Hair exists in a variety of textures. There is no rhyme or reason as to what we were blessed with in the hair category. It is important, however, to know what kind of texture we have. This will allow us to understand how to take care of it. When we think of hair texture, there are three main aspects to consider: curl pattern, strand thickness, and density. There are other aspects to consider as well. Regardless if your hair is straight, wavy, curly or kinky, we all have 3 basic textures: fine, medium, and thick, which can also be called coarse. Texture is not how the hair feels but describes the thickness of each individual strand. The comparison is typical to a piece of thread. If your hair is fine, it’s thinner than the thread. Medium hair is usually the same width and thick or coarse hair strands are thicker than the piece of thread.
Hair texture Fine hair Fine hair is the most fragile texture and can be easily damaged. People with finer hair tend to have more hair than people with thicker hair strands. Fine hair can tend to be oilier than other hair types. For those of you with fine hair, you may find it difficult to hold a style. Your hair is light and can fall flat against your head. Volume is not often attained. Structurally, fine hair has two hair layers: a cortex and a cuticle.
Medium hair Medium hair is the most common hair type and often covers the scalp very well. This hair texture is not as fragile as fine hair and can be manipulated into styles easily. Structurally, medium textures have two layers: the cortex and cuticle and may contain the medulla.
Thick or coarse hair This hair texture is strong because structurally it contains all three hair layers: the cortex, cuticle, and medulla. The medulla, the innermost layer of the hair shaft is pretty much a series of empty spaces. It’s an area filled mostly with air and protein. This hair texture usually takes longer to dry than others and can be resistant to various chemical treatments. It can tolerate heat well and resist breakage better than the fine or medium hair.
Hair type In general, there are 4 basic hair types: straight, wavy, curly, kinky curly. This is based on the shape of the hair fiber.
Straight Naturally straight hair is the strongest of the types and reflects light to the eye the best giving it a glossy appearance.
Wavy Wavy hair has s-shaped curls down its length or much of the hair can appear straight with slight bends towards the ends of the hair. Wavy hair can frizz fairly easily and requires care to achieve perfect waves.
Curly Curly hair tends to do so down the entire length of the hair shaft. Strand thickness can range from fine to coarse but is most often fine. The greatest challenges for curly hair are frizz, lack of curl definition, shrinkage and dryness.
Kinky-curly This hair type has the tightest curls ranging from fine to coarse with S-shaped and z-shaped curls with everything in between. It is the most fragile of the types. If curl definition is a challenge for curly hair types, it’s almost an impossibility for kinky-curly hair.
This is a quick tip sheet to help determine the kind of hair you have. Once you know and understand your hair, you will know how to take care of it better. For more tips, contact the experts at Legends Salon of Hillsborough.