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T's Hair Journey

T's Hair Journey
Loving her hair for the first time!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How to classify your wavy hair

Here is some information that helps those who want to classify their hair according to hair curl type. Please note that I am more of a fan of classifying by hair properties (like texture, porosity, elasticity) but many internet places use one of the following systems:

NatuallyCurly.com hair type classification system:

If you look on this website it classifies wavy hair as ALL 2. The difference is in texture ONLY. So here is how it would go:

2A is wavy hair that is fine
2B is wavy hair that is medium
2C is wavy hair that is coarse

There is no progression of the "curls" in a wavy classification if you use the one on naturallycurly.com---so you would only be a 2C is your hair was wavy and coarse. Anyone with wavy/fine hair is automatically classed as a 2A (not a 2C). The amount and level of curls vary but until you hit the 3 category there is no system whereby looser/tighter/spirally matters in your curl pattern.

In contrast to this there is a FIA system as below:
Fia's Hairtyping System


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)

What (most of) your individual strands look like

F - FineThin 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 itfeels like an ultra-fine strand of silk

M - MediumStrands 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.

Your overall volume of hair

Put your hair in a ponytail with as much hair as possible in it. Don't bother with the way it looks - the goal is to have most/all of your hair in there. If it means it sits smack dab on top of your head, put it there.

Measure the circumference of the ponytail. If you have bangs and/or you can't get all of your hair in there adjust according to how much of your hair you have measured.

To measure the circumference - take a piece of string, or a soft tape measure (the kind used by dressmakers). Wrap the string or tape measure around your ponytail - just below the elastic you have in to hold the ponytail together. Read the corresponding number from the tape measure, or hold the string at the length you've measured and use a ruler to determine how much it is. The number given is the circumference of your ponytail.

i - thin (less than 2 inches/5 centimeters)
ii - normal (between 2-4 inches or 5-10 centimeters)
iii - thick (more than 4 inches/10 centimeters)

(Taken from the following website --

So if I use Naturallycurly.com classification I am a 2A/3A.

If I use FIA I am a 2c/3aFi

Hopefully this is helpful!


  1. the blog is very content full ..i like it

  2. Hi,
    Great info. I like all your post. I will keep visiting this blog very often. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and your clarity on this important subject can be easily observed.
    Curly Hair

  3. My roommate likes medium wavy hair and every weekend ask me to do curls for her. Though she has purchased couple of best curling irons but still I wonder if they do any damage to her hair as she does it almost every week as her boyfriend likes it.