I know a lot of curly ladies who have no clue about what to do with their hair, it is always in a bun (not that I am against buns, in fact, they were my go tos). Most of them started their hair journey not knowing what to expect (I'm so guilty). After a few months being natural, taking care of their hair has become uneventful and extremely burdensome.
It can be so frustrating spending tons of hours and dollars (in my case, naira) to take care of your hair and seeing no result. In my latest post on how to moisturize your hair, I briefly described the structure of a hair strand. However, I thought it would be a lot more educative if you understood everything there was to know about your hair type.
Hopefully, in my next post, I'd explain how to care for each hair type in the categories I'll describe in this post.
Hair texture refers to the diameter of your hair strand. There are three basic types of hair texture.
FINE HAIR has the smallest diameter and is delicate.
MEDIUM HAIR is the ideal hair type.
COARSE HAIR is thick and resilient.
Once upon a time, a wise woman (or man, who knows?) created a grading system that people with curly hair (and straight hair) could use to identify their curl patterns (or hair type). There are four basic categories of hair types, each of them represented by a number ranging from 1 to 4. Each of these basic hair categories has three different types A to C, which varies based on the hair texture or tightness of the curl pattern.
Type 1 represents straight hair. The hair types under this category differ by the texture of hair. Type 1 hair is generally lustrous. The absence of curls makes it easy for the natural oil -called sebum - secreted from the scalp to be evenly distributed throughout the hair.
TYPE 1A is fine straight hair.
TYPE 1B is straight and mediumly textured.
TYPE 1C is straight coarse hair.
Type 2 hair is wavy hair. The hair strands of this hair category are also lustrous however they are not as lustrous as strands of Type 1 hair. Hair Type 2 varies by the definition of the wave pattern and the texture of the hair strands.
TYPE 2A is slightly wavy fine hair and is easy to manipulate.
TYPE 2B is mediumly textured wavy hair.
TYPE 2C is coarse and wavy hair. It has the tendency to get frizzy and the waves in this hair type are a lot more defined.
Type 3 hair, which is my favorite, is curly hair. Unfortunately for me, it isn't my hair type. Usually, the strands of hair under this category curl in clumps and are prone to get frizzy. The types of hair in this category differ by their curl patterns.
TYPE 3A is loosely curled hair that looks like wiry coils.
TYPE 3B is a lot more curly than 3A, with less range between coils.
TYPE 3C is tightly coiled hair that has the shape of a corkscrew.
Type 4 hair is fragile hair and is often referred to as kinky curly hair. The strands of Type 4 hair have a zigzag pattern. The hair type under this category differs by the tightness of the hair coils. Unlike Type 3 hair that curls in clumps, the strands of type 4 hair have such a tight curl pattern that it prevents them from easily curling in groups. Hence, most type 4 hair appear frizzy and lack visible curls.
TYPE 4A is loosely kinky, fine textured hair.
TYPE 4B is fine textured kinky hair.
TYPE 4C hair is tightly coiled kinky hair.
Now this, this is important to know. The porosity of your hair determines how easily moisture enters and leaves your hair. Simply put, it defines how well your hair retains moisture. Each hair type under this category requires different hair care methods.
There are different methods to determine the porosity of your hair, but, I'll discuss the float test.
It's quite simple. Just get a strand of shed hair and place it in a glass of water.
Hair with low porosity floats, because the hair cuticle layer is tightly overlapped. This structure limits the number of water molecules that the hair shaft absorbs. The nature of low porous hair makes it resistant to moisture, treatment, and products. However, once moisturized, it retains the moisture.
Mediumly porous hair sinks slowly and settles at the center of the glass. The cuticle layer of medium porous hair allows just enough water molecules to penetrate the hair shaft. Medium porous hair is the ideal hair type. It absorbs and retains the right amount of moisture.
Hair that descends quickly is highly porous. Hair with high porosity has loosely overlapped cuticle which gives room for easy passage of water molecules. This hair type easily gets dry and tangled. The quality of the cuticle makes it easy to moisturize, but it loses the moisture as easily as it gains it.
I hope you learned something new. Don't forget to check out the next posts. I'll discuss the advised hair care routines for each of the hair types.