The 4 Main Types of Hair

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We have 4 main types of hair. They are straight, wavy, curly, and coily hair types. Learn more about the various characteristics of hair types and hair care tips from this article.


What Does Hair Type Mean?

Hair type refers to the characteristics that contribute to the appearance and feel of your natural hair. Your hair type is determined by genetics, which governs the following factors:

Dryness: Moisture is essential for the health of your hair, just as it is for your skin. On average, dry hair produces less oil. Some hairs may be greasier than others, particularly after exercise, and produce more natural oils. Special shampoos and deep-conditioning products can help to dry out and temper your hair's oil production by removing oil buildup. To increase hydration, use serums or leave-in conditioners.

Texture: Straight, wavy, curly, and coily are the four most popular hair textures. The shape of your hair follicles can be determined by genetics, resulting in one or a combination of these different textures.

Thickness: Thick hair indicates that your scalp produces hair in a higher density, whereas thin hair indicates that there is more negative space between each hair follicle. Thin hair is not always indicative of hair loss or unhealthy hair; some people are born with fine hair.


4 Types of Hair

Hair is classified into four types, with additional subcategories in the hair care industry. Knowing your hair type will help you choose mousses, hair masks, and other care products that will help strengthen your cuticles and improve the health of your hair strands to prevent breakage. Discover what distinguishes each type and how they differ from one another:

1. Type 1: Straight hair, type 1, features round follicles, grows flat, and lies flat on the scalp. Type 1A hair is fine and straight, whereas type 1B hair has more volume and may hold more curls. Type 1C is coarse and thick, which can cause frizzing.

2. Type 2: Wavy hair, type 2, has oblong follicles and grows in a slight zigzag pattern. Wavy hair can frizz in heat and humidity, making it look even curlier than usual. Type 2A wavy hair is fine and forms an “S” shape when it’s dry. Type 2B features waves at the mid-length, while type 2C is thicker and prone to extreme frizziness.

3. Type 3: Curly hair, type 3, has oval-shaped follicles that produce tighter curls than those of wavy hair. Curl patterns will vary in shape and size. Type 3A hair features loose, spiral curls, whereas type 3B has slightly tighter springs. Type 3C describes tight curls with a thicker texture.

4. Type 4: Coily hair is Type 4. Coily hair features coils, a tightly packed curl type resembling ringlets or corkscrews. These tight curls lend a heavier density to hair. Type 4A has defined coils, while type 4B has a crimped pattern. Type 4C is coily hair with a thick texture.


What Is Hair Porosity?

Hair porosity describes the ability of hair to absorb moisture. This porosity is measured by the float test. Remove a single strand of hair after brushing it and place it in a bowl of warm water to determine whether it has low, medium, or high porosity:

Low porosity: If the hair strand floats in water, it has a low porosity level, which means it does not retain moisture well and requires additional care. Oils should be avoided because they will sit on top of the strands and will not absorb well.

Medium porosity: Your hair has medium porosity if it sinks to the bottom. It absorbs moisture quickly and retains it fairly well. If you prefer, you could use medium-weight products to help your hair retain moisture.

High porosity: This means that your hair strand sinks to the bottom of the water. It readily absorbs moisture but may not be able to retain it for long. Deep conditioners and repair treatments, such as hair masks, should be used.


3 Tips for Styling Different Hair Types

Each hair type necessitates its own set of hair care and styling products. Consult your hairstylist for recommendations, and then follow these guidelines:

1. Dry your hair type correctly. To keep frizz at bay, dry your hair before bed and use natural hair products. Blow-dry wavy hair to add volume and style it in the direction of your natural wave pattern. Avoid using heat on curly hair because it can damage the cuticles. After showering, towel-dry coily hair to remove excess water. Because this hair is already dry, avoid using blow dryers; instead, air-dry it to reduce the risk of breakage.

2. Keep a hair care routine. Different hair types necessitate different maintenance schedules. Straight, thin hair, for example, requires more frequent washing (about three times per week) than other types to control oil production. To avoid breakage, people with tight coils should wash their hair once a week.

3. Use only the right products.  It is critical to use the best products for your hair type in order to keep your hair healthy. Coily hair, for example, is the driest type of hair. Deep conditioners should be used once a week. Curly hair produces less natural oil and benefits from a sulfate-free shampoo that moisturizes the hair.

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