Many times, since the scalp is covered by our tresses, it tends to be easily overlooked. In such cases, the scalp might not be getting the required nourishment it needs like the remaining part of your skin as part of your regular skin routine. It's no doubt that the skin of the scalp is not the same as the skin on your face or hands which is why it is necessary to never apply the same products to your scalp as you do to the rest of your body. Use of oils, specific targeted treatments, or even serums. But this too cannot be used as a product fits-all since every individual has the same hair type or even scalp type. Every scalp varies as dry, sticky, or oily.
What Are The Different Hair Types
Every person's hair is defined based on their hair texture, density, and porosity but primarily it depends on the hair's curl pattern which can be told by the hair follicle. The shape of your follicle determines whether your hair is:
This hair type is the easiest to make out. Basically, if your hair is just straight as a line with no waves or curls then it simply means that you have straight hair. Straight hair usually looks thin most of the time but also flat and limp because the natural oils produced on your scalp are easily able to coat themselves on straight hair. This type of hair is something that when you look at it the hair appears fine, feels like it somehow just lacks volume, while it's possible that your individual strand could still be thick or coarse. But since this type of hair does not have a curl pattern, they tend to look very less in volume.
This hair type is usually very easy to spot as most people especially girls tend to have this type of wavy hair. However, although this hair type is easy to spot, one can never identify which type of wavy hair they have because this wavy hair is further divided into three categories, type 2a, 2b, and 2c, depending on the extent of your wave.
i) Type 2a – Type 2a of wavy hair is when you have straight hair for about two inches from the roots, which then goes on to become slightly wavy and this waves continues to the tips of the hair.
ii) Type 2b – This is very similar to type 2a, except that it has a slightly more defined wave in the shape of an ‘S’.
iii) Type 2c – If you have hair that has an ‘S’ pattern from the crown area itself, then you have Type 2c hair. This type of hair has a lot more defined waves, which gives that added hold and texture.
It is not really difficult to know if you have curly hair or not. Now that you know what waves look like you only have to watch out for the waves to end up forming a loop, then your hair type will be defined as a curly hair type. Just like wavy hair, even curly hair is divided into three types, depending on the definition and the thickness of every curl. Additionally, everything tends to be frizzy and therefore requires extra care and moisture. Here is a list of curly subtypes.
i) Type 3a – This type of curl usually happens if you have fine hair, and is determined by really loose, big curls. Maintaining and styling this hair type is not really difficult because of the size of the curls.
ii) Type 3b – This is considered to be the best and the most envied type of curl definition by all girls. These curls form perfect ringlets and are often seen by a lot of celebrities. The best part about this curl type is that it is neither too thick nor too thin, making it absolutely easy to style and maintain.
iii) Type 3c – If your curls feel super thick and coarse in structure, then it is safe to say you fall into the type 3c category of curls. Type 3c curls are a mix variation of bouncy and tight corkscrew curls. If you have type 3c curls, you will probably notice that your curls are coarse and not as soft as you’d like. Using the right product can help soften your curls a bit.
Coily hair, also known as kinky hair is just another category. This type of hair can be a cross between ‘Z’ and ‘S’ shaped curls that are super tight and frizzy, making them the most difficult to manage.
i) Type 4a – This type of coily hair has a very defined ‘S’ type curl, and has a very wiry texture. Type 4a is also usually very thin and delicate, but appears really thick, thanks to the tight curls. You need to be extremely gentle when washing and styling your hair as it is very prone to breakage.
ii) Type 4b – Unlike type 4a, 4b has a very defined ‘Z’ pattern and can be thick or thin, depending on your hair texture. Even though this type of hair is soft to the touch, it is also quite fragile and can break quite easily, especially if you tend to comb your hair often.
iii) Type 4c – This type of hair is very tightly curled, and is therefore prone to be super coily and frizzy. This is the type of curl that gives the shape of a natural afro, thanks to the tight z-shaped curls.
If your hair follicle is more towards the oval side or it's asymmetrical, the more your hair will look curlier. But moreover, your hair type is also based on your genes. In spite of the numerous treatment or styling tools for hair that are available, this means that how much ever you try to treat your hair with chemicals or even heat and alter the pattern of your hair, you still can't take away your natural hair this is basic pattern and structure of your hair is determined by your DNA. Every time your hair goes through its growth cycle, those genetic characteristics are reasserted.
How To Determine My Hair Type?
Now that you know about the different types of hair which are straight, wavy, curly, and coily along with their subtypes, the next determining factor would be to identify your hair type. The steps include the following:
Your Hair Appearance
To properly tell what your hair actually looks like, wash your hair thoroughly and let it air dry within a few hours. Once the hair is completely air-dried and is free of any products or hair styling tools, the next thing to do would be to find out if it is straight wavy curly, or coily by taking a good look at your set of hair in the mirror. Check to see if they are prominent wavy, prominent curls, tight curls, or just plain straight.
Most people tend to very easily recognize the different hair types which help them identify which main category they would fall under.
Each category of hair has sub-qualities that help define each hair type. In fact, the range of the many and different types of curls or coils sometimes can be hard to pinpoint where you exactly fall under. Some people even have multiple curl patterns. If you’re someone who has multiple textures, choose the one that is most prominent and constantly visible even to others throughout.
Your Hair Structure
Now once you've identified your main hair type, the next thing would be to look at and identify your hair structure. This is ideally done by a strand test, however, it's not really required to do so if you're satisfied with just knowing your hair type. But if you wish to, you can definitely go ahead and try it out. It can be conducted by either sight or touch. For this hair type quiz, we’ll use the touch method, since it helps to more accurately determine the diameter of your hair. Start by taking a strand of hair in between your fingers and rubbing it back and forth.
- If you don’t feel a single thing then, your hair type is considered very fine.
- But If you can feel the hair strand rubbing in between your fingers your hair type can be classified as medium.
- Lastly, If your hair strand feels thicker right in between your fingers, then you should know your hair type would be classified as coarse.
Your Hair Porosity
Hair porosity means the ability of your hair to absorb and retain the moisture that it absorbs. But not just moisture, hair porosity is also defined as the absorption of natural ingredients from the products. Identifying your hair porosity helps you to take better care of your hair because you’ll know how well it can retain especially protein and moisture. How to find out your hair porosity, let’s learn.
Low Porosity: This usually takes a longer time to dry when not using a blow dryer or other heat sources to dry the hair and rather letting the hair air dry itself. The drawback is that this hair type has difficulty absorbing hair care products.
Balanced Porosity: Ideally this type of porous hair is much easier to maintain and has a very natural bounce. Additionally, it can be easily styled without using a large number of styling products.
High Porosity: This type of porous hair is most likely to dry up very quickly. Moisture that is absorbed by this hair can leave the hair just as easily as it was absorbed. High porosity hair is one that usually requires a large number of hair products as they are many times and most occasionally fizzy in nature.
Your Scalp Moisture
The last thing to remember about determining the scalp type is the moisture of the scalp. You must know your scalp type most importantly to know which scalp oil is required to match the condition of your scalp. This helps to prevent scalp buildup or cause dandruff and even brings about any kind of scalp sensitivity and rashes. It is very easy to identify the scalp type, watch out for these 3 types.
- Dry Scalp Type: Every hair follicle is protected by a layer of sebum or oil glands that keeps extra friction away and also prevents brittleness. But if your scalp is dry and itchy, it usually means that your scalp is lacking sebum or enough oil production to provide the entire scalp and hair with moisture. This is what can lead to breakage.
- Oily Scalp Type: Opposite to the dry scalp that feels itchy and flaky is a scalp that makes someone wanna call you a champu. Does your hair feel too greasy and smooth all the time? 98% of the time it is because of an overproduction of sebum or oil, which makes your hair attracted to dirt, that triggers a chemical reaction and may be the leading factor that irritates the scalp and most likely leads to dandruff.
- A Balanced Scalp Type: A balanced scalp type is a scalp type that has an even amount of oil production and is very easy to maintain.
Now that you know all the factors to determine your hair and scalp type, the next thing would be to identify the type of scalp oil that would be best suited for your specific hair condition.
What Do Scalp Oils Do?
Hair oiling is the practice of pouring oil onto hair and massaging it into the scalp to increase moisture, and especially shine. It may also be known to contribute to hair growth as it is involved in improving blood circulation to the hair follicles due to the running of fingers through the scalp during the scalp massage. Oiling the hair from time to time may also help to soften the hair and provide restoring the sebum and oil to the follicles that get ideally stripped off from frequent washing. Scalp oils are one that is not applied to the hair lengths but rather to the scalp only. It could be to either prevent dandruff in cases of dry scalp or to restore back the moisture in the scalp. The purpose varies and so do the oil base and carrier.
Most Effective Scalp Oils For Different Hair Types
- Scalp Oil For Dry Hair: In cases when the scalp is often dry and lacks the required amount of sebum or oil production to keep the scalp constantly moisturized and the follicles looking healthy and shiny, in such cases scalp oils that contain coconut, bhringraj, amla, and almond oil is essential. This is because they not just help to retain moisture and restore sebum production, but also help repair damaged hair types that are frizzy, dry, and have split ends. In such cases where the hair and scalp are dry, it is recommended to apply the scalp oils regularly twice or thrice a week and leave it overnight and immediately wash the hair and scalp the next morning. However, if someone has dandruff, it is advised to apply the oil just 2-3 hours before washing and not leave it overnight.
- Scalp Oil For Oily Hair: For hair and scalp type that has an excess of oil production, and that feels greasy all the time, it is recommended that in other to maintain a balance in oil production, not apply the hair and scalp oils however if you still wish to apply it to improve hair growth, one can opt for applying the oils that contain coconut, bhringraj, amla and almond oil 2-3 hours before washing the hair and wash thoroughly with a sulfate shampoo (sometimes even two washes) to remove off all the excess oils and just leave behind the natural hair oils that are required.
- Scalp Oils For Dandruff: In cases of dandruff, it is essential that one looks for oil ingredients that contain camphor along with essential oils like bergamot, ORPL and wheat germ as these essential oils contain natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that help to stop the growth of the dandruff-causing fungus and also bring about a cooling effect to soothe the scalp and prevent it from itching.
Oiling hair should be a major part of your hair care routine especially if you have dry, coarse, and brittle hair. But before you apply hair and scalp oils, it is of utmost importance that you first determine the hair type and scalp moisture before opting for any random scalp oils without understanding their use. Especially in cases of dandruff, one must know which oils are good for their antifungal properties to get rid of dandruff easily.
Q1 - What Oil Is Good For The Scalp?
Ans - It is not ideal to recommend an oil without knowing the condition of the hair and scalp type.
Q2 - Is Applying Oil Good For The Scalp?
Ans - Applying the oil is good when it comes to dry hair that needs oil production since natural oil or sebum production is lacking from the scalp.
Q3 - What Is The Best Oil For Scalp Hair Growth?
Ans - Traya’s scalp oil is designed with different therapy specifically for dandruff conditions, reducing stress, or if it is just improving hair growth.
Q4 - How Often Should You Oil Your Scalp?
Ans - You generally apply oil once or twice a week, massaging it into your scalp before you go to sleep and washing it out the next morning. However, you should not leave oil overnight if you have dandruff. Just apply it 2-3 hours before washing. Styling oil is designed to be used on a daily basis to smooth frizz, seal split ends, and add shine.