Know your hair texture and type

Everyone has a different hair texture, knowing yours will help you to figure out what products or styles work best for you.

The hair texture is simply the circumference of the hair (while the hair type refers to whether the hair is straight or curly).

Hair texture

There are three different hair textures that one can be born with and they are: Fine, Medium and Thick/coarse.

Fine hair is fragile and each individual hair strand is thin having only has two hair layers; cortex and cuticle. It can be hard to keep fine hair in a style, and it gets oily easily. Too much product will weigh it down and break it easily.

Medium hair is what most people have. It is thicker than fine hair though individual hairs also have the same two hair layers that fine hair has (but may also have the third one; the medulla). Medium hair can keep hairstyles better, looks thicker and is more resistant to breaking.

Thick/coarse hair has all three hair layers; cortex, cuticle and medulla. Thick hair gives the impression of a fuller head of hair, and it can keep a hairdo well. It is more tolerant of heat, styling products, hair dye and breakage than fine or medium hair. This also means it takes longer to dry and can get frizzy in humid weather.

Check the chart below and locate your hair texture:

Hair type

There are two basic hair types; Straight and Curly. You can decide to change your hair type, but not the texture. There are subcategories of these two ranging from type 1 to type 4 but Africans or people of African descent belong mostly to the type 3 and 4;Type 1: Straight hair. Straight hair is often fine hair. It can easily get oily and shiny since the lack of curls in the hair means that the oil from the scalp goes all the way down the hair shaft faster than in curly hair.Type 1A hair is very straight and fine.Type 1B hair is thicker. It is still very straight but has medium texture and more volume.1C is very thick and coarse, but still straight and shiny, so it can be hard to make curls last.

Type 2 hair is naturally wavy. It is usually thicker than type 1Type 2A hair is wavy and can be fine and thin or a little coarser. It normally has s-shaped waves and is easy to style.Type 2B hair is wavy and medium thick. It is also wavy, thick and coarse. It can get very frizzy and hard to style.

Type 3 hair is definitely curly. The curls go straight when the hair is wet and then go back to being curly as it dries. It is easy to style and has clear, springy curls.Type 3A hair is shiny and thick with defined curls. It can also get frizzy.Type 3B hair can have a combination of hair textures and has tighter curls.Type 3C hair is a hair with very tight curls or kinks.

Type 4 hair is very curly or kinky hair. It is often very coarse, sensitive and easily damaged. When it is healthy, it has some shine and elasticity to it.Type 4A hair is soft, with tight and well-defined curls.4B is also soft and fragile, with very tight and less defined curls.Type 4C has such tight curls that it may not even look curly.

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