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Curl Guide

A guide for distinguishing, learning about & caring for your curly hair type

Discover more about our patterns by clicking the tiles below

What is your curly hair type?

WAVY

WAVY

2a - 2b - 2c

CURLY

CURLY

3a - 3b - 3c

KINKY

KINKY

4a - 4b - 4c

Wavy Hair

Wavy hair, also known as Type 2, sits between curly and straight hair. It has the loosest curls and tends to bend in an ‘S’ shape.

Type 2 hair typically sits flatter on the head and has less volume at the root than other curly hair types. Depending on the tightness of the wave pattern, it is further divided into 2a, 2b, and 2c.

subtypes

Type 2a

Very loose, tousled waves

Type 2b

Loose, S-shaped waves

Type 2c

Thicker, more defined S-shaped waves

Men with wavy hair often face issues like frizz and a lack of volume. Wavy hair benefits from its natural oils, making it less prone to dryness. To maintain it, consider washing every 1-3 days with a gentle cleanser and using a lightweight conditioner for added moisture.

When styling, be cautious with product use to avoid weighing down the hair, especially if it's short, thin, or fine. Start with a small amount and gradually increase as needed. Opt for styling products that enhance volume, define curls, and control frizz.

Our defining gel is recommended for ideal definition without compromising volume. Mousse is also a great choice for adding volume and managing frizz.

To explore a complete wavy hair care routine, check out our curl routine article.

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    Classic System

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    (0)

    The classic system is a 3 step process for men with fine hair or a loose to standard curl pattern (2a-3c).

    Original price was: $54.00.Current price is: $48.00. Add to cart

Curly Hair

Curly hair, also known as Type 3 hair, is characterized by a springy, corkscrew-like texture. Depending on the tightness of the curl pattern, it is further divided into 3a, 3b, and 3c.

subtypes

Type 3a

Large diameter curls with a loose corkscrew shape

Type 3b

Smaller diameter curls, springy ringlets

Type 3c

Tight, dense ringlets

Type 3 curls, prone to dryness and breakage, should be washed 2-3 times weekly to maintain natural hydration, especially for longer curls. Use a hydrating conditioner alongside a sulfate-free shampoo for soft, healthy hair.

For 3a curls, use products sparingly to avoid weighing down the hair. Type 3b and 3c curls benefit from stronger hold and deeper moisturization, such as curl cream.

If your hair lacks moisture, consider using a leave-in conditioner before applying curl cream. To add volume and control frizz, mousse can be used after curl cream.

Explore our curl care routine for more tips.

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KINKY Hair

Coily hair is often referred to as Afro, kinky curls, or Type 4 hair. Coily hair can consist of tight corkscrews or a ‘Z’ shaped pattern that starts right from the root.

This type often appears shorter due to how tight the curls are, referred to as shrinkage. Depending on the tightness of the curl pattern, it can be further divided into 3a, 3b, and 3c.

subtypes

Type 4a

Dense coils with a small diameter

Type 4b

Tightly packed coily strands that often feature sharp angles; hair can be easily shaped for updos and other hairstyles

Type 4c

Tight, fragile, zig-zagging coils

Type 4 hair, the driest and most fragile curl type, is prone to breakage and dryness. Washing should be limited to 1-2 times a week due to its natural dryness. Hydration is key for proper care, achieved through a hydrating conditioner with each wash and the use of leave-in conditioner or hair oil between washes.

Consider co-washing as an excellent option for tightly coiled hair. Styling coiled hair is best done with curl cream.

For more insights on managing coily hair, explore our curl routine article.

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Can you have more than one curly hair type?

In most cases, guys with curly hair will have a combination of curl types in different areas of their scalps—generally, curlier on top layers and looser underneath. Defining curl type is not a perfect science, but it’s a great start to identifying the routine most suited to your unique hair type.

Let’s find you the right system

Take the Quiz

Beyond Curly Hair Types: Thickness, Density & Porosity

If you’ve ever met anyone else with curly hair, then you surely know how diverse curly hair types in men are. Curl type is only one factor that affects how your curls look and behave!

Every guy’s curly hair type is also influenced by the hair thickness, density & porosity.

These factors determine how curls react to moisture, heat, frizz, and other environmental stressors.

Hair Thickness

Hair thickness refers to the width of each strand, not the number of strands (which is density). Thinner hair is often seen in type 2a and 3a curls, while thicker hair is typical in type 3c and type 4 coily hair.

The thickness-curliness correlation is because thicker hair is stronger and holds tighter curls, while thinner hair tends to have more relaxed curls. Both have their unique challenges, addressable with proper care.

Hair Density

Hair density is the number of strands per square inch and affects styling. It's independent of hair type, so you can have thick hair with low density or fine hair with high density.

High-density hair holds shape better, while low-density hair may frizz more. Adjust product use accordingly.

Hair Porosity

Hair porosity is about moisture absorption, determined by cuticle spacing. Widely spaced cuticles mean high porosity, while closely packed cuticles result in low porosity.

Low porosity struggles with product absorption, often leaving products on the surface. High porosity quickly takes in moisture but loses it fast.

To find out your hair’s porosity, dip a section of your hair into a cup of water:

  • Low Porosity: Your hair will float on top
  • Medium porosity: Your hair will float somewhere in the middle
  • High Porosity: Your hair will sink to the bottom

High Porosity

High porosity is fussy. One minute your hair’s absorbed too much moisture and is frizzing. The next, it lost all moisture and is lying limp and lifeless.

The key to handling high porosity is using a blend of products that deliver the ideal amount of moisture & protein into the hair shaft before sealing the cuticle.

To do this, we recommend using a Keratin conditioner as the moisturizer and following with either a non-drying, high-quality gel or a hydrating curl cream – depending on the dryness level of your hair.

Medium Porosity

If you’ve got medium porosity hair, you’re in luck. It’s the easiest to manage. No extra caution needs to be taken when developing your haircare routine.

No extra caution needs to be taken when developing your haircare routine.

Low Porosity

Low porosity doesn’t want anything inside! That means it’s less likely to frizz but is prone to looking lifeless and dead.

To keep low porosity hair vibrant, it’s recommended to use hot (not scalding – that can damage the hair) water when you shower to open the cuticle.

This will allow the conditioner to penetrate the shaft and deliver much-needed nourishment.

Hair oils or leave-in conditioners are not recommended. Both will weigh down the hair without infusing further moisture into the curls.

Lightweight styling products such as defining gel or mousse will add volume and life to your hair without weighing down.

To Wrap It Up

With this knowledge in hand, it’s time to build out your curly hair routine. For the next steps, we recommend either taking our product quiz. If you’d like to learn more about curly hair management, check out the curl routine article, followed by the styling products and tools guide.