Understanding different hair types & it’s essential care
Ever wondered about the endless range of products available in the market, which advertises benefits for hair. If that leaves you perplexed, then it is time up to ramp up & understand why there is so much diversity in the product range. If there is diversity then it means each of us surely don’t share the same hair type. So, here’s our detailed perspective about different hair types & the ways in which you can take care of them as well as style them.
Wherever you go besides the face, your hair is one such aspect that gets noticed the most. By god’s grace we all look slightly distinctive from each other which gives us a fair chance to stand out. However, not just the hair type yet each individual hair care requirement is also different. Hence, it is very important to first understand your hair type. This will surely give you a better insight into what products might suit you & which might not.
Before going any further ahead, let's understand what is your hair texture. What does hair texture exactly mean? It means the natural shape of your strands. If you’re unable to determine yours till now then let’s do one thing. Don't use any hair product & wash off your hair like usual, letting it dry naturally. Now observe, if the hair is straight without any signs of curl or bend in it then it falls in the Type 1 category, which is nothing but the straight hair. However, after drying if your hair forms an 'S' shape then your hair falls in the Type2 category. On the other hand, the hair that creates a loop or curl pattern is said to fall in the Type 3 category. Lastly, if the hair witnesses a zig-zag pattern or creates a tight curl or spiral falls in the Type 4 category kind of hair texture.
Porosity means the ability of hair to soak up moisture, which is a technical definition given by professionals. In case the hair is found to be highly porous, this means that there is a presence of various holes on the surface layer which is also known as the cuticle. Porosity could be caused due to various reasons ranging from a natural phenomenon, exposure to the heat-based process, chemical exposure, etc. In this scenario, the hair becomes more porous than it is usually. The holes present in the cuticle allows the hair in absorbing the moisture. The hair becomes frizzy for individuals who reside in a humid climate as the cuticle absorbs the moisture from the hair. When we say that the hair is porous, it means that it has the capability to absorb moisturizing products very well. This porousness enables the leave-in conditioners to fill in the holes while sealing them to make the hair more manageable.
The hair which is less porous in nature is said to be more tightly locked & resists moisture absorbing capability. Then whether it is environmental humidity or through chemicals. In order to dodge product buildup which ultimately makes the hair dull, you should wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo every week. Also, try considering mild products viz. Mousses or hair milk so as to create that much-needed volume. You can make the products work effectively by using a blow dryer. Wondering how does it work? Well, the heat generated by blow dryer helps to open up the cuticle which is tight, thus helping in penetration of moisture becoming easier.
Testing hair porosity:
If you wish to test the porosity levels of your own hair, then follow these steps:-
- Take a bowl filled with water and put a few strands of your hair in it.
- Wait for a few minutes, then watch for results.
- If your hair floats then it means it has low porosity. But if your hair sinks that means it possesses high porosity.
Density of hair
When we use the word density for hair, it means the number of hairs present on the head. So, if the scalp isn’t clearly visible then one is said to possess dense hair. However, if you are able to clearly see the scalp irrespective of parting hair or not then one has low hair density. The lack of hair density is determined by varied factors. As many individuals go through stress, hormone changes during pregnancy/menopause & some lack the essential nutrition. It is always advisable to closely choose & witness products that affect our hair density over a course of time. Avoid those products that prove to be heavy or harmful the hair, which is another cause of low-density hair. You can go for texture sprays & mousses that are light, which can help in adding the desired lift & volume to the hair. Whereas, the individuals having high-density hair can use butter & thick cream to make their hair shiny yet manageable.
Ways To Determine Hair Type
Determining the hair type in detail:
This is one of the most common hair types in India. It is determined by hair falling flat from the root tips. There are no curls and the hair texture is soft with high oil secretion. This is further bifurcated:
Type 1A: In this hair type, the hair is very shiny, smooth and soft. Despite this fact, the hair is not voluminous.
Type 1B: In comparison to Type 1A, in this type, the hair is relatively more thicker as well as bouncier.
Type 1C: This hair type is determined as thick yet rough hair.
Admired by many, this hair type has ‘S’ pattern strands. It stays curly at all times even after straightening. The people who have such hair type are often found complaining about frizziness & tangles. Let’s see the subdivision of this hair type:
Type 3A: In this type, the hair possesses loose curls.
Type 3B: In this type, the hair possesses medium curls.
Type 3C: In this type, the hair possesses tight curls.
This hair type is signified by a ‘Z’ pattern, where the hair is found to be rough & faces to breakage every now & then. It in this hair type the person has tight curls & is further subdivided into various categories:
Type 4A: In this hair type, hair is of soft texture.
Type 4B: In this hair type, hair is in a wire-like form.
Type 4C: In this hair type, the hair is very wiry much more than Type 4B.
This hair type stands to be between the curly & straight hair. Where the individual possesses a slightly curly pattern at the ends of the hair. Though the hair is not determined completely curly. This is further categorized in the following:
2A: In this hair type, the hair is wavy but thin.
2B: In this type of hair the hair is again wavy in nature but with a medium thickness.
2C: This hair type is both thick as well as wavy.
What’s Your Hair Type?
It is imperative to understand one’s hair type before landing with a huge queue of products. As you won’t be able to assure the fact that which ones are actually good/bad or essential for your type of hair. So to stay in tune with your hair’s exact requirement as it is important to know your exact hair type. It is as good as saying we treat our body’s with the kind of food, nutrient and exercise it requires as per the body type & requirement. Likewise, hair is also an indispensable aspect of the personality which needs to be taken care of. Besides the usual classification of having straight, wavy, curly or coily hair, there is much more to it for each of these categories too. Not only this but you will have to understand the details about hair porosity, hair density, etc, which has been mentioned above already.
We completely understand that all this might be sounding all greek & Latin, however, we are here to explain you everything in detail.
How to style and care for your hair type:
So, now we will take you to a deeper level where you will get to know how you will be able to style as well as take care of your hair according to its exact type.
- Straight Hair
The people who possess straight hair, face oily & having hair to be flat issues. This is why we advise refraining using heavy serums & hair butter of various sorts. Also, if you are in a habit of washing your hair too often then your scalp will start producing more oils. You can instead use dry shampoo & texture spray which are actually safe & considered ideal for people who are blessed with straight hair type.
The hairstyle that will suit you the best:
- Chin-length blunt cut.
For Type 1A: Due to the lack of hair volume, get your hair cut in layers to add more volume.
Type 1B: You can go for an updo or slicked back hairstyle.
Type 1C: You can opt a short hairstyle or a layered cut as well.
- Wavy Hair
Type 2A: In this type of hair there is the presence of loose waves at the hair ends. So you obviously won’t like to make them flat instead will like to make them more prominent & attractive. For this, you can use gels & creams or oil-based products that are good for hair care.
Type 2B: In this hair type the curls can be noticed at the ends. So, it highlights them, even more, you can get them dyed in a pattern of ‘S’. This method is known as balayage, which is nothing but free hand painting on the hair.
Type 2C: Here you can visibly notice the ‘S’ shaped curls, which are present at the crown area. However, this hair type is frizzy so it is advisable to use a diffuser while blow-drying the hair. How does it help? The diffuser helps in preventing more frizzy hair after blow-drying.
- Curly Hair
Type 3A: In this hair type, individuals have loose loops along with ‘S’ shaped curls. So keep this texture intact the hair should be brushed gently without applying force. If you have this hair type then surely a loose ponytail will suit you the best.
Type 3B: Having thicker curls in this hair type can lead to a lack of moisture retention and hair being rough. Hence, first and foremost it is essential to provide that necessary moisture to the hair. You can do it by the following ingredients: shea butter, honey, eggs, banana, aloe vera, etc. Try to avoid using silicone or sulfate that takes away all the natural moisture from the hair.
Type 3C: This hair type has tight curls which set perfectly. However, since too tight curls lead to entanglements and breakage so it is always good to use a leave-in conditioner to avoid the same.
- Coily Hair
Type 4A: This hair type needs a lot of care in terms of moisturization as it is delicate in nature. So conditioning it well is the need of the hour. You can use butter, cream, good conditions to take care of it. Avoid making a braid.
Type 4B: A hair type with a zig-zag pattern which always suffers from too many tangles. So always comb your hair with the utmost care and use a leave-in conditioner when the hair is damp. If you wish to flaunt your curls then use curling cream or gel.
Type 4C: Fragile and tight curls is what this hair is known for. Hence, keep the hair moisturized well.
In a crux, we all have different hair types and individuals face different types of hair loss. So through this article, we are sure that you must be now in a state of a better understanding of your hair type. The basics, of course, each one of us mostly knows but this in-depth study and explanation was necessary to opt the right hair care products, choice of hairstyle and styling tips.
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Heena is our Hair Expert on board. She has a Masters in English Literature and is total nerd about medical journals and research.