Hair Typing Systems

Various opinions exist concerning Hair typing Classifying Systems.  This is only for informational purposes.  Listed below are two different Hair Typing Systems beliefs that I’m aware of, there may be others.

  •        Andre Walker
  •        LOIS Systems

Andre Walker

He has won many Emmys for his work on the Oprah show and created a though process concerning curly hair type systems that many individual have adopted and modified. He classifies hair into four main categories.

  •          2    ( Subtypes A, B, C)
  •          3    (Subtypes A, B)
  •        3C
  •          4    (Subtypes A, B)

Type 2 – Wavy Hair

  •         The natural hair curl or wave formation resembles the shape of the letter “S”
  •         Hair lay close to the head


                2A – Fine, thin and easily handled to straighten or curl

                2B – Medium texture and a little resistant to styling and have a tendency to frizz

                2C – Course, thick, more resistant to styling and easily prone to frizz

Type 3 – Curly Hair

  •          The natural curl formation resembles the shape of a definite letter “S”
  •          Curls are well-defined and bouncy


                3A – Curls are naturally shiny, loose and big

                3B – Curls are medium in size with bouncy tight corkscrew ringlets

Type 3C – Curly Kinky Hair

  •         The natural hair curl formation resembles tight corkscrew curls
  •        The diameter of the curls are similar to a #2 pencil
  •         The curls characteristics are kinky  tightly curled with many strands tightly packed together
  •          Blowing drying is more challenging than for 3a and 3b
  •     Usually the tight curls are usually fine in texture

Type 4 – Kinky Hair

  •        The natural hair curl formation resembles very tight coils with a definite curl pattern
  •        Curls are very tightly coiled, wiry and very very very fragile
  •        Hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/course with many strands tightly packed together
  •         Hair contains fewer cuticle layers that any other hair type, which reduce its natural protection from physical (combing, brushing, etc)  and  environmental (wind, sun, etc) damage
  •          Hair shrinkage is inevitable and can shrink up to 75% of total hair length


                4A – Curls are tightly coils and when stretched the hair resembles a S pattern

                4B – Curls have less defined curls and resembles a Z pattern



The LOIS System ©

To get an accurate assessment of your natural hair, it’s best to have freshly washed natural hair with no products added and allow natural hair to air dry.  This is a tough one; rinse your natural hair with cold water for five minutes to ensure proper sealing of your hair cuticle. By doing this, your true texture and sheen determination will be easily exposed.  To acquire an accurate determination of you natural hair, hair typing is best revealed on natural, non-chemically processed hair texture.

To begin, choose a single strand of the most similar hair strands on your head.  The coils, kinks and bends will resemble one or more of the letters in the LOIS system: L, O, I or S.


  •   L – If the hair characteristics resembles all bends, folds and right angles with little to no curvature, then your daughter L. 
  •   O – If the hair characteristic resembles strands rolled up into the shape of one or several zeros like a spiral, then you are daughter O.
  •    I – If the hair characteristic resembles hair mostly laying flat with no distinctive curve or bends, you are daughter I.
  •    S – If the hair characteristic resembles strands of hair looking wavy with hills and valleys, then you are daughter S.


It is common to a combination of the LOIS letters, with one being dominant. If it difficult to determine a dominant letter for your strands, creating a LOIS combination by choosing 2 letters that resembles your hair strands. Example LO, IL or OS.


Hair textures are classified for hair overall shine, sheen, response to wetting and feel. There’s five different classified hair texture revealed in the LOIS System © which are Thready, Wiry, Cottony, Spongy and Silky.

  • Thready – Natural sheen is low to moderate, while braided hair reveals a high shine.  Low frizz issues, hair wets easily and dries out quickly.
  • Wiry – Natural sheen is sparkly, low shine and low frizz.
  • Cottony – Natural sheen is low, high shine when hair is in a braid and high frizz.  Hair doesn’t feel wet quickly due to the high absorbency characteristic
  • Spongy – Natural sheen is high, low shine and high frizz. Water absorbs before hair gets thoroughly wet.
  • Silky – Natural sheen is low, high shine and frizz potential varies.  Hair easily wets in water.