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Remember Della from ‘The Gift of the Magi’? The woman who sold off her hair to buy a Christmas gift for her husband? The sentimental story, the twist ending and the selfless love between the couple are all very heartwarming.  But oh, what a hair that should have been to have fetched $20 back in 1906! But have you thought what goes into the making of such ‘Dellaesque’ hair? The answer lies in taking proper care. Keeping your scalp clean, providing proper nourishment and conditioning your hair. But even before you actually choose a product or browse through the brands you should know all about your hair. An understanding of your hair type and texture is a good place to begin.

Andre Walker, a stylist and author of Andre Walks Hair, classifies hair into four different types:

Type 4

The hair that falls under this category is kinky or very tightly coiled. It looks very tough but wait before you jump to any conclusion, looks can indeed be deceiving. Type 4 hair looks very coarse but is actually very fine, looks very strong but is actually fragile, it won’t shine even if it is healthy but does feel silky when touched. There are two further sub-categories to Type 4:

Type 4 A

Tightly coiled hair that forms an S pattern when stretched.

Type 4 B

Hair has a wiry texture and forms a Z pattern instead of the S of 4A.

Type 3

This type of hair looks straight when wet but gradually gets back to the curly state when it starts drying. It is shiny, has soft, smooth, well-defined and springy curls and has a lot of elasticity. It can be styled very easily in its natural curly state or may even be straightened by simply using a blow-dryer. These again have two sub-categories:

Type 3A

Hair with shiny big curls. The longer the hair the more defined the curls.

Type 3B

Medium curls to tight corkscrews.

Type 2

This type of hair is wavy and forms a definite S pattern when wet. The three sub-categories are:

Type 2A

Fine or thin

Type 2B

Medium or somewhat thick

Type 2C

While category B and C are a bit difficult to style and tend to frizz, type A can easily be styled into curls or straight hair.

Type 1

Naturally straight hair. No guessing the type, no explanations needed. You just know it! Once you know your hair type, you can take a more informed step towards its care and styling. So here’s to the beautiful tresses!

What hair type are you?