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The Ultimate Guide to Hair Types: Unlocking the Secrets of Your Strands

Hair is a remarkable and diverse feature that defines our individuality. It comes in various textures, lengths, and colors, reflecting not only our genetics but also our unique personalities and lifestyles. Understanding your hair type is the first step towards adopting a personalized hair care routine that can help you achieve your hair goals. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of hair types, from straight to coily, and provide expert tips for optimal care and styling. Get ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery through your strands!

Why is knowing your hair type significant? 

Hair product commercials will try to sell you one shampoo for everyone and tell every customer to use the same amount, regardless of hair type. It truly would make our lives easier if every shampoo worked and we could all use a dime sized amount. Reality is that everyone’s hair type is different and what hair products and how much you use will vary from person to person. Using 2 droppers of Loria hair oil may work wonders for someone with coarse and thick hair. Yet for someone with thin and fine hair, a drop or two will suffice. Personally, 5-7 drops add the perfect amount of shine, yet I did not add “use 5-7 drops” to the directions because you will most likely need a different amount. 

First you need to determine your hair type. Once you understand this you will better understand why that hair spray your sister swears by, does nothing for you. 

Straight Hair

Usually straight hair is deemed as easy to manage and many spend a lot of time trying to achieve straight sleek hair. 

-Struggles to hold a curl or wave

-Can be thin, thick, or course

Straight Hair Care and Styling Tips

Use a product to add in some texture when curling your hair. Like a texture spray or dry shampoo. A strong hold hair spray will also be your bestfriend when trying to add volume or waves. 

Wavy Hair

There are so many different variations of wavy hair, from thickness and texture to how loose or tight the wave is. 

-Hair forms in a C pattern 

Wavy Hair Care and Styling Tips

Wavy hair needs more moisture and hold. Foam and moose work wonders for waves. For a more defined wave gel does the trick. The main struggle when using products for your waves is to not use too much product. Finding the balance between moisturizing your waves and weighing them down can be a challenge. 

Curly Hair

Curly hair is a spiral or more defined and tighter wave. Battling frizz can be less of a challenge with curls as long as you use products that add proper moisture. 

-Hair forms in an S pattern

-Frizz is common 

Coily Hair

Coiliy hair is a much tighter spiral or a tight S pattern. With coils shrinkage can also be a challenge. Coils need lots of moisture, products like hair oils work wonders for this hair type. Protective styles are also important.  

-Tight S pattern or spiral 

Density and Thickness

Fine, Medium, or Thick?

How thick your hair is and how much you have are two different things. You may not have a lot of hair but the hair you do have is thick or vice versa. How thick your hair is refers to each individual strand. How much hair you have on your head is referred to as density or having a lot of hair. This makes a difference when deciding on which stylers to use and how much. Even if you have a lot of hair, if your hair is thin a mouse may work better as it is lighter. 

Hair Elasticity

How far your hair can stretch without breaking is referred to as your hair’s elasticity. You can find your hair’s elasticity fairly easily by using the simple stretch test.

The Stretch Test

Take one strand of hair from your hair brush. Stretch it  about ⅛ of an inch, and observe if it breaks and if it returns back to its original length after it is stretched.

If it immediately breaks, then your hair is dry and brittle. Whereas if your hair strand stretches but does not return back to its original length, think like a rubber band, then it has some damage and could use more care. If it returns to the same length, then you have healthy hair elasticity and if you are having hair issues it is not due to the elasticity. 

Managing Mixed Hair Type

Some people may have some curls underneath but straight hair on top. Similarly, some tighter coils around your hairline but the rest are curls. The majority of people actually have mixed hair types. Finding which products work best may be more of a challenge however once you have products figured out and your hair styled you likely will not be able to see any differences between hair types. 

Transitioning Hair

Embracing your natural hair texture can be a big transition. Whether you are transitioning from straight to waves or straight to coils it can be a learning curve. There are some great resources on going natural here. Although I can give some great tips and have walked through this hair care journey with many, hearing first-hand experience is always the most helpful when ditching chemical or heat treatments. 

Embrace Your Unique Hair Journey

Your hair journey can range from switching shampoos or taking months to find what works. Either way understanding your hair will lead to an easier styling routing. 

Your hair type is as unique as your fingerprint, and it deserves specialized care and attention. By understanding the characteristics, needs, and potential of your hair, you can embark on a hair care journey that actually leads to results. Whether you have straight, wavy, curly, or coily hair, this ultimate guide provides you with the knowledge and resources to unlock the secrets of your strands and embark on a lifelong journey of healthy, beautiful hair.

I, Molly Moulder, am a licensed cosmetologist in the state of Michigan. All posts are from my personal experience or opinion as a cosmetologist and are not meant to be taken as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or specific medical conditions, I recommend you contact a healthcare professional.