The Mestiza Muse

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Curly Hair Types for Men

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Image of 4 different with different curly hair types

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Men’s hair care was never a major concern in the past. That has evolved, and more men are now focused on proper products and routines. But figuring that out can be confusing, especially for curly guys. Understanding your hair requires knowing your curl type, even for men. 

Men’s curly hair types range from wavy to curly to coily in a standard system where they are labeled type 2, type 3, and type 4, respectively. These categories have subcategories ranging from A to C, providing clarity on texture, density, pattern, porosity, damage, etc.  

Hair types are one of my favorite topics to discuss since it gives so much insight into various hair care factors like selecting products, haircuts, routines, and styles. In this post, we will discuss all the different hair types for men so you can understand your natural curls better and find the best way to care for them. 

Guys’ Curly Hair Types 

Image of a curly hair chart.
Image Source: Real Men Real Style

The hair typing system for men is pretty much the same as the women’s hair types, adapted from the Andre Walker hair typing system. Hair is physiologically the same regardless of your gender. So, as long as you understand the crux of it and refer to the hair type chart, you will be on the right path to proper hair care for your type.

A quick description of the system will tell you that there are four hair types: 

  • Type 1 – Straight hair 
  • Type 2 – Wavy hair 
  • Type 3 – Curly hair 
  • Type 4 – Coily/Kinky hair 

Even if kept short, guys’ hair will fall under one or more of these categories. Straight hair types don’t require much and often look pretty naturally healthy. Let’s look closer at the more nuanced curly types, which include type 2-4 and their subcategories, defining your hair’s natural texture and overall personality.

Men’s Type 2 Hair (Wavy) 

Type 2 is labeled wavy, but because it can require some similar care to curly hair, it is taken and accepted under the curly types. 

Type 2A Hair 

IMage of man with 2a hair.
Image Source: Pinterest

This hair type is almost difficult to recognize in men – especially those with short cuts – and can be mistaken for straight hair. 2A hair is straight at the roots and gains a slight wave or curve around or after the nape. 

Type 2B Hair 

Image of man with 2b hair type.
Image Source: Pinterest

2B hair is a slightly wavier type of hair than 2A. It also gains its curves midway down the hair shaft and may have an S-shaped pattern. It typically looks like a ponytail bump. This will not be easily visible in guys with shorter hair.  

Type 2C Hair 

Image of man with 2c hair.

2C hair is the waviest in its category. The waves will be visible from the roots, so guys with short hair can easily pick up on this type. Type 2C hair is generally more voluminous than 2A and 2B and is sometimes confused with curly type 3A. 

Men’s Type 3 Hair (Curly) 

Type 3 provides the middle ground for curly hair. Most people identify these larger, flowy, and softer curls as “naturally curly.” 

Type 3A Hair 

Image of man with 3a curls.
Image Source: Pinterest

3A hair is the least curly in its category. The curly strands are loose, spirally, and frizzy. It has more volume than wavy types, but the strands are typically fine and can have fewer curly sections, confusing you into thinking you have wavy hair. The curls are easily prone to falling. 

Type 3B Hair 

Image of my son with 3b hair.
Image of my son’s 3B hair.

3B hair has medium curls that are shaped more like ringlets. It is generally mixed race, and some Caucasian individuals have this hair type. Type 3B can have a coarser texture than 3A, with volume and frizz. 

Type 3C Hair 

Image of man with 3c hair.
Image Source: Pinterest

3C is the curliest of its kind. Like a corkscrew, the pattern is an S-shaped spiral featuring tight coils on the ends. It can have substantial volume and frizz. The curls are typically tighter, the diameter of a pencil, but looser sections can exist. Some African, mixed-race, and Caucasian individuals hold type 3C hair natural hair texture.

Men’s Type 4 Hair (Coily) 

Type 4 is the tighter, springier curls with natural volume. It is primarily Afro hair that is more fragile and wiry and requires more careful care to manage dryness and breakage. 

A distinctive feature of type 4 hair is its tendency to exhibit a damp hair appearance when wet, unlike straighter hair types that typically appear fully soaking wet. This trait is attributed to the low porosity strands. It can also resemble natural waves when you brush your hair into a sleek bun or ponytail using a boar bristle brush.

Type 4A Hair 

Image of man with 4a hair type.
Image Source: Pinterest

4A hair is dense-textured hair with curls that are the diameter of a crochet needle. It has an s-shaped pattern of strands that independently curl instead of clumping together like other type 4s. The curls are looser than other subtypes and shrink to about half their length once the hair is dry. 

Type 4B Hair 

Image of man with 4b hair.
Image Source: Pinterest

4B curls are z-shaped and crimpy. The pattern is dense and generally vertical but still pretty visible. It also has significant shrinkage. This hair type has tight curls, much volume, and frizz. It is also fragile and prone to breakage.

Type 4C Hair 

Image of man with 4c hair.
Image Source: Pinterest

4C hair has a significantly defined pattern, more than others in its category. The coily hair or zigzag coils are tight, springy, and clumpy. Guys with short 4C hair often find their hair standing upwards and sidewards because of the zig-zag pattern. The strands are super wiry and prone to breakage. 

Caring for Men’s Different Curly Hair Types 

Understanding your hair type makes it easier to figure out what to do with it, such as the best haircuts or how to style it. Figuring out the right products for guys per hair type can be a little trickier, so here are some tips for best results: 

Type 2 Haircare for Men 

Guys with type 2 hair should keep their hair well moisturized. Lightweight products are best to prevent greasiness and build-up. Soft to medium hold gels, mousses, pomade, sea salt spray, curling sprays, and a blow dryer with a diffuser can help define your pattern and shape. Leave-in conditioner is also one of the best products for your regime. 

Type 3 Haircare for Men 

Type 3 hair is typically drier and requires sufficient moisture. Reducing wash days and switching to co-washing is a great idea. Medium to strong hold styling products can be helpful for guys with type 3 hair or soft-hold products for flowy finishes. Leave-in conditioners should be part of your routine

Type 4 Haircare for Men 

Type 4 hair is typically extremely dry, wiry, and coarse. Less wash days and co-washing are ideal for this type to prevent oil stripping, breakage, and hair loss. Overnight protection accessories and hairstyles are some of the most important things to add to your routine. A curl-defining cream is the best, safest, and healthiest option for styling different styles.

Understanding Hair Texture: Fine, Medium, and Coarse Strands

Vector llustration of straight, wavy and curly hair types classification set. Skin and follicles cross-section diagram. Round, oval, elliptical shapes of hair fiber.

Hair texture refers to the thickness or width of each individual strand of hair. It’s a straightforward term that captures the essence of how thick or thin your hair strands are. The natural curl pattern of your hair isn’t solely determined by its texture; instead, it’s influenced by the shape of your hair follicles.

Hair with round follicles tends to be straight, while those with flat or oval-shaped follicles display more defined curls. This means that regardless of having fine, medium, or coarse hair textures, you can have a variety of curl shapes, including waves, curls, and coils.

Whether your hair falls under the wavy, curly, or coily category, it can exhibit fine, medium, or coarse textures, influencing its overall appearance and care needs.

  • Fine hair refers to individual strands that are thin, delicate, and fragile, often requiring lighter products to avoid weighing them down.
  • Medium hair falls between fine and coarse, offering a balance that can handle a variety of products.
  • Coarse hair has thicker strands that may benefit from heavier creams and oils to maintain moisture and control frizz.

Understanding your hair texture is essential for tailoring the right products and care routine to keep your hair healthy and vibrant.

How to Figure Out Your Hair Texture

Determining your hair texture is a straightforward process that involves a simple strand test.

  1. Take a single strand of hair between your fingers to assess its thickness.
  2. You likely have fine hair texture if the strand is difficult to see or feel.
  3. You have a medium texture if it’s noticeable but not overly thick.
  4. A coarse texture is a likely match for those with a strong, thick strand.

Another method is to:

  1. Place a single strand on a white piece of paper.
  2. Thin and less visible strands suggest fine hair texture.
  3. Fuller and more visible strands indicate medium texture.
  4. If your hair is highly visible, appears very full, and holds styles well, your hair is classified as coarse texture.

Additional Hair Properties

In addition to curly hair types, several other physical properties play a crucial role in finding the best hair products. Some important factors to consider include:

  1. Hair Porosity: Understanding how porous your hair is helps determine its ability to absorb and retain moisture. Low-porosity hair may require different products than high-porosity hair.
  2. Density: Hair density refers to the number of hair strands on your scalp. Products and styling techniques may vary based on whether you have low, medium, or high hair density.
  3. Elasticity: Hair elasticity indicates how well your hair can stretch and return to its natural state without breaking. This property affects how your hair responds to certain products, especially those designed for flexibility and resilience.
  4. Length: The length of your hair can impact the amount and type of product you need. Longer hair may require more product, and certain styles may be better suited to different lengths.

Considering these factors alongside your curly hair type ensures a more tailored approach to your hair care routine, leading to healthier and more vibrant curls.


As a guy, if you learn and understand your curly hair type, you are more likely to provide your hair strands with the best possible care and maintain a healthy scalp and curls. It will also help you determine the best haircuts, products, and hairstyles.

This journey to embracing and caring for your natural curls involves a thoughtful understanding of your hair type, texture, and additional physical properties. Armed with this knowledge, men can confidently navigate the diverse world of hair care, ensuring every curl receives the attention it deserves.


I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

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