Know Your Types & Work Your Texture

Black hair is the ultimate form of self expression. Much like fashion, your hair reflects your mood and your personality. Whether you wear corn rows and twists or embrace your natural locks, knowing your hair type (or types) is key to getting the look you want. So, we went right to the source for advice on type, texture, and tips for picking the right products, Renee Gadar, Aveda Global Artistic Director, Texture.

Like many Black women, Renee’s experience is sadly common in that, the struggle to find someone to take care of her hair in a way that made her feel safe and confident is still a struggle. “It’s paramount to our world, that this problem ceases to be an issue,” says Renee. “At Aveda, we are working to prevent that very struggle, using our comprehensive Texture Education program and offerings to build a stylist’s mastery of textured hair, and ensure that brown and black women leave any salon feeling truly beautiful and cared for. Included in that education is an extensive dive into the science of curly and coily hair, how to care for it, and how products help you achieve your desired look.”

When you have professional-level know-how about products and how they can help you achieve your look, you feel empowered to embrace your natural hair beauty—and get the best curls and coils ever. And Renee says that understanding your texture is a great starting point in a sea of information. “Rarely is anyone just one pattern, there are other factors such as density and consistency to consider,” she says. “But being able to understand your pattern is a crucial first step in uncovering the care needs of your unique head of hair.”

Breaking down each type, Renee shares her favorite 100% vegan Aveda products that will give your texture the look you really want.

3B: Springy Ringlets
This texture can be dry, so you definitely want moisture and shine, but also hold and sometimes even volume. According to Renee, you’ll want all these benefits without weighing down your curls. She suggests that 3Bs, “wet hair every three days and apply a leave-in or refresh product, co-wash as desired, and then shampoo every two weeks.” Lean towards mouse and foam products, like Phomollient Styling Foam for subtle hold and grip. And turn to Be Curly Curl Enhancing Hair Spray to build body

3C: Tight Corkscrews
Strands are densely packed together, giving you lots of natural volume, but also frizz. This type is prone to dullness and craves hydration, so Renee says you want hold and structure to define curls without weighing them down. She recommends a similar cleansing schedule to that of 3Bs: wet hair every three days and apply a leave-in or refresh product, co-wash as desired, and then shampoo every two weeks. Foams and light crème products work well for styling for 3Bs. Try the Nutriplenish Leave-In Conditioner for lightweight leave-in hydration, and Pure-formance Liquid Pomade which is great for creating definition in looser curl patterns.

4A: S-Patterned Coils
Dense and springy, your hair needs intense hydration. Plus, this texture is prone to shrinkage and tangles. Renee advises that 4As wet hair every three days and apply a leave-in or refresh product, co-wash once a week maximum, and then shampoo only once a month. And keep these coils popping with soft pliable strands with gel-base products. Renee recommends Nutriplenish Curl Gelée for shine and hold, and Nutriplenish Multi-Use Hair Oil to seal in hydration.

4B: Sharp Angles
These Z-shaped coils are densely packed and super dry. Prone to damage and shrinkage, hydration is real must for this texture, so Renee suggests that you dampen hair every 4-5 days and apply a leave-in or refresh product, co-wash every 1-2 weeks, and then shampoo every 6-8 weeks. You can use a gel like Nutriplenish Curl Gelée to help stretch out coils and clump them for great definition and elongation. And she also says to check out ESSENCE Best in Black Beauty pickBotanical Repair Intensive Strengthening Masque: Rich to repair and replenish hair.

4C: Zig-Zag Coils
These tight coils are fragile and generally porous, making hydration super important. For this texture, Renee goes with a similar cleansing routine as 4B: dampen hair every 4-5 days and apply a leave-in or refresh product, co-wash every 1-2 weeks, and then shampoo every 6-8 weeks. Gels and creams are a great choice for 4Cs, like the creamy Nutriplenish Daily Moisturizing Treatment for rich, deep moisture, and Botanical Repair Intensive Strengthening Masque: Rich to replenish and repair.

Are you ready to rock your own type and texture? Be part of Aveda’s Best Curls & Coils Ever digital event on September 8-12. Book a personal appointment with a texture expert to help you identify your type or types, attend live classes, watch tutorials, get top tips, and define your waves, curls, coils, and natural texture with powerful, 100% vegan products made for you. Click here to get started now!

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