The 4 Main Hair types: What is Yours?

Four main hair types: straight, wavy, curly and afro.

These are the four main hair types: straight, wavy, curly and afro-textured/kinky. It is a very common misconception that hair type is determined by race, but it is not. Some white people have afro hair, some black people are born with straight hair, and not all biracial people have curly hair. Certain races may inherit a particular hair type very often, but there is no guarantee of this. If you intend to have children with a different race so your kids can have a certain hair type, you may be in for a surprise.

As I said, these are the four main groups and there are also sub groups within wavy, curly and afro-textured, depending on how wavy or tight your curls and kinks are. If you can’t decide which group you fall into, don’t fret. Product recommendations from people in the same hair group are useful, but there is no guarantee that the product will work just as well for you. Also remember that not everyone fits neatly into one hair type. You may find that your hair is slight curly, a bit wavy and mostly afro-textured. Or straight with waves here and there. Just love your hair as it is, and try and cater to all the types present. If that is too difficult, cater to the majority.




No hair type is easier than another. You just need to treat them differently. For example, imagine you had an eighteen-year-old son and a eighteen-month-old son. You don’t treat them the same way, e.g. the older one needs more independence and the younger one needs more attention. Just because you love them differently, it doesn’t mean that one is more difficult or ‘bad’.

No hair type is better, either. Hundreds of years ago during the slave era, anything associated with white/Europeans was ideal, so many black and biracial people ended up hating their features because of this. There is no excuse anymore. Straight hair is not ‘good’ while afro-textured/kinky/natural hair is ‘bad’. ‘Good hair’ is healthy hair- no constant split ends, breakage, excess dryness or moisture, no thinning beyond what is usual for you, and you are retaining length.




No hair type grows longer than others. If you care for your hair, it will meet your hair growth goals in time. As you can see by the picture above, straight hair falls straight down, which is why it appears to grow faster. However, this is just an illusion. If you stretch wavy, curly and afro-textured hair, their true length is revealed. Keep this illusion in mind when you see straight-haired friends whose hair seems to grow like a weed. Yours in growing at a slower, similar or faster pace, but the hair type hides it.

I have heard that your hair type changes every seven years, but don’t expect to jump from wavy to afro or curly to straight without chemical or heat intervention.