As you may have already concluded, there really isn’t a “one size fits all” type when it comes to categorizing natural curl patterns. A little stuck on unlocking the true secret to what your coils, curls or waves are all about? Well, consider this your lucky day! The guesswork is done, and we have consulted with an expert to unlock a few major keys toward helping you understand different natural curl patterns and assist you in further channeling your ultimate curl power. Keep scrolling to find out how mane master, curl expert and one of Mizani’s go-to artists, Daryce Brown-Willis, breaks down the different hair types and the best practices for giving every ringlet the royal treatment.
1 - Straight
2 – Open Wave
3 - Wavy
4 - Curly
5– Very Curly
6 – Coiled
7 – Very Coiled
8 – Zig-zag Coiled
Curl Types 1-3: These kinds of curls usually will put you in the mindset of very loose, flowing s-shaped swirls. Think actresses Tia Mowery or Tracee Ellis Ross. For this pattern, it is highly recommended to cleanse more often because of the excess of natural oils the scalp produces. Follow with a traditional conditioner for strength and moisture weekly or as often as needed. “Curl types 1-4 tend to agree more with water or gel based products,” says Willis. If you notice your hair seems to be falling a little flat, reach for a little dry shampoo to turn the volume back up.
Curl Types 4-8: When it comes to putting a face with a curl types, let’s go ahead and insert the curly coifs of Janell Monae and Solange. Curl types 4-8 are generally tighter and have a fuller texture. Shampooing and cleansing does not need to happen as often as curl types 1-4, but hair should be deep treated at least every other week. Feeling like you’ll need to refresh a little more? Try a cream based or strong hold curl definer or refresher in between washes. “Curl types 5-8 usually require a more regular treatment schedule as these hair types are prone to tangle and frizz due the texture being naturally more dry,” say Willis.
General Rules of Thumb for All Curl Patterns:
• Finger-detangle before using any tool such as a brush, comb, blow-dryer, etc.
• Only manipulate your hair while damp or wet.
• Make sure to comb or brush from the ends of the hair to the scalp.
• Help prevent damage by securing ends at night and sleeping with a satin bonnet, scarf, or pillowcase
• Avoid cocktailing products in your hand before application. Layer one after the other to allow for even distribution working from the ends up toward the roots.
• Stick to regular trim and treatment schedules to help with length retention and overall hair health.
The Easiest Way to Reveal Your Natural State: Brown-Willis recommends that the best time to discover your true curl pattern is after you have washed your hair and let it air dry without adding any additional product. Also, Mizani’s Natural Curl Key has lifelike pictures of each curl pattern to help guide you.