The secret sauce for finding your “Hair Type”

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Do you know finding your hair type helps you make informed choices about your hair maintenance? Once you know your hair type you will be easily able to do the following
Picking up the right hair products for you and stop following the celebrity, influencers, or a pushy hairdresser in salons selling you their own brand
You will be able to tackle common hair issues faced depending on your hair type
Hairstyles suited for your hair type

Finding your Hair type is knowing different characteristics of your hair, which are the following

  • Shape of the hair
  • Density of the hair
  • Porosity of the hair
  • Elasticity of the hair
  • Diameter of the hair
  • Greasiness of the hair

In this article, we will try to understand your hair type by shape in details

Finding Your Hair Type by Shape

Hair type by shape has been a recent discovery when Oprah Winfrey hairdresser Andre Walker introduced this  classification system in the 1990’s while launching their range of products. There has been another classification system as well-known as LOIS, and FIA’s Hair Typing System. We are going to explore Walker’s hair classification as it is most widely used however this does not imply that Walker’s hair typing system is better than the others we are exploring this just based on the popularity

Disclaimer

No two-person hair types will be the same and you will take some time for trial and error until you arrive at which category you are in.

It is wise to know that this classification system has its own constraint and you might not get 100% perfect category for your hair type and that is absolutely normal. It is ok to have combination hair type and use this guide just to understand your hair better

Prerequisite to finding your hair type

Your Hair type can be identified when it is in a natural condition. If you have gone for any strong chemical processes like permanent straightening or perming or any similar treatment it will be difficult and almost impossible to identify yours. Hence it would be better if you grow your natural hair to a certain length and then go ahead with the identification process

If your hair is in the natural state then wash it with a mild shampoo and blot your hair with a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt to avoid frizz and hair remains in natural shape

So according to Andrew walker, hair shape can be divided into 4 types broadly with each one having subtyped

1- Finding your hair type in Straight Hair

As the name suggests these are natural straight hair which can easily turn greasy due to natural oil released from the scalp. These oil travel from root to tip adding extra shine compared to another hair type. Straight hair grows faster compared to other hair types.

Straight hair has 3 subcategories

1A- What is 1A hair ?

Characteristic:

  • 1a  is fine to superfine hair with needle-like hair ends.
  • It is the rarest hair type and most common among Asian women predominantly from Japan or China.
  • It cannot hold a curl at all

Pros:

  • The benefits of this hair type are that it is smooth and glossy which makes it easy to manage.
  • The frizz resistance nature makes it easier to cut

Cons:

  • Since the hair is fine in nature they lay flat, lack volume and often prone to easy damage.
  • They turn greasy, lumpy and oily in a short period of time and require frequent shampoo.
  • Difficult to hold stylish hairdos.

1B- What is 1B hair?

Characteristics:

  • Type 1b  is the most common hair type found among women.
  • It strands has some volume and medium texture with a slight curve at the end
  • Though it is generally straight when not styled but not very flat as type 1A

Pros:

  • It has the ability to hold curls
  • It can be easily managed as the hair is neither too fine nor too thick

Cons:

  • Not as polished and sleek as compared to type 1A

1C- what is 1C hair ?

Characteristics:

  • This hair type is still straight but coarse and thick in nature
  • Gives a tousled look when naturally air-dried.
  • Sometimes one or two waves of hair can be seen hiding behind the straight hair

Pros:

  • Can easily hold curls
  • Gives a fuller look

Cons:

  • The texture of the hair is super thick it is prone to dizziness.
  • Difficult to manage because of its volume and texture

2 – Finding your hair type in Wavy Hair

This hair kind lies somewhere in the middle between straight and curly hair. This hair type is not very bouncy and remains close to your head
You can typically identify a subtle “S” pattern on a wavy hair. They are less shiny compared to straight hair. The scalp is generally neither too oily nor too dry

Wavy hair has 3 subcategories

2A-What is 2A hair ?

Characteristics

  • This kind of hair is fine, silky and thin in texture. Form a slight “s”.

Pros:

  • Easy to manage
  • It rarely frizz
  • Easy to pick any hairstyle

Cons:

  • Lack of volume and definition

2 B-What is 2B hair ?

Characteristics:

  • Neither too fine nor too coarse kind of hair structure.
  • It is the best example to be termed as wavy hair
  • It is flat or straight near roots or scalp but wavy or “S” shaped at the hair tip

Pros:

  • Gives a better fuller look
  • Very easy to style

Cons:

  • Prone to being frizz often
  • A bit resistant to styling

2C- What is 2c hair ?

Characteristics:

  • This kind of hair is thick and coarse in texture. They start forming loose curls and has more defined “S”.

Pros:

  • Voluminous hair strands give a fuller look

Cons:

  • Resistant to styling and will frizz easily.

 3 – Finding your hair type in Curly Hair

This type of hair will be naturally curly and it remain ranging from loose curl to tight. This type of hair is very common in African women. They are generally tangled and frizzy. As it gets difficult for the oil from the scalp to travel down to hair tip, women with this hair type suffer from dandruff.

Curly hair had two subcategories namely 3A and 3B according to Andre walker system but later 3C was added by curly hair community at NaturallyCurly.com as they felt this hair type was missing out from Andrew Walker hair typing system

3A-what is 3A Hair ?

Characteristic:

  • Loose spiral curl
  • Curls circumference resembles wine bottle cork

Pros:

  • Easily takes shape and hence very convenient for hair styling

Cons:

  • Fine hair texture and a bit fragile

3B-What is 3B Hair ?

Characteristics:

  • Tighter curls
  • Springier and coiled
  • Coarse and dense

Pros:

  • Voluminous hair

Cons:

  • Difficult to style
  • Prone to get dry as it is coarse in nature

3C-What is 3C Hair ?

Characteristics:

  • Hair strands tightly packed with each other.
  • Hair has a unique S or Z-shaped coil.
  • 3C was created to fill in women between 3b and 4A
  • Circumference of the curl resembles from a straw to a pencil

Pros:

  • High volume of hair

Cons:

  • Dehydrated and frizzy

 4-Finding your hair type in Kinky Hair

Woman with this texture is very common in afro women. It is the driest  among all kinky hair structure .

Kinky hair consists of 4A, 4B and 4C texture where 4C was later added after hair community on naturally curly suggested adding this missing texture

4A- What is 4A hair ?

Characteristics:

  • Very tight curls, circumference like a crochet needle
  • 4a hair has a defined “S” curl pattern

Pros:

  • This hair texture can hold moisture compared to other kinky hair types
  • Dense in nature

Cons:

  • Prone to breakage
  • Very fine hair or wiry strands
  • Hair tends to get dry

4B- What is 4B hair ?

Characteristics:

  • Instead of “s” shaped pattern strands are “z” shaped
  • Less defined
  • Bends in sharp angle instead on curling
  • Hair is tightly coiled
  • Cotton fluffy structure
  • Hair forms a zig-zag pattern
  • Diverse in texture and density

Pros:

  • Volume

Cons:

  • Wiry to touch
  • Prone to dryness

4C – What is 4C hair ?

As mentioned earlier it was not a part of Andrew Hair Typing system and was later added as it was supposed to be the missing link after recommend we’re made

Characteristics:

  • Hair as densely packed
  • Less definition pertaining to curls
  • It has no defined curl pattern
  • Hair shrinks by 70% giving the appearance of short hair

Pros:

  • This kind of hair is highly textured and leads to enormous volume.
  • It is less frizzy compared to other kinky hair types.
  • Protective hairstyles such as buns and brands can hold up for a few days

Cons:

  • Very delicate hair
  • Requires strict maintenance

Hope by now you will have at least a vague idea if not exact answer of finding your hair type . There can be some confusion between hair category and that is absolutely normal as no two heads are similar and overlapping of hair types are very common.

Congratulations on embarking your hair care journey as finding your hair type is the first step taken.

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