How to Determine Hair Type

Straight Hair

Straight hair is defined by pin-straight strands that lie flat against your head and can vary in texture from fine to medium to coarse. Straight hair has the power to reflect light and can look highly glossy when healthy; those with this hair type often have oily scalps, so using heat styling techniques sparingly and light products is critical to achieving the best results. Stylist Kristi Lovelace advises clients with straight hair to use lighter-weight serums and leave-in conditioner to help control oil production, as too much product could weigh down their locks and weigh them down.

Wavy Hair

Straight hair may be classic, but wavy strands can be exquisitely beautiful. While curly locks form tight coils around themselves, wavy locks have looser coils with S-shaped curves that ripple freely when styled or brushed through. The shape of your follicles determines your hair’s texture; if they are symmetrical or more oval-shaped, your locks will likely be straight; otherwise, they could become wavy due to hormonal influences at play during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. If your wavy hair has gentle waves, you have type 2A wavy hair. This texture has less texture and more resistance to styling compared to type 2B; volumizing products or smoothing serum are your go-to solutions here. If your curl pattern resembles tight S-curls, then type 2C is likely for you; its coarse and frizzier structure makes this type the ultimate styling challenge!

Curly Hair

Curly hair can be defined as curvature in its shaft that causes it to bend and coil around itself, producing various curls, from loose waves to tightly wound Z-shaped coils. To identify your curl type, Bailey recommends inspecting wet-brushed hair. “This allows you to better see and identify its natural texture and shape,” according to him. Your 4A curl pattern can be identified if your strands form an even, compact zigzag without twisting or looping around themselves. This delicate, textured curly hair tends to experience more shrinkage than other types. When styling 4A hair, choose products that help define its curves, such as an alcohol-free gel made with moisturizing shea butter and jojoba oil; such products will help reduce frizz and smooth strands while helping define and define its curls. Additionally, try volumizing shampoos containing humectants, which will attract and hold moisture to help bring about their full potential!

Coily Hair

Coily hair tends to be quite fragile due to all of its stress points in the form of curls and kinks, necessitating lots of hydration after each wash – it is best practice to use a light leave-in conditioner after each washing session, and it is wise not to style too frequently or with tight protective styles. Regularly using a wide-tooth comb and air drying your hair on cool can reduce frizz significantly. Furthermore, keeping coils and coils hydrated with an excellent sulfate-free shampoo is essential to achieve perfect locks. Andre Walker developed an effective hair typing system known as 4C hair typing, which classifies straight as type 1, wavy as 2, curly as 3, coily/kinky 4, and coily and kinky 4. People with 4C hair have tight, zigzag-like spirals that tend to shrink significantly with washing. Therefore, less frequent washes should be performed, and moisturizing with glycerin and shea butter products should be utilized to keep this hair type healthy and manageable.