For everyone, to determine their hair types is the first step in order to start an effective daily hair maintenance. Once you understand various hair types and know yours, it will help you to select a hair product that works best for you. You may think that you know the type of hair that you have. But do you know all the hair types that have been introduced by hair stylists? Shape wise, we have straight, wavy, curly and coily hair types that each has their own subcategories. But don’t worry, you can easily determine yours, and there are plenty hair products for each type on the market.
Factors that distinguish hair types
It is not unusual if a lot of us can’t tell which hair types we have. But remember that if you want to develop an effective hair care plan, it is important to know your own hair type. For example, when it comes to deciding on haircare products, knowing your hair type can help you pick the right products that work best for you. Selecting a good haircare product is important, since many of the hair problems that you may suffer from may be the result of improper selection of hair products. So, by knowing your own hair type, you can find the correct balance that your hair needs, and therefore, enjoy the feel of having strong beautiful hair. There are various factors that you should consider when trying to determine your own hair type. These factors include such as hair density, diameter, porosity and also hair shape.
Probably one of the most important information that you need to obtain in order to find out your hair type is the diameter of your hair. Hair diameter is simply describing the width of one individual hair strand. In other words, it does not tell you how much hair you have, but it tells you how thick your hair strands are.
Finding your hair diameter is simple and easy. All you need to do is to hold one single strands between your fingers (maybe thumb and index fingers), or you can detach one from your scalp and just put it somewhere to simply observe it. So, here is how to analyse the results: if you hardly feel the strand between your fingers or barely see it on the table, then you have thin hair. If you can feel it or see it just slightly, you have medium hair. If you can feel it very clearly then it is thick or coarse hair.
Another method to determine your hair diameter is to compare one single strand against a piece of sewing thread. In this method the sewing thread is used as a scale. If the hair is thinner compared to the thread, then you have thin hair. If it presents more or less the same thickness as the thread, then you may call it medium hair. And at last, if you see that the hair strand is just as thick as the thread (or even thicker), then it can be classified as thick hair.
Hair density simply refers to how much hair you have (in terms of individual hair strands). In order to determine the degree of your hair density, you only need to perform a very simple experiment. Simply grab a section of your hair (maybe from the front section) and then pull it aside. Then using a mirror just observe your scalp, what you see can help you to determine the level of your hair density. If you can easily see your scalp, or at least sections of it, then you have thin density hair. But, if you barely can see your scalp due to the large number of hair strands, then you have thick density. You have medium density if you can partially see your scalp through the hair, in other words, if it is somewhere in-between thin and thick density.
Although you should bear in mind that hair density is a different matter from hair diameter. You may have thin hair (in diameter) with more density, or you may have thick hair (diameter wise) but with less density.
Porosity is another factor that affects your hair type. It describes the ability of your hair to absorb and keep moisture and also hair products. Like the other features, it is important to know the level of porosity of your hair, since it will help you to find out what level of chemical treatments should be used. Finding out how porous your hair is, is very easy.
All you need to do is to detach a hair strand from your scalp and place it in a cup of water and just observe it. If the hair sinks all the way to the bottom of the cup, it means you have hair with high porosity. This type of hair is more prone to damage since the hair strands have gaps and pores in the cuticle, therefore they absorb moisture and chemicals very quickly. If you have high porous hair, then you probably have noticed that your hair dries very quickly.
Your hair is considered low porosity if your hair strand floats on the surface of the water. In this type of hair there are almost no gaps and few pores in the cuticles. It means that the moisture always remains at the surface of the cuticle and does not get absorbed. Low porosity hair usually takes longer to dry and usually after a hair wash, they stay wet for a longer period of time.
And lastly, if the hair strand in the water does not sink to the bottom nor stay on the surface (somewhere in-between), then you have normal or medium porosity. This hair type is nicely balanced and takes up the optimal amount of water and chemical treatments. Normal porous hair type is less prone to damage, easily maintained and also, they hold almost any hair style very nicely.
In general, there are four hair types described based on the texture of the hair: type 1 (straight), type 2 (wavy), type 3 (curly) and type 4 (coily). Then each type is divided into three subgroups: A (fine), B (medium) and C (coarse). This division is designed based on the structure of the hair. This subdivision is basically referring to the thickness of your hair strands: fine thickness, medium or thick (coarse).
If you are unsure which type your hair falls in, an easy way to find out is to air dry. So, once you wash your hair, you should allow it to air dry. Then you can observe your hair strands carefully. If it dries straight you have type 1 hair, or if dries with a slight curve or S shape, it is type 2. Or if once air dried, you observe a very clear curl pattern, then it falls under type 3 category. If you observe a zig-zag shape hair, then it is type 4.