3 Steps To Determine Your Hair Type

1a? 3b? 4c? Hair types can be confusing, and with 12 of them it can be difficult to work out which you have.

But, it's important to know, as your hair type can play a massive role in how effective your haircare is, as well as how often you should wash it. Figuring out your hair type can, however, be easier said than done. 

You might assume hair types break down to straight, wavy, curly or coily. And while that's true, to discover your true unique hair type you'll need to look at other factors such as porosity, structure, and even your scalp.

Buckle up, we're here to help you discover your hair type once and for all.

What's My Hair Type? Handy Chart

Looking for a super simple way to tell your hair type? We've put together this handy chart of all 12 hair types. We recommend taking a deeper dive, however, so read on know your true hair type.

The 12 Major Hair Types

straight hair type 1
 
1a hair type - straight
1b hair type straight
1c hair type straight
wavy hair type 2
2a hair type wavy
2b hair type wavy
2c hair type wavy
curly hair type 3
3a hair type curly
3b hair type curly
3c hair type curly
coily hair type 4
4a hair type coily
4b hair type coily
4c hair type coily

 

3 Simple Steps To Determine Your Hair Type

Want to be a bit more scientific when working out which hair type you have? Follow the steps below to determine your:

  • Hair Texture
  • Hair Structure
  • Hair Porosity

We recommend learning about your scalp too, as a healthy scalp has a huge effect on healthy hair.

Step 1 - Find Your Hair Texture

Let's start with texture. Texture refers to the natural shape and pattern of your strands. Determining your texture will give you the number part of your hair type (1, 2, 3 or 4).

Your texture is easy to find. Simply wash your hair and leave it free of products while it air dries. 

If it dries straight with no bend or curl then your hair is type 1 (straight). Got a slight wave or S shape? Then you're type 2 (wavy). If it dries with a defined curl or loop then it's likely type 3 (curly). Tight curls, spirals or zig-zags means you're type 4 (coily). 

Step 2 - Find Your Hair Structure

Your hair structure refers to the thickness of your strands, as well as your hair's ability to hold a style. Hair falls into three categories: fine, medium, and thick (coarse).

Typically fine hair struggles holding curls, medium hair is normally relatively easy to style and can hold curls through the day. While thick hair holds styles well but can be more difficult to style, as it's less supple. 

The ability to hold a style can also be affected, however, by the overall health of your hair. So use our thread method to properly determine your structure.

  1. Lay a single strand of hair flat on a surface
  2. Lay a piece of sewing thread next to your hair

If your hair is thinner than the thread, it's fine. If it's thicker it's coarse. About the same? Your hair's medium.

Fine hair is likely to be type a of your corresponding number. Medium type b and thick type c.

Step 3 - Find Your Hair Porosity

Porosity we hear you ask? Porosity one of the most important things to understand about your hair. It determines your hair's ability to absorb moisture, as well as those lovely products you spend your hard earned cash on.

So, how porous is your hair? Take a strand and pop it into a bowl of water. 

Does your hair float above the surface of the water? Your hair hair low porosity, and isn't absorbing the moisture of the water. 

Does your hair sink to the bottom? Your hair has high porosity and is absorbing all the water. Anything below the two, your hair is well balanced and is 'normal' porosity. 

But what does this actually mean? Hair with high porosity typically absorbs moisture too quickly due to being dry and brittle. Avoid heat styling and chemicals that further dry out the hair. Look for ingredients which seal the cuticle to prevent further damage occurring. Your hair normally falls into category c.

For low porosity hair you're more likely to find that you have issues with product build up. Look for shampoos with gentle cleansing ingredients and make sure you rinse fully. Apply any styling products while your hair is still damp to ensure they're better absorbed.  For low porosity hair, you're most likely to fall into category a.