CurlTalk

Coloured or white, but all 3c?!

Curly Dutch GirlCurly Dutch Girl Posts: 14Registered Users
I think 3c is the most confusing hairtype there is...
It seems that there are so many types of 3c! Now I'm just wondering is there a difference between being black or half black and having 3c hair or being white and having 3c hair? I feel that my hair is so different from a lot of other, white, 3c's. And I think that is so weird because we seem to have the same hairtype.
Is it just me or is there really a difference?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Hairtype: A whole lotta tight 3c
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  • Curlee QCurlee Q Posts: 523Registered Users
    I was wondering the same thing, hopefully someone has some insight.
  • Pacific PoppyPacific Poppy Posts: 253Registered Users
    I don't know either... I'm caucasian and actually half of my hair is 4a, but I feel people will be like WTF? if I post that, so I just stick with 3c.

    For the first time I cut layers all the way around, and it looks great. My 4a tendencies are more obvious too. Since I cut it I've been seeing people do something odd when they walk or drive past me... they turn to look at my face. I was talking to a AA gal at the drugstore and she said that she had had to take a second look at me... to see if I was mixed or white, because she had seen my hair from the back. I think that is what some other people are checking out too, since its mostly women, and I don't have a fantastic bum :wink:

    Anyway, my point with this long story, is that hairtype isn't directly tied to race. I have seen many pictures of "ethnic" women here who have looser curls than mine. I've seen many people with what I would consider 3b curls and many people with what I would definitly call 4a curls... all just saying 3c. Its all subjective I guess.
    3c, CG Fine hairs, med growth.
    Formerly "Rainyday"
  • love yourself firstlove yourself first Posts: 5,398Registered Users
    That is an interesting question... I think that classic 3C hair is very tight, well-formed corkscrews which is a somewhat common hair type for mixed women with some african ancestry, either a parent or going back further in the family tree. White women can have it too as seen here at NC. The thing is most of us have many different hair types all at once :!: Personally, my natural hair is a very blended 3B/C with some 3A near the root when it is long.

    I tend to post on 3C threads a lot because many of the other curlies who self-identify in this manner have somewhat similar hair. I also post/lurk on 3B threads too and have gotten some good advice and product recommendations that way, even though that particular hair type board is pretty inactive right now...

    Maybe others with more insight will post their thoughts :wink:
    "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
    "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
    - Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

    (taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
  • EnricaEnrica Posts: 86Registered Users
    Curly Dutch Girl, I look at the hair typing system to be all about the degree of curl formation. Now what you're referring to as far as racial differences in hair, I see as texture. In any one of the categories 2,3 or 4, an individual can have fine, medium or coarse texture depending on their background. I think if you are really looking for specific help in relation to that, then it helps if you say fine 3c or coarse 3c. The fullness also plays a part, so add thin or thick or maybe even the length.

    Overall, it doesn't seem to really matter what your background is -- it's all very individual. Just looking around here at the different reactions in threads about oil, protein, sulfates, silicones and you name it, demonstrates that there is no one set of rules based on your skin color or even hair type, but rather, your individual hair needs. :)
    3c representative of a 2c-4a curly clan.
    Keeping it simple, natural & sulfate free. Fan of pure oils, butters & glycerin to moisturize.
  • PortaePortae Posts: 337Registered Users
    Honestly, I think that the confusion over curl types is the result of people incorrectly classifying their hair. First of all, 3c was never one of the original hair types mentioned by Andre Walker in his book. It was "invented" by members on this website who felt that 3b and 4a didn't adequately address their hair type. I think it would be more useful for people to speak of the tightness of their curl pattern ALONG WITH the texture of their hair. People have a tendency to use 3c and 4a to refer to frizziness and coarseness, but this is never what the hair types were intended to denote. For example, my curl pattern is the same as a friend of mine, but her hair feels silky and is coarse (her curls hang) where mine feels cottony and each strand is pretty fine (my hair seems to float). As a result, we use very different products and different routines. Hair types don't seem to address this. [/i]
  • love yourself firstlove yourself first Posts: 5,398Registered Users
    Portae-

    I've never read Andre Walker's book, and have based my curl self-description on the NC hair types which say that 3B is chalk sized curls and 3C is pencil sized curls... My natural curls are a mix (or blend) of these sizes - maybe the diameter of magic markers? to stick with the theme :wink:

    I do agree that more detail is better than less when it comes to providing hair tips or advice, so I try to do that as often as possible. Pictures help a lot too.
    "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
    "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
    - Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

    (taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
  • PortaePortae Posts: 337Registered Users
    Curltopia-
    The hair types here are taken from Andre Walker's book, and he cites the 3b hair type as covering a wide range. For example, he lists Cree Summer ("Freddie" from A Different World) as a 3b. Nowadays on nc.com, most people would define her as a 3c. I think the problem came when people created the 3c category to describe a particular texture that they didn't feel was being adequately addressed. I think the problem, as I said before, is that curl diameter really doesn't tell you much about how an individual's curls behave.

    In any case, I guess my point is that the categories are so confusing because posters here are using them incorrectly and the categories themselves have gotten all mixed up and confused.
  • love yourself firstlove yourself first Posts: 5,398Registered Users
    Portae-

    Whoops, I just went back to the NC hairtypes link in the newbies section and you are right about NC hair types being based on Andre Walker's typology... D'oh :!:

    Here is what the NC web-site says about Type 3:

    There are two subtypes of curly hair. Type 3A, hair that is very loosely curled like Julia Robert's or Susan Sarandon's is usually very shiny with big curls. The shorter the hair, the straighter it gets. The longer the hair the more defined the curl. Type 3B, on the other hand, is hair with a medium amount of curl, ranging from bouncy ringlets – think of Shirley Temple and Nicole Kidman – to tight corkscrews – think of actress Cree Summer of television's Sweet Justice of jazz singer Cleo Laine. It's not unusual to find both subtypes coexisting on the same head. In fact, curly hair usually consists of a combination of textures, with the crown being the curliest part.

    Addendum: Naturallycurly.com readers have suggested a third Type 3 subtype: 3c.
    Type 3C, is hair with tight curls in corkscrews. The curls can be either kinky, or very tightly curled, with lots and lots of strands densely packed together. Some people refer to this as "big hair." Getting this type of hair to blowdry straight is more challenging than for 3A or 3B, but it usually can be done. This includes those with very tight curls but finer hair, as well as coarser hair. 3C has really really tight curls, like pencil or straw circumference. 3B is like sidewalk chalk or salt shaker circumference, and 4A is like coffee stirrer circumference.


    The 3B descriptions are kind of all over the place, as a function of Andre's perhaps overly broad typology as well as the addendum. The problem may be that curly hair is considered Type 3 but there are SOO MANY KINDS and shapes of curls, not to mention texture and thickness, etc.. The Type 2 and Type 4 categories are a little more straightfoward, I think. But jamming all of us curly heads into the Type 3 category seems to be challenging...

    Anyway, if you go by Andre's system, I am a 3B. By the NC addendum definition, I am a 3B/C. When I post, I do pay attention to hair type description as well as hair pictures to get a feel for whether someone has similar hair. Somehow, it all seems to work out :wink: even though I do agree that it is really confusing :!:
    "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
    "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
    - Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

    (taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
  • LadydncingLadydncing Posts: 964Registered Users
    Wow! Very interesting thread!
    Thanks for clarifying that Portae!

    So, then according to Walker,
    I am a 3b? :)

    ETA: This curly can't spell then!
    Maya
    3b/c CG routine
    HG line DevaCurl
    Password: Locks

    event.png
  • werenumber2werenumber2 Posts: 260Registered Users
    Portae wrote:
    The hair types here are taken from Andre Walker's book, and he cites the 3b hair type as covering a wide range. For example, he lists Cree Summer ("Freddie" from A Different World) as a 3b. Nowadays on nc.com, most people would define her as a 3c.

    I was thinking the same thing about Cree Summer's hair and the fact that most would categorize it as 3c. I think it was Andre Walker's intention for 3b to have a much wider range than what most people follow. Type 4 hair is easier to quantify because it's pretty much categorized as nappy/kinky (with it's varying degrees) hair across the board.

    Interestingly, if you type in 3c (or 4a or 4b) on the Nappturality boards, the filters automatically turn it to "nappy". However, I think this was a result of too many transitioners hoping and praying that they'll end up with "good" 3c hair, and posters with obviously type 4 hair living in denial by saying their hair is 3c. Usually, those with 4+ hair who want to carry on that lie will say their hair is 3c because it's "ethnic" enough not to raise suspicion on a black hairboard, but loose enough to be considered desirably "curly" and not "nappy".

    I can't help but laugh when I think about a poster on another hair board with 4a/b hair that SWORE UP AND DOWN she had type 2 hair even after members tried to tactfully correct her. :shock:
    comic-p.jpg

    3b/c fine corkscrews and spirals. Naked hair above.


    Wash: Elucence Moisture Balancing Shampoo
    Condish: Shescentit Avocado/Honey Rinse
    Moisture DT: Silk Dreams Vanilla Silk, Crece Pelo
    Protein DT: Shescentit Okra Hair Repair Reconstructor
    Leave-Ins: Shescentit Coco Creme, Darcy's Botanicals Sweet Cocoa Bean, Aubrey Organics Primrose Spray
    Stylers: Aubrey Organics B-5, Shea Moisture Curly Souffle


    Subject to change!
  • love yourself firstlove yourself first Posts: 5,398Registered Users
    See, the whole "good hair" "bad hair" concept is soooo annoying and awful :x I just wish that we could make it go away.......
    "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
    "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
    - Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

    (taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
  • Curly Dutch GirlCurly Dutch Girl Posts: 14Registered Users
    Portae wrote:
    I think the problem came when people created the 3c category to describe a particular texture that they didn't feel was being adequately addressed. I think the problem, as I said before, is that curl diameter really doesn't tell you much about how an individual's curls behave.

    That is a very good point!
    I base my hair type on the diameter, pencil circumference. That has nothing to do with the texture. My curls arren't all in corkscrews though, some strands are in corkscrews at the end.
    What does 'coarse' and 'fine' means? Is 'coarse' a lot of clumping?
    I have al lot of hair, when it's wet, my hair clumps well and my hair seems thinner and it hangs. When it's dry, the clumps fall apart into finer strands and my hair gets big.

    I think it's terrible that some people consider 3c hair as 'better hair' then type 4 hair. I don't know the exact translation on the word 'nappy' but I consider all 4 + types as 'nappy.' Type 4+ hair is curly too, though! Nappy for me is just another word for hair type 4a and 4b.

    The reason I started this topic, is that when I look at picures, the way my hair reacts on routines and products seems so different from other 3c's, especially when they are not coloured.

    Thank you all for your thoughts and info!
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Hairtype: A whole lotta tight 3c
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  • scksck Posts: 39Registered Users
    I know when I first came to NC.com in 99, I put myself in the 4a catergory. However, my hair has the diameter of a straw which puts me in the 3c catergory so I just say I'm a 3c or 3c/4a. In addition, I totally fit Pam Ferrell's description of wiry hair. So...my hair has a straw diameter, is wiry and did I mention flyaway? :shock: It's hard for me to find products because so many that are praised for black hair like Elucence and Carol's Daughter don't work for me. I'm one of those people that can't use pure shea butter or coconut oil. It's depressing.
  • eccentric_kurlzeccentric_kurlz Posts: 4,144Registered Users
    What does 'coarse' and 'fine' means?

    These are descriptions of what your individual strands look like.

    F - Fine
    Thin strands that sometimes are almost translucent when held up to the light. Shed strands can be hard to see even against a contrasting background. Similar to hair found on many people of Scandinavian descent. You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Fine hair is difficult to feel or it feels like an ultra-fine strand of silk. (I also wanted to add that fine hair is also found on people of African descent)

    M - Medium
    Strands are neither fine nor coarse. Similar to hair found on many Caucasians. You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Medium hair feels like a cotton thread. You can feel it, but it isn't stiff or rough. It is neither fine or coarse.

    C - Coarse
    Thick strands that where shed strands usually are easily identified against most backgrounds. Similar to hair found on many people of Asian or native American descent. You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Coarse hair feels hard and wiry. As you roll it back and forth, you may actually hear it.

    You can find more information through this link:

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fforums.longhaircommunity.com%2Ffaq.php%3Ffaq%3Dhair_faq%23faq_hair_type" class="Popup

    HTH
    A wonderful mix of coils, curls, corkscrews, and kinks.

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  • EnricaEnrica Posts: 86Registered Users
    Thanks for that Shyygirl. Very informative. While I've never been unclear about textures, the curl typing system is certainly challenging. I'm probably due for a re-evaluation, though honestly, I've gotten just as much info from those on the other end of the curl spectrum than I, so it doesn't much matter to me... As long as my hair is healthy and I'm doing my best to give it what it needs. :)

    P.S. Now I know what all those iii's and other letters I've seen around mean. :::scurrying over to newbie section:::
    3c representative of a 2c-4a curly clan.
    Keeping it simple, natural & sulfate free. Fan of pure oils, butters & glycerin to moisturize.
  • love yourself firstlove yourself first Posts: 5,398Registered Users
    I like the Long Hair Community description of hair types - it seems very on-point:

    FIRST CLASSIFIER - Your curliness (or lack thereof)

    The straight ones
    1a - stick straight
    1b - straight but with a slight body wave, just enough to add some volume, doesn't look wavy
    1c - straight with body wave and one or two visible S-waves (e.g. nape of neck or temples)

    The wavy ones
    2a - loose, stretched out S-waves throughout the hair
    2b - shorter, more distinct S-waves (similar to waves from braiding damp hair)
    2c - distinct S-waves and the odd spiral curl forming here and there

    The curly ones
    3a - big, loose spiral curls
    3b - bouncy ringlets
    3c - tight corkscrews

    The really curly ones
    4a - tightly coiled S-curls
    4b - tightly coiled hair bending in sharp angles (Z-pattern)
    "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
    "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
    - Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

    (taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
  • EnricaEnrica Posts: 86Registered Users
    I agree Curltopia. Just read it over... No confusion there. ;)
    3c representative of a 2c-4a curly clan.
    Keeping it simple, natural & sulfate free. Fan of pure oils, butters & glycerin to moisturize.
  • urbancurlurbancurl Posts: 980Registered Users
    rainyday wrote:
    I was talking to a AA gal at the drugstore and she said that she had had to take a second look at me... to see if I was mixed or white, because she had seen my hair from the back. I think that is what some other people are checking out too, since its mostly women, and I don't have a fantastic bum :wink:

    Anyway, my point with this long story, is that hairtype isn't directly tied to race. I have seen many pictures of "ethnic" women here who have looser curls than mine. I've seen many people with what I would consider 3b curls and many people with what I would definitly call 4a curls... all just saying 3c. Its all subjective I guess.

    What an interesting thread-- I'm rather new, and my first thought was that I am a 3B. But then I started thinking, wait a minute, I am African-American and European American so maybe that means I am a 3C? I agree with you than you cannot tell what someone's ethnicity is based on their hair type.

    Your story of the woman's comment at the drug store made me remember the comments I got from people growing up in Chicago. Complete strangers would approach me and ask, "What are you?" :? Even worse than in Chicago, I briefly went to college in a tiny town in Iowa where people actually asked if they could touch my hair and if I ever washed it. And they WEREN'T referring to CG! :wink:
    "It is wrong to use moral means to preserve immoral ends." MLK, Jr.

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  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    Interesting discussions here. I too wonder about this question. The vast majority of 3b/c and 3c curlies seem to be of some kind of mixed race combination including African-American and some other ethnicity/ethnicities, whereas 3b curlies can include all races, including some people of mixed A-A and other heritage, whites, and any other ethnicity. However, there are some white people categorized as 3c as well, and it does seem to me that their hair is different in the curl pattern. The corkscrew type of curl and the accordion wave type of curl seem to be more common in mixed race curlies while spiral curls and ringlets seem to be more common in white curlies (of course, there are overlaps and exceptions.) I think a white person with extra-curly hair such as Nicole Kidman has a very different curl pattern than a Cree Summer or a Scary Spice.
    I think a possible reason is that the hair cuticle of African people has a different shape than any other race - it is completely flat and nappy hair forms perfect circles, which no other hair type does, so perhaps when mixed, the cuticle shape is not the same as the oval cuticle of a European curly?
    I think Portae's points about confusion over self-classification (I am still not sure where I fit in!) and about hair texture and behaviour being different than curl size are very good points. Another point is that many 3c's have relaxers or texturizers and have not seen our own hair in a long time. This would include me.
    My hair also behaves very differently at different lengths. When really short, I have tiny, round, peppercorn curls that are sometimes almost a 4a. At chin or shoulder length, I have what CurlyDutchGirl and Portae describe - very big, pouffy, cottony, floaty hair. At bra strap length as it is now, I get bigger defined clumps that form and hold naturally, more stretched roots and heavy hair that hangs down quite well on it's own. My hair is extremely thick and very coarse, but feels very silky and hangs down as Portae describes her friend's hair, which could lead people to think I am a 3b, but my texturized curls are all mostly at least pencil size or smaller which is the definition of 3c. So, 3b/c seems to fit and I go with 3c when picking one because my biracial hair seems to behave and like to be treated like 3c hair with lots of moisture, brushing, braid outs, twist outs, heavy products etc. while most of the 3b's still talk about plopping, scrunching, not brushing, fighting flat roots and other techniques I never use and issues I never have.
    Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali


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  • SapphireWingstarSapphireWingstar Posts: 381Registered Users
    I don't have anything of real value to add to this thread, except that I am Caucasian/Asian and have no African blood in me at all, and I am a 3b/c. So this whole race/ethnicity thing is kind of confusing. (And off-topic, but make sure you know the difference between race, nationality, and heritage).
    3b/c...or thereabouts.

    Album: /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fphotobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa119%2FCrazyCurlyQ%2F" class="Popup

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  • Curly Dutch GirlCurly Dutch Girl Posts: 14Registered Users
    Curltopia wrote:
    The curly ones
    3a - big, loose spiral curls
    3b - bouncy ringlets
    3c - tight corkscrews

    The really curly ones
    4a - tightly coiled S-curls
    4b - tightly coiled hair bending in sharp angles (Z-pattern)

    Very interesting indeed!
    I can't relate to the 3c description though... :? I have s-shaped curls mostly, varying from pencil circumference in the back to 0.59 inch in the front (found an inch- centimeter converter... :D )

    Thanks Shyygirl723! I thought coarse or fine meant a large or small package of hair, but it's just one little hair that is coarse or fine.
    Discovered that I'm a iii (finally understand what that means!) with coarse hair.
    As far as the hairtype...
    I found a picture of Cree Summer on Google, and she has my hair! :wink: Only hers is much more shiny, long and beautiful :( :wink:
    Am I a 3b???

    Argh! So confusing! :?
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Hairtype: A whole lotta tight 3c
    Album
  • EnricaEnrica Posts: 86Registered Users
    I can't relate to the 3c description though... :? I have s-shaped curls mostly, varying from pencil circumference in the back to 0.59 inch in the front (found an inch- centimeter converter... :D )

    Thanks Shyygirl723! I thought coarse or fine meant a large or small package of hair, but it's just one little hair that is coarse or fine.
    Discovered that I'm a iii (finally understand what that means!) with coarse hair.
    As far as the hairtype...
    I found a picture of Cree Summer on Google, and she has my hair! :wink: Only hers is much more shiny, long and beautiful :( :wink:
    Am I a 3b???

    Argh! So confusing! :?

    I hope you Googled the many pictures of Cree. I've seen her hair in it's more natural state -- that is, not professionally styled and glossed for a photo shoot. ;)

    We have the same kinda hair. What does a corkscrew curl look like when you pull on it? I like to call it the relaxed corkscrew. It's the length and weight of your hair that pulls it down. When mine's shorter the curl is tighter. I'm mostly coarse with my thickness in the rear, but I have some medium texture and normal in the crown, which makes my hair hang almost wavy to straight, which is especially nice for bunning or other updos. I looked at your album and our hair looks and behaves pretty much the same under various conditions -- it's beautiful! I also think you have more than one curl pattern (yes 3b) as many of us do. Just relax and love it -- it is the most versatile hair on the planet. :D
    3c representative of a 2c-4a curly clan.
    Keeping it simple, natural & sulfate free. Fan of pure oils, butters & glycerin to moisturize.
  • alguma pessoaalguma pessoa Posts: 619Registered Users
    IMO, curly hair differs in the following:

    -pattern - coils, springs. zig zags, s-curves
    -pattern size - watch spring to chalk size
    -density - sparse, dense
    -strand diameter - fine, medium, wide
    -feel/texture - cottony, wooly, spongy

    I feel that Andre’s system does not address all of these issues. From what I heard, his system was meant to address his wife’s 3b hair. I am not sure but that is what I heard.

    I have seen the LOIS system floating on the net. It is supposed to identify the different hair structures.
    Another hair typing system, L.O.I.S. was developed by Our Hair as a simpler way to identify different hair structures.

    Pattern
    L = Bend
    O = Curl
    I = Straight
    S = Wave

    Strands
    Thick
    Medium
    Thin

    Texture
    Thready - low sheen, high shine, low frizz
    Wiry - sparkly sheen, low shine, low frizz
    Cottony - low sheen, high shine, high frizz
    Spongy - high sheen, low shine, high frizz
    Silky - low sheen, high shine, low frizz

    Shine - hair that reflects light along its surface.
    Sheen - hair that sparkles as if filled with light.


    How to determine which daughter (or son) of LOIS you are (from ourhair.net):

    Remove a single strand of the most common type of hair on your head. Aim for 70%, so if you have different textures, use the most common texture on your head.

    The hair should be freshly washed without products applied to it and rinsed in cold water. Or, gently rinse a single hair with a little dish detergent and rinse in cold water.

    Lay the hair on an absorbent paper towel to dry.

    When the hair is completely dry, look at the pattern without touching it.

    -If the hair has all bends, right angles and folds with little to no curve then you are daughter L.
    -If the strand is rolled up into the shape of one or several zeros like a spiral, then you are daughter O.
    -If the hair lies mostly flat with no distinctive curve or bend you are daughter I.
    -If the strand looks like a wavy line with hills and valleys then you are daughter S.

    It will be common to have a combination of the LOIS letters, (with more dominant) which can help you determine which daughter of LOIS you are. If you cannot see one letter over the others, then combine the letters. Example: LO or IL or OS.

    Other characteristics of LOIS:
    Strand Size: One half of a piece of inexpensive sewing thread (such as the kind that is contained in those palm sized personal sewing kits) split in two is about the thickness of a medium strand size of human hair. If you hair is larger than this, then your strand size is thick. If you hair is smaller than the split thread, then your hair strand is thin, or fine.

    If you want to compare your hair strand to a split piece of thread, it can be done by moving the thread back and forth between your thumb and forefinger holding the free end taunt.

    Texture:
    Thready texture of hair usually has a low sheen, with high shine if the hair is held taunt (as in a braid), with low frizz. Wets easily but water dries out quickly.

    Wiry hair textures have sparkle sheen, with low shine and low frizz. Water beads up or bounces off the hair strands. Hair never seems to get fully wet.

    Cottony hair texture will have a low sheen, a high shine if the hair is held taunt and has high frizz. Absorbs water quickly but does not get thoroughly wet very fast.

    Spongy hair has a high sheen with low shine with a compacted looking frizz. Absorbs water before it gets thoroughly wet.

    Silky hair has low sheen, a very high shine, with a lot or low frizz. Easily wets in water.



    If I were to talk about 3c hair of African descent I would feel that the *biggest* difference lies in texture.


    I am not sure what my hair type is (will post pictures soon so you guys can see). I am not the corkscrew of the textbook 3c but is not tight and has a lot more movement than a 4a (looks like almost like CDG’s hair but my roots are flatter). I have a s wave pattern, thin strands, cottony hair that does not get wet fast but as long as I do DT and make sure I have a good leave-in, I do not get frizzy hair.

    So I guess that would make me a SThinCottony with pencil size dense curls. :D

    Edited to separate web info (in quotes) from my opinions
    We're all born mad. Some remain so.

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  • alguma pessoaalguma pessoa Posts: 619Registered Users
    Other Hair Typing Systems

    Although we will no longer use Andre Walker's hair type system as explained in his book "Andre Talks Hair," many of you are familiar with it and may wish to continue using it. Generally speaking, Andre's system could stand a few additional letters in the alphabet, but we feel that his intent was to give a general indication of hair types and not a definitive answer to all hair. Many of you will fall in between Andre's descriptions which we hope you will keep in mind as you develop a hair care regimen that works best for you.

    I agree with this quote. I also think there is more to type 3 and 4 hair than Andre writes but I assume for simplicity he did not include everything. It is more about understanding your hair and finding what works for you. Because my hair is fine I cannot use many of the products that other 3cs and higher use on their hair. And because of the type of curl and texture I have I cannot use the techniques that many of the looser curlies have. I try to stay as simple as possible and do what works for my hair and so far it has been working and I really do not have a need to post or read posts anymore.
    We're all born mad. Some remain so.

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  • love yourself firstlove yourself first Posts: 5,398Registered Users
    I don't have anything of real value to add to this thread, except that I am Caucasian/Asian and have no African blood in me at all, and I am a 3b/c. So this whole race/ethnicity thing is kind of confusing. (And off-topic, but make sure you know the difference between race, nationality, and heritage).

    Welcome Sapphire :D I wouldn't read too much in to it.. As Amneris posted, based on the descriptions of a great many self-identified 3B/C and 3C curlies, they are mixed with some african ancestry. This includes me. You are mixed, without any african ancestry but still have hair that you describe as 3 B/C - that is totally cool, especially if you learn to care for it, which you seem more than motivated to do! :D Rainy day is not mixed but white and has partially 4A hair that she calls 3C. And Banjo curl is a jewish 3B/C, with no apparent mixed heritage, and some lovely curls. So obviously there are no clear and fast rules.

    The hair classifications are just short hand. I go most by what others are saying in their posts, how techiques and products perform for them and me, and pictures. That is how I decide whose input and advice to follow, and whether I feel comfortable giving someone else input and advice. The point here is to be helpful and supportive, while other are helping and supporting you in all matters curly .... In addition, it's a nice little cyber community with some very interesting women, girls and men/boys too!
    "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
    "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
    - Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

    (taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
  • amarilla505amarilla505 Posts: 164Registered Users
    i feel you guys on the confusion with some things in the hair typing system but i guess i feel the 3c is clearly stated in terms of curl diameter but not texture because texture is a separate entity. so i totally agree with you girls who separate texture from type.

    Type 3C, is hair with tight curls in corkscrews. The curls can be either kinky, or very tightly curled, with lots and lots of strands densely packed together. Some people refer to this as "big hair." Getting this type of hair to blowdry straight is more challenging than for 3A or 3B, but it usually can be done. This includes those with very tight curls but finer hair, as well as coarser hair. 3C has really really tight curls, like pencil or straw circumference. 3B is like sidewalk chalk or salt shaker circumference, and 4A is like coffee stirrer circumference.

    i feel like i can truly say i'm a 3c because my hair fits what the description says exactly to the T. i have a true corkscrew that is pencil and straw width and it's a corkscrew from root to end. also, my hair is big, i wonder it if it will fall eventually.

    the main problem i see with the hair typing system is that it leaves out a whole bunch of hair types from S curls, hair with small diameter waves and those in between with a mixture of everything you can think of. i guess i lucked out because my hair was able to be easily typed.

    i honestly think that the texture issue is what drives us all to having the same hair type but yet different products work for us.

    by the way, i haven't read everything yet cuz this is a long topic so hopefully i haven't repeated too much stuff :D
    Truly Aesthetic...mind, body and spirit ;)
  • Curly Dutch GirlCurly Dutch Girl Posts: 14Registered Users
    @amarilla505: Wow! Your hair looks so cool! You seem to be a 'true 3c' when it comes to corkscrews! :D
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Hairtype: A whole lotta tight 3c
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  • amarilla505amarilla505 Posts: 164Registered Users
    hey curly dutch girl! thanks so much :) i love your hair, it's so thick and lovely and you are very pretty as well! i must say your first bed hair photo is hot! i love they way messy hair looks, that's one thing i kind of miss when i was relaxed. i used to have my hair tossed every which way, i did not care and just let the wind take care of it but for some odd reason people loved it.
    Truly Aesthetic...mind, body and spirit ;)
  • werenumber2werenumber2 Posts: 260Registered Users
    My impression of 3C is the same as the description laid out by amarilla. I think the way Gloria Reuben's hair appears in this picture is a prime example of what 3C hair is to me:

    gloria.r5.jpg

    The curls are very small and densely packed, yet the hair "hangs" and is obviously growing down, as opposed to 4A hair which usually does not hang and will grow out and away.

    It's interesting that 3B/3C (or 2C/3A, 3A/3B, 4B/4A - any combo for that matter) does not mean the same for everyone. Some use it to describe hair that is 3B in some spots and 3C in others. For me, it means that my hair is at the mid-point between 3B and 3C. Tighter than 3B, looser than 3C. 3B and a half, if you will. :wink: When I first came on this site and saw the Juliana Marguiles example for 3B and the Gloria Reuben example for 3C, I pictured the 2 of them joining forces to make my hair.
    comic-p.jpg

    3b/c fine corkscrews and spirals. Naked hair above.


    Wash: Elucence Moisture Balancing Shampoo
    Condish: Shescentit Avocado/Honey Rinse
    Moisture DT: Silk Dreams Vanilla Silk, Crece Pelo
    Protein DT: Shescentit Okra Hair Repair Reconstructor
    Leave-Ins: Shescentit Coco Creme, Darcy's Botanicals Sweet Cocoa Bean, Aubrey Organics Primrose Spray
    Stylers: Aubrey Organics B-5, Shea Moisture Curly Souffle


    Subject to change!
  • love yourself firstlove yourself first Posts: 5,398Registered Users
    Werenumber 2-

    My hair is a blend too.... I would love to see more recent hair pictures to see if we could be curl twins :D

    And I've never liked that picture of Gloria Reuben because it doesn't show her curls too well... I don't see much curl definition in that picture which is NOT how I think of 3C. Well-formed curls make me think of 3C--Shyygirl is a great example with her perfect looking corkscrews. Gloria's hair in that picture looks kind of picked out to me.
    "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
    "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision."
    - Eleanor Roosevelt (both quotes)

    (taking a break from posting starting late august 2009)
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