What exactly is my hair type and how best can i handle it? I get this question very often from clients and decided to research about it and put it together in simple language. Before purchasing any hair product, it is important to know your hair type for you to get the right products. We often just buy products because we saw it advertised or because someone used it and it worked perfect for them or because it smells good or for whatever reason. This is wrong because the different types of hair texture need different products and are also handled differently.
Every hair is different and fall into four main categories namely Straight, Wavy, Curly and Kinky. These categories are further broken down into more precise groups which i will discuss in the next section.
Straight hair, also categorized as Type 1
Straight hair is basically just straight. Type 1 hair is difficult to damage because it is the most oily of them all. This is so because the natural oils produced (sebum) find its way through the shaft from the scalp easily because there are no curls or waves to interfere. This makes it also the shiniest of them all. Straight hair is mostly styled straight because curls don´t hold for long when done. It is best to pick hairstyles that don´t recquire curling because it can be frustrating .
Wavy hair, also categorized as Type 2
As the description suggests, this hair has waves. It lies somewhere between type 1(straight) and type 3 (curly). It has sheen but is less shiny than straight hair. Wavy hair is further categorized into 3 sections namely 2A,2B and 2C.
2A has very faint waves, almost straight and is a bit tricky to style with curls just like the straight hair.
2B has more visible waves and is better to style.
2C has the most clear waves but they are not as tight as type 3. It is the easiest of the 3 to style.
2A 2B 2C
CARE TIP : The tighter the waves in the hair, the more prone to frizz it is. This hair should not be manipulated often because it has high chances of frizzing. To keep this hair healthy and frizz free, you will should use good moisturizing and anti frizz products.
Curly hair, also categorized as Type 3
Now here is where the real curls begin. Compared to type 2, the curls are tighter and pretty much look like a spring. It has sort of S shape and springs back when pulled. Curly hair is a bit complex because each strand has its own curl pattern. Type 3 is further categorized into 3 sections namely 3A,3B and 3C which represent the fine, medium and coarse textures. The further you go from type 1, the more and tighter the curls are.
3A curls have a fine to medium texture.
3B curls are well-defined spirals and have a medium texture.
3C curls are tighter and more coarse than 3A and 3B. 3C has a high density because of the tightness of the curls and this gives it more volume.
Curly hair isn’t necessarily thicker than type 1 and 2. Yes, it´s just a belief because it looks so. It might seem thicker just because the curls add volume and make it look thicker.
3A 3B 3C
CARE TIP : As said earlier, the tighter the curls, the more prone to frizz the hair is. This hair type needs proper care to maintain the curls or else they will look dull and unattractive. With this type of hair, you have to use just the right amount of product before styling or else it will look greasy and oily. It is best to apply your styling product on freshly washed hair because product build up weighs down your hair and it just isn´t pretty to look at.
Kinky hair ; also categorized as 4
Kinky hair is also commonly known as Afro. It is naturally very spongy and dry. Kinky is the driest of all the hair types. Each hair strand has a zigzag pattern. The dryness is mainly because the naturally produced oil has a hard time to go through the zigzag curls to the ends. This hair is also further categorized into 4A,4B and 4C.
4A has a well-defined S shaped pattern like type 3 when pulled but is extremely wiry.
4B looks fluffy and has tighter curls than 4C because the curls are longer in circumference.
4C almost looks like 4B but is rather coiled. This type has no defined shape naturally and is most prone to shrinkage. To define curls, you have to braid, twist or shingle it.
Because of its natural characteristics, kinky hair is very fragile and prone to shrinkage and can easily break and frizz. Many people believe that kinky hair does not grow long. This isn´t true! Kinky hair grows at the same rate as the other hair types but because of its fragility, it tends to break if not given proper care.
Regardless of what you are doing with kinky hair, be it detangling, washing or styling, you have to be very tender with it.
4A 4B 4C
CARE TIP : Because of its dry nature, kinky hair should be regularly moisturized and sealed with a suitable oil. Depending on the porosity of your hair, you may need to moisturize daily or every other day. Use a sulfate free shampoo to wash, a moisturizing or hydrating conditioner and deep conditioner.
Water is the best natural moisturizer and if your hair feels dry and its not yet wash day, you can spray it with water from a sprayer bottle which you can find in your local drug store, then use a moisturizing lotion before styling.
Good to go!
Now that you know your hair type and what comes with it, i recommend that you use the right products for your hair to keep it healthy.Was this information helpful? Or would you like to add something about your hair type? Feel free to contact me or leave a comment. i will be glad to read from you!