curly girl method products uk curl types

Curly Girl Method Products UK – Understanding Curl Types

One of the most crucial aspects to consider when starting the curly girl method is what hair type you have. Now I don’t mean whether it’s dry, oily or coloured. I’m talking about your curl type. It’s important to work out what curl type you have so you know which curly girl method products will work best in your curly girl routine. In this post, I’m going to look at curly hair types and how you can work out what yours is.

This post contains some affiliate links to products that will help you with your particular curl type.

It’s vital to find out which curl type you have. I don’t think I even looked into this properly until a good few months into my curly girl journey.

Curly hair needs a lot more figuring out than you might realise. Your hair is so unique that it can take time to really work out where it fits in on the curl spectrum, and which products will work best.

The other thing to consider is that your hair will completely transform during the method. I started out with limp, wavy hair in the beginning, but now it’s much much curlier! Remember that you’ll see a change in the shape of your curls, so you may need to adapt your products to suit that.

What are the different curl types?

Curly hair types are broken down into three categories in the curly girl method. If you’ve been swimming around in the curly girl world for a little while, you might have seen these terms thrown about. Don’t worry, I’m going to keep it all as simple as possible! The curly girl method can seem overwhelming at first; there’s a lot of information to digest.

Curly hair is categorised in the following ways: wavy curls, curly curls and kinky/coily curls. You may see these names differ slightly from source to source, but this is how I understand them best.

Wavy curls are often coded as type 2, curly curls as type 3 and kinky curls as type 4.

I don’t know where type 1 is, or why there isn’t one, but there you go. My best guess is that type 1 hair is actually straight hair!

Within each curl category, you then have three sub-types. This sounds like a lot of detail but it does actually help you to figure out which specific type of curl pattern you have. These sub-types are usually coded a, b and c.

Wavy curls – types 2a, 2b and 2c

If you have wavy curls, you’ll find your hair has a looser, more fluid curl pattern. Wavy curls tend to be found in those with fine hair, which means they need delicate treatment! Avoid using products that can weigh them down, because wavy curls need to bounce.

Type 2a is the loosest wave, 2b is more of a gentle wave, which can be a bit more prone to frizz and type 2c are defined waves that have more of a ringlet whirl about them.

Curly curls – types 3a, 3b and 3c

Curly curls are often described as being type 3 curls. These curl types are more of a classic pattern and have a bit more definition than the wavy ones. These range from loose, classic ringlet curls to spirals and corkscrew curls. If you’ve got type 3 curls then your hair can probably handle some of the slightly heavier products such as creams and oils, but remember to do some trial and error!

Kinky curls – types 4a, 4b and 4c

If you have kinky curls, your curl type will either be 4a, 4 b or 4c. These kinky, coily, naturally bouncy curls are often tight and can be angled too. These curl types are often able to handle whatever you want to throw at them! They need a lot more moisture because they can be prone to dryness and frizziness.

Still unsure about your curl type?

I don’t blame you. It is difficult without visuals, so I’ve tried to put the types into an infographic. Hopefully, it’ll help you figure out which curl type your curly hair is most like.

What curly girl method products will work best with my hair’s curl type?

Now you’ve got more of an idea about the type of curls you have, you might want to look at your products. As I’ve said before, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to the curly girl method. Here in the UK in particular, it can be really hard to know where to get started! I’d suggest checking out some of these products for each curl type.

Curly girl method products for wavy hair (type 2)

My hair definitely falls into the latter end of wavy, somewhere between 2c and 3a. If you have wavy curls, you’re going to need lighter products than perhaps someone with type 3 or 4 curls. That’s because waves tend to be finer and get weighed down much easier. Here are some lightweight products that may suit type 2 wavy curls best.

Curly girl method products for curly hair (type 3)

If you think your curls are more in the classic curly curl type, then you can afford to try out different textures as your hair can handle a bit of weight. You may still find that build-up becomes an issue though.

So, don’t forget to keep an eye on your curl pattern and check when a product isn’t really working for you. Here are some products that may suit type 3 curly curls best.

Curly girl method products for kinky hair (type 4)

If your curl type is more along the type 4 side of things then you’re able to use a wide range of products. However, you may need to invest in some specialised products that can tame frizz and bring back some much-needed moisture and definition.

Type 4 curls can be more prone to dryness and frizziness, so these curls often need oils and creams to help seal in moisture. Here are some products that may suit type 4 kinky curls best.

Things to remember about curl types and products

Remember that not all hair responds in the same way to products. My own curl type wouldn’t be able to cope under some of the products suggested for type 4c curls, for example.

Trial and error really is a huge part of the curly girl method journey, so don’t be disheartened if something doesn’t work for you. You’ll soon start to learn more about your hair’s needs as you try out new processes.

That’s why it’s key to work out your own curl type before you go off spending money on different products. Make sure you do a bit of testing before investing!

If you’ve got any questions about getting started with the curly girl method then please drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to help out. You might also enjoy some of my curly girl method guides over on Pinterest, and please do share this post if you think it’s been useful.

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6 thoughts on “Curly Girl Method Products UK – Understanding Curl Types”

  1. I think i have 3a hair but it looks thick but is actually fine and low porosity. Also not sure if it could be protein sensative. I’ve tried lots if conditioners but they don’t seem to be working well and now have lots if hair fall. Currently using garnier banana mask conditioner. Any advice on good conditioners?

    1. Hey there 🙂 Sounds like your hair is pretty similar to mine! I like the Garnier banana mask conditioner as well but it’s a difficult balance when you have fine hair as too much can make it feel very weighed down. With that said it is a good one so try using it more sparingly and make sure you’re squishing it in when you wash. Other good ones are from the As I Am range but again these can be quite rich and if you’re sensitive to coconut you’ll need to use them sparingly as well. There are some higher-end products that’ll work well on fine curls such as Boucleme conditioners etc but they are a bit on the pricey side, so it totally depends on how much you’re willing to spend! I find that using a smaller amount of a rich-feeling conditioner and then styling with gel/mousse makes a big difference on my fine hair. Just try to avoid anything with silicones as they do weigh things down further!

  2. Hi

    I think I’m a 2b… I’m just lost on product choice.. I leave my hair to dry naturally, it’s definitely got some curl in there, underneath there seems to be more and then it gets frizzier towards the top #hermionegranger hair.. it’s soft, it looks like I’ve been out in the humidity for a while lol, like the curls need to be defined but I don’t know how or what with? I also tested a strand in water and it floated but I don’t know what that means?

    1. Hey there!

      I’d probably suggest using a gel on your hair when wet to try and tame some of the frizz and lock in the curl. Nothing too heavyweight though! I’d start co-washing to get some of the hydration back into your hair and then lock it in with a gel cast once you’ve finished. Gently squeeze dry and ‘plop’ with a t-shirt and then re-apply some gel and you should see a bit of an improvement! Let me know how you get on 🙂

  3. Hi,
    So I’m new to this Curly Girl Method. I have fine hair that gets greasy so super quick it’s ridiculous. I’ve been noticing more that I have curls around my face and then the rest of my hair has like a wave to it. Like 2a. My only problem is I have no idea what products would be best for it. I would love some help and advice!
    Thank you,
    Katie Dobbins

    1. Hey Katie!
      Thanks for your comment – I totally have the same issues with my hair, it’s definitely on the finer side and I have greasy roots more often than I’d like! My advice would be to start with super lightweight products and just use a simple co-wash and a mousse/gel, to begin with. Try something that’s not got coconut in it to start off with – I found that my fine curls didn’t like coconut at all after the first few washes, so have a look for some of the curly girl products for fine hair on Noughty, or some of the Superdrug/Alberto basics that are more along the raspberry line than the coconut ones. Start simple and then once you get a feel for what works, you can try different things. I won’t lie to you, you’ll come to a point where you just think it feels like a greasy mess, but if you persevere through that bit you’ll definitely start to see results! Let me know how you get on xx

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