What Are the Different Types of Hair?

It’s no mystery that we don’t all wake up with the same hair. Yes, most of us have bed-head, but some of us are rocking one that is wild and curly while others are rising from our slumbers sleek and straight. Understanding what type of hair you have can save you a lot of hassle on the whole bad hair day deal. We aren’t promising you’ll get rid of them entirely, but having a better handle on your hair will let you hit the snooze button a few more times in the morning. 

You might just think of “curly or straight” and “short or long” when it comes to the different types of hair. Yes, those are things, but we can tell you haven’t done as much internet-scrolling (and long nights of hair studying) as we have. Leave it to Haircuts for Humans to give you the lowdown on your locks. There are actually twelve different types of hair out there, and we’ll help you find yours out today. Let’s start with the basics.

The Big Four:  Straight, Wavy, Curly, and Coiled

It’s pretty easy to look at a head of hair and tell if it’s curly or straight, but the actual breakdown used by professional hairstylists is cut into four categories: straight, wavy, curly, and coiled (or kinky). Knowing your particular hair type is useful when working with your stylist and having a more productive conversation about which haircuts or styles will work best for you. Having this info in your noggin will also assist you when you’re ordering products online or trying to find a new shampoo or conditioner that will tame your mane. The types (in the order mentioned above) are technically referred to as Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, or Type 4. After that, they’re broken into the subcategories A, B, and C.

hair types

Hairchart via Trendspotter


Straight Hair or Type 1

Straight hair can be described as lying flat on the head. It doesn’t have any natural curls, but can come in different textures or thicknesses. Having straight hair is a sought after characteristic. Hair straighteners and Brazilian blowouts are literally everywhere. Those with straight hair might get bored with their hair, but tons of people envy their naturally sleek locks. Another bonus is those with straight hair don’t usually have to brush or untangle it as much as others, and it looks shinier than other hair. Experts say those with straight hair might get oilier quicker, so go sans serum and opt for a beach spray or dry shampoo instead. Root-boosting products help get rid of the limp look and add some volume to locks that can often fall short of achieving that sky-high oomph.

straight hair

Frieda Pinto via

Wavy Hair or Type 2

Wavy hair is that just-off-the-beach kind of look we all pine after. The hair is somewhere between pin-straight and curly hair, and has a loose s-shape to it. A lot of people with wavy hair have to do very little to achieve a style some take hours trying to get (so consider yourself a lucky one). Wavy hair is tousled in appearance and looks great on any face shape or with any haircut. Throwing a little product into some damp hair and then blow drying or using a diffuser can pump up your volume and add some extra curls. If you’re going for a straight kind of day, those with wavy hair can quickly run a straightener through with very little effort to achieve the look. Yes, they have the best of both worlds. 

wavy hair

Jessica Biel via Good Housekeeping


Curly Hair or Type 3

Curly hair is, yet another, highly-sought after type of hair that people put hours into trying to get themselves. Whether it’s wearing rollers overnight or in the morning, getting hair permed, or using a curling iron to get the perfect wave, it’s been an in-demand hair type forever. People with curly hair might not always like their locks. The hair type is “spiraled” and can come loose or spun super small. Curls can be thick and barrelled or tiny and tight, but each and every type is absolutely beautiful. The pro of curly hair is it is usually naturally voluminous and full of texture and dimension. The con is, well, the exact same thing. Those with curly hair might get frizzy strands rather easily, especially in warm weather. And curly hair tends to knot much faster than the other types of hair. We recommend getting a good leave-in conditioner or detangler to get ahead of the mess. Make sure you’re always using the right shampoo and conditioner to keep your curls healthy and in tip-top shape.  

wavy hair

Selena Gomez via Glamour


Coiled Hair or Type 4

Coiled hair (otherwise known as kinky) is a hair type that can be thought of as super-curled. This hair type is defined by mega tight ringlets that are an iconic style worn all on their own. Some people refer to type 4 hair as “afro-textured” and it is a stunning, voluminous kind of hair that can have different kinds of curls mixed throughout it. Those with coiled or kinky hair are the most susceptible to breakage, dryness, and heat damage. If you have coiled hair it is imperative to invest in an incredible product routine from start to finish. This means shampoo, conditioner, after-shower care, and everyday styler that keeps your curls healthy and shiny. Ask your stylist what their recommended products are and have them on your shelves until the end of time. Make sure you get extra moisture daily by adding an avocado or coconut oil mask. If you want to achieve coiled hair and don’t have it naturally, definitely consider going to a professional to get the look.

coiled hair

Erykah Badu via Private Label Extensions

Different Types of Hair for Over-achievers

Yes, there’s more. If you are super stoked to find out even more about what type of hair you have, consider reading about all twelve types by reading this article. As we mentioned, the main types (1, 2, 3 and 4) are then broken into the subcategories of A, B, and C. So, for example you might have Type 1A or Type 3C, and getting to know it in depth can actually be quite informative. The detailed guide reveals which types of cuts and styles you should avoid and which products will work best for you. You can find out why your hair is more frizzy and thin versus thick and super curly. Stylists have been using this guide forever to refer to the hair types and learn more about their craft. 

Haircuts for Humans: Educators and Style Fanatics

Yes, we are always trying to spot the trending styles and give you the goods on what cuts will work best for your face shape. But we’re so much more, too! Our team wants you to have all the info you need before heading to your stylist and getting a new ‘do. That means being an information station for all of our readers and sharing our knowledge with the interwebs. Knowing the different types of hair may not have seemed important, but do you still think that after reading this article? If so, don’t tell us. Ok, do…and leave it in the comments. We love to read what you all have to say, whether you’re rocking straight, wavy, curly, or coiled strands!

See some of the most popular men's haircuts for 2021 from Sport Clips in Columbia Heights DC

5 of the Most Popular Men’s Haircuts for 2021

October 8, 2020

We’re sure you’re already working on a long list of things to look forward to in 2021. One great thing to get excited about is the opportunity to revamp your…

Read More
Get one of these must-have short hairstyles for men at Sport Clips Columbia Heights

Must-Have Short Hairstyles for Men

October 20, 2020

If you want a trendy hairstyle to make a statement and feel more confident, you don’t have to start growing out your hair. You can keep things short and still…

Read More
Use these tips to effectively grow out a beard

How to Grow Out a Beard

November 2, 2020

If you’re looking for a new way to freshen up your style, getting a quality cut can do the trick. But if you want to give your appearance a major…

Read More
Learn about the benefits of beard oil and how to apply it

What Is Beard Oil, and Do I Need It?

November 3, 2020

Choosing to grow out a beard is a great style choice, but in the same way that it’s important to take good care of the hair on your head by…

Read More