What's My Hair Type? (& recommendations to personalise your hair care routine for you!)
With over 7 BILLION searches on ‘What is My Hair Type?’ It can be easy to get overwhelmed and lost in the pages and pages of results. But knowing your hair type is essential for knowing how best to cater to your unique hair needs.
There are 4 things to consider when analysing your hair type: Elasticity, Porosity, Damage and Texture. Once you have established all 4 (which you will be able to by the end of this!), we will give you a personalised haircare routine to maximise your beautiful hair.
This refers to the extent to which hair can be stretched and returned to its original shape. Hair, when wet, can increase in length by 30% and then return to its original length once dry. The hair’s elasticity is due to the keratin coiled structure within the cortex. Moisture is key to elasticity - if something is supple, it is stretchier and if it is brittle it’ll break easily!
How do I test this?
Next time you see a stray hair on the floor, pick it up and gently hold from either side and pull. If the hair is able to be stretched and returned to more or less its original length, your hair has good elasticity! If when you pull it, the hair breaks or is unable to return to its original length, this is an indicator of poor elasticity.
If your hair is elastic, then great! You have hair which is able to absorb liquids easily. You can use slightly less product than those with low elasticity but we recommend using our hair wrap after shampooing to help remove wetness from your hair, without overly-stripping that all-essential moisture.
For those with low elasticity, this is an indicator of low moisture in your hair. We recommend going in with an intensive hair oil treatment 1-2 times a week. Leaving it overnight (ideally with the hair wrap for a deeper soak!) and washing out in the morning. As your hair doesn’t absorb liquid, give yourself a little longer when shampooing in the morning and use an all-natural shampoo so as to not irritate your scalp.
This is the hair’s ability to absorb liquids and this is affected by the condition of the cuticle scales (outer layer of hair). If the cuticle scales have been damaged due to physical or chemical damage then the porosity of hair will increase.
How do I test this?
This is a very old school method but super effective! Grab a glass of water (filled 2/3rds) and a strand of hair. Place it in the water and allow it to be fully submerged. Wait 10 mins and come back to see where in the glass the hair has landed. If it is floating near the top, it has low porosity (low ability to absorb liquids). If it is near the bottom, it has high porosity ( high ability to absorb liquids - likely due to damage). The ideal result is that it floats somewhere near the middle.
For those with low porosity, you have a strong outer layer (cuticle) which sounds great but it means that it’s harder for products to penetrate! We advise using a vegan boar bristle brush to evenly distribute product across all hair strands and leaving in an oil treatment overnight to allow for an intensive moisture boost.
If you have high porosity, this means your hair absorbs any & all products. The science behind why this isn’t as amazing as it sounds, is because the process of filling the hair with liquid and evaporating out, causes long-term dryness. Ideally, use our 3 in 1 conditioner when washing hair to give long-lasting lightweight conditioning to your hair to maintain and protect your hair until your next wash! Plus, for an added boost on the ends, apply one pump of our all-natural oil to the ends of your hair to avoid split ends.
Generally we can look at the 3 evils: colour dye, chemical treatments and heat. Of course, it is hard to avoid all three of these but we advise picking one ‘evil’ and sticking to just that. All of the above have different effects on damaging the hair, which can lead to dryness, scalp irritation and potentially hair loss in extreme cases.
How do I test this?
As every strand of hair gets treated differently (e.g. front hairs suffer more traction damage from constant friction, vs. ends of hairs which may undergo more intensive bleaching), it is hard to apply a test to cover all factors but shine, bounce and rate of growth are all indicators of healthy hair for you to keep an eye on!
Of course, it is hard to avoid all three but there are ways to support your hair whilst maintaining the look you like! Sleeping with our hair wrap to avoid unnecessary friction (leading to breakage) overnight and brushing hair gently using our vegan brush can boost the shine and help your hair retain longer between washes as the boar bristles pick up dirt etc.
Now this is the fun part; texture refers to the way your hair looks! We tend to call this our ‘curl pattern’ and all 4 types have been visualised below. Of course, through ageing, damage, hormones etc, we can see a change to our natural hair texture (as well as different hairs displaying different textures!) but knowing your general category is helpful in knowing the WAY to apply your hair products.
Take a look below to find out what hair texture best represents your natural hair:
Type 1: Straight
If this is you, 1a hair tends to be the straightest of the straight hair type while also being the thinnest yet shiniest, as straight hair is a flat surface, it is easier for light to bounce off its edges, increasing the appearance of shine, but it doesn’t tend to hold heat-styled curls etc. well.
While 1b hair isn’t relatively as straight as 1a types, it is still relatively straight! The main difference is a few bendy strands here and there, and 1b hair can be prone to greasiness overall.
Unlike 1b hair, which can be thinner, 1c hair is typically thicker, rougher, and has a few more visible waves. In addition, due to the higher possibility of coarseness with 1c hair, those who often do chemical or heat treatments can fall into this subsection.
Type 2: Wavy
Your hair is fairly straight from up to eye level, creating loose waves as it moves downwards.
Similarly to 2a hair, the hair becomes wavy after eye length; however, it has more of an ‘S’ defining shape.
The waviest of this subsection! Compared to the 2b type, 2c hair has a curl pattern which begins at a higher point of our head, typically the crown moving downwards.
Type 3: Curly
In contrast to 2c hair, which can have more waves than light curls, 3a hair instead has more light curls than waves. This hair type is also bouncier and easily affected by mother nature; yes, we’re talking about rain and wind!
As 3b curls are tighter than 3a, the circumference is smaller - about the size of a highlighter pen! Do note that across type 3, not all curls on one head are likely to follow the same pattern.
The 3c curls are a tight squad that are closely packed together, being the most voluminous of the three and the dryest. The circumference is smaller than 3b curls, decreasing to the size of a pencil.
Type 4: Coily
This hair type has the smallest coils with a mix of 3c curls, which can fit around a crochet needle.
While 4a hair follows an S-shape, 4b hair is a lot denser with a zig-zag (Z-shape) pattern. Adding to this, type 4b can be of a drier hair texture than 4a.
4c hair is a dramatically tighter Z-shape than 4b hair, but also prone to fragility and shrinkage. Having said this, 4c hair is known to be versatile in terms of hairstyles, as it can hold them well.
Now that you’re an expert on your hair type, this is your sign to invest into your hair journey with our all-natural range of hair & beard care products!