For many women, their hair is their pride and joy. From straight and fine to voluminous and curly, every woman’s hair is different and beautiful in its own way.The way you style your hair is a matter of preference, but you probably already know that your hair has some limitations. Perhaps it tends to frizz easily or doesn’t want to hold a curl. These are qualities that you can’t control, but you can learn how to work around them.
Knowing your hair type and how to care for it is the key to healthy and beautiful hair.What is Your Hair Type?When you think about different types of hair, you probably think in simple terms like curly or straight.What you may not realize is that there are actually a dozen different subcategories of hair types, each fitting a very specific description. Knowing your hair type is the key to caring for it properly.
Here is an overview of the twelve different hair types:
Type 1 – Straight.
Type 2 – Wavy.
Type 3 – Curly.
Type 4 – Coily hair.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these hair types and the subcategories for each.
▪️Type 1: Straight.
If you have hair of this type, it is straight and may have a tendency toward becoming greasy and shiny. Straight hair becomes greasy faster than curly hair because oil from your scalp travels down the hair shaft more quickly.
There are three subcategories for straight hair:
🔸Type 1A – Most common in women of Asian descent, type 1A hair is very straight and fine.
🔸Type 1B – Still very straight, type 1B hair is thicker with medium texture and more volume.
🔸Type 1C – While still straight, this type of hair is very thick, coarse, and shiny.
▪️Type 2: Naturally Wavy.
Hair of this type has a natural wave, and it tends to be thicker than Type 1 hair. The subtypes are divided by the thickness of the hair and the shape of the waves.
There are three subcategories for wavy hair:
🔸Type 2A – This type of hair is very fine and thin with S-shaped waves – it is also easy to style.
🔸Type 2B – A little frizzier than type 2A, this type of hair is wavy and medium-thick.
🔸Type 2C – This hair type is wavy, thick, and coarse – it is prone to frizz and difficult to style.
▪️ Type 3: Curly.
This type of hair is definitely curly – usually the kind of curl that goes straight when the hair is wet but goes back to being curly as it dries. Curly hair has clearly defined, springy curls and it tends to be easy to style.
There are three subcategories for curly hair:
🔸Type 3A – This hair has defined curls with a thick texture and a lot of shine but can be frizzy.
🔸Type 3B – Hair of this type has tighter curls and may have a combination of textures.
🔸Type 3C – This type of hair has very tight curls or kinks and is generally easy to style.
▪️Type 4: Very Curly or Kinky.
Hair of the very curly or kinky type has very tight, sometimes well-defined curls. It tends to be fairly coarse in texture but is also sensitive and prone to damage by heat and product.
There are three different subcategories for kinky hair:
🔸Type 4A – This hair is soft in texture with tight, well-defined curls or kinks.
🔸Type 4B – Hair of this type has very tight curls, but they are less defined, soft, and fragile.
🔸Type 4C – This type of hair has such tight curls that it may not even look curly at all.In addition to different types of hair, there are also different textures to think about. The texture of your hair is typically a description of its circumference or thickness.
Fine hair tends to be thin and fragile. Each hair has two layers, the cortex and the cuticle. Because fine hair is very thin, it can become oily or greasy very quickly. It also tends to become weighed down by product and breaks more easily than thicker hair.
Medium hair is thicker than fine hair, and it is what most women have. Hair with this texture still has two layers – the cortex and cuticle – but some women may have a third layer to their hair called the medulla. Medium-thickness hair tends to hold hairstyles better than fine hair and has more volume. It is also less prone to breakage.
The third option for hair texture is thick or coarse. Thick hair has three layers – the cortex, cuticle, and medulla – and it looks fuller than fine or medium hair. Coarse or thick hair holds hairstyles well and is more tolerant than other textures to things like heat, product, and hair dye. It is also less prone to breakage, but it can become frizzy in humid weather and takes longer to dry.
How porosity and density affect your hair.
When hair professionals talk about porosity, they mean your hair’s ability to soak up moisture. If your hair is highly porous, it has a lot of holes in its surface layer, called the cuticle.
You may have naturally porous hair, or chemical and heat processing may have made your hair more porous than it normally would be.
Those holes in the cuticle allow your hair to absorb more moisture. If the climate where you live is humid, your hair may tend to frizz. That’s because the cuticle is drawing moisture from the air.
The good news is that porous hair also absorbs moisturizing products well. A wide range of products, from leave-in conditioners to rich butters, can seal the holes and make your hair easier to manage.
Hair that’s less porous is tightly locked and tends to resist moisture, whether that’s environmental humidity or chemical processing.
To avoid product buildup that could weigh down and dull your hair, wash with a clarifying shampoo weekly and choose lighter products, like hair milks and mousses, to create volume.
You may find that products work better if you use a blow dryer. The heat can open up the tight cuticle and allow moisture to seep in.
Hair porosity test.
▪️Lay a few strands of your hair in a bowl of water.
▪️ After a few minutes, take a look.
▪️ Hair that floats has low porosity.
▪️ Hair that sinks has high porosity.
Hair density refers to the number of hairs on your head. If you can’t see your scalp clearly, you probably have dense hair. If you can see your scalp even without parting your hair, you probably have low hair density.
Your hair’s density can be affected by a number of factors, including stress, hormones during pregnancy or menopause, and nutrition.
It’s a good idea to take stock of the products you’re using if your hair density has changed.
Heavy products can flatten low density hair. Look for texture sprays and light mousses to add volume and lift. High density hair can benefit from thicker creams and butters to add shine and control.
The diameter of your hair refers to the width of an individual hair strand. This is the most accurate way to determine your hair type. Do the strand test to understand if your hair is fine, medium or thick.
Hold a single strand of your hair between your thumb and index fingers.
▪️Thin Hair: If you can barely feel the strand between your fingers, you have thin hair. In some cases, the hair strand can be so thin that it is not even visible.
▪️Medium Hair: If you can feel the hair strand slightly, you have medium hair.
▪️Thick Hair: If you can distinctly feel the hair strand, you have thick hair.
You can also compare your hair strand to a sewing thread. Place a hair strand along the length of a thread. If it is just as thick or even thicker than the thread, you have coarse or thick hair. If it is more or less the same thickness as the thread, you have medium hair. If the hair strand is significantly thinner than the thread, you have thin or limp hair.
Knowing how greasy your hair is can help you understand how frequently you need to wash it. You will also be able to pick the right products, like clarifying shampoos and conditioners, as oily hair tends to build residue faster.
Wash your hair thoroughly before hitting the bed and let it air dry. Once you wake up, do a patch test on your scalp. You can press a tissue against your scalp, especially near the crown of your head and behind your ears. The amount of oil deposited on the tissue will determine how oily your hair is.
▪️Oily Hair: If there is a heavily greasy patch on the tissue, you have greasy hair and scalp. This means you need to wash your hair 4 to 5 times a week.
▪️Normal Hair: If there is very light evidence of oil, you have a normal scalp. You can wash your hair 1 to 2 times a week.
▪️Dry Hair: There is no oil deposited on the tissue. This indicates a lack of hydration. Use products that can add and retain moisture in your locks.
▪️Combination Hair: If there is oil deposited on the tissue from only specific regions of your scalp, it indicates combination hair. Often, the hair behind your ears and over the temples secretes a high amount of oil.
Hair elasticity refers to the extent to which a single hair strand can stretch before returning to its normal state . It is a strong indicator of hair health. Hair with high elasticity has a good amount of shine and bounce and is regarded as the strongest of all hair types.
To find out the elasticity of your hair, you need to pluck a wet hair strand and stretch it as much as you can. Depending on the results, your hair elasticity can be categorized into one of three types.
▪️High Elasticity: If your hair strand stretches a long way without breaking immediately, it indicates high elasticity. This means stronger hair. Hair with high elasticity (when wet) can stretch up to 50% of its original length before it breaks. Often, coarse hair is highly elastic.
▪️Medium Elasticity: If your hair stretches to some extent before breaking, it indicates medium elasticity. Most women have medium hair elasticity. You can strengthen your hair using natural hair masks and hair oils.
▪️Low Elasticity: Hair that snaps almost immediately after stretching has low elasticity.
This hair type tends to be limp and brittle. It requires special attention with respect to the products used on it. Harsh chemicals can diminish hair elasticity. Hence, it is essential to choose shampoos that strengthen hair cuticles.
Simple Hair Care Tips for Different Hair Types/https://www.forhers.com/blog/hair-types
How to Identify and Style Your Hair Type/https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/types-of-hair
What Are The Different Hair Types? How To Determine Your Hair Type?/https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/how-to-determine-your-hair-type/