Understanding Your Hair Type: A Simple Guide to Hair Care

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Your hair type is pivotal in determining the most effective care and styling routine. To unlock the secret to luscious locks, it’s essential first to identify your hair type. There are generally four primary hair types: straight, wavy, curly, and coily, and each of these has three sub-types, resulting in a total of 12 distinct hair types. It’s important to note that individuals can have a combination of two hair types, particularly when those hair types are adjacent to each other in the classification.


Figure Out Your Hair Type And The Top Hair Care Practices

Here’s a brief guide on how to figure out your hair type:


Straight Hair (Type 1):

1a: Stick-straight, fine, and thin with no visible waves.

1b: Straight, but with slightly more body or thickness.

1c: Straight with a thick, coarse texture.


Top Hair Care Practices for Straight Hair:

  • Shampoo and condition regularly to prevent oil buildup.
  • Use lightweight, volumizing products for added body.
  • Avoid heavy styling products that can weigh down your hair.


Wavy Hair (Type 2):

2a: Loose, beachy waves with an ‘S’ pattern.

2b: More defined ‘S’ pattern waves with some frizz.

2c: Wavy hair with a pronounced ‘S’ pattern and more thickness.


Top Hair Care Practices for Wavy Hair:

  • Use a sulfate-free, hydrating shampoo to maintain wave definition.
  • Apply a curl-enhancing product to reduce frizz and define waves.
  • Scrunch your hair when styling to enhance natural waves.


Curly Hair (Type 3):

3a: Big, loose curls with a circumference similar to sidewalk chalk.

3b: Springy, tighter curls with a circumference similar to a marker.

3c: Coily curls with a circumference similar to a pencil or straw.


Top Hair Care Practices for Curly Hair:

  • Use a moisturizing, sulfate-free shampoo to prevent dryness.
  • Apply a leave-in conditioner to maintain moisture and define curls.
  • Avoid brushing and instead use a wide-toothed comb to detangle.


Coily Hair (Type 4):

4a: Tightly coiled, small ‘S’ pattern curls.

4b: Z-patterned curls that can vary in size, often with a fragile texture.

4c: Extremely tight coils with minimal definition, often very fragile.


Top Hair Care Practices for coily hair: 

  • Co-wash (conditioner washing) to maintain moisture and avoid over-drying.
  • Apply rich, natural oils to keep coils hydrated and defined.
  • Protect your hair at night with a silk or satin bonnet or pillowcase.


Image 1: Image by @curlmix from [Instagram]

To confirm your hair type, assess it when it’s clean, air-dried, and free of products. Understanding your hair type is the first step in tailoring your care routine and selecting the right products for your specific needs. The combination of the number and letter helps you pinpoint your hair type more accurately, allowing for a more customized and effective hair care routine. As mentioned earlier, hair can also vary within a single head, so consider the most predominant type when determining your specific category.


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