How to identify your Hair type?

hair types

Are you not familiar with your hair type? Don’t worry you’re in good hands. This guide will help you identify your hair type in a few minutes! First of all, you absolutely have beautiful hair. Secondly, you’re not alone in this, many can relate to your situation. It’s understandable that often this becomes a hurdle while shopping for the right hair care products. After reading this you will be more confident about which product is compatible with your hair. 

Whether your hair is straight, wavy, curly, or kinky, depends on multiple factors. It is important to look over them when determining what hair type you have. Let us start exploring the 6 different factors that define your hair type. If you can see that your cuticle layer follows a very specific pattern then you know that your hair is either Type 1, Type 2, Type 3 or Type 4.

1. Density Level

Hair density refers to the number of individual strands on your head. You can easily tell whether your hair density is thin, medium or thick. Certain situations such as nutrition, stress, and menopause can affect hair density so keep a track of your overall health. Hair care products are also efficient in improving the density with added control and increased shine.

Take a Quick Test: 

A mirror test on a big section of your head and determine the density. 

  • Easily visible scalp without parting the hair shows thin density.
  • Partial sight of the scalp from underneath the hair shows medium density. 
  • Hard to no scalp sight means you have thicker density. 

2. Hair Diameter

Width of one individual hair strand gives you hair diameter. It can define your hair type most accurately.

Quick Test: 

Just grab a single hair strand and feel it between your fingers. If you barely feel the strand indicates your hair is limp or thin. Whereas, if you feel the strand slightly or distinctly, it refers to medium and thick hair respectively. 

3. Porosity Level

It is the ability of hair to soak up and retain moisture. Higher the porosity, higher the number of holes in the cuticles. It will cause more absorption of moisture and product. High porosity hair is more damage-prone than low porosity hair and appears to get frizzy easily. Leave-in products can though help sealing the cuticles so choose products based on porosity level. 

Quick Test: 

Take a cup of water and lay a few hair strands in it. Check after a few minutes.

  • Hair floating on the surface refers to low porosity. 
  • Hair floating half way in the cup indicates normal or medium porosity.
  • Hair sinking to the bottom appears to show high porosity. 

4. Greasiness Level

It is tough to manage greasy hair so they need extra attention and clarifying products to control residue buildup. 

Quick Test: 

Allow your washed hair to air dry before you sleep on it. The next morning, perform a patch test using a tissue on your scalp. Press the tissue and check what it tells you. 

  • Patch with a light amount of oil refers to normal hair. 
  • Heavily greased patch, refers to oily hair.
  • Dry patch with no greasiness at all refers to dry, dehydrated hair.
  • Patch that deposited oil from specific regions like behind the ear indicates combination hair.

5. Hair Elasticity

If your hair strand can stretch widely without breakage, your hair elasticity is high. In case, the strand stretches a bit before it breaks, this is a sign of medium elasticity. Whereas, a strand that breaks immediately when stretching has low elasticity. Find your hair’s strength in no time. 

6. Curl Pattern

The hair types are evaluated based on the hair pattern. Dr. Mahajan explains it briefly, “Hair is made of a root inside our scalp skin which is known as the hair bulb and the hair shaft which is the hair strand that we see on the outside. Hair type is a popular way of describing the curl pattern of our hair strands. It can be straight, wavy, curly or coily/kinky. To determine your hair pattern, wash your hair and leave it without a conditioner or a serum. You can observe how your hair looks in a mirror. You can also take a few strands from your comb and lay it on a white paper and observe the general pattern of how it curls or lays flat to get a fair idea about your hair type.” 

Hair Types

Type 1: Straight Hair

Straight hair refers to the fine and soft type that is flat from roots to the tip. The texture is so silky carrying an extreme shine due to the high amount of oil secretion. The oil produced on the scalp can naturally coat the hair so it looks flat and limp. It is a fact that straight hair looks thin and appears to lack volume but it wouldn’t insinuate that they are weak. 

Type 2: Wavy Hair

This hair type falls between straight and curly hair. If the lower section of hair carries a slight yet visible ‘loose S’ pattern, then it must be wavy. Based on the extent of waves, wavy hair is defined in 3 subcategories. Observe the roots and the pattern your hair follows till the ends. 

  • Type 2a: thin waves 
  • Type 2b: medium waves
  • Type 2c: thick waves

Type 3: Curly Hair

Curly hair is easy to tell since the ‘S’ pattern in your strands forms a loop. No amount of straightening can completely eliminate the heavy volume curly hair possesses. They get tangled easily and are considered frizz-prone. Just like wavy hair, curly hair is also divided into 3 subcategories. 

  • Type 3a: loose curls
  • Type 3b: medium curls
  • Type 3c: tight curls

Type 4: Kinky/Coily Hair

Kinky hair appears to be coarse and rough although they are not. This type possesses ‘Z’ pattern and extreme tight curls. It’s subcategories are based on the density of the ‘Z’ curls. 

  • Type 4a: soft
  • Type 4b: wiry
  • Type 4c: extremely wiry