The original curl chart can be found in the curly bible “Curly Girl: a Handbook”, but the letter/number curl typing chart has become very popular over the past few years and is probably something you have seen or heard of before.

The chart is a general guide to help you understand some of the characteristics of your hair and make choices about what kind of products to use and how to best dry your hair. It’s not an exact science, but it is a helpful tool. has an easy to read chart which can be found here: Hair Types

  • Type 1: straight
  • Type 2: swavy or wavy
  • Type 3: curly, ringlets, or spirals
  • Type 4: super curly, kinky, coily or highly textured

The letters after the numer a, b, or c indicate the tightness, shape or texture of your curl within your curl type. Most people have at least 2 curls types, but some people can have 3 or even all 4.

The tighter the curl, the higher the spring factor. Some curl types will only shrink 1-2″ from wet to dry, while some curl types can shrink 10″ or more!

A fun test you can do at home is to pull a dry curl taut until it is straight and then release it without moving your hand. Measure the gap left between your fingers and the end of your curl and you’ll know how much your hair shrinks from wet to dry.