When it comes to haircuts and styling products, your hair type is an important factor to keep in mind. Men’s hair types are determined based on curl pattern and this genetic characteristic lives within the follicle’s DNA. Men have different hair textures such as straight, wavy, curly and coily, which can also be further broken down into categories by thickness. For proper care and maintenance, most guys should learn to tell their texture.
Some men have straight hair that is easy to cut and simple to style, while others may have wavy hair that comes with volume and frizz that can be hard to manage. With so many different textures, it can be a challenge knowing what your hair type is. To help you learn, we’ve compiled a guide on the different hair types for men. From curly to straight, explore all these hair types to find the best way to style and maintain your look.
Men’s Hair Types By Texture
Straight hair is one of the most common hair types for men, making it easy to distinguish and the extremely versatile. Also known as type 1, straight hair has no visible curl pattern and grows straight from the root. Not all men’s hair is equally straight and some guys discover minor curling when their strands grow out longer. Straight hair is strong, resilient, and tends to hold up well against humidity and inclement weather.
Guys with straight hair may find that their scalp is oily and requires regular washing. This constant oil secretion gives straight hair a soft and sleek texture. Excessive oil can make hair look flat and lifeless, so establishing a styling and maintenance routine is wise.
There are three types of straight hair called 1A, 1B and 1C.
- 1A is the thinnest or finest hair, tends to be very straight and generally oily when not washed regularly.
- 1B is thicker straight hair that can have some bends and a few coarser strands with a greasy scalp.
- 1C is thicker and coarser straight hair that is prone to curls, frizz and dryness.
To maintain straight hair, you’ll want to wash it once a day with a quality shampoo to remove buildup. If you’re struggling for time, dry shampoo is a great alternative that can minimize that greasy look. While you may be tempted to skip conditioner when you have oily hair, small amounts of thickening conditioner can keep your hair moisturized, healthy and soft.
Over-conditioning hair will make hair look flat and excessively greasy, so stick to twice a week. Since dandruff is a common health issue, you’ll want to regularly check for white flakes and dryness. A good anti-dandruff shampoo can prevent dry skin on the scalp.
Styling straight hair is easy since guys can choose from all the most popular men’s hairstyles. As this hair type is quite pliable, it works well in slicked back and layered styles. To counter flatness, use a lightweight styling cream with a low-gloss finish. These products will add lift and volume without grease. As straight locks get oily quickly, thick and creamy styling products should be avoided. Not only will these add unnecessary weight to straight hair, but they accelerate oil production.
For styles that require a stronger hold, use a clay or putty hair product for a textured and thicker look. Men who love low-maintenance hairstyles should invest in a sea salt spray. Light tousling will add texture and volume to straight hair with little effort.
Wavy hair tends to look effortlessly stylish on all men, giving this hair type a beautiful texture guys should use to their advantage. Also known as type 2, wavy hair is a type that balances between straight and curly since each strand has a distinctive kink and unique pattern.
Unlike other hair types, wavy hair is considered low-maintenance and easy to style. Wavy-haired guys won’t experience oil buildup, but they may experience frizz, which can be managed with high-quality hair products. Wavy hair can be straightened or styled into many different men’s hairstyles, including the quiff, side part and messy look.
There are three types of curly hair called 2A, 2B and 2C.
- 2A is fine wavy hair that can form an “S” shape when dry but look great with sea salt sprays for a natural wave.
- 2B is a thicker hair type with some frizz and a more defined “S” shape but can be styled nicely with a wave-enhancing mousse.
- 2C is coarse and thick wavy hair with a stubborn curl pattern that is prone to frizziness that requires a light curl cream.
To maintain wavy hair, you’ll want to use a good shampoo and conditioner to strengthen your locks and keep frizz under control. A moisturizing shampoo containing argan and jojoba oils will keep your scalp and strands clean, healthy and hydrated.
Although wavy hair can take more regular conditioning than straight hair, men with this hair type should choose a lighter conditioner to prevent the ingredients from weighing down their style.
When styling wavy hair, make sure to take advantage of your texture and volume for a fashionable look. A leave-in conditioner can be a great way to tame flyaways, retain moisturize, and maintain a smooth and soft look.
To keep strands in place, grab a styling cream or pomade. These hair products add definition to hair and prevent kinks. If you have long wavy hair, it’s worth purchasing a diffuser. Although not strictly necessary, diffusers add balanced volume to wavy hair when drying.
Curly hair is defined by noticeable curls and kinks in the hair. Also known as type 3, curly hair types are defined than wavy kinds but not as tight as coiled hair. Curls are usually thick, fragile and aggravated by humidity. This hair type requires more care and maintenance than others since it needs constant moisture to look healthy. Curly hair can be loose and lean towards a wave shape or take on a much tighter ringlet pattern.
You can have three different types of curly hair called 3A, 3B and 3C.
- 3A is a hair type with mostly loose curls and some waves that are finer and frizzy in humid weather.
- 3B is curly hair with medium to tight curls, can resemble a ringlet shape and needs a leave-in conditioner to minimize dryness and frizz.
- 3C is characterized as springy or tight curly hair with volume that should be styled with a light moisturizing product.
The trick to maintaining curly hair is keeping it packed full of moisture. Hair oils and serums that provide a glossy finish look incredible on curly hair, as they prevent frizz and make hair look healthier. Curly hair can often look dull, so spritzing a shine spray onto curls is also effective. When washing and conditioning, keep the water temperature low. High levels of heat and moisture are a recipe for frizz and should be avoided.
The most important maintenance tip for curly hair is to avoid brushing it. The friction created by brushing quickly makes curly hair look bushy and unkempt. To keep curls defined, use a wide-toothed comb while your hair is still damp to gently separate curls. A leave-in conditioner and some gentle scrunching will also add depth to your style and allow your curly hair products to be distributed evenly.
To style curly hair, use a simple cream that won’t weigh curls down. To get the perfect hairstyle, try short choppy curls for a low-maintenance look or a heavy angular fringe for an edgy vibe. Some guys may want to experiment with cool messy styles by letting their curly hair fall naturally. When styling, just don’t straighten your curls out since this is a time-consuming process and can damage your hair, resulting in unmanageable frizz.
Many people think that coily hair is just curly hair, but this type is unique and different. Also known as kinky or type 4, this texture is very tightly curled and is commonly found in Afro-textured hair. While black men can have a few different hair types, including curly, wavy and kinky hair, the most common texture is coily hair. These coils have a dense texture and are extremely fragile because natural oils from the scalp are unable to travel to the ends efficiently, leaving the hair brittle and lacking in moisture.
Deep conditioning and careful drying are a must when dealing with coily hair; otherwise, you can easily end up with frizzy hair that will be a challenge to style. When styled properly, coily hair can be incredibly eye-catching and stylish.
These are the differences between the types of coily hair:
- 4A is defined as fine kinky hair with a tight curl pattern that should be moisturized with quality conditioning products.
- 4B is coily hair that is prone to dryness and shrinkage with a zig-zag shape so keep the locks hydrated.
- 4C has the tighest coils and can be the most fragile hair type so make sure to nourish and strengthen with a good conditioner.
To maintain this type, invest in high-quality hair products that will maintain moisture in your roots and strands. Gentle, sulfate-free shampoos paired with a deep conditioning treatment will keep dryness at bay and help you avoid damage. Although those with curls may manage without a diffuser, this attachment can be a lifesaver for coily-haired men. The diffuser helps to reduce frizz and will quickly dry your hair when you need to leave the house in a hurry. Above all, keep your hair away from extreme heat since these tight coils react poorly to it.
Coily hair can be tricky to style, but the right products and grooming routine will set you up for success. You want to avoid tugging and pulling coiled hair, so brushing is out of the question. Due to its natural shape, coiled hair looks wonderful when prepared with natural oils like coconut or jojoba and kept at shoulder length. For a manageable style, choose a very short to medium short hairstyle with volume.
Hair Types By Thickness
If you have thin hair, you’ll be able to see your scalp without much difficulty. Guys with thinner hair will have fewer and thinner strands than those with thicker hair. This hair type is naturally silky and lightweight but is prone to split ends and breakage. Not everyone with thin hair was born with it. Unfortunately, older men are prone to thinning hair. These guys are in good company since most men experience some thinning or balding in their later years.
To maintain thin hair, wash it regularly with a gentle volumizing shampoo that is free of sulfates. Keratin and biotin are beneficial ingredients that can protect and revitalize thin hair, even offering a degree of regrowth. Thin hair can feel greasy if not washed regularly but should still be conditioned a couple of times a week to maintain moisture levels and prevent further damage.
To style thin hair, start by creating volume for a thicker appearance. You’ll need to use textured hair products like pomades and clays that won’t weigh your hair down and leave it flat and dull. Some guys may apply a pre-styler and a light-hold mousse to maximize fullness and lift. You will also need to avoid hair dryers and high-heat styling options that may further damage your delicate follicles.
With the right haircut and styling process, thin hair guys can style a modern comb over fade, slicked back undercut or classy crew cut. With short hair on the sides and back paired with short to medium length hair on top, you can pull attention away from your thinning hair and create a fuller look.
Thick hair is defined as having a high-density of follicles that grow thicker strands to give the appearance of fullness. When looking at guys with thick hair, you will not be able to see the scalp because the hair is dense and full. This hair type takes a long time to dry and tends to look more textured and voluminous than other kinds.
To maintain thick hair, guys should condition it regularly. This will keep hair manageable and lustrous. Those with thicker strands can afford to condition as much as they shampoo, with every other day being optimal. When you’re searching for shampoos, look for products with moisturizing formulas that don’t add extra volume.
Your hair care products don’t need any additional thickening agents, so hydration and cleansing are what you should focus on. As thick hair can be prone to frizz, work a deep conditioner into your routine once a week.
Thick hair looks sensational when styled as it always looks full-bodied and striking. It can be difficult to hold thick hair in place and heavy products may cause clumping. Thicker hair men should use strong styling products like pomade, gel or wax for a clean finish.
The best hair products will give allow you to shape and define your hairstyle while maintaining the look all day. For frizzy hair, you may want to invest in a top-rated moisturizing shampoo and condition to increase hydration, volume and natural shine.
Normal hair is the perfect balance between thin and thick hair. This hair type usually looks good without much effort and maintains a full appearance without looking too dense. Men with normal hair shouldn’t have trouble styling their hair as most products should work well. Having a good hair care regimen will keep your normal hair in excellent condition and prevent damage from styling tools.
Normal hair is easy to maintain with a basic shampoo and conditioner. If your hair looks dull, then don’t be afraid to opt for a moisturizing conditioner. This hair type can still get oily but washing your hair every other day will keep oil at bay without stripping your scalp of essential natural oils. Deep conditioning isn’t necessary for normal hair but adding this step to your routine on a biweekly basis will keep your tresses in top condition without making them greasy.
Normal hair allows men to choose from all the most popular hairstyles and products with no restrictions. This hair type is easy to cut and style, allowing you to get a short haircut for a rugged and masculine look or a medium to longer hairstyle for a trendy style. Guys can pick from all the best haircut styles so feel free to experiment. If normal hair is kept clean and healthy, you can create any hairstyle with ease.