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3c and 4a – What Is Your Hair Type and How to Look After It

3 mins

Shelly Jones

Curly hair is not just curly hair anymore. They can be categorized as 3A, 3B, 3C, 4A, 4B, and 4C. Which hair type is yours, and how should you maintain it? Read on to find out.

There was a time when hair was described as straight, wavy, or curly, and your hair fell in one of these categories. Today, hair is divided into more specific categories. 

One of the best-known hair typing methods is the Andre Walker Hair Typing System, created in the 1990s. An alphanumeric combination denotes each type of hair in this system. The alphanumeric combinations 3c and 4a are two hair types. 

Both are pretty similar as they both are curly hair types. However, they have some unique differences that set them distinctively apart. Here's a look at 3c and 4c hair, their differences, and how to look after them. But first, let's understand Andre Walker's hair typing and what those numbers stand for.

Table of Contents:

  • Andre Walker's Hair Typing 
  • 3C Hair Type
  • Characteristics of 3C hair
  • The texture of 3C hair
  • Maintenance of 3C hair
  • 4A Hair Type
  • Characteristics of 4A hair
  • The texture of 4A hair
  • Maintenance of 4A hair

        Andre Walker's Hair Typing 

        A couple of hair typing systems are followed worldwide, and one of the most famous is the Andre Walker System. According to Andre Walker's system, there are four categories of hair. They are:

        a girl with curly hair

        Each category is further subdivided into three categories (A, B, and C), depending on their texture and appearance.

        3C Hair Type

        Let’s start with 3c hair type. Read on to find out everything you should know about this hair type.

        • Characteristics of 3C hair

        Type 3 hair is curly hair with a distinct 'S' shape. You can stretch a strand of type 3, which will still hold its 'S' pattern and bounce back to shape. The circumference of 3C hair curls is very much like that of a pencil or straw. 

        Type 3 hair's cuticle isn't as flat as Type 1 and Type 2 hair, making it look dull. A mane of 3C hair is made up of tight corkscrew curls, a lot of hair, and is very voluminous but tightly packed, giving it an incredible texture.

        • The texture of 3C hair

        3C hair boasts of lovely soft texture. But not all 3C hair is soft. The texture ranges from fine to medium coarse and is prone to breakage, frizz, and dryness. The curls lack definition, but the hair naturally has body and volume.

        • Maintenance of 3C hair

        3C hair does well with moisturizing products as it is prone to frizz and dryness. Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners can help define these curls fantastically. Those with 3C hair can also benefit from curl-defining products that give curls that extra hold they need.

        WOW Skin Science Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo provides gentle yet intense hydration for dry hair. The formula contains the goodness of Moroccan argan oil, vitamin B4, saw palmetto, and nettle leaf extracts. Together, these ingredients provide your hair with luxurious hydration and help build its protective layer, increase elasticity, and give your mane an intense shine. Follow up with WOW Skin Science Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner.

        Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Conditioner

        4A Hair Type

        After you’ve read about 3C hair, let’s hop to the 4A hair type.

        • Characteristics of 4A hair

        Type 4 hair also refers to curly hair. Just like Type 3 hair, it has an 'O' shape and maintains a 'Z' shape when extended. Where this hair type differs from type 3, hair is in the coil. 4A hair is more tightly coiled than its type 3 counterpart. 

        Type 4 hair is often called 'kinky' with a dense coil pattern that might not resemble a curl. The curls' circumference is much smaller than 3C and similar to the circumference of the thinnest coffee stirrer. Women of African descent and black women tend to have this type of hair.

        • The texture of 4A hair

        Each strand of 4A hair is more fragile and wirier than 3C hair, and hair is prone to dehydration and damage because of the texture. The hair shrinks significantly when it is dried. Although prone to breakage and dryness, you can sport a head of soft, shiny, well-defined, and bouncy curls with a bit of regular care.

        woman with African hair
        • Maintenance of 4A hair

        4A hair is coarse and rough, very dry, and needs plenty of moisture. The hair is very porous and drinks in any moisture it gets. 

        The hair loses moisture easily and quickly, so it requires excellent moisturizing curl products to keep curls adequately defined. Don't be afraid to use the heaviest moisturizing hair products and leave-in treatments on this type of hair.

        Those with 4A hair can benefit from the WOW Skin Science range of moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, as well as the WOW Skin Science Hair Revitalizer. The hair revitalizer is a leave-in hair treatment that tames fizz, intensely hydrates, boosts volume, and revives dry hair while visibly improving hair texture.

        Hair Revitalizer Spray

        Curly hair is not just curly hair anymore. According to Andre Walker's hair typing method, there are six different types of curly hair. While 3C and 4A hair types are very similar, some differences make their maintenance slightly different. While both hair types are prone to dryness, 4A hair is much drier and requires the most intense moisturizing treatment to keep it soft, hydrated, and well-defined. Click here for more information on WOW Skin Science hair products.

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        Shelly Jones

        Shelly is a beauty blogger and freelance lifestyle writer. She has been blogging for over ten years now, and her articles have appeared on major lifestyle websites. Readers from all across the world await and believe in her authentic product reviews.

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        Author: Shelly Jones

        Shelly Jones

        Shelly is a beauty blogger and freelance lifestyle writer. She has been blogging for over ten years now, and her articles have appeared on major lifestyle websites. Readers from all across the world await and believe in her authentic product reviews.
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