Hair - Hair Type - Straight

The Rarest Hair Type: How Rare is Type 1A Hair?

Only 2% of the population share this one trait: completely straight hair.

Written by Danish Bodycare
How Rare is 1A Hair

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There are 12 hair types in the André Walker typing system, divided into four categories: straight (type 1), wavy (type 2), curly (type 3), and kinky (type 4).

In each category, there are 3 types: a, b, and c.

Among the 12, there is one that’s rarer than the rest: type 1a.

Here’s why.

What Is 1a Hair?

Type 1A hair is a unique hair type that’s quite rare. It’s the straightest of all hair types, often found among women of Asian descent.

This hair texture is pin-straight, fine, and thin. This makes it fragile and prone to breakage.

In comparison to other hair types, 1A hair lacks volume and body. However, its smoothness gives it a glossy shine, which can be appealing when cared for properly.

Type 1 hair is the straight category in the hair typing system. Other types include type 2 (wavy), type 3 (curly), and type 4 (kinky/coily).

Characteristics of 1A Hair

Characteristics of 1A Hair

Type 1A hair is a unique and somewhat rare hair type that features specific attributes:

  • Consistently straight strands
  • Fine or super fine in thickness
  • Shiny and oily in appearance
  • Difficulty in holding curls, even with a curling iron
  • Lacking in body or volume


Your 1A hair is entirely straight, silky, and soft. Since it’s stick-straight, the natural oils produced by your scalp can easily travel down the strands. This makes them shiny and lustrous.

Type 1A hair also grows relatively quickly.


This hair type can also have a few downsides.

It tends to be flat and may lack in volume, making styling a challenge. In fact, type 1A hair is sometimes too smooth, making it difficult for updos, braids, and other hairstyles to stay in place.

How Rare is Type 1A Hair?

Type 1A hair is the rarest hair type of the four types (straight, wavy, curly, kinky). It’s only seen in a small percentage of the population, estimates being around 2%.

Why Is 1A Hair The Rarest Hair Type?

Type 1A hair is rare because it’s completely straight, without any natural curl or wave to it. This hair type is also defined by its thinness and lack of volume, making it pin-straight from root to tip.

You’ll often find 1A hair in women of Asian descent. However, hair types vary even within specific ethnicities. Not all Asian women will have this hair type.

In fact, people from other ethnic backgrounds might also have type 1A hair, although it’s less common.

What Percentage of the Population Has 1A Hair?

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact percentage of people with 1A hair. Some sources estimate that only 2% of the population has this rare hair type.

The rarity of this hair type is because of its pure nature. With most people having hair strands with little wave or curl, they aren’t considered as 1a.

Where Is Type 1A Hair Most Common?

Where Is Type 1A Hair Most Common

Type 1A hair is most commonly found among people of Asian descent. So, if you are in Asia, there’s a higher chance of finding individuals with 1A hair.

While Asia has the highest concentration of people with type 1A hair, you can also find it in other regions. For instance, some individuals in North America and the Nordic areas of Europe have this hair type.

While it may not be as common in one region as in another, people with type 1A hair are found across the globe.

Type 1A Hair: Ethnicity and Region

Ethnicity has a big effect on hair type. Studies show that different groups tend to develop certain traits.

Here’s how that affects the prevalence of type 1A hair:


European hair is mainly wavy and straight, with a smaller percentage of curly hair:

  • Wavy: 46.6%
  • Straight: 40.7%
  • Curly: 12.7%

As 40.7% of Europeans have straight hair, some individuals do have type 1a hair.


Asian hair (both East and West) is predominantly straight or wavy, with some curly hair:

  • Straight: 46.7%
  • Wavy: 41.3%
  • Curly: 12%

This means that Asians have the highest density of straight-haired individuals, which also makes it most likely that there are more with type 1A hair.


African hair is majorly curly with a small percentage of wavy hair

  • Curly: 94.9%
  • Wavy: 5.1%

This means that there are no individuals with type 1a hair in Africa.

Although straight hair is common among Asian populations, having 1A hair is uncommon.

This rarity also makes 1A hair a unique feature that stands out from other hair types, despite how many people might share your ancestry or ethnicity.

Finding Your Hair Type

To discover if you have 1A hair, take a hair quiz or consult with a hairstylist.

Pay attention to your hair’s volume and thickness, as these factors can help you identify your hair type. Type 1A hair has a low volume and is very fine in texture.

When examining your hair strands, look for straight, fine strands that may appear shiny and oily. Remember, 1A hair rarely holds curls and often produces excess oil that contributes to its shine.

If your hair matches these characteristics, it’s highly likely you have 1A hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the prevalence of Type 1a hair?

The exact prevalence of Type 1a hair isn’t universally established due to varying global demographics and genetics.

How does 1a hair compare to other hair types in rarity?

As mentioned, 1a hair is rarer than most other hair types. In general, straight, fine hair like 1a is less common than wavy, curly, or coily hair types.

Are certain ethnicities more likely to have 1a hair?

Type 1a hair can be found across various ethnicities; however, it’s rare regardless of the population. Keep in mind that hair type is a complex genetic trait, so it’s not limited to specific ethnic groups.

How does the rarity of 1a hair relate to other curl patterns?

The rarity of 1a hair stands in contrast to other curl patterns. For instance, types 2 (wavy), 3 (curly), and 4 (coily) hair types are more common, depending on the population. As a result, having 1a hair makes it uniquely rare amongst all curl patterns.

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Danish Bodycare

The Danish Bodycare editorial staff consists of beauty experts, hairstylists, makeup artists, and models with years of experience in the personal care space.