On your journey to healthier hair, it is important to know your hair type and its characteristics. Typing your hair will help you bypass a great deal of trial and error in choosing hair products, hairstyles, and in building a hair regimen.
This article will guide you to discover your hair’s porosity, curl pattern, strand size, density and length.
- Relaxed/texlaxed: Hair that has been chemically straightened or loosened.
- Transitioning: Hair that hasn’t been retouched in a long while, so it has two textures- natural at the roots and relaxed at the ends.
- Natural: Hair that hasn’t been damaged or chemically altered. It’s best to type your hair in its natural form.
Your hair porosity could be low, medium or high.
The test: Make sure your hair is washed and clean. Take a strand of hair from your head and put it in a cup of water. If it floats atop the water, it’s Low Porosity. If it sinks to the bottom, it’s High Porosity. If it floats at mid-level (neither top nor bottom), it’s Medium Porosity.
Type 1: Straight hair
Type 2: Wavy hair
Type 3: Curly hair
Type 4: Kinky hair (Most black Africans have this type of hair).
Strand Sizes or Hair Width:
Fine (a), Medium (b), Coarse (c)
The test: Hold a strand of your hair up to the light. If it’s barely visible, it’s fine hair. If it’s wide and very visible, it’s coarse. If it’s in-between, it’s medium.
Your hair type is a combination of your curl pattern and hair width.
The test: take a strand of your hair and compare its curl pattern with the ones in this picture.
Density: Your hair could be low density, medium density or high density.
The test: let your hair hang loose and unparted. If you can easily see your scalp, you have low density hair. If you can see your scalp with a little effort, medium density. If it’s difficult to see your scalp, you have high density hair.
Length: There are various markers for hair length, eg Ear Length, Shoulder Length, Bra Strap Length, etc. You can also determine exact length by measuring your hair with a tape or ruler. Short hair is less than 2inches. Medium length is 2-10inches. Long hair is above 10inches.
Based on this article, I have medium length, low porosity, high density, 4b natural hair. What’s yours?