By Dr. Shanessa Fenner 

We live in a world where we are all different, from our cultural backgrounds to the hair strands on 

our crowning glory.  It is imperative to understand curl patterns and hair types in order to provide appropriate hair care products. As a shop owner, it is imperative to know this poignant information so that you can better serve the differing hair needs of diverse customers.  The overall goal is to have a healthy head of hair that will continue to flourish and make the consumer feel like they are living their best life. 

Here is a detailed description of the various hair curl types: 

Type 1 (Straight hair) This hair type does not have any curls, it is straight hair. 

Customer Tip: Straight hair tends to get oily quickly. Use a lightweight shampoo and conditioner to avoid weighing it down. Dry shampoo can be a lifesaver to extend the time between washes.

Product Recommendations:

Shampoo: Lightweight, volumizing shampoo

Conditioner: Lightweight, volumizing conditioner

Styling Gel: Light styling cream or serum for smoothness

Leave-In Treatment: Lightweight leave-in conditioner or detangler

Type 2 (Wavy hair) Fine wavy hair is more prone to tangles. 

2A- This fine texture is easy to straighten and lacks volume at the roots. 

2B- This hair type has s-shaped waves that start from the mid-length. 

2C- These thick waves are more susceptible to becoming frizzy. 

Customer Tip: Use a sulfate-free shampoo to maintain natural oils, and a light mousse or gel to define waves without making the hair crunchy.

Product Recommendations:

Shampoo: Sulfate-free shampoo

Conditioner: Moisturizing, lightweight conditioner

Styling Gel: Light mousse or gel for wave definition

Leave-In Treatment: Leave-in conditioner or wave-enhancing spray

Type 3 (Curly hair) Curly hair patterns have drier hair strands and are prone to breakage and frizz. 

3A- These strands are shiny, large, loose curls that are the diameter of a piece of chalk. 

3B- This type of hair has springy ringlets that are the circumference of a marker.

3C- These tight corkscrew curls can vary from the circumference of a straw or a pencil. 

Customer Tip: Hydration is key. Use a deep conditioning treatment weekly and avoid brushing hair when dry to prevent breakage.

Product Recommendations:

Shampoo: Moisturizing, sulfate-free shampoo

Conditioner: Deep conditioning treatment

Styling Gel: Curl-defining gel or cream

Leave-In Treatment: Moisturizing leave-in conditioner

Type 4 (Coily hair) This type of hair is referred to as Afro-textured or kinky hair. It is naturally dry, and spongy in texture and can be fine, wiry, coarse or soft. This hair type experiences the greatest amount of shrinkage, and moisturization is essential. 

4A- This type of hair has dense s-pattern coils that are the same circumference as a crochet needle. 

4B- These hair strands are densely packed and can bend in sharp angles like the letter z. 

4C- This is a natural hair type with a tightly coiled texture. 

Customer Tip: Regular deep conditioning and the use of the LOC method (Liquid, Oil, Cream) can help retain moisture. Avoid styles that put too much tension on the hair.

Product Recommendations:

Shampoo: Moisturizing, sulfate-free shampoo or co-wash

Conditioner: Rich, moisturizing conditioner or deep conditioner

Styling Gel: Curl-enhancing gel or cream

Leave-In Treatment: Heavy leave-in conditioner or moisturizing butter




OTC Beauty Magazine offers useful business tips and effective selling tools to boost revenue and customer traffic for OTC retailers. The magazine also provides invaluable product knowledge, industry news and insights for retail store owners, manufacturers, distributors and professionals in the barber and beauty supply industry. Contact us:

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July 2024


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