How to determine your hair type

Neville Hair Textures

Understanding your hair type is just as important as understanding your skin type. Without making a careful analysis, you will struggle to come up with an effective routine.

The first thing to know about determining your hair type is that there are 4 main categories: straight, wavy, curly and coily. What is more, there are other key elements to take into consideration such as porosity and scalp moisture which permit you to identify your unique hair type. Feeling lost yet?

When we talk about hair texture, we refer to the natural shape of your hair strands. There is an easy way to determine into which category you fall: next time you wash your hair you should let it dry naturally without adding any products. If your hair is bend and curl free and has a straight appearance, you can pretty much guarantee you have straight hair. Alternatively, if it dries with a slight bend or has an S shape, your hair is considered wavy. If your hair dries with a pronounced curl or loop pattern it means you have curly hair. Finally, a tight curl or spiral shape means you have coily hair.

When considering your hair, it is important to think about its structure and particularly its thickness. This is a deciding factor in how well your hair will react to products and which hairstyles you will be able to adopt. The best way to assess which category your hair falls into - either fine, medium or coarse - is to take a single strand of hair and place it next to a piece of thread. Thin hair will generally be finer than the thread and sadly probably won’t hold curls. If it appears thicker you most probably have coarse hair, and this will be further confirmed if you have difficulty styling it. If your hair is more or less the same size as the thread it is considered medium, making it easy to style and hold curls.

Porosity is another key aspect of your hair, which ultimately determines how much moisture or product your hair can retain. This is generally not how you determine your hair type but mostly to give you an idea of which hair products you should be using. There is an easy spray test you can carry out to determine your hair’s porosity. In order to carry the test out you will need a small water bottle with a spritz nozzle. Take a small section of naturally dried hair and apply water on small section. If the water appears just to sit on top the hair, chances are you have low porosity. This basically means that the cuticle lays flat preventing moisture to be absorbed, it is therefore recommended to apply any haircare on wet hair. Normal porosity is if your hair absorbs the water slowly, this is the lowest maintenance type. If your hair soaks in the water immediately, you have high porosity which means your hair is dry and brittle. For anyone that has high porosity we recommend using a lot of nourishing treatments and to avoid heat styling. Leave in treatments are also a great option to prevent further damage to the cuticle.