and Loose Curls

Curl types and patterns can be broken into two main categories: tight curls and loose waves. Tightly coiled hair requires less moisture to stay intact.  It also tends to be naturally drier, weaker, and more fragile. 

On the other hand, looser hair tends to relax from its natural form after it’s been washed. Loose hair needs added moisture to keep curls intact. Loosening your curl pattern can also occur naturally as your hair gets longer and can be further encouraged with products.

Do you want to know what hair type you have?

Loose waves tend to have a bend or curl following the shape of your head. The hair flows in bigger forms with less weight on the ends. Also, loose-curl patterns tend to have more volume in general (loads of body). The volume allows loose curls to be the most versatile when it comes to styling. If you have a larger wave pattern, that’s great news.

Hair enthusiasts believe that tightly coiled hair is a result of very curly strands while loose waves are from smooth, straight-like strands. If you have tightly coiled hair, your curls will be smaller and more defined. Tight curls also do not grow as much when loose waves do, and they don’t get as frizzy either.

On the other hand, someone with very loose wave patterns can see their hair expanding up to three times its original size after getting wet!  Loose curly/wavy textures usually have dryer hair as their curls want to unravel without proper moisture. They need products and tools that will help with this issue, which we’ll get into later on in the article. 

How to Care For Tight Curls

Next, let’s get into hair care! Do you have tightly coiled hair? Then be gentle. You will most likely need to use your fingers or a thin comb to detangle your hair. 

Try not to create a lot of friction when you are being gentle, and if parts of your hair are breaking off, it may be time for a trim (more on that later). Next, use moisturizing products. It’s important to keep your hair moisturized because a lack of moisture can make you lose it. 

You may need to use deep conditioners every time you wash your hair and apply leave-in conditioners while you’re in the shower. You can even add some natural oil like coconut oil after you get out of the shower to seal your strands from water loss. As a bonus, there are health-centered uses for coconut oil, that extend far beyond your hair!

Lastly, avoid overwashing. Because the curls in tightly coiled hair are smaller, you may need to wash them more often. However, try not to wash your hair every day.

Why? Because if your hair is too clean, it can become too dry. You should “go no-poo” for a while and just add some apple cider vinegar into your scalp at night.

How to Care for Loose Curls

Are your curls loose and free? Then you’ll need to trim it more regularly than tightly curled hairs need. For those who have loose curl patterns, long hair can start to resemble curly-wavy hair. You need to keep your ends cleaned up so you can add length without the weight dragging your curls down. 

Keep in mind that your natural texture may be different from what it is now once you cut off some length. For most people, hair gets curlier when it’s cut.

Is your hair more wavy than curly? Wavy and curly hair can be manipulated as you would treat your natural strands. You have to protect them from heat damage because they naturally break down more easily than tightly coiled textures. Use shine products for the best results.

Thick Versus Fine Hair Care

After determining your curl type, it’s helpful to know your hair texture. Again, these can be broken into two categories: thick and thin. Your hair’s structure can make it easier or harder to handle, and here’s how to tell if yours is a thicker or finer texture.

Thick hair types are usually very easy to care for because they rarely get frizzed out of their form. Natural oils from the scalp help to retain their structure, so they can get away with just a little bit of product.

Treat thicker hair by using products that are rich in moisture and protein, which will strengthen your strands and keep them soft. 

For thin hair, don’t use heavy moisturizers. You’ll want the hair to stay as light as possible.

What Brush Should You Use for Curly Hair?

When it comes to brushes, you’ll want to use the right one for your type of hair. A boar bristle brush will help smooth out your waves and add moisture when used with a heat protectant and conditioner.

A standard paddle brush is great for loosening curls and increasing volume at the roots. You can also try a round brush to tame and control frizz.

A lot of detangling brushes are made with a combination of bristles, but they only work for thick hair types. You can also try a tangle teaser for thin strands if your hair starts getting tangled up or you need to reduce static electricity.

Caring for Different Curl Types

Curly-haired girls: you are not alone. There are plenty of curl types that may need a little extra TLC, but with the right care and products, your locks will be beautiful. If this is all still too much for you to handle, remember to take things one step at a time.

Start by determining what your curl type is, and then make sure you have the right brush. Before you know it, you’ll have the luscious curly locks you’ve always wanted. For more tips, check out the rest of our site.

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