Understanding Your Hair Type

When it comes to choosing the right haircare products, determining your hair type is absolutely essential for knowing which products would work best for your hair. In fact, many of your top hair concerns or problems may stem from simply using the wrong products, By knowing your hair type, you can find the proper balance that your hair needs and end your bad hair days for good.

4 attributes that help define you hair type

  • Shape
  • Diameter
  • Porosity
  • Elasticity

Determining your Hair Shape

Andre Walker, hairstylist for Oprah Winfrey, created a system for determining hair type primarily based on curl size and pattern. This includes a range of hair types from straight to coily. 

  • 1 (straight): Hair has no curve in it at all.

  • 2 (wavy): Hair is wavy but does not curl much.

  • 3 (curly): Hair is curly with an S shape and holds a definite curl pattern even when unstyled

  • 4 (coily): Hair is tightly coiled or kinky, often with a definite Z pattern. It can be stretched out and will return to its curled shape when released

  • 1A: Hair is soft and cannot hold a curl.
  • 1B: Hair does not curl but has more volume.
               For 1A and 1B:
    • Use light hold creams or gels + Sulphate Free Shampoo
    • Avoid chemically processed Oils & Silicone Serums (They weigh down fine hair)

  • 1C: Hair does not curl and is rather coarse.
               For 1C:
    • Use Moisturising/Hydrating Organic Hair Wash/Shampoo + Chemical Free Styling cream or Gel + Natural Oil Treatment
    • Avoid Volumizers

 

  • 2A: Hair is wavy, resembling the letter S, and is coarse.
  • 2B: Hair is often frizzy with a definite wave.
  • 2C: Hair is very frizzy with thick waves, and is the coarsest of this category.
               For 2A, 2B and 2C:
    • Use Moisturising/Hydrating or Cleansing/ Reparative Hair wash or Shampoo + Cleansing conditioners + wave enhancing creams + Hair Masque or Hair Oils (For Nourishment) (Always use Sulphate, Silicone and Paraben Free Products)
    • Avoid Alcohol, Silicone based Gels. Straightening creams that have Silicone also can cause builds up on the hair (Too Heavy).

 

  • 3A: Curls are about the same diameter as sidewalk chalk, or pretty loose curls.
  • 3B: Curls are about the same diameter as a sharpie, or medium-sized curls.
  • 3C: Curls are about the same diameter as a pencil, or corkscrew curls.

               For 3A, 3B and 3C:

    • Use Moisturising/Hydrating Hair wash or Shampoo + Leave In Conditioners + Curl enhancing/control Gels /Creams/ jelly/ smoothie/ paste + Hair moisturisers (on days when you haven't washed your hair) + Hair Oils / Masque/ Vitamins (For Nourishment) (Always use Sulphate, Silicone and Paraben Free Products)
    • Avoid Alcohol,Silicone and bad Polymer based Hair Sprays. Also avoid other harmful chemicals & Fluffy Terrycloth Towels

 

  • 4A: Curls are very tight, about the same diameter as a needle.
  • 4B: Curls resemble a zigzag pattern, looking like the letter Z.
  • 4C: There might not be a curl pattern to this hair type. It has a tight zigzag with an uneven pattern, so it is harder to define

               For 4A, 4B and 4C:

    • Use  Moisturising/Hydrating Hair wash or Shampoo + Leave In Conditioners + Curl enhancing/control Creams/ smoothie/ paste + Hair moisturisers (on days when you haven't washed your hair) + Hair Oils / Vitamins (For Nourishment) (Always use Sulphate, Silicone and Paraben Free Products)
    • Avoid Alcohol,Silicone and bad Polymer based Gels/Jellies (They sap moisture) & Dry Shampoos with Sulphates (You need moisture)

 

Determining Your Hair Diameter

  • Wash your hair & let it air dry
  • Pull out a strand of dry hair
  • Place the hair strand and a strand of sewing thread side by side on a white paper

    • Compare the Hair strand to the thread
    • Thin hair: If the hair strand’s thickness is thinner than the thread piece, you have thin hair.
    • Medium hair: If your hair strand is about the same thickness as the thread, you have medium hair texture.
    • Thick hair: If the hair strand is thicker than the piece of thread, you have thick hair.

    Determining Your Hair Porosity

    • Wash your hair & let it air dry
    • Pull out a strand of dry hair
    • Place the hair strand in a bowl with water (Avoid hair contact with edges)

    • Low porosity: If the strand floats and does not sink at all, you have low porosity.
      • Use warm water instead of cold + Cleansing Hair Wash/Shampoo + Deep or Leave In Conditioner + Styling Gels/ Jellies/ Creams / Smoothies
      • Avoid Protein Rich products and Heavy Oils + Too much moisturisation
    • Medium porosity: A strand that sinks after a while will indicate medium porosity.
    • High porosity: If the strand sinks to the bottom of the bowl quickly, you have high porosity

                   For Medium and High Porosity:

      • Use Moisturising/Hydrating Hair Wash/ Shampoo + Deep Conditioners + Styling Creams/ Smoothies + Hair Masques + Hair Oils + Hair Moisturisers (On days you don't shampoo)
      • Avoid Drying harsh Shampoos and Alcohol/Silicon based Styling Gels and Jellies

    Determining Your Hair's Elasticity

    • Pull out a strand of dry hair and gently stretch it
    • High elasticity: If you can stretch the strand a long way before it breaks, you have high elasticity and very strong hair.
    • Medium elasticity: If you can stretch the strand somewhat before it snaps, you have medium elasticity.
    • Low elasticity: If the strand breaks almost immediately when stretching it, you have low elasticity and your hair may not be very strong. The strand may also stretch like bubbly gum, and when it breaks it may curl up.

      • Use Hair Moisturising/Hydrating Shampoo + Hair Oils / Vitamins / Scalp treatments + Hair Creams and smoothies for styling (Generally aim to use organic natural products that are free of harsh chemicals)
      • Avoid bad Polymer, Alcohol and Silicone based gels/Jellies