Ever wandered into a hair care forum and seen people referring to hair types and textures by a number and letter? Well, this classification system was developed by Andre Walker, Oprah Winfrey’s hair stylist. This wide-range hair typing system classifies various hair textures and breaks each hair type into four types with additional sub categories. Here are the particulars in a nutshell from curls.biz.

Type 1-Straight. This is naturally pin-straight hair. Its properties include shininess, resilience, oiliness and difficulty curling. There are no sub categories for it.

Type 2-Wavy. This hair type falls between being straight and curly, with sub categories A, B and C to reflect the amount of straightness or curliness of its strands. The properties of this hair type include  shininess and being frizz-prone. Wavy-haired ladies can easily go straight or curly, but this hair type’s curlier sub categories of B and C can be styling resistant.

Type 3-Curly. This hair type boasts S-shaped curls that can sometimes look more like a Z, depending on whether it falls into the A, B or C sub category. But whatever the shape taken by this hair type’s strands, the curl pattern is pronounced. Its properties include being lush, climate dependent (translation: it frizzes up when humidity is high) and prone to damage and dullness.

Type 4-Kinky. This hair type has a zig-zag pattern and the strands are tightly coiled. How tightly the strands are coiled classifies it as falling into its A, B or C sub category (from a loose to a really tight coil). The strands of this hair type are fine, fragile, wiry, and dry. Of all the categories, Type 4 hair is the one that is the most breakage-prone and requires ultra gentle handling across all sub categories.

But despite all tresses needing plenty of TLC what’s so great about hair types and textures is they have plenty of flexibility. With the help of hair products and appliances, women can easily go from straight to wavy; straight to curly; curly to straight; and from kinky to straight, wavy or curly, or endless variations in between.

What’s important, though, is no matter what your hair type or texture is, it’s key to keep tresses healthy. Click here to learn how to create a good hair regimen in three easy steps.