4 Stupid simple steps to know your hair type(with Images)1 min read

know your hair type andre walker

A person’s natural hair type has been a debatable topic for ages. Fashion mags, hairstylists, fashionistas have created different ways to categorize hair, making it impossible to determine your hair type. Unfortunately, this also meant that hair products used by men and women alike may be the wrong kind for their hair types and could lead to more damage than they are beneficial.

It was only in 1997 when an industry-standard hair type system was recognized everywhere. This system, entitled Andre Walker Hair Typing System, was part of the book “Andre Talks Hair” from award-winning hairstylist Andre Walker. Aside from developing this revolutionary system, Walker is also Oprah Winfrey’s hairstylist since 1986. He has won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling seven times, and has received the L.E.O. Award, Thurgood Marshall Fashion Icon Award, and Bronner Brothers Industry Icon Award. So he knows what he’s talking about.

andre walker hair typing system explained

Identify your hair type with the above chart

The Andre Walker Hair Typing System Explained

The Andre Walker Hair Typing system includes a number and a letter to categorize hair.


  • 1=straight
  • 2=wavy
  • 3=curly and
  • 4=kinky

Each of these types are then subdivided with letters (1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, and so on).


Characterized as a stubborn hair type when it comes to styling and curling, straight hair is also the most resilient among the four major types. Those with straight hair usually complain of a greasy/oily or limp-looking hair.

Andre walker type 1
  • 1a – Super fine, soft hair with very thin strands and visible shine
  • 1c - Compared to straight hair 1a, 1b has more body and texture
  • 1c - This hair type is still straight, but definitely the coarsest of all straight hair types

Ideal products for straight hair: Batiste 6.73-ounch Dry Shampoo in Original variant, Cherry, or Fresh (best for all straight hair types), John Frieda Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse (for styling limp hair), and Sexy Hair Vibrant Color Lock Hairspray (for styling colored straight hair).

Also read : Best hair products to use with your hair straightening brush and Irons

2.) Wavy Hair - Neither Straight nor Curly

2) Wavy Hair – Wavy hair has best of both worlds, since it isn’t too straight that it looks limp, or too curly to become hard to manage. This hair type isn’t too dry or too oily as well. However, wavy hair does tend to get frizzy.

andre walker type 2
  •  2a - There's this hint of a wave, but hair is still thin and fine. When it comes to styling, this type of hair is both easy to curl or straighten
  • 2b - This type of hair has waves that follow the shape of a persons head
  • 2c - Coarsest of all wavy hair types, 2c hair often lead to an unwanted frizz

Ideal products for wavy hair: PURA D'OR Organic Moroccan Argan Oil (for anti-frizz and defense against split ends), Garnier Fructis Style Wonder Waves Non Aero Hairspray (for styling), and HSI PROFESSIONAL Hydrating smoothing Anti-Frizz Hair Mask (to replenish shine).

3) Curly hair - S or Z shaped Pattern

Curly hair types have a distinct S- or Z-shaped pattern. This hair type is slightly vulnerably to damage, but can still look full and voluminous with constant care. In addition, curly hair is vulnerable to damage and tends to lack shine as curls become tighter.

andre walker type 3
  • 3a - Characterized by loose curls with a distinct shine
  • 3b - Ranging from spiral-like to corkscrew curls, 3B type is described as having medium amount of curls
  • 3c - Technically, 3c isn't part of the Andre Walker Hair Typing system, but was added by a naturallyCurly.com member. If you have tight coils/curls and don't fit into 3a/3b types or kinky hair, then your hair type could be a 3c

Ideal products for curly hair: Bumble and Bumble Curl Care Shampoo & Conditioner, Design Essentials Deep Moisture Milk Souffle for Insane Softness and Moisture Penetration, and Avlon Keracare Natural Textures Defining Custard.

Also read : Best Hair straightening brush of 2017(Our pick!)

4.) Kinky hair - tight curls(African American Hair)

This hair type is for those with a head full or tightly-curled hair or tight coils, often found in African American hair. Aside from being hard to tame, this hair type is also fragile, wiry, and can appear course (even if hair is actually super-fine, but with densely-packed strands).

andre walker type 4
  • 4a -  the hair type is characterized with tight coils, but since it could look similar to 4b, you'll know for sure when your stretch the hair and see an 'S' pattern
  • 4b - This type of hair is described as curls with undefined patterns, sharp angles when bent, and shows a 'Z' pattern when streched

Ideal products for kinky hair: Aunt Jackie’s Don't Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel, Deva Curl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler Cream, and Shea Moisture Low Porosity Protein Free Shampoo would do wonders for your kinky hair.

Density, texture, elasticity, porosity and other factors could affect which hair type you’d fall into, but this hair type system could serve as a general guideline to most hair types. This way, you know which hair products are the best to use for day-to-day cleaning, styling and haircare based on your hair’s structure.


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