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CURL TYPES EXPLAINED
KINKS, CURLS AND COILS?
CURLY, COILY, KINKY
however you choose to christen your hair, it’s that magical texture that makes us so proud.
NOW LET’S GET SCIENTIFIC
Let’s start at the root because the curl of our hair is determined by the shape of the follicle. If it’s oval-shaped rather than circular, the hair grows out coiled – just like when you pull ribbon between your thumb and a scissor blade to make it curl (clever, right?). The narrower the oval, the tighter the coil. Because of this, curly hair tends to be drier and needs less washing than straight hair; oils from the scalp find it more difficult to slip down the hair.
The journey from root to tip is a corkscrew rather than a straight line. Once you’ve got these two facts on board, it’s so much easier to understand our hair and how it behaves. Your hair needs to be nurtured, accepted and embraced, rather than neglected or controlled.
Understanding your curl type and hair density (how much hair you have rather than how thick each strand is) is crucial for that, and for finding the right products and routines to bring out the best of your curls. Don’t fret if your hair doesn’t 100% fit into one of the categories. Curlier sections and not-so-curly areas are normal, so just map out your head and treat each bit accordingly.
The moment when hair becomes curly rather than wavy. Often large, loopy curls in a corkscrew shape, roughly the diameter of a glue stick. This hair type can struggle to hold a defined curl, so finger coiling and light gel are its best friends. Empower and celebrate your curls!
Tighter ringlets than 3A, about the size of a finger. Mostly corkscrew shaped with a few tighter curls, and more prone to dryness – so take extra care of those ends!
Chopstick-sized curls, somewhere in between curly and coily. This hair type tends to have more volume than the other 3s thanks to its tighter structure.
Enter the coils! The bridge between curly and more afro hair with a distinct curl pattern around the size of a rose’s stem. This hair type craves moisture from root to tip. Treat your coils with the respect they deserve!
Each coil starts to take on different shapes rather than just corkscrews: think zigzags and loops. Oils are great for this hair type and onwards, as they help boost moisture. Treat your crown with curl worshipping products bringing out the best of your texture.
Often misunderstood as coarser and more unbreakable, this curl type is the most delicate and needs extra TLC. A similar coil shape to 4B but tighter (roughly the size of a wire coat hanger, it has the most volume of all hair types. Wear it big, wear it proud!