CurlTalk

What does 4a hair REALLY look like?

I have been seeing all of these women on this site in general that type themselves 4a. Please post pictures of real 4a hair. I am starting to get confused. One moment 4a hair is silky and curly, then the next moment it is frizzy and puffy. How about 4b as well? I know that hair can come in various TYPES on one head, but I need a general idea of what it looks like in theory at least.
Thanks.


Thanks!
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Comments

  • mslanee1mslanee1 Posts: 439Registered Users
    I can understand your confusion. Its not 100% clear to me either. I would just say that you have to take into consideration length, health, and product usage. Someone who;s hair is shoulder length curly who has healthy hair and applies [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Kinky-Curly-Curling-Custard-p-778.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=kinkycurly-curling-custard]KCCC[/buylink] might not look like someone who has 5 inches of hair that is freshly BCed and uses lighter gels. Both can be 4a but it just looks different.

    Just a little commentary but I know it does not answer your question. I would say SBB is def a 4a, and Webjockey is a 4a/4b, Missmonie is def 4a.
    HTH
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  • roccmycurlsroccmycurls Posts: 85Registered Users
    Your guess is as good as mine. I was wondering the same thing. I thought I was a 3c, now I guess I'm a 4a.

    My guess is it doesn't matter much. I flip-flop between both forums. A lot of advice works of most of our hair.
    the hair revolution continues... 9 yrs. & counting....:blob7:

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  • missmoniemissmonie Posts: 920Registered Users
    4a can be silky/curly and frizzy/poofy. it depends on what the person has in their hair. it's all about the size of the curl pattern...not whether it is fine or coarse.
    4a: Combo of tight coils and waves; Last relaxer - 11/05 (LC - 4/07) - /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Fmissmonie%2F" class="Popup - updates as of Mar '09

    Products: Trader Joe's condish * Giovanni Direct Leave in * Fantasia Gel or KCCC for curl definition * Karen's Body Beautiful Hair Cream as moisturizer

    comic-p.jpg
  • jamaica81jamaica81 Posts: 115Registered Users
    great question because i'm starting to get confused. should you determine your hair type when its wet or dry?
  • KitathenaKitathena Posts: 1,666Registered Users
    I have been confused from the get-go. The only thing I know for certain is that I have a looser texture (3c?) on the crown and then rest is 4a/4b (maybe?).

    I can't think about it or I'll get a headache!
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  • svetikisvetiki Posts: 85Registered Users
    I know how you feel. My hair is very loose and wavy around my bang area, then it turns to loopy spirals near the ends kinda like 3c/4a but the rest of my head is very tight like 4b. I just take any advice from the 3c to 4b hair section.
    3c/4a in the front, 4b in the back, with a few sprinkles of 3c in random spots.
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  • spiral-ncspiral-nc Posts: 716Registered Users
    missmonie wrote: »
    4a can be silky/curly and frizzy/poofy. it depends on what the person has in their hair. it's all about the size of the curl pattern...not whether it is fine or coarse.

    I tend to agree. It is confusing because there are many different kinds of 4as, I think. Five out of the eight people in my family have what I consider 4a hair, including myself, and we all have different textures. On some, their hair grows out and up, some out and down, with different amounts of clumping. Some have silkier coils, some more cottony - But all around the same coil size.

    It's hard to use 4a alone as a label, because there is so much variation within just that one category. For example, my dad and I have roughly the same coil size ( I have a few bigger ones), but my hair clumps and his doesn't and so our hair looks and behaves totally different. And of course styling can change the look somewhat too.
    spirals, kinks, s-shapes and coils.

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  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Posts: 15,402Registered Users
    One moment 4a hair is silky and curly, then the next moment it is frizzy and puffy.

    This describes my hair perfectly!
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    Hear that crash? It's me falling off the CG wagon.
  • missgabriellemissgabrielle Posts: 23Registered Users
    agreed! i just took a guess at being 4a because the description fit my hair the most. yet how would one know if their hair has lost its texture from when they were a child?
  • MissKinkyCoilyMissKinkyCoily Posts: 827Registered Users
    jamaica81 wrote: »
    great question because i'm starting to get confused. should you determine your hair type when its wet or dry?

    From what I understand, your hair type is determined by how it looks while dry without any product in it.
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  • shycurlshycurl Posts: 197Registered Users
    Hi there,

    I based hair type on the info on the hair-types page here. I clipped some type 4 info:


    There are two subtypes of Type 4 hair: Type 4A, tightly coiled hair that, when stretched, has an "S" pattern; and Type 4B, which has a "Z" pattern, less of a defined curl pattern (instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter "Z"). Type 4A tends to have more moisture than Type 4B, which will have a wiry texture. But what if your hair has been chemically straightened? How can you tell which subtype you belong to if your hair is relaxed? You'll need at least one inch of new growth to tell. Pull at the roots. If you can see a definite curl pattern, then it's an A, if not, then it's a B.

    Addendum:
    NaturallyCurly.com type 4 readers have found the above description limiting, and somewhat misleading.* We offer the following addendum:

    Type 4 hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/coarse strand texture.* Generally, this hair is densely packed to give the appearance of very thick but fragile hair.* 4a hair has a clearly visible curl and wave pattern that ranges from pen size curls to pen spring size coils.* 4b hair has a tighter wave pattern and kinks of various size.* This texture does not exhibit the shine or silkiness of looser type curls, but instead has sheen, and a soft, almost cotton-like feel. As with other types of curly hair, showing the true length can be an extra challenge, as the hair may grow “up” or “out” before starting to hang down. In its unlocked/unbraided state, type 4 hair is known to shrink up to 75% of the actual hair length.**With the proper care and technique, type 4 hair is indeed resilient, manageable, durable, growable and easy to control.*

    You can read more and see photos here:http://www.naturallycurly.com/hair-types

    Hope that helps a little.
    :)

  • shndlynshndlyn Posts: 103Registered Users
    4a identifier fits the majority of my hair (no product wet/dry). I do have 4b patches of hair around the temples. My hair has a definite coil, spiral pattern. It is med-coarse hair, no silkness but very soft. One thing I have noticed is that although it is thick, the density is different in various areas. I could never section my hair in 4-6 sections and do anything with it...it would have to be 10-12 sections to properly detangle/distribute product. The majority of naturals that I know personally have multiple hair types on their head. However I think if there is a type that dominates then that would be the one to follow when looking for advice on products and style.



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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    shycurl wrote: »
    Hi there,

    I based hair type on the info on the hair-types page here. I clipped some type 4 info:

    There are two subtypes of Type 4 hair: Type 4A, tightly coiled hair that, when stretched, has an "S" pattern; and Type 4B, which has a "Z" pattern, less of a defined curl pattern (instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter "Z"). Type 4A tends to have more moisture than Type 4B, which will have a wiry texture. But what if your hair has been chemically straightened? How can you tell which subtype you belong to if your hair is relaxed? You'll need at least one inch of new growth to tell. Pull at the roots. If you can see a definite curl pattern, then it's an A, if not, then it's a B.

    Addendum:
    NaturallyCurly.com type 4 readers have found the above description limiting, and somewhat misleading.* We offer the following addendum:

    Type 4 hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/coarse strand texture.* Generally, this hair is densely packed to give the appearance of very thick but fragile hair.* 4a hair has a clearly visible curl and wave pattern that ranges from pen size curls to pen spring size coils.* 4b hair has a tighter wave pattern and kinks of various size.* This texture does not exhibit the shine or silkiness of looser type curls, but instead has sheen, and a soft, almost cotton-like feel. As with other types of curly hair, showing the true length can be an extra challenge, as the hair may grow “up” or “out” before starting to hang down. In its unlocked/unbraided state, type 4 hair is known to shrink up to 75% of the actual hair length.**With the proper care and technique, type 4 hair is indeed resilient, manageable, durable, growable and easy to control.*

    You can read more and see photos here:http://www.naturallycurly.com/hair-types

    Hope that helps a little. :)


    Okay here we go. Spiral-NC said that she has 4 series hair. I don't agree with that. It looks so 3 series. Then you have got tighter spiral coils and that is 4 series too. What's going on here?
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    I have both 4a (crown, back) and 3c (front, sides) in my head...with a majority 4a IMO. I think it was SBB that said (a while ago) as her hair grows it stretches and looks more 3c...the same goes for me. My hair is cottony and silky...if that is even possible, lol. I think its my fine strands that allow me to manipulate my hair into 3c or 4a curls, depending on my mood. 4a is definitely home to me though :)

    Missmonie said it best, "4a can be silky/curly and frizzy/poofy. it depends on what the person has in their hair. it's all about the size of the curl pattern...not whether it is fine or coarse."


    ETA:

    Also, I think its pretty sweet that the 4a board is so popular! Its cool to be a 4a!!!!
  • jeamariajeamaria Posts: 1,851Registered Users
    osocristie wrote: »
    Okay here we go. Spiral-NC said that she has 4 series hair. I don't agree with that. It looks so 3 series. Then you have got tighter spiral coils and that is 4 series too. What's going on here?

    A couple things ;)

    1) 4a is a range, so it encompasses everything from penspring sized curls where 4b begins, to pencil sized curls where 3c begins. As there is no one fixed 4a size there will be looser and tighter curls within the 4a range.

    2)Again texture comes into play again. Smoother, more clumping hair is visually associated by a lot of people with 3 and under hair. So is hair that grows down instead of out. So when these happen on a tighter curl, sometimes it's mistaken for a looser curl. But 4a is strictly curl size, not curl shape nor texture or amount of 'hang', though there are certainly some textures and curl shapes and other characteristics that are more common in every curl category.

    ETA: Also product is crucial as missmonie mentioned; there is a thread somewhere in this or the 3c section where using different products to no product at all, a poster showed her hair as 4b, 4a, 3c and 3b.
  • SexyCapSexyCap Posts: 52Registered Users
    Does conditioner count as 'product' for the purpose of hair typing? I just co wash and then leave some conditioner in.
    "D"
  • missmoniemissmonie Posts: 920Registered Users
    osocristie wrote: »
    I have been seeing all of these women on this site in general that type themselves 4a. Please post pictures of real 4a hair. I am starting to get confused. One moment 4a hair is silky and curly, then the next moment it is frizzy and puffy. How about 4b as well? I know that hair can come in various TYPES on one head, but I need a general idea of what it looks like in theory at least.
    Thanks.


    Thanks!

    I'm just curious...why do you need to know what "real 4a" hair is? Once you know...how will you use that information?
    4a: Combo of tight coils and waves; Last relaxer - 11/05 (LC - 4/07) - /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Fmissmonie%2F" class="Popup - updates as of Mar '09

    Products: Trader Joe's condish * Giovanni Direct Leave in * Fantasia Gel or KCCC for curl definition * Karen's Body Beautiful Hair Cream as moisturizer

    comic-p.jpg
  • ShonesShones Posts: 244Registered Users
    Here's my fave picture-posting of curl patterns:

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.blackhairmedia.com%2Fforum_posts.asp%3FTID%3D112617" class="Popup

    HTH.

    IMHO, I'm starting to wonder if knowing my own curl pattern really matters for the sake of products, styling, etc. On a general level, I get it. But I find that I get even more out of finding women/men whose hair looks like mine and seeing what works for them. The number is just a starting point for me. Then there are all the other factors to take into account, like the environment -- someone in Arizona with my exact same hair type will use different prods than someone with my hair type in Florida.

    IDK...

    I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this. :)
    Natural since '97 - 8 yrs loc'ed, free-form since then :)
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  • mslanee1mslanee1 Posts: 439Registered Users
    Shones wrote: »
    Here's my fave picture-posting of curl patterns:

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.blackhairmedia.com%2Fforum_posts.asp%3FTID%3D112617" class="Popup

    HTH.

    IMHO, I'm starting to wonder if knowing my own curl pattern really matters for the sake of products, styling, etc. On a general level, I get it. But I find that I get even more out of finding women/men whose hair looks like mine and seeing what works for them. The number is just a starting point for me. Then there are all the other factors to take into account, like the environment -- someone in Arizona with my exact same hair type will use different prods than someone with my hair type in Florida.

    IDK...

    I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this. :)


    Great link. I love looking at pics of hair.
    CURRENT PRODUCTS: Oyin Honey Hemp, Honey Wash, Burnt Sugar Pomade, Shine and Define, and Whipped Pudding. Also loving HH Hello Hydration and HENNA!



  • ShonesShones Posts: 244Registered Users
    Thanks! Ya know, I noticed when I looked at that link again that curl type can be quite ambiguous. Some of the stuff in the 3cs looks like 4 to me. And the 4bs and 4as look so similar in some cases. Oh well.
    mslanee1 wrote: »
    Shones wrote: »
    Here's my fave picture-posting of curl patterns:

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.blackhairmedia.com%2Fforum_posts.asp%3FTID%3D112617" class="Popup

    HTH.

    IMHO, I'm starting to wonder if knowing my own curl pattern really matters for the sake of products, styling, etc. On a general level, I get it. But I find that I get even more out of finding women/men whose hair looks like mine and seeing what works for them. The number is just a starting point for me. Then there are all the other factors to take into account, like the environment -- someone in Arizona with my exact same hair type will use different prods than someone with my hair type in Florida.

    IDK...

    I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this. :)


    Great link. I love looking at pics of hair.
    Natural since '97 - 8 yrs loc'ed, free-form since then :)
    Blog: /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fcurlysweetlife.blogspot.com" class="Popup
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    Fearfully and wonderfully made in His likeness and image
  • curlynikkicurlynikki Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    Shones wrote: »
    Thanks! Ya know, I noticed when I looked at that link again that curl type can be quite ambiguous. Some of the stuff in the 3cs looks like 4 to me. And the 4bs and 4as look so similar in some cases. Oh well.
    mslanee1 wrote: »
    Shones wrote: »
    Here's my fave picture-posting of curl patterns:

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.blackhairmedia.com%2Fforum_posts.asp%3FTID%3D112617" class="Popup

    HTH.

    IMHO, I'm starting to wonder if knowing my own curl pattern really matters for the sake of products, styling, etc. On a general level, I get it. But I find that I get even more out of finding women/men whose hair looks like mine and seeing what works for them. The number is just a starting point for me. Then there are all the other factors to take into account, like the environment -- someone in Arizona with my exact same hair type will use different prods than someone with my hair type in Florida.

    IDK...

    I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this. :)


    Great link. I love looking at pics of hair.

    I was just thinking the same thing...
  • jeamariajeamaria Posts: 1,851Registered Users
    SexyCap wrote: »
    Does conditioner count as 'product' for the purpose of hair typing? I just co wash and then leave some conditioner in.
    "D"

    It does. Look at the effect of conditioner left in on the girl from www.biracialhair.org.
  • michikobmichikob Posts: 118Registered Users
    I find all hair confusing lol!! I think the only hair type I can really tell is 4b...but then again...4b has different textures too!
    jeeeezzz =[
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    ^That was when I didn't have a relaxer for about a year and some months.
    current relaxer
    Natural: 4b
    =D
  • KitathenaKitathena Posts: 1,666Registered Users
    I liked looking at all of those pictures, but they just confused me more.
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  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    missmonie wrote: »
    osocristie wrote: »
    I have been seeing all of these women on this site in general that type themselves 4a. Please post pictures of real 4a hair. I am starting to get confused. One moment 4a hair is silky and curly, then the next moment it is frizzy and puffy. How about 4b as well? I know that hair can come in various TYPES on one head, but I need a general idea of what it looks like in theory at least.
    Thanks.


    Thanks!

    I'm just curious...why do you need to know what "real 4a" hair is? Once you know...how will you use that information?


    I am just confused because I am not sure if the actual definition of 4a, b, etc is the curl size or the texture, or what. Another poster did shed some light on this. I was confused because I believe some of the posters on here classify themselves 4 this or that and their hair looks totally different (in size and texture). I am not going to do any scientific research on this topic or anything, I just needed clarity, that's all:).
  • jamaica81jamaica81 Posts: 115Registered Users
    Shones wrote: »
    Thanks! Ya know, I noticed when I looked at that link again that curl type can be quite ambiguous. Some of the stuff in the 3cs looks like 4 to me. And the 4bs and 4as look so similar in some cases. Oh well.
    mslanee1 wrote: »
    Shones wrote: »
    Here's my fave picture-posting of curl patterns:

    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.blackhairmedia.com%2Fforum_posts.asp%3FTID%3D112617" class="Popup

    HTH.

    IMHO, I'm starting to wonder if knowing my own curl pattern really matters for the sake of products, styling, etc. On a general level, I get it. But I find that I get even more out of finding women/men whose hair looks like mine and seeing what works for them. The number is just a starting point for me. Then there are all the other factors to take into account, like the environment -- someone in Arizona with my exact same hair type will use different prods than someone with my hair type in Florida.

    IDK...

    I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this. :)


    Great link. I love looking at pics of hair.

    thanks shones. but i'm still confused. it looks like i have 3b (on the top and back) and then 4a/b for the rest. but i also agree with you. its really about finding the products that works best for you no matter your "hair type"
  • SuburbanbushbabeSuburbanbushbabe Posts: 15,402Registered Users
    I am just confused because I am not sure if the actual definition of 4a, b, etc is the curl size or the texture, or what. Another poster did shed some light on this. I was confused because I believe some of the posters on here classify themselves 4 this or that and their hair looks totally different (in size and texture). I am not going to do any scientific research on this topic or anything, I just needed clarity, that's all:icon_smile:.

    We are self-defining our hair. No one is holding the curly ruler out and designating our hair type. And where there is self-defining there will always be someone who disagrees with what you are, and wants you to be something else so they can fit into a space they find more comfortable.
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    Hear that crash? It's me falling off the CG wagon.
  • arkanfinearkanfine Posts: 209Registered Users
    I guess I am not understanding why finding "hair type" is so important. Can someone please tell me how this helps us at all? I know when I was transitioning it helped me to find pictures of people with hair closer to mine for motivation, but now that I have BC'd, l I don't see the need.

    I just view this as another way to separate us.
    And where there is self-defining there will always be someone who disagrees with what you are, and wants you to be something else so they can fit into a space they find more comfortable.
    WOW!

    I am not sure people assume hair textures based on the fact that they are insecure about their hair as much as maybe in their eyes their hair looks nothing like the pictures they have seen. Or maybe they are encompassing hair texture, curl definition and silkiness as part of their idea of hair type.

    The only thing that makes me uncomfortable is determining hair texture based on my own and not what is defined. And to be honest, EVERY site has a different definition.

    Ladies, you are all beautiful. I have not found one woman on NC that I didn't think was just absolutely drop dead gorgeous.
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  • HipsterSoulHipsterSoul Posts: 1,017Registered Users
    ^^^^^^I agree with the above poster. I know that my hair is kinky but knowing my exact hairtype has not helped at all in determining what products to use.

    Everyone keeps asking about their hairtype yet no one seems to know.all I see is guessing. It doesn't exist.
  • arkanfinearkanfine Posts: 209Registered Users
    Maybe it is our (we as women) natural desire to compete with each other. I tell people all the time that women do not dress for men, they dress for other women. Maybe this hair typing thing part of it.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!:occasion9:
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