How To Tell If You Have Wavy Hair Or Curly Hair

As the super straight hair fad of the 2010s (via Elle) is beginning to die out, people are putting down their flat irons and embracing their natural curls and waves (via Allure and WhoWhatWear). But because many have kept their hair straight for so long, they don't even know where to start when it comes to figuring out what type of hair they actually have. While many may confuse the difference between hair textures, referring to anything that is not bone straight as "curly" is not always accurate. In fact, wavy hair often gets overlooked as its own separate entity. 

Being able to determine whether or not your hair is more wavy or curly is key to finding the best hairstyles and products that are most flattering on you and best suit the needs of your follicles. But how do you differentiate between wavy and curly hair? The answer is actually relatively simple. 

You can tell if you have wavy hair by its coil pattern

If you're confused about how to determine whether or not you have wavy or curly hair, pay attention to its coil pattern. Hair blogger and follower of the "curly girl method" Emily Evert wrote that, "Wavy hair is more of an S shape, going from side to side" on her blog, WavyHairCare

However, if you want the perspective of industry experts, Allure has an official hair type chart with nine different options for those with wavy to curly hair. When it comes to wavy hair, there are types 2A, 2B, and 2C. Wavy type 2A is typically more fine, easy to straighten, and tends to lack volume. Types 2B and 2C are also wavy, but tend to be thicker, coarser, and more difficult to style. In general, wavy hair tends to be more susceptible to limpness than curly hair, and needs to be washed more as it can be more oily. Byrdie recommended using mousses, gels, and sea salt sprays that'll enhance texture without weighing your hair down.

Curly hair clusters itself together more than wavy hair

According to Byrdie, people with curly hair have strands that "cluster together and wind around themselves in a spiral or looser curl shape." Celebrity stylish Diane C. Bailey told the outlet that it's best to examine your hair while it's wet to truly determine its texture. 

For these curly haired friends, the official chart from Allure displayed that they fall under types 3A, 3B, and 3C. When it comes to curly hair, type 3A has large, loose curls, 3B has tighter curls that tend to dry easily, and 3C is densely packed corkscrews that tend to suffer from frizziness. In general, these hair types benefit from humidity blocking and moisturizing products such as deep conditioners and styling creams.

Now that you know the difference between wavy hair and curly hair, you can diagnose yourself and have fun shopping for the best haircare products for you.