How To Tell What Type Of Hair You Have – Medical Review by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — By Mathieu Rees — Updated November 8, 2023

There are many different types of hair, including straight, curly, wavy, and coly. Depending on a person’s hair type, they may need to follow different care instructions, including the type of shampoo to use and how often to wash or trim it.

How To Tell What Type Of Hair You Have

How To Tell What Type Of Hair You Have

Hair type generally refers to the shape of a person’s hair. Hair can be straight, wavy, curly, or coil.

The Differences Between 3a, 3b, & 3c Hair

, hair consists of two structures: the strand of the hair itself, or the shaft of the hair, and the hair root.

The hair shaft consists of several layers, including the cortex, surrounding cells, and, in thick hair, a central medulla.

Note that the shape of the hair follicle determines the shape of a person’s hair. For example, the roots for curly hair are in the shape of S.

Note that different researchers have used different hair shape classification systems in their research on hair. For example, some have used labels such as:

How To Cut Curly Hair: 5 Things You Need To Know

Some hairstylists like to distinguish hair shapes into four types. However, scientists do not use this classification system in medicine or scientific research.

Hair density refers to the amount of hair a person has on their head. The more hair a person has, the higher the density of that person’s hair.

According to the World Trichology Society (WTS), hair thickness varies from person to person. Some people have lighter hair than others. WTS also notes that hair fibers become shorter and finer as people age.

How To Tell What Type Of Hair You Have

The porosity of the hair depends on the number of gaps or tears that exist in the cuticle layer. The cuticle is the outer layer of the hair, which protects it from wear and tear.

How Do You Know If You Have Type 3 Or Type 4 Hair? (how To Identify Your Hair Types)

, hair is naturally porous. However, hair that has been continuously damaged due to bleaching or chemical treatment is more porous than untreated hair.

People may find it helpful to avoid strong chemicals and high heat to allow their hair to recover.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), people can try the following when caring for their hair:

There is some evidence to suggest that straight hair holds sebum more easily than curly hair. Sebum is a waxy, fatty substance that the human skin produces. This means that people with straight hair may get more oil than people with curlier hair.

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For this reason, people with straight hair may want to avoid excessive use of certain hair products. These include:

, people with straight hair may need to take a more gentle approach to their hair care. This may include:

Over brushing can destroy curl definition. Therefore, people with curly hair may need to experiment to find the right amount of brush for their hair.

How To Tell What Type Of Hair You Have

Some people may want to use hair mousses and gels intended for curly hair to maintain curl definition.

Different Types Of Perms To Choose From & Style Your Hair

In addition, people may want to take care when using weaves or extensions. To prevent hair damage, they may try:

Tight hairstyles can also lead to traction alopecia, which causes hair loss. People may want to consider giving their hair a break after 2-3 months of wearing weaves or extensions.

Also, people with very thick hair may find it helpful to use a brush designed for thick hair. These brushes have less mouth than others, which helps people remove knots without damaging the hair.

There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that thick hair products, such as oils and butters, can thin hair. For this reason, people with thinning hair may want to avoid these products.

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WTS notes that people shed about 50-150 hairs a day. This can happen through hair washing, brushing, and combing. However, some people lose more hair than they can grow.

This can happen for various reasons. One common cause is androgenetic alopecia. This is a pre-determined genetic condition that affects

Of the people. In men, hair loss occurs at the temples and the top of the head. In women, hair loss can affect the crown.

How To Tell What Type Of Hair You Have

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that people can use certain shampoos, essential oils, and supplements to thicken hair. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove that hair care can prevent thinning hair.

Do I Have Naturally Wavy Hair?

That said, a person can take measures to help prevent some causes of hair loss, such as traction alopecia.

Everyone’s hair is a little different. A person’s hair can be straight, curly, coil, or wavy, and each type benefits from different care methods.

Medical News Today contains rigorous source recommendations and draws from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using third-party references. We link to primary sources of information – including studies, scientific references, and statistics – within each article and also list them in the Resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure that our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. Enter your name and email to receive our free eBook: Juicy Hair: 7 ways to keep your hair from drying out.

One of the most widely used hair classification systems or hair typing charts was created by Oprah Winfrey’s hair stylist, Andre Walker called the Andre Walker Hair Classification System. He talks about his system in his book “Andre Talks Hair”. His system is original & one that we still refer to for classifying hair texture. See the hair type chart below.

Rare Hair Types: What You Need To Know + How To Care For Them

But the truth about this hair type is its pure beauty. It does not speak to the need for hair or makeup. This is why I have taken a deep look at hair typing for beginners and how to make it suitable for your hair.

Very thick and full bodied. Set the “S” pattern. Hair tends to be frizzy. Can have integrated structure.

Curls tightly in corkscrews. Curls can be kinky, or curled very tightly, with lots and lots of densely packed strands. (3c is not in the book)

How To Tell What Type Of Hair You Have

Some say that 4c looks similar to 4b except that the curls are tightly kinked, seemingly without definition. (not yet in the book)

Do You Know Your Hair Type?

Ok how do I know my hair type now? I have two answers to help answer that question by looking deeper into hair types & projects. Create and find products for your hair type.

Enter your name and email to receive your free copy: Salty Hair: 7 Ways to Keep Your Hair from Dryness. Tight zigzags, noses, curls, spirals… All those differences also mean that there is no one-size-fits-all curl care: each type has its own needs. And with about 1,289,432 curl products to choose from (hair care aisles = intimidating), finding the best routine for your hair can kinda feel like a never-ending obstacle.

Understanding your curl type can help make things (much) easier. For one, it will guide you to products, tools and hairstyles that work

Your natural structure, not against it. It can also help you measure the health of your hair and answer other care-related questions – such as how much product to use and when it’s really necessary to shampoo. Let’s walk through how to do it.

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It is important to recall the controversial history of hair printing and note that the system is not perfect. That said, classifying your curl type is a good starting point for learning more about your locks. Celebrity makeup artist Andre Walker invented the most widely used hair printing system in the 90s. The curl pattern chart he created divides hair into four types based on the shape of the line: straight, wavy, curly and coily.

Again, good jumping off point – but there’s more to curl than meets the eye. Things like porosity, elasticity and thickness also affect how your hair behaves and the TLC it needs. To get specific about your curl type, try this:

1. Clean your hair. Before you start, make sure your hair is clean and free of any product. We are talking about becoming, or a natural line. Clarifying Shampoo can help here!

How To Tell What Type Of Hair You Have

2. Dry the hair. Your hair should be fully dry. This will help you accurately assess your true structure.

Do You Know Your Hair Texture?

3. Part your hair. Divide your hair into four sections so you can easily check each area of ​​your head.

4. Observe your curls. Get up close and personal with each party. Study the shape and form of your curls. Are they loose and wavy, or tight and thick? Are they uniform in shape, or are they different?

5. Compare with curl type table. See how your observations match the curl type chart to figure out your curl style.

6. Consider porosity, elasticity and thickness, as well. Remember: the curl pattern is only part of the picture. In addition to texture, checking porosity, elasticity and thickness can give you a better idea of ​​how healthy and strong your hair is – a big part of creating an effective care regimen.

What Level Is My Hair? Guide To Levels In Hair

Now that you are beautiful and comfortable with your curls, you can find products that meet their needs directly. For example, if you have coarse, high-pore 4A hair, you may be looking for a moisturizing, thick, deep product formulated for dry or damaged hair. if you


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