Does Finding Your Curl Type Really Matter?

There's no shortage of hair-related guides to comb through on the internet, and many of them are geared toward those with curly hair, such as getting help with finding the right stylist and what to know about plopping

Typically, one of the biggest considerations in any advice for curly-haired people is given to a person's curl type. As described by Only Curls, there are three different hair textures that fall under the "curly" definition: wavy, curly, and coily/kinky. Each of these hair types has a corresponding number (2 for wavy, 3 for curly, and 4 for coily/kinky), and each of those is then subcategorized by letters A through C after the number, in reference to the tightness of those curls. Thus, 4C hair is tightly coiled, while 2A hair is loosely wavy.

The whole notion of a curl type can sound seriously complicated, and not everyone is such a fan. Unlike many websites made for those with curls, Curl Maven argues the point that curl patterns don't actually matter.

Curl patterns can and do change

In stressing the point that curl patterns aren't as important as they've been made out to be, Curl Maven explains that these patterns can change and that one individual can have multiple curl patterns in their hair at the same time. To make use of one famous example, singer Taylor Swift once wrote about the loss of her curls for Elle, saying, "I learned that your hair can completely change texture. From birth, I had the curliest hair and now it is STRAIGHT. It's the straight hair I wished for every day in junior high. But just as I was coming to terms with loving my curls, they've left me. Please pray for their safe return."

American Salon confirms that curl patterns can change and that some of the reasons behind changes in curl patterns can include factors such as scalp health, heat use, hormonal changes, and over-processing with chemicals.

There are some arguments in favor of curl patterns

While defining oneself by one's curl pattern might not be the right move, others have argued that determining one's curl type is important. Hairstylist Vernon Francois pointed out to Glamour that most hair products don't reference specific curl patterns, meaning that knowing one's curl type could be helpful in determining which products to purchase. "Everyone is constantly faced with what their hair texture is and how to enhance it, and this simplifies it," he said. "Then you can investigate from there according to your needs."

Curl Maven expresses that the porosity of one's hair, rather than its curl pattern, should be of more importance. As described by Healthline, hair porosity refers to its ability to lock in moisture. This attribute can aid in determining which hair care products are ideal too, based on the moisture that one's hair needs to stay healthy. There are also techniques for determining hair porosity at home, as beauty brand L'Oréal Paris instructs readers in a guide on its website.