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Damn Gina, Why You Need To Know Your Curl Pattern

 

Find Out What Your Curl Pattern Is Using Our Gina Approved Guide.

 
Image Source:   Andre Walker
 
 
By Shilpa Bhim
 
Alright Ginas, it’s time to educate ourselves on all the different types of curl pattern out there.
 
A lot of us have some form of curl, wave or texture in our hair. In fact, multiple different textures can be doing their thing on one person’s head at any one time.
 
With each hair type comes a different set of hair care rules. So, to help you but your best tresses forward, I’m breaking down each curl pattern type.
 
Whether you’re rocking one curl pattern or many, keep reading so you can say hello to happy, healthy and bouncy hair all year round!
 
How Exactly Are Curls Formed?
 
We’re going right back to the very beginning!
 
Your curl type depends on the shape of the follicle that your hair grows out of from your scalp.
 
A round, circular follicle leads to straight hair. While an oval-shaped, flat follicle leads to curly hair. Variations of follicle shapes between those two lead to different types of curl pattern.
 
How Can I Tell What My Curl Pattern Is?
 
Award-winning celebrity hairstylist, Andre Walker, who counts Oprah Winfrey as one of his main clients, developed a curl typing system back in 1997. This has formed the basis for defining curl patterns ever since.
 
Walker’s system involves classifying hair into four main categories:
 
  • Type 1 - Straight
  • Type 2 - Wavy
  • Type 3 - Curly
  • Type 4 - Coily
 
(Obviously all you Ginas are here for the curls. So I’ll be focussing on Types 2,3 and 4 for this article).
 
Within each classification are the sub-classifications of A to C. These
sub-classifications define the diameter of your hair pattern. A refers to a wide curl pattern size, B is medium and C is the smallest or narrowest of the three sub-classifications.
 
Walker’s system is renowned for being useful in helping people to identify their curl pattern or patterns.
 
Why Do I Need To Know What My Curl Pattern Is?
 
Basically, it’s to help you know how to best take care of  and style your hair.
 
Every hair type behaves differently. Understanding your unique curl pattern is key to keeping your hair healthy and strong.
 
What’s My Curl Pattern, And How Do I Take Care Of It?
 
Image via NaturAll Club
 
Now for the fun part - I’m going to help you identify your curl pattern, and share some tips on how you can care for your tresses, depending on your hair type!
 
Type 2
Type 2 hair is wavy and tends to be coarse, and has an S pattern to it.
 
  • 2A - People with 2A hair have a naturally tousled texture to their hair, but lack volume at the root. If this is your curl type, steer clear of heavy styling products as these will weigh your strands down! Instead, use a light product like a water-based mousse to add volume to your hair and to keep your strands moisturised.
  • 2B - Fun Fact, I’m a 2B! The 2B curl pattern is defined by S-shaped waves that tend to start from the mid-length of the hair strand, with hair at the crown of the head tending to be straighter and flatter. 2B hair has a medium texture, tends to be frizzy at the crown, a bit dryer at the ends and can be a little resistant to styling. Top tips to look after and style 2B hair is to apply conditioner to the ends of the hair only when washing your hair, and enhance those waves by spritzing a moisturising sea salt spray through the mid-length of your hair.
  • 2C - If you’ve got a 2C curl pattern you are rocking waves for days! 2C waves are thick with a defined S-shape that starts at the crown on the head all the way down. 2C hair types are also prone to frizziness. To maintain your locks, use a sulphate-free shampoo to keep your strands moisturised. Using a leave-in conditioner will also help. Finally, like your 2A counterparts,  use a light product like a water-based mousse to keep your waves styled and 
 
 
Type 3
Type 3 hair is curly and the curl pattern can range from loose, buoyant loops too tight, springy corkscrews which have some sheen but also tend to get frizzy.
 
  • 3A - You’ll be rocking loose curls that have the circumference of a piece of thick chalk if you’ve got a 3A curl pattern. 3A hair tends to have a combination of textures, and the longer your hair, the more defined your curl is. Hair can have an S pattern and be shiny but frizzy at the same time. It also tends to be thick and full with a ton of body. To maintain curl definition twirl small sections of curls around your finger while your hair is still damp. Give your dry hair a boost with a leave-in conditioner spray and scrunch curls with your fingers.
  • 3B - Say hello to springy and voluminous curls that range from ringlets to corkscrews. The 3B curl pattern tends to be similar in circumference to a sharpie. While dense and voluminous, 3B hair also tends to be coarse and try, so moisture is key! To look after and style your strands, use an anti-humectant (humidity blocking) styling cream or gel in your hair, especially when it’s wet. This will help give your curls definition, minus the frizz!
  • 3C - This curl pattern is also known as ‘curly-coily’. 3C curls are tight corkscrews that range in circumference from a straw to a pencil. Hair tends to be densely packed together and is full of volume, yaaaas! The key to keeping your 3C curls happy, coily and bouncy is, you guessed it, moisture! Use a sulphate-free, creamy cleansing balm when washing your hair to avoid drying it out. To help define curls, use a combination of a styling cream and a mousse in your wet hair and let those curls dry naturally as much as possible. The 3C curl pattern tends to experience a lot of shrinkage from wet curls to dry and the best way to let your curls keep doing their thing is to avoid heat styling!
 
Type 4
Type 4 is the coily curl patten. Hair  can be soft and fine or wiry and coarse. Strands can form, densely packed coils or zig-zag shaped curls straight from the scalp. This hair type is prone to shrinkage.
 
  • 4A - If you have dense, springy, S-patterned coils that are the circumference of a crochet needle then you are definitely a 4A! Using thicker natural emollients (aka ingredients that are incredibly moisturising and softening) like mango and shea butters will help keep your hair looking fabulous, and will keep your strands in a soft and pliable state.
 
  • 4B - A curl pattern that bends in sharp angles like the letter Z is typical of a 4B. Your curls will be tighter and less defined and will be roughly the circumference of a pen. 4B strands range from being fine and thin to wiry and coarse. Because the curl pattern starts from the scalp, you want to retain moisture in your scalp. Use a coconut or castor oil treatment on the scalp and through your lengths to lock in that moisture! For styling, use a moisturising curl cream to distribute the product through your hair before palm-rolling or shingling to help stretch out coils and clump them for curl definition and elongation.
 
  • 4C - Your hair will be similar to 4B, but the tightly coiled, zig-zag patterned, strands have less definition and experience a lot of shrinkages. Your strands are super delicate and will range from super fine, thin and soft to wiry and coarse. To keep your hair looking stunning, you want to keep it moisturised and keep it protected from the elements. Use a creamy leave-in moisturiser to lock in as much hydration as possible, and to help maximise the length of your strands.
 
 
Regardless of which curl pattern (or patterns) you are rocking, one thing is key: keeping your strands moisturised! In addition to the products mentioned above, don’t forget to use your Gina approved silk hair products to keep your strands protected and to lock-in that moisture!
 
Which of these curl types best define your hair?  Share your thoughts with us, and don’t forget to share your sassiest and most fabulous curl moments with us via  Instagram!
 
 
Shilpa is a freelance beauty, health and travel writer from Melbourne, Australia. When she’s not writing, she’s out and about exploring places around Australia and the world. You can keep up with her adventures over at @skb.ontherun and check out her latest articles here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2 comments

  • I need to know how to get ur hair from straight to curly but frizzy so if u can help that would be a big thanks but when u do that I would not like u to use hair curlers or anything like that because I’m not aloud that at this point of stage, so if u could help me with that, that would be great.

    Talia

  • Loved reading your post. I would put myself in the 3c hair type group and what you said about using a cream and mousse is exactly what l do and then let my hair dry naturally. The results are amazing. My name is also Gina so l think this blog was specifically for me!

    Gina Mafe

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★ REVIEWS

Let customers speak for us

569 reviews
86%
(487)
8%
(47)
3%
(17)
2%
(13)
1%
(5)
Flat curls, uncomfortable and falls off

I have a 54cm head and lots of long thick hair so I thought the medium would be perfectly snug however it was super loose on my head, it moved around even when I wasn't sleeping. Lying down with it on it was quite uncomfortable around the ears. It also didn't stay on my head at all, and I'm not a very restless sleeper.
I contacted damn gina and was given plenty of tips to keep it on, one of which worked however involved it being super tight on my head which gave me headaches and made my curls flat and point in odd directions, so this is probably a better product for girls with straight hair.
I sent this product back to Damn Gina for a refund however am unfortunately out of pocket for shipping and returns, despite it not being a change of mind refund. I really really wanted to find a way to use this product.

On a more positive note, it does look cute and the damn gina team are very quick to reply to emails.

Hi B,
Thank you for reviewing us. I am sorry to hear that our turban was not a right fit for you.
I understand every woman's head and hair is unique and our turban may not be a right fit for everyone - however, we have created a product that helps and works for the majority of our customers.
In instances where it is not a good fit, we always refund and we have agreed to refund you too once we receive the turban. Our refund policy clearly states that we do not refund shipping when the product is not faulty. If we have to refund the shipping, we will have to add it to our product price - which is not fair on 97% of our customers who love the product.
As per your review, one of the methods we shared helped you tighten the turban but it ended up being too tight - but all the methods we suggest are adjustable and not permanent and you can adjust the level of tightness as per your liking.
And thank you for appreciating our timely response to your queries. Means a lot.

Really really nice!

Great quality material and really really nice customer service. Work really well at protecting my hair when I sleep. Thanks

The only scrunchie in proportion with my head :P

I have a big head. No, really, like... huge. Gigantic. When I was six, everyone in my class had to measure our skull circumferences, and mine was the largest of all the girls. Hats look small on me, if they fit at all. Scrunchies are lost to my gigantic cranium. Where are my sunglasses? Lost forever in the vast desert of my forehead. But when I put this scrunchie on, you.... can actually see it! And it's so much gentler on my hair than all those tiny ones you can buy - even the ones that say they're designed to damage your hair less. Plus, they're just so damn cheerful.

Of course, you tiny, I mean, normal-headed people will like them too - but for us ladies designed to headbutt our way into history, this scrunchie is really, really welcome!

You may need to pin it on if you have fine hair

I have below-waist length, straight, fine hair, which is the natural enemy of all caps like this - everything slides off it like water!

To make this cap work for my specific hair situation, I pin my hair into something that barely would qualify as a loose bun, but let's be generous to me and call it that. Next I put on the cap, then add two very thin, gentle-but-grippy clips to either side of my head - basically just far enough towards the back of my head that it they won't press into my scalp when I sleep (I'm a side sleeper). My hair is so fine that even mild clipping can damage it, so I'm trying to find some fabric-coloured clips to reduce the bend the current ones put into my hair overnight.

For less fuss, of course, you can buy a silk pillowcase. For me, I like the option of using one or the other - I have one pair of silk pillowcases, but when they're in the wash, I wear this cap. Plus, the cap is good if you are travelling and will be sleeping on normal pillowcases, but still want to minimise breakage to your hair - which, at my length, is a real concern! I do feel that using these caps, silk pillowcases, a good weekly 10 minute hair treatment routine and a lightweight leave-in conditioner is the only reason my fairy floss fine hair has managed to get below my waist and still look healthy.

Anyway, yes, it might be a bit trickier to wear if you have hair like mine, but overall, a great sleeping cap. Lovely construction and beautiful materials!

My hair has never looked better!

I wish I had one of these years ago. My hair looks and feels so much better and I don’t have to use nearly as much product to reduce my frizz. Absolutely amazing! 10/10 will recommend