Feb 1, 2011

I noticed that many of my natural sisters are unsure of their hair type. It is extremely important to know your hair type. Knowing your hair type will help you determine the products./techniques that will better suit your hair type. I will all increase your knowledge on how to handle your hair overall.

Hair Subtypes:
A - fine and thin
B - medium-textured
C - thick and coarse.

Type 1: Straight Hair

This hair type tends to get oily and is usually shiny

Type 2: Wavy Hair

Type 2 hair falls in between Type 1 (straight hair) and Type 3 (curly hair). Has some soft waves but little to no real curl. It doesn't form rings, just waves. The wave forms throughout the hair in the shape of the letter "S". The hair tends to lay flat against the scalp, instead of standing away from the head the way curly hair does. The hallmark of wavy hair is that it sticks close to the head: even if you cut it in layers, it won't bounce up. Type 2A is very easy to handle. Types 2B and 2C are a little more resistant to styling and have a tendency to frizz.
This hair type needs lighter products that enhance curls. Do not use a brush or comb on your dry curls.

Type 3: Curly Hair

With curly hair, there is a definite loopy "S" pattern. Most people think curly hair is coarse, but it is usually baby soft and very fine in texture – there's just a lot of it. Because the cuticle layers don't lay as flat, curly hair isn't as shiny as straight or wavy hair. The hair doesn't have a very smooth surface, so light doesn't reflect off of it as much. When curly hair is wet, is usually straightens out. As it dries, it contracts to its curliest state. With Type 3 hair humidity makes curly hair even curlier, or frizzier.

Type 3 hair has a lot of body and is easily styled in its natural state, or it can be easily straightened with a blow-dryer into a smoother style. Healthy Type 3 hair is shiny, with soft, smooth curls and strong elasticity. The curls are well-defined and springy. Damaged Type 3 hair is usually frizzy, dull, hard and dry to the touch, with fuzzy, ill-defined curls.

This hair type needs light moisture and products that define the curls. This hair type needs extra moisture and products that define curls and fight frizz.

Type 4: Kinky Hair

If your hair falls into the Type 4 category, then it is kinky, or very tightly curled. Generally, Type 4 hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very, very fragile. Type 4 hair appears to be coarse, but it is actually quite fine, with lots and lots of this strands densely packed together. Healthy Type 4 hair won't shine, but it will have sheen. It will feel more silky than it will look shiny.

Type 4 hairs looks tough and durable, but looks can be deceiving. If you have Type 4 hair, you already know that it is the most fragile hair around. Why? Type 4 hair has fewer cuticle layers than any other hair type, which means that it has less natural protection from the damage you inflict by combing, brushing, curling, blow-drying and straightening it. The more cuticle layers in a single strand of hair, the more protection it has from damage. Each time you damage your hair – fire up the curling iron, fry it with chemicals – you break down a cuticle layer, robbing your hair of much-needed moisture. Many women with Type 4 hair rely on chemical relaxers to make hair easier to control. Type 4A tends to have more moisture than Type 4B.

Type 4 hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/coarse strand texture.  Generally, this hair is densely packed to give the appearance of very thick but fragile hair.  Showing the true length can be an extra challenge, as the hair may grow “up” or “out” before starting to hang down. Type 4 hair is known to shrink up to 75% of the actual hair length.  This hair type needs extra moisture and tender care to prevent breakage.

Type 4c can be the most fragile because of the curl pattern and the dryness of the hair. Type 4c hair needs to be moisturized regularly and treated gently!!

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