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Black Hair Types: 3 Black Male Hair types and How to tell the different hair types!

Have you ever wondered how many black male hair types there are out there? Just to be clear, we’re not talking about the number of hairstyles; there are so many of those already, and they keep changing with time. No, what I am talking about are the actual types of hair that grow on our heads.

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What are black male hair types?

There are three black male hair types: wavy, curly, and kinky. Knowing your hair type will help you choose hair care products that work best for you. Also, you’ll find that some hairstyles work better with certain hair types.

As you see, there are many different black male hair types.

I should point out other than the three types of hair texture African hair fall into, there’s an additional hair type. The one hair type is the straightest of the bunch. I will not focus much on the type 1 hair texture as it not the topic here. How can you tell the difference?

What is a hair type chart?

A hair texture chart breakdown the hair types according to their texture and coarseness. Hair types are commonly identified via hair texture, as their growth patterns can be easily determined from the hair strands. The human hair type varies between individuals and is usually different in one individual at various ages.

Hair type charts are conventionally used by hairdressers to identify a person’s hair type. The curly hair chart is used to classify hair types, based on the curl pattern or curliness of the hair strands. Whereas a black hair types chart focuses on not only the pattern but also the coarse texture of the hair.

Think of it like this, when you look at a curl pattern chart you can see that the texture of a hair strand has been broken down into four main categories. The different hair types categories can be further divided based on the hair texture, with each type category having a special name derived from its curly appearance. A black hair types chart is used to study the type of African-American hair strands.

Take a look at the hair types chart below. The hair texture chart below shows the different classes of hair textures. There are a lot of variations that can occur within each class with the exception of straight hair or type 1 hair.



Hair texture chart breakdown

As you can see from the hair type chart above, the different hair types are broken into four main categories. These four hair types are predominantly based on the diameter of the strands and their texture, which can be determined by the following characteristics:

  • Straight
  • Wavy
  • Curly
  • Kinky

Each of these has a variety of sub-types within them. The sub hair types: type 1 (Straight hair), 2a,2b,2c (Wavy hair), 3a,3b,3c (Curly hair), and 4a,4b (kinky hair).

As I mentioned, there are 4 types of human hair groups, however, black male hair types only fall into 3 of the 4 categories. Which are hair type 2 wavy hair, 3 curly hair, and 4 kinky hair… Men of African descent do not have straight hair type 1.

Some have questioned, can men of African descent really have type 2 hair? The arguing point is that type 2 hair is not curly enough. However, I disagree with their argument… I suspect they’re not taking mixed-race males into account. People who have parents of other races than black have a higher chance of developing loose wave hair.

Know your hair type

Black hair is pretty diverse, knowing which type is yours will do wonders for you in the long run. Understanding your hair will help you choose the right products and styles to make your hair look healthy! Here’s how to determine what kind of black mane you have… Here’s a list of benefits of knowing your hair type as a black man.

  • Determine what type of black hair you have
  • Helps you find the right products
  • Determines the best styles for your hair type
  • Your scalp and strands will thank you!
  • Understand your hair and how to take care of it

Sometimes you can tell what kind of hairstyle will look best just by looking at the natural texture, but this is not always the case. Some people with curly and kinky textures may want to wear styles that would not be ideal for their hair type.


In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about black male hair types. First, we’ll look at why it matters to know your hair type. Then, we’ll look at each of the three types in more detail to help you understand your hair type much better.

Keep reading!

My Personal different hair type Story!

As a kid, I was always curious about what type of hair texture I had. So, I asked my mom… and she told me that my hair is a mixture of all the black hair types.  That’s the answer she gave me 😅!!!


Well, this was very confusing for me because I never knew how to care for my own hair. My hair went through torture back in the day. Basically, my mom wasn’t sure either, so she gave me a mixed response… Hey, you’re not wrong if you don’t give a direct answer, right?!


By age 13 I decided to do my own research, I found out that this is something called ‘kinky-coily hair’ or mixed textured tresses with curls. My hair falls into both 3B and 3C categories, so 50% 3B, and 50% 3C. This means I wasn’t limited by one category but rather I have a head of beautiful coils within two categories of the curly family!


She’s probably reading this… “mum” you’re the best and you’re never wrong 😇. That’s an inside joke for my FaceBook “friend” across the pond 😉 lol! While I’d love to keep taking shots but… 🤔!

Let’s get back on track!


Why You Should Know Your Hair Type

You might be wondering, “Why should I care about which of the 3 black male hair types I have?”. You may not want to be so dismissive of the type of hair you have as you may suffer the consequences later. Your hair type has a direct impact on the health of your afro hair. Someone with a 4C hair type daily hair routine should be vastly different than someone with hair type 1.

Yes, you could still survive by using a regular shampoo that you get from your local store. But doing that will mean that your tight coiled hair doesn’t live up to its fullest potential.


Knowing your hair type will help you to:

  • Choose The Right Products: You see, hair products like shampoos and conditioners work differently for other people. That’s because they’re made for specific types of hair. Knowing your type makes it easy for you to buy the right kind of hair care products for your afro-grade hair!
  • Choose The Right Combs and Use Them Correctly: Besides that, combing also tends to be different with each type of hair. For example, using a regular comb to comb out kinky hair could be painful to you and damaging to your hair! Alert, if you have 4C hair avoid a small tooth comb as much as possible, instead, use hair pick or wide space tooth combs for daily grooming.
  • Choose Better Hairstyles: Lastly, knowing your hair type also makes it easier to choose the right kind of hairstyles that match the hair type you’re blessed with.

To put it simply, knowing your hair type will help you treat your hair better and make it easier for you to keep your locs healthy overall.

The key difference between hair types men have


How to Find Your Type If Your Hair Is Too Short?

Here’s the thing: it’s very easy to figure out what type of hair you have. All you need to do is take one strand and look at it closely under a light. That way, you’ll be able to see what kind of shape your hair takes as it grows out of your scalp.

But what happens if your hair is under one inch and too short to check?


Well, you’ll need to let it grow out a little. Or, at the very least, you’ll need to let a small section of it grow out just long enough for you to find out your hair type.

So, push your next haircut back by just a week or two; however long it takes for you to grow some of your hair out.


Remember: your hair type will never change, so you’ll only need to do this once. It’ll be worth it since you’ll know how to take better care of your hair once you find out what type it is!

Is there a difference between hair types men and women?

The difference between male and female hair isn’t in its chemical composition, but rather styling. Men’s hair is made up of the same proteins as women’s hair. Basically, you will not see or feel differences between hair types men and women.

The three Black Male Hair Types

Now, let’s take a closer look at the three black male hair types: wavy, curly, and kinky.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the three African male hair types: wavy, curly, and coil. In this section we will also discuss 3 different types of African male hair: 2a (loose waves), 2b (defined waves), 2c (wide waves); 3A (loose curls), 3B (tight curls), 3C(corkscrews); 4A (defined coils) 4B(Z Coils) 4C(Tight coils).

Wavy Hair


The easiest way to think about wavy hair is as being halfway between straight and curly hair. Because of that, it also offers you the ‘best of both worlds.

Wavy hair can be pretty shiny, almost like straight hair. At the same time, some types of wavy hair are much easier to style.

Type Two hair

Wavy Hair: Wavy black male hair is also known as type two, or more specifically as type 2A (loose waves), type 2B (defined waves), and type 2C (wide wave). The wavier the curl pattern on your head, the higher up on the spectrum you are with regards to this particular trait.

If you have loose curls all over your head that look like they were created by a diffuser attachment from a blow dryer then congratulations! You’re probably somewhere between types two and three in terms of the wave–meaning you have what some people would call “big” waves. The tighter your curls are without product, the further you move away you’ve removed type 2 wave hair.

As mentioned before, there will be many various combinations of these letters: A(straight), B(wavy), or C(curly); each letter representing how much curl variation they have from 0-100% respectively.

If you’re a black man with wavy hair, you’re in luck. You’ll be able to choose from many more options for hairstyles!

Curly Hair




If you look at curly hair up close, like under a bright light or with a magnifying glass, you’ll see that each strand of hair has an S or Z shape.

Because of the unique shape, curly hair can get damaged quite easily. Remember, your brushing or combing techniques can increase hair damage. If you’re too rough with the way your groom your curls could lead to unhealthy hair and damages.

Note, curly hair needs a lot more attention than other types of hair. So, black men with curly hair need to spend more time and effort keeping their hair healthy and looking good.

Type Three Hair

Curly type 3 hair medium amount of space of the curls. This may even mean that you have a combined texture. African hair texture that is in category 3 of Andre Walker’s hair typing system ranges from tight, curly ends to light curls.

Kinky Hair


Kinky hair is almost like curly hair but on a whole other level. But instead of curls, what you have is hair that grows in a spiral or corkscrew shape. Basically curls on steroids, the type 4 hair offers the most versatility in hairstyles. This is because the African 4 type is thicker and has less movement than the other types of hair.

With every superpower there are weaknesses… That unique shape makes it hard for the hair to keep its moisture, so it tends to get dry very quickly.

Type Four Hair

Note, Kinky coil hair is the most common form of afro-textured hair. The Andre Walker Hair Typing System classifies afro-textured hair as ‘type 4’. This hair type is the most susceptible to critical damage that could lead to hair loss. I’ll get into it a bit more in the Q&A section of the article.

So, if you do have kinky hair yourself, you’ll need to give it lots of moisture quite often to keep it growing healthy.

Black male hair type Q&A

What causes breakage in black male hair types?

Well, one thing that will cause a break in your afro-textured hair is dryness. In order to keep pesky strands from breaking off due to lack of water and hydration, it’s important for you to use moisturizing remedies like coconut oil on a regular basis.


That way there won’t be any dead ends hanging around! The other main cause of breakage is frequent manipulation. Black men won’t need to worry about sacrificing their haircut or hairstyle just because they’re prone to more damage than others. By following a good daily moisturize routine 4a hair men could keep their hair soft and reduce afro hair breakage.

As a bonus tip, consider implementing biotin in your daily hair routine to reduce breakage and excessive hair shedding. I wrote an article covering the benefits of biotin for black hair.

Does black hair types shed?

It is perfectly normal for your hair to shed every day. We lose around 100 – 150 strands of hair a day. That does not mean you’re going bald.

If you’ve been wearing a protective hairstyle, like twists or braids, you may see more of those strands than usual in the shower after washing your hair. I wrote an article “how to reduce tension in locs” That offers a wealth of information on the topic.


This is because they were being pulled up and away from the root follicles during wear. Don’t worry if you notice more on your wash days because that means it’s time to change up the style!

How do to identify different hair types from your own coarse hair?

If the stand thread is thinner than your hair (coarse hair), it’s considered fine hair type 1 or type 2; but if it appears thicker, it’s most likely coarse hair type 3 or type 4.

You may also determine the different hair types by how well it retains a style. Coarse-type hair texture does a better job of holding a style longer than fine hair type.

For example, coarse hairs are more resistant to humidity and different weather conditions. In contrast, fine hair is often weaker and typically can not hold curls very well. Fine hair is more likely to be frizzy in different weather conditions, plus it has little body and gets oily quickly.

Keep in mind, coarse hair strand pattern has a tight spiral-shaped while fine hair is almost perfectly straight or has very loose curls. This is another key indicator of how to tell the different hair types in men.

Should black hair types wet afro every day?

One way to keep your hair healthy is by wetting it every day. One important thing you should do when the hair is still wet, though, would be to put something on it to help protect from dryness. This could be a leave-in conditioner, Haitian black castor oil, or even as simple as coconut oil. All of these items could be found on Amazon.com.

I carry a small squirt bottle filled with water to routinely moisten my hair throughout the day. I find that this helps keep it from drying out and going frizzy as it gets in contact with the air.

Why is black hair so fragile?

Here’s why Afro-textured type hair is so fragile. With its tight curls and twists, it can be more prone to breakage for several reasons. The shape of the hair with a natural bend at each curl or twist causes internal stresses when unbent. Keep in mind that untwisted or stretched that lead to fracturing and other hair issues!

There are also other factors: note, your daily routine could help keep your hair from being damaged in these ways… Consider taking vitamins; add omega 3s and antioxidants to diet; try to avoid washing every day; wrap up your afro instead of air drying after bath time.

Final Thoughts

Black male hair types come in three main types: wavy, curly, and kinky. Knowing which type you have is very important for two reasons. Firstly, it makes it much easier for you to take good care of your hair, especially when buying the right hair care products.

Besides that, it also makes it much easier for you to make your hair look better. That’s because you’ll know which styles go well with your hair type.

Finding out your hair type is as easy as looking at it closely under a light. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits!

Follow me on IG KingZoe44


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