What is Your Natural Hair Texture and Why Should You Even Care?

Laurina Machite South African Beauty Blogger

Natural hair texture. I’ve always known that there were different hair textures out there but I never knew just how important it was to know which one you had until I cut my hair. To find out my hair story and why I cut it in the first place then please read my previous hair post, you may even also consider cutting your hair if you are struggling with it, who knows.


There are so many different types of hair textures but I will only be discussing a few in this post. Trying to figure out which one you have may seem like a bit of a mission, especially if you (like me) have a different number of textures all in one head. But figuring out what texture you have is really not that hard.


Figure Out Your Hair Texture in Three Easy Steps

Figuring out what your natural hair texture is actually quite easy and simple to figure out. All you need to do follow these three easy steps:

  1. wash your hair
  2. condition it – you don’t neccessarily have to condition it, this is optional, but I feel that you get a better idea of what your hair’s natural texture is if it is as moisturized as possible and conditioner often helps with this
  3. allow your hair to air dry and DO NOT touch it. Get out of the shower (or wherever else you would have washed your hair) and don’t lay a single finger on it. Don’t even try and towel dry it or touch it at all as touching it may change the texture and give you an inaccurate idea of what your natural hair texture really is.


Keep in Mind

There are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind when trying to figure out your natural hair texture, one of the most important ones being the state of your current hair and whether it is actually natural or not.

Make sure your hair is not chemically straightened. Chemically straightened or “relaxed” hair will not return to its natural texture when washed or conditioned. So trying to figure out what your natural hair texture is like when it has already been relaxed is just not going to work.

All hope is not lost however, as you can still figure out what your natural hair texture is like from analyzing your “growth” (the hair that grows straight from your scalp after you have relaxed your hair). To get the most accurate results from growth I would suggest you wait 6 – 8 weeks after relaxing your hair, following the above steps and analyzing only your growth to figure out what your natural hair texture is.


Hair softeners” – often recommended by hair stylists to soften your natural hair so that it is easier to maintain – will also not give you a true reflection of what your true, natural hair texture is as your hair has already been chemically altered, even though the results of these chemicals are less evident than those of relaxers at face value.


All in all if the hair currently on your head has ever gone through any chemical process to either straighten or “soften” it then it is best to wait for growth in order to figure out what your natural hair type actually is.


So What is Your Natural Hair Texture?

Laurina Machite South African Beauty Blogger What is Your Natural Hair Texture and Why Should You Even Care

Keep in mind you don’t have to necessarily know your natural texture in order to properly take care of your hair but it surely does help. Different hair textures have different properties and require different levels of care and knowing your type may save you lots of money in the long run when it comes to buying products.

Knowing your hair type can help with styling techniques and knowing exactly what products work for you.


Type 1

Laurina Machite South African Beauty Blogger What is Your Natural Hair Texture and Why Should You Even Care Type 1 Hair

Type 1 natural hair texture is what we all typically know and refer to as straight hair. Type 1A hair is bone straight and is not the best at holding curls. People with type 1A hair texture tend to experience a lot more oil than in their hair than others.

Type 1B hair is very similar to 1A but tends to have a little more volume and may have a slight curl on the tips of the hair. Type 1C hair is super thick and has very few waves, because of the slight waves it tends to be a little more prone to frizz than its other type 1 hair texture “partners”.


Qiuck Tips

If you have type 1 hair texture then you tend to have a little more sheen in your hair than most. Your hair is also not easily damaged but requires a lot of care to rid it of its oiliness.If you have 1C texture then you should ideally was your hair every other day since thick hair tends to trap a lot of sweat and grime between its strands.

Other things you may try to combat the oiliness are

  • dry shampoos to combat the quickly absorb the excess oils from your scalp
  • do simple home-made protein treatments with mayo, egg, or greek yogurt to improve elasticity
  • always use light, oil-free conditioner for the hair and nothing too heavy


Type 2

Laurina Machite South African Beauty Blogger What is Your Natural Hair Texture and Why Should You Even Care Type 2 Hair

Type 2 hair is often referred to as wavy hair. This hair type lies somewhere between straight and curly hair and has a loose and gentle bend to it.

Type 2A has the slightest bend while 2B tends to have more of a defined wave that forms below eye level and 2C hair texture has more of an s-shaped wave that starts from the roots all the way to the tips of the hair.


Quick Tips

The most common problems faced by people with type 2 hair is frizz and the inability to style the hair. Type 2A hair can easily alternate between straight and wavy but it is harder to do so with type 2B and 2C natural hair textures.

To best take care of this hair texture:

  • use light products such as mousses or gels that allow you to style your hair without weighing it down
  • let your hair air dry whenever possible or simply use a diffuser
  • avoid combing or brushing your dry waves to avoid frizz.


Type 3

Laurina Machite South African Beauty Blogger What is Your Natural Hair Texture and Why Should You Even Care Type 3 Hair

Type 3 hair is typically referred to as curly hair and has a more defined and definite s-shape than wavy hair and tends to have a strong curl pattern with or without products. The size of type 3 hair varies anywhere from the size of a large whiteboard marker to the size of a small straw. 3A has the largest curls that resemble waves while type 3C has the smallest curls and is prone to frizz.


Quick Tips

  • lack of protein makes curls look extremely dull and so deep conditioning with a treatment containing avocado or egg protein every two weeks is highly advised.
  • opt for sulfate-free cleansers to encourage growth and prevent build up
  • do a scalp massage once a week to enhance volume while maintaining even curl pattern
  • deep condition for 30min once a week to retain moisture and help make the hair more elastic


Type 4

Laurina Machite South African Beauty Blogger What is Your Natural Hair Texture and Why Should You Even Care Type 4 Hair

Type 4 hair is often referred to as kinky hair. It is categorized by extremely tight coils. 4A is characterized by miniature curls that resemble an “s”. 4B hair tends to have strands that resemble a “z” shape while 4C tends to have no distinguishable curl pattern at all and is more tightly coiled than any other hair texture.


Quick Tips

Type 4 hair tends to be a lot drier than any other type and needs extra care as it is more fragile and brittle. It experiences a lot of dryness and breaks easily.

  • moisturize
  • moisturize
  • moisturize!!
  • use moisturizing products and strive off of water based products followed with butters and oils
  • use creamy, sulfate free shampoos and use super hydrating conditioners
  • avoid mineral, petroleum oil and heavy waxes
  • deep condition with heat often
  • avoid brushes when possible


And Why Should You Even Care?

As mentioned above in my little “quick tips”, different type of hair requires different type of care and maintenance and the more you understand your hair in its natural form, the more you will easily be able to find out what kind of products to use and what to (and what not to) use on your hair for optimal results. Whether it be to grow your hair and gain length or simply make your hair stronger, knowing your natural hair texture is key to getting it right.


What If You Have Different Textures of Hair On One Head?

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You are not alone. I too have many different combinations of hair types on my head, from 3C to 4C is my “range”. This doesn’t have to worry you, you are not restricted to using only products that are “made” for your hair and should rather use hair charts and posts like these as a guide rather than a rule and absolute standard.


Bottom Line

DO NOT get obsessed with other hair textures. You have the natural hair texture you are meant to have and there is no use trying to change that. Your hair texture is beautiful the way it is and should be embraced rather than shun upon. Embrace your uniqueness and and work with what you have.


There is no such thing as “good hair”.


What To Expect From Brightly Black

When I first started writing this post I intended on making it as super informative as I could, but I literally found myself going on and on and had to cut back a little. Thus the “quick tips”. From here on out you can expect a lot more natural hair posts than before. I have had natural hair in the past and have always successfully managed to grow it with ease. I am currently trying out a whole bunch of products and cannot wait to let you know how they work.


I am excited about my hair journey and I hope you are as excited about your hair as I am. Even if you no longer have natural hair, it is always best to take care of the hair on your head and I will be there with you every step of the way. I will be posting up a lot of natural hair recipes and natural, organic and safe ways to take care of your hair that can be used by people with all different types of natural/relaxed/softened hair.


Let’s Converse

Lastly (because I could clearly go on and on) I am no hair expert. And there is nothing I love more than bouncing ideas off people who share the same passion and love for things that I do too. I would really appreciate any comments and suggestions you may have for me in the comments section below. Don’t forget that you can also attach a picture in the comment you post below,  I would love to see you rocking your natural/relaxed beautiful hair proudly. Till next time! x


What natural hair care tips do you have for me on my journey? Comment below. (And don’t forget you have the option of attaching a picture!)

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  1. Anesu E. Mutsaka
    15/06/2016 / 15:26

    Well…it looks like I have the 4C type… Your post was very informative!

Let's Converse!