It's no secret that having a good hair routine is key to keeping your hair looking healthy. But what many people don't know is that the first step to establishing a good routine for your hair is knowing your hair type.
Knowing your hair type and your curl type will help you determine what products and styling techniques work best for you, and will help keep your locks looking their best. So, if you're not sure what your hair type is, read on for a breakdown of the most common types.
You may just be surprised at which one describes you!
Why Is Hair Type Important?
When most of us were growing up, we probably didn't take too much notice of the different hair types out there. To us, they were basically curly, straight, long, or short. There is far more to it though, something which we tend to become more aware of the older we get.
When it comes to having healthy-looking hair, knowing your hair texture, curl pattern, and porosity is important. Certain hair products are designed for certain hair types. You wouldn't send your BMW to a Mercedes service center when it needs a tune-up, would you? So, why would you just grab any product off the shelves without truly understanding how well-suited it is for your hair?
Let's take a closer look at each hair type.
Porosity is basically how well your hair is able to absorb and retain moisture. There are three types of porosity: low, normal/medium, and high.
You can do a simple test at home to see what kind of porosity you have. Get a glass of water and take a single strand of your clean, dry hair and drop it in.
It if sinks straight away and stays at the bottom of the glass, you have low porosity hair. This means your cuticles are tightly sealed, making it difficult for moisture to penetrate.
If it floats for a few seconds before sinking, you have normal/medium porosity hair. This is the most common type and means your cuticles are slightly raised, allowing moisture to enter but also making it prone to frizz.
If your strand of hair floats on top of the water without sinking, you have high porosity hair. This means your cuticles are raised and allow moisture in easily but also let it out just as quickly. As a result, high porosity hair can be dry, frizzy, and difficult to manage.
What Are The Main Differences Between Low, Medium, and High Porosity?
Low-porosity hair is often fine, sleek, and shiny. It can be difficult to curl and is slow to dry. Medium porosity hair is the most common type. It is usually easy to style, holds onto color well, and is of average density. High porosity hair can be coarse, thick, or very fine. It dries quickly, tangles easily, and is often frizzy.
Now that you know your porosity, you can begin to look for products that will address any issues you may have.
Figure Out Your Curl Pattern
The next step in determining your hair type is to figure out your curl pattern. This can be a little trickier than porosity, but once you get the hang of it, it'll be a breeze. Let's take a look at what makes hair curly in the first place.
What Makes Hair Curly?
There are a number of factors that contribute to why hair may appear curly. Genetics plays a role in determining the natural shape of your hair. The structure of your hair follicles can also affect how your hair grows and appears.
If you have ever wondered why some people have naturally straight hair while others have curls, it all comes down to the structure of the hair follicle. Those with straight hair typically have rounder hair follicles. On the other hand, those with curly hair usually have oval-shaped or flattened hair follicles.
The position of your hair follicles can also affect the appearance of your locks. If your follicles point upwards, you are more likely to have straight hair. If they point sideways, you may have wavy hair. And if they point downwards, you are likely to have curly hair.
So, what makes hair curly? A combination of genetics and the structure of your hair follicles!
Types of Curl Patterns
There are four main types of curl patterns: wavy, curly, coily, and straight.
Wavy hair is exactly what it sounds like - hair with a gentle wave to it. It's not quite straight and not quite curly, and is usually of medium density. Curly hair is also pretty self-explanatory - hair with defined curls. It can range from loose and bouncy to tight and springy and is often of high density. Coily hair is similar to curly hair but with tighter, smaller curls. It is also often of high density. Straight is as it says - straight hair with no clearly visible curls.
How to Figure Out Your Curl Type
There are a few different ways you can go about this. The first is to simply look in the mirror and examine your hair. Another way is to wet your hair and let it air dry (without using any products). Once it's dry, take a close look at the shape of your curls.
If they're well-defined and springy, you have curly hair. If they're loose and bouncy, you have wavy hair. If they're small and tight, you have coily hair. And if your hair is straight with no visible curls, you have straight hair. Remember, you can have more than one hair type.
You can also use the finger-combing method to help determine your curl type. First, wet your hair and apply a leave-in conditioner. Then, comb your fingers through your hair from root to tip (do not use a brush or comb). Examine the shape of your curls. Are they well-defined? Loose? Tight? This will help you determine whether you have curly, wavy, or coily hair.
The Difference Between Hair Density And Hair Thickness
Now that we've gone over the basics of hair types, it's important to also understand the difference between hair density and hair thickness. Hair density is the number of follicles on your scalp. Those with high density have a lot of follicles, while those with low density have fewer follicles.
Hair thickness is the width of each individual strand of hair. Those with thick hair have wider strands, while those with thin hair have narrower strands. Just because you have a lot of hair doesn't necessarily mean it's thick - you could have fine, thin hair (low density, thin strands) or coarse, thick hair (high density, thick strands).
It's important to know the difference between these two terms because they will impact the products you use and how you style your hair. For example, those with high-density but thin strands may need to use more volumizing products to help their hair appear fuller.
Knowing your hair type is the first step to achieving healthy-looking, beautiful hair. Once you know what type of hair you have, you can start finding products and styles that work best for you. So take a look in the mirror and figure out your curl pattern - your perfect hairstyle awaits!
Tips For Keeping Your Hair In The Best Condition Possible
1. Have your hair trimmed regularly: It's important to get regular trims, even if you are looking to grow your hair out - aim for every 6-8 weeks. This will help get rid of split ends and keep your hair looking healthy.
2. Use a heat protectant: Be sure to use a heat protectant product, such as Better Natured Heat Styling Lotion, before using blow-drying. This will help minimize damage and keep your hair looking its best.
3. Don't wash your hair every day: Washing your hair every day can strip it of natural oils and make it dry and brittle. Aim to wash 2-3 times per week instead.
4. Be gentle with your hair: When brushing or combing your hair, be sure to be gentle. Yanking or pulling on your hair can cause breakage.
5. Use the Better Natured hair care range: Our products are specifically formulated to nourish and protect your hair. Plus, they're vegan, cruelty-free, and made with natural ingredients.
Following these tips will help you achieve healthy-looking, beautiful hair - no matter what your hair type may be!