Curl Guide

A guide for distinguishing, learning about & caring for your curly hair type

Discover more about our patterns by clicking the tiles below








Learn more about key curl type topics






Where your originality is the standard; where you are your own prototype.

We like to think of our curly hair types & wavy hair patterns as constellations of coils, curves, curls, waves & the ringlet; where each different type of curl flourishes. At PATTERN, we're here to help you define which type your hair is & find the best hair products & hair routine to promote vibrant & healthy hair.


OFTEN DESCRIBED AS:dense, kinky, type 4 hair, cloud-like, gravity-defying…

Distinguishing Features

Tight textures & tight curls crave as much moisture as they can get; our delicate strands need care & protection to prevent breakage; they easily fluff into an afro with awe-inspiring volume; our hair loves to spend time in protective styles to remain moisturized (using the right styling product!) , to support our delicate ends & to aid in length retention.

4B hair
4B hair or 4B curls are luscious Z-pattern coils that bend & flare in a zig zag pose

4C hair
4C hair or curls are velvety coils with a tight curl that flows, breakdances & freestyles


OFTEN DESCRIBED AS: springy, spongy, tight, type 4 hair, type 3 hair…

Distinguishing Features

Coily hair is tightly-packed corkscrew curls that scrunch up & and give extreme volume; tend to be finer in texture & weight; need extreme moisture to stay soft, defined & and resist tangles; our coils do well with twist-outs & stretched-style techniques.

4A hair
Type 4A hair has a supple S-pattern coil that leans & struts snap-back stuff


OFTEN DESCRIBED AS:bouncy, ringlets, springy, type 3 hair, frizzy…

Distinguishing Features

Frizz is our friend; big, buoyant spirals; our texture tends to be thick & coarse hair, & our curls often vary in shape around the head; dryness can creep in to tousle up our ringlet curl, so moisture is key for maintaining curl definition & shine.

3B hair
Type 3B curls or type 3b hair are stretchy curls with a bounce to the ounce that double dutch in the wind

3C hair
Type 3C curls are flexible S-pattern curls that turn, twirl, & twist into a two-step


Distinguishing Features

Locs love to grow tall, long & wide; Locs believe in growth, dimension, magnitude, & evolution; They love to take up space. Growing locs is a beautiful journey of coiling, twisting, palm rolling, braiding, or allowing the hair to organically grow & merge to create a fused hair strand which can range from micro size to larger free form; Locs curl types crave healthy scalp care & tender attention to their roots; they love products that provide moisture & hold such as our Hydrating Shampoo for curly hair without buildup & products that keep the scalp clean & hydrated.


-To prevent build up on the scalp & roots, add our Cleansing ShampooShampoo to your wash day routine.

-To moisturize & prevent dryness, apply Jojoba Oil Hair Serum or Argan Oil Hair Serum to the scalp.

-To stimulate & soothe each hair follicle, apply the Scalp Serum & massage in for added relief.

-Try using the Styling Cream for curly hair to create starter locs with braids, two-strand twists, comb coils & palm rolls.



dryness ( ˈdrī nəs), noun. a curl’s cry for hydration; an invitation to give your coils the moisture & hair treatment for curls they deserve; an opportunity for your natural texture to be restored & replenished to healthy hair.

damage (ˈda-mij), noun . when curls become vulnerable to dryness & weakness; a warning sign where unhealthy hair can be nourished back to health.

Hair Care Tips

- Dryness or damage can come from many factors, but with different approaches to caring for your natural hair & the regular use of deeply moisturizing products, hair can revive to be healthy & hydrated once again.

- Heat or chemical damage, dry environments, too-infrequent hair trims, hair product build-up, formulas with harsh ingredients & too much time out of protective styles are some of the factors that can contribute to dry, fragile strands.

- Use heat or steam to help our ultra-moisturizing formulas sink into your hair & receive the nourishment & hydration it craves.

- Pro tip: For dry or brittle hair, keep your leave-in conditioner on for 10 minutes as a repair treatment mask to help restore & revitalize your curls.



transitioning (tran(t)-ˈsi-shən), verb. a season of growth; an opportunity to embrace the change in your curl type; a hair evolution; a welcome home to your natural curl pattern.

We Know It’s a Journey…

Curly on the top, straight on the bottom; our hair texture is adjusting as it moves from the chemical or heat relaxants we put on it back to its natural curl pattern; hair is often dry, fragile & a little confused as it starts to re-remember how the curls want to grow.

Visit our blog for a transitioning hair story spotlight.


- Deep condition with one of our ultra-hydrating conditioners. Our Heavy or Intensive Conditioners seep into strands to help protect against breakage & dryness as you transition.

- Detangle before rinsing with our Wide Tooth Comb or Shower Brush & bring your curls together.

- Find your fave transitioning hair style – put it up! Less manipulation means less breakage.



your curl patterns' native language; how your curls want to love and be loved.


Hair strands can generally be classified into three types of hair porosity. These are low porosity, medium porosity or high porosity, & those terms describe how open your hair cuticles are & how easily moisture can go into the hair shaft (leaving you moisturized) or exit (leaving you dried out).

Low Porosity

Hair has a very “closed” hair shaft so it’s difficult for moisture to go in or out. Hair often takes a long time to dry when wet, & products often struggle to be absorbed by the hair. Heat or steam can help to open up the hair cuticle so that moisture can go in, & cold water rinses can be great for “sealing” the hair back up to lock in the hydration. Intensive Conditioner & Lightweight Conditioner can be great for this curly hair type!

Medium Porosity

Hair relatively has a good balance of accepting moisture into & out of the strands. Water & formulas absorb & dry down without too much trouble. Medium Conditioner & Lightweight Conditioner works well for hair of this porosity.

High Porosity

Hair has a very “open” hair shaft & can suck up water & products with ease, but it can also lose that moisture relatively quickly after a wash. Rich, buttery formulas that impart a ton of moisture are highly favored, & deep conditioning & frequent oiling of the hair & scalp can help to keep moisture sealed into strands. We recommend the Heavy Conditioner for high porosity folks.



braids, twists, wigs, & weaves that give your curls rest & sanctuary.

There’s No One Way to Style...

Whether it’s the change of season, workout routine, travel plans or just wanting a break from styling your hair every day, there are many reasons to try a protective style for curly hair types. Choose a protective style based on your curl pattern, the length of time you want to wear the protective style, the length of time it takes to install a protective style, plus a look based on your personal style & personality.


- Use our Hydrating Mist to moisturize edges & roots

- For sculpting or smoothing your edges, use our Edge Tool after applying Edge Control.

- To prevent build up on the scalp & roots, add our Cleansing Shampoo to your wash day routine. For adding moisture, cleanse with our Hydration Shampoo.

- Scoop out some Styling Cream, for oil-rich, touchable hold when setting twist outs, braid outs, bantu knots & more.

- While in protective styles, apply Scalp Serum to all your parts & let sit for up to 5 mins. Use a warm, damp washcloth to rub your parts clean of any buildup.