Have you ever looked at a product that is marketed for a specific hair type and wondered what your hair type is? If you have, you’re not alone. In fact, many people spend their entire lives not really knowing what their hair type is because people generally don’t know how to analyze their hair. When you’re shopping for hair products or even hair styling tools, knowing your hair will help you select the best product for yourself and get the best results with it.
Hair type is usually determined by factors such as hair texture, density, diameter, elasticity, porosity, curl pattern, and greasiness. If you want to identify your own hair type, you have to consider these factors.
The texture of your hair is basically the pattern or the natural shape of your hair. To determine this, you have to analyze your hair in its most natural state, for example, after showering but without using any products or even the hairdryer afterward. If your hair dries straight, that is, without any bends or curls, then you have type 1 hair, which is also simply called straight hair. Type 2 or wavy hair is when your hair dries with an “S” shape. Type 3, which is also known as curly hair, consists of a pattern of loops and curls, and type 4 or “coil-y” hair is referred to hair that has tight curls, spirals, or even a zigzag pattern.
The diameter of your hair refers to the width of each strand of hair. You can figure out the width or the thickness of your hair strand by either holding a single strand between two fingers or comparing it with a sewing thread. For example, if you can barely feel the strand between your fingers, you have thin or fine hair. Similarly, if, upon comparison, the sewing thread seems thicker than the hair, it means you have fine hair. If you can feel the hair strand distinctly between your fingers, or if the sewing thread seems thinner than your hair strand, it means your hair is thick or coarse. If the results in either test are somewhere in the middle, you have medium hair.
When you hear the words hair porosity, you should know that they refer to your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. If your hair has high porosity, it will absorb more product and moisture. This means that hair with high porosity can get damaged and frizzy more easily. Knowing your hair porosity can help you choose products that are more appropriate for your hair and ones that won’t result in hair damage. To determine your hair porosity, get a strand of hair – this can be from your hairbrush. Now, submerge it in a glass of water. If that strand sinks, it has high porosity. If the strand floats on the water, it has low porosity, and if it floats somewhere in the middle, it has normal porosity.
Now that you can get to know your hair, make sure you always buy the right products for it and provide it exactly the kind of nourishment and care it requires.