Hair Types for Men Guide

Your guide to learning all about men’s hair types

The best hairstyles for men are chosen based on one’s own hair type and hair length. For you to choose the best hairstyle possible, you definitively need to take into account the specific type of your hair; in fact, for you to have the best hair in general, you need to know your hair type!

A picture of a black guy with kinky curly hair clipped as a high fade haircut

As a barber, my job is to give you not just a good haircut but also to give you some good advice on how to properly maintain your hair, and that’s where hair typing comes into play. Most men are unaware of their hair type, which amplifies the many troubles that guys go through when finding the right hairstyle and haircut as well as the right hair product/s for their hair. It’s thus that I’d like to show you in this guide how to type (i.e. categorize) your hair to make the most of it together with the rest of men’s hairstyle advice on this site.

The ISEZ hair type guide

The best hair type guide for men is the ISEZ method developed by men’s hair expert Rogelio Samson and fully explained in his bestselling book titled “The Men’s Hair Book”. This particular hair-typing method has become a standard in the barbering world as it makes everything easier for both barbers (yours truly) and barbershop customers.

Even though the ISEZ hair-typing method from Rogelio Samson was originally intended for regular folks, its usefulness has been proven in the barbershop scene, which means that you, as a regular folk looking for the best hairstyle around, can use the ISEZ hair-type guide to improve your hair care and hairstyle aesthetics. Likewise, the ISEZ hair-type guide was specifically intended for men although the guide works just as great on women too.

A photograph of two of our hairstylists with different hair types for men and for women

With the ISEZ hair type guide, the four hair types available to men are straight hair (i.e. non-curled hair), wavy hair (i.e. slightly curled-hair), coiled hair (i.e. medium curled hair) and kinky hair (i.e. extremely curled hair). On this site, however, you will sometimes see that I call the hair type “coiled” as “curly” and the hair type “kinky” as “afro textured”; the reason for this is very simple: the ISEZ hair type is, without a doubt the best hair type ever created (including for women), but the majority of men are not acquainted with the terms “coiled” and “kinky” when thinking of “types of hair”; instead, most men can hint what “curly” and “afro textured” mean. Furthermore, curly hair spans all hair types from wavy to kinky hair, which adds more redundancy to the use of the term “curly” to depict a hair type.

Here are the four types of men’s hair explained; I’m using a photograph for each hair type so that you can easily visualize the shape and form of each of the four hair types.

Straight hair

Straight hair doesn’t bend at any length; its shape resembles the capital letter “I”. Suitable men’s hairstyles for straight hair include the side swept hairstyle (see picture below), the slicked-back hairstyle, long hair and spiky hair. To give you an idea of how this hair type looks on a famous guy, Brad Pitt has straight hair, for example.

A photograph of an EMO male with a side swept hairstyle achieved with Layrite pomade

Wavy hair

Wavy hair slightly curls as it grows, forming “S” shapes as it grows. It usually takes about three inches of hair length for wavy hair to show its true S shape pattern; if the hair is shorter than three inches, then the hair will take a C-shaped pattern (see picture below). Cool hairstyles for wavy hair include the man bun hairstyle and the middle-parted hairstyle. One celebrity with “textbook” wavy hair us Adrian Grenier.

A close-up photograph showing the wavy curls of a boy prior to getting a haircut at the barbershop

Coiled hair

Coiled hair curls tightly as it grows, forming coils in ranges of hair length from half an inch to one inch, with the shape of coiled hair resembling the capital letter “E”. Some great hairstyles for curly hair are the High and Tight haircut and the Ivy League haircut.

In this website, though, I tend to call this hair type “curly” and not “coiled” for your ease as most guys understand “coiled” as “curly”, even though curly hair includes wavy hair and kinky hair too. With regards to a coiled-haired celebrity, Will Ferrel would be a good example of what coiled hair is.

A photograph of a young man with curly hair and an afro hairstyle


Kinky hair

Kinky hair curls the tightest of all hair types, forming tiny coils in very short lengths that cannot be noticed at a distance of over three feet away from a mirror. The shape of kinky hair resembles sharp Z-like shapes and extremely-tight ringlets, and, in this website, I usually refer to “kinky hair” as “afro textured hair” for your ease since most African-American males have this hair type and the term “afro textured” is more widely known.

A close-up barbershop photograph depicting the small curls formed in afro-textured hair

Short haircuts suit kinky hair the best, and all military haircuts are great hair-styling options for those with the curliest of all men’s hair types. A medium hair length of up to six inches is also a good range of hair length for kinky hair since this hair type has a tendency to “stand up” instead of “lie down” on the scalp. Free-flowing medium hairstyles are recommend for those men with kinky curly hair who want to grow their hair to a medium length. Speaking of celebrities, Will Smith is a good example of a male with afro textured hair.

Use a mirror to spot your hair type!

What you now have to do, after having read and understood the four hair types above, is to look in the mirror and try to tell the shape of your hair based on the above descriptions: if you find that your hair is too short to notice its real shape, then think back of when you had longer hair (e.g. look at a photograph of yourself with longer hair) and take into account the photographs above depicting each hair type.

To finish off this hair type guide, I should say that, If you really want to know all about your hair, its styling, its (correct) care and the innovative ISEZ method for men’s hair, then it is best that you buy the actual book “The Men’s Hair Book”, as this book is worth every single cent that it costs.

As usual with my guides on this site, if you happen to have any questions about your hair type or about hair typing as a whole, then please post your questions in the commenting section below.

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