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Curly Hair Extensions

Who doesn’t want perfectly-tossed, natural waves in their mane? Pin-straight is definitely a sought after hairstyle, but that’s only when you have the option to make it that way. We always want what we can’t have, and that seems especially true when it comes to our physical appearance. Embracing our innate beauty is essential to be truly happy, but changing up your style and experimenting a bit is just plain fun. For beauty lovers, 2022 is an incredible time to be alive; any look can be yours with a little research and some determination. 

Extensions are undoubtedly the most popular quick-fix for mega-length in a minute, but today’s products offer so much more. Whether you’ve been a curly girl since birth or you pine after the style, curly hair extensions are everywhere on the market. If you’ve found yourself commenting “hair goals” on posts of wavy babes, you might want to look into getting your hands on some curly hair extensions of your own.

All the Coils of the Rainbow: Understanding Types of Curly Hair

The way clients and hairdressers communicate has been the same since the beginning of time: show a picture of what you’re envisioning. In the Stone Age, cavewomen would draw an illustration on the cave’s walls using a rock. In the Victorian era, queens would have their artists slave over a painting to show to the royal stylist. In the magazine-ruled 1980s and 1990s, ladies would rip out pages of celebrity styles to show their hairdresser. 

Today, we browse Pinterest or screenshot pictures from Instagram to show our trusted mane miracle workers. Whatever way the exchange happens, stylists don’t exactly speak the same language. Sure, they understand your goal and idea, but these professionals actually define curls using Andre Walker’s Universal Hair Typing System.

The System makes it simple for hair experts across the spectrum to know which type of curl is being referred to. The client can then better identify what it is they’re looking for when they are shopping for clip-in extensions or products for certain types of curls. It helps to understand exactly what texture and style you’re going for to ensure you can get as close to your dream hair as possible. There are four main types of hair in the System: Type 1. Straight, Type 2. Wavy, Type 3. Curly and Type 4. Kinky. Stick to categories 2 through 4 if you desire a curly look, and then take a look at each subdivision (A, B, or C). It isn’t abnormal for someone to have more than one type mixed in their locks. Professionals suggest picking what the majority of your mane seems to lean towards; once you nail it down, go with that option for your curly hair extensions. 

Prose writer Faith Huffnagle reflects this sentiment when talking about her own hair:

“I’m biracial and my hair type is a 3C/4A—I have both of these curl patterns on my head. It’s not uncommon for someone to have a combination of two hair types that are right next to each other in the system. So, to determine your predominant hair type, I always suggest as a rule of thumb to go with whatever type the majority of your hair is.”

curly hair types

Chart via:


If you don’t want to match your natural twirls and are ready to spin into something new, it is easy to brush up on your lingo and get to know what curl type the chart is citing. Once you understand what each number and letter combination pinpoints, you can better speak your stylist’s language.

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