When it comes to buying hair products, choosing the right one can be a bit challenging. While it's important to look for descriptions that match your hair type, there are also hidden ingredients that can make products not work well with your specific hair type.
Understanding what kind of hair you have will allow you to create a new routine that will transform your natural hair journey!Keep reading to know how best to take care of your hair, helping it to be as healthy as possible.
Why do I need to know my hair type?
As kids we come to learn of only certain types of hair -short, long, curly and straight and treat them according to the limited knowledge we have. This turns out to be damaging in the long term as products that may work for a certain curly hair type might be harmful to others. Using the right hair products can make a big difference in the appearance and health of your hair.
Knowing your hair type can help determine how much and what kind of products you should be using or even how heat products need to be incorporated. With every one of us aspiring for healthier hair, it is vital that we learn about our hair texture, hair porosity and curl patterns!
Let’s start with the Porosity Test:
Porosity is a hidden factor, which you’re most likely unfamiliar with, that can affect how easily your hair is able to absorb moisture.
There are three main levels of porosity: low, medium, and high which are determined mainly by genetics and other environmental factors. Note that your current hair porosity might be different from that of your natural hair in case you love to use heat styling products or dye your hair often!
To determine the porosity of your hair, you can do a simple test. Grab a cup of water and pluck a strand of your hair out. Place the strand in the cup and see what it does.
- IF IT FLOATS AT THE TOP
You have Low Porosity Hair. It means your hair has sealed cuticles and the structure of your hair doesn’t easily allow moisture to be absorbed into your hair shaft. This can even make it harder for water to saturate your hair when it’s washed. Styling your hair can be very challenging since this type of hair repels moisture.
The key is to find products that have the right formulation for low porosity hair. These products will have ingredients that can more easily penetrate your hair.
- IF IT FLOATS IN THE MIDDLE
You have medium porosity hair. It means your hair has an open cuticle so this tends to absorb a good amount of natural oils and hydration. There's usually little maintenance with medium porosity hair, so you’re in luck!
It’s important to remember though that with heat, bleaching or coloring the hair gets damaged and the porosity can change overtime.
- IF IT SINKS TO THE BOTTOM
You have High porosity hair. It means the cuticle of your hair is wide open and water, oils, and other types of products can be easily absorbed by your hair. On the flip side, because your hair is highly porous, it may not be able to retain moisture as well as other types of hair. This type of hair is the one that suffers most if you don't care for it since it can easily become dull and frizzy.
It is recommended to start using hair care products that include “heavier” ingredients like oils or butters. Be sure to use a lot of hydrating serums and oils to keep your highly porous hair healthy.
Decoding Your Hair Type:
You may have different types of textures on your head ranging from straight, wavy, curly and coily or perhaps, a mix of these! The process of figuring out your correct hair type can be quite confusing and for some people its simply a bunch of experimentation.
This might sound overwhelming but we are here to help guide you throughout. Luckily, a system for hair-typing is already in place where your hair type is broken down into two parts:
The first part uses a number to differentiate either straight (type 1), wavy (type 2), curly (type 3) or coily/kinky (type 4) hair. The second part uses a letter to define your hair structure, e.g. fine (type A), medium (type B) and coarse (type C).
The best way to figure this out is by analyzing your hair after you wash it and let it air dry.(Don’t brush it!)
- If it dries straight without a bend or curl then you’re Type 1.
- If it dries with a slight curve or S-shape patterns then you’re Type 2.
- If it dries with defined curls or loop patterns, then you’re Type 3.
- If it dries with tight curls, spirals or zig-zag patterns then you’re Type 4.
As for the hair structure, the easiest way to identify is as follows:
- Take a single strand from your hairbrush and lay it down on a plain, flat surface.
- Next, cut a piece of sewing thread about six inches long (choose a similar color to your hair if you can) and place it next to your strand of hair.
If your hair appears thinner than the sewing thread, you have thin hair; if it seems thicker, it’s likely coarse/thick hair. Anything in between them would be medium.
Once you understand your hair better, you’re all set to go off on a transformational journey to healthier hair. You will be better equipped to decide what products to buy that will be most suitable for your hair type and texture.
Pro tip: Opting for sulphate and silicone free products would be a right step in this direction. You can find more amazing hair care tips here.
Looking for natural products for your hair type? Check out our store!