Misinformation abounds on the interwebs when it comes to all the different men hair types and how many there actually are.
Simply put: not one single article or video adequately shows all the types of hair men usually have. Furthermore, many of them use misleading names for the same thing, and we have yet to reach an agreement on just HOW many types of hair there are.
Men Hairstyles World presents the complete guide to all the different types of hair for men. We’ll try to keep this easy to read, so let’s get to it!
HAIR TYPES BY TEXTURE
First off, a short table, click the names to be sent directly to the respective sections:
|1. STRAIGHT||2. WAVY||3. COILED||4. AFRO-TEXTURED|
HAIR TYPES BY THICKNESS
We’ll talk about all of these a bit further down, but first, you need to know hair doesn’t just rank by texture. There’s also thickness to consider:
|The scalp can be seen||The scalp can be occasionally seen||No scalp section showing|
THE ANDRE WALKER HAIR TYPING SYSTEM
You’ve probably seen a lot of “take care of your 4C hair by…” phrases in hair care articles and wondered what the 4C or 2A hair means. We are here to clear that one up too!
This was initially set up by Andre Walker to market his line of hair care products. Since then, it has been adopted and is generally used as the hair type classification system. Check out the Extra Resources at the end for more info.
|Type 1||Straight Hair|
|Type 2||Wavy Hair|
|Type 3||Curly Hair|
|Type 4||Kinky Hair|
Now let’s break it all down!
I. Men Hair Types by Thickness
1. Thin Hair
Your Hair is Thin If:
The scalpcan be seen through the hair
- The hair strands are very thin
- New hair grows sparsely
- The overall aspect of the hair is limp and lifeless
Thin hair means the individual strands of hair are frail and often brittle if the hair is dry enough. Fine hair can be great if it’s dense, but more often than not, it’s accompanied by a genetic predisposition to baldness.
As such, thin hair can be one type you’re born with or that you slowly grow into… by losing hair. Poor taste jokes aside, male pattern hair loss or alopecia affects millions of men every year, with as much as 42% of American men ages 18 to 49 reporting moderate to severe hair loss.
Immediate physical effects aside, thinning hair has a
So thin hair care is possibly one of the most important things you need to watch out for and take care of.
10 Hairstyles for Men with Thin Hair
1. Short and Messy with Fringe
2. Mid-Length Haircut
3. Long and Messy Hairstyles for Thin Hair
4. Flow Hairstyle for Thinning Hair
5. Slick Back Hairstyles for Thin Hair
6. Curly Top Hairstyles for Men
7. Messy and Tousled Thin Hair
8. Fringe Hairstyles for Thin Hair
9. Hippie Hairstyles for Thin Hair
10. Clean Cut with Beard
For tens of other great hairstyles and haircuts for your thin hair, check out our article specially dedicated to them.
2. Normal Hair
You Have Normal Hair If:
- The scalp can be seen when you draw back your hair with your hand
- The hair strands are normal and healthy-looking
- Volume hair products and most conditioners have a negative impact on your hair
Normal hair may sound basic, but it can be a nightmare to control – especially when it comes to finding the right products for it.
Most men with the normal hair type thickness can do with basic shampoos you can find in any store. However, once a hint of products designed for thin or thick hair touches your scalp, it all goes weird for at least a few days.
Our best tip when it comes to normal hair is: do what feels natural to you. Don’t go into complex products if you’re not 100% sure of them!
3. Thick Hair
You Have Thick Hair If:
- The scalp can barely be seen – you struggle to see it through the hair
- It’s difficult to dry off when it’s longer
- The hair strands are particularly wide
- You have rich, highly textured hair that looks full at all times
Thick hair is unusually difficult to handle, being so full and vibrant and untamed. That’s why most hairstylists will advise you to use conditioner as much as possible.
However! Be particularly careful with conditioners since they’re a double-edged sword. Almost always, conditioners will make your hair more manageable but also thicker in the long run, according to Antonio Centeno.
As such, do what feels natural, if you feel you should lay off the conditioner for a while – do it!
10 Hairstyles for Men with Thick Hair
1. Short Hairstyles for Men with Thick Curly Hair
2. Medium-Length Thick Ash Highlights Hairstyle
3. Long, Shoulder-Length Thick Hair with Beard
4. Large Pompadour with Subtle Highlights
5. Layered Hairstyles for Men with Thick Hair
6. Smooth Hairstyles for Men with Curly Thick Hair
7. Wavy Sleek Hairstyles
8. Short Sides, Long Top Hairstyles for Men with Thick Hair
9. Retro Inspired Thick Hairstyle
10. Hairstyles for Older Men with Thick Hair
For a complete list of the best hairstyles for men with thick hair check out this article that was specially dedicated to it!
Styling tips: Use aid styling products only if your hair is either very short or medium to long. Typically, short and thick hair will look artificial when styled excessively.
II. Men Hair Types by Texture
1. Straight Hair
Straight Hair Types
- The hair is soft – even excessively so
- It can be difficult to curl it
- Needs to be washed often because it can get oily
- It’s difficult to damage
- Has a bit more volume than fine hair
- Looks fuller, more vibrant
- Very difficult to curl
Straight hair isn’t all the same. Most people with straight hair will agree that you can curl it too – but only if you reach the proper length. That’s why hair irons are so popular among straight-haired individuals.
Now, most types of straight hair (fine and coarse) will rarely, if ever, curl. You should only expect your hair to start curling when it is already over 6 inches from the scalp.
However, medium straight hair can curl at just 3 inches and it’s still considered straight. We’ve one famous character in mind for this (Sirius Black!). Look at the way that hair coils towards the tips – if it were to be cut short, it would be very straight.
10 Hairstyles for Men with Straight Hair
1. Side-Tossed Straight Hair Hairstyles
2. Medium-Length Swept Back Straight Hair
3. Man Bun Hairstyles for Men with Straight Hair
4. Straight Hair Modern Bowl Cut
5. Long and Layered Straight Hairstyles
6. Ivy League Haircuts for Straight Hair
7. Half Up Half Down Mens Straight Hair
8. Quiff Haircut
9. Front Fringe Haircut with Straight Hair
10. Short Back and Layers
For a complete list of all the best straight haircuts and hairstyles for men, don’t hesitate to also check out this article!
2. Wavy Hair
Types of Wavy Hair
A. Loose waves:
- Have a basic S pattern – but a loose one
- The hair is fluffy yet a bit difficult to control
- Sticks close to the scalp
B. Defined waves:
- Frizzy hair, basically
- Clearly defined S shapes (therefore named the “defined” type of hair!)
- Slightly difficult to style
C. Wide waves:
- Wide S-shapes
- Lightly frizzy hair
- Very difficult to control
Wavy hair is typically moderately difficult to very difficult to control and style. Growing up already a bit curvy right from the follicle and depending on the type, if can become wavy really quickly.
The main difference between wavy hair for men and coiled or kinky hair for men is in – you guessed it – the coils.
To be sure of your hair type, let it grow longer than 3 inches and, if it doesn’t form waves, you’ll know you have straight hair. If it forms waves, but no coils, then it’s clearly wavy hair.
10 Hairstyles for Men with Wavy Hair
1. Clean & Short Hairstyles for Men with Wavy Hair
2. Shoulder-Length Mens Wavy Hairstyles
3. Long Wavy Hair and Rugged Beard
4. Cool Mens Hairstyles for Wavy Hair
5. Medium to Long Wavy Hair
6. Wavy Mohawk Hairstyle
7. Low Taper Hairstyles
8. Everyday Casual Wavy Hairstyle
9. Updo Hairstyles for Men with Long Wavy Hair
10. Colorful Wavy Hairstyle
Click and check out this article for a complete list of the way in which you can style your wavy hair!
Styling tip: we’ve found that some types of wavy hair turn a bit too wild and too wet-looking after you’ve used styling cream on them.
3. Coiled Hair
Coiled Hair Types
A. Loose Curls:
- Your typically thick hair
- Full volume with frizzy tendencies
- Textured hair
B. Tight Curls:
- The curls hold more tightly together
C. Corkscrew Curls:
- As expected, the curls have the shape of a corkscrew
Identifying the coiled hair type is pretty easy. The only test you need to do is to wash your hair and leave it dry by itself. Obviously, by the time it’s dry, your hair strands should have formed into coil shapes.
Lots of online guides say that your hair should resemble the cursive letter E. However, we’ve personally met people with coiled hair that only loosely resembles the E shape but that’s definitely curlier than the wavy type.
Having coils is amazing as a hair type for men since it provides the fullness that so many fear they will lose as they age. Taking care of coiled hair is probably the most difficult thing about it.
Styling tips: coiled hair can do with a good, moisturizing, daily conditioner – preferably a leave-in so it won’t remove the hair’s natural oils.
4. Afro-Textured Hair
Afro-Textured Hair Types
A. Defined Coils:
- Very tight coils
- Defined afro-texture
B. Z Coils:
- Similarly tight coils
- The Afro-pattern is not as pronounced
- Z-shaped coils
C. Tight Coils:
- Tight coils
- No visible afro pattern
- Similar to Z coils, but held more tightly together
Afro-textured hair is probably the easiest hair type for men to identify. It’s defined by its very tight curls that form – as expected – a texture rather than a curly mass.
Afro-texture is also called kinky, wooly, spiraled, or nappy hair, although the latter is considered very offensive and is only used in black communities.
Afro-textured hair always looks full and vibrant. Also, you can typically identify kinky hair by the fact that you can’t distinguish one hair from the other. While difficult to manage, most barbers have learned how to handle it.
Still, as kinky hair tends to get dirty quicker, most people will need to wash it more often. Cleansing conditioners will help with this – but you need to be careful not to use them to often because this can deplete your hair of natural oils.
10 Hairstyles for Men with Afro-Textured Hair
1. Short Afro Textured Hair with High Taper Fade
2. Natural Afro Hairstyles for Men
3. Soft and Long Afro Curls
4. Afro Man Bun
5. Flat Top Afro Haircuts
6. Afro-Textured Hair with Mid Fades
7. Locs Hairstyles
8. Asymmetrical and Geometrical Afro Hair
9. Side Part Afros
10. New School Afros
To fully enjoy the beauty of afro-textured hair and discover new ways of styling yours, check out this article that was specially dedicated to them!
So now that you know a bit (or hopefully a lot more about your type of hair, we’ll move on and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about each as well as offer a list of the best products to use for each hair type.
To style thin hair, you can confidently use:
1. Volume shampoos
2. Volume conditioners
3. A blow hairdryer
4. A heat protector (used before blow-drying)
5. Hair loss products
Thick hair can either be left free to do its own thing (although this gives rise to the risk of very disheveled and knotted hair) or you can safely use the following products:
1. Thick hair shampoos
2. Thick hair conditioners
3. Leave-in conditioner works too
4. Styling aid products such as pomade or wax
On shampooing days, you should go for standard conditioners for thick hair. On non-shampooing days, go for a leave-in conditioner that can be applied to your hair while dry. These are some basic tips from Rogelio Samson that he stands by!
The answer is No. You can safely use any normal shampoo and conditioner and all hair products labeled as being “for normal hair”.
Take care of your straight hair by letting it dry before you go to bed. Keep it clean and dirt-free and also try to prevent oil build-ups. If this happens, straight hair will become dull, faded, and messy.
As mentioned above, straight hair is pretty easy to care for. Still, for a bit of extra volume, you can confidently use the following:
1. Volumizing shampoos and conditioners every couple of days
2. Mousse or water-based pomades
3. Spray-on hair volumizers
3. Looking for just a slight sheen? Then wax is the answer!
4. Use mousse for longer dos and volumizing conditioners along with shampoos every other two days. But rinse thoroughly.
To take care of your wavy or frizzy hair, you’ve got to make sure it doesn’t dry up. Also, prevent it from picking up residual moisture from the air.
It would be good to find moisturizing conditioners (preferably leave-in) and, of course, moisturizing shampoos. And don’t go overboard with that towel after a shower on shampooing days. Generally, feel confident in using:
1. Moisturizing conditioners and shampoos
2. Leave-in moisturizing conditioners
3. Hair volumizer sprays – a great pick if you have longer hair
4. Waxes and pomade – that is, if you don’t want extra volume
5. Styling creams work best overall – according to several sources
6. Remember to use a diffuser on your hairdryer
To care for coiled hair, men need to keep it moisturized regularly. They should also scarcely shampoo it. Using a hairdryer is also a no-no. Instead, you’ll want to pat it dry without rubbing the towel all over it – that would cause frizzy hair.
Yes, of course. Just remember to use:
1. Any type of moisturizing shampoos
2. Leave-in moisturizing conditioners
3. Styling creams that help fight the frizz
4. Curl-enhancing sprays and mousses – this is especially great for short hair
5. Feeling lazy? Bad hair day? Pomade is the answer!
Men with afro-textured hair should simply stick to the basics used for coiled hair too: keep it moisturized, shampoo only when necessary, use conditioners, and pat it dry.
1. Moisturizing shampoos – but only shampoo when necessary!
2. Moisturizing, leave-in conditioners are also a good option
3. Alternatively, you can also use some types of hair oil or butter
4. Alternate with cleansing conditioners, especially if the hair tends to get dirty too quickly
5. Styling cream will help reduce and prevent frizz
6. Most types of pomades, waxes, and gels work great for sculpting men’s kinky hair
💈 We recommend Rogelio Samson’s The Men’s Hair Book, which clearly describes all these hair types for men in great detail. A good reference for men hair types can also be found in Classic Hairstyles for Men by Antonio Centeno.
💈 The Wiki page for Afro-textured hair is seriously well-written and thoroughly researched. You can also take a look at the Andre Walker Hair Typing System to see your hair type for online tests.
💈 If you can’t figure out your hair type from this article, see this Texture Quiz by NaturallyCurly.
💈 Don’t forget we’ve also got our page of recommended products where we’ve carefully selected the most impressive men’s hair and beard products we could find!
Also check out our video for more examples of the hair types (the men version) we presented above!
This has been our extensive guide on all men hair types. For more info regarding all the different hairstyles, haircuts, and hair types (and also facial hair, obviously), we’re here at your disposal!
Drop us a line, tell us your opinion on anything about men and their style – we’re eager to hear from you! So keep in touch!
Recommended Read: Beard Styles & Shapes for You! Arranged by Face Shape (+ Video)