Getting your hair type right

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Getting your hair type rightLots of women get confused with their hair types and often treat the symptom with the wrong cure. Just because it’s curly doesn’t mean it’s coarse and just because it’s wavy doesn’t mean it’s curly. Not only does this mean you could well be caring for your hair inappropriately, it also results in incorrect product usage and unnecessary purchases.

Fine hair

If you think your hair is fine, the correct way to check is to take a small strand of hair and estimate the texture from there. If it feels fine and fly away then your hair would be considered fine. There is also often very fine “baby” hair in the hairline which may feel like breakage. Often women with fine hair have lots of hair and this can be misinterpreted as thick or medium hair. However, be aware of how quickly your hair absorbs product. If you end up looking like a wet chicken after applying a product, then that too is an indication of fine hair.

Medium hair

The most coveted of the lot, medium hair is usually wavy, not very dry or oily and can be very manageable. The strand will feel smoother than coarse hair and is usually thicker in density. There isn’t always a lot of frizz and styling may be halted by a simple issue: too much hair!
It’s often a lot easier to style and treat with either colour or just a mask. The best way to know if your hair is medium is be feeling the density of the strand. It’s not necessarily stronger than fine hair but it may feel slightly rougher.

Coarse hair

This is a thicker strand and will be rough to the touch. It may even have a curl or may be straight because of the weight if it’s very thick. It’s not always that coarse hair is thick, but rather that the texture might be really frizzy and will feel bumpy when you run your fingers up and down the strand. Styling may take longer because of the natural volume and frizz that comes along with having thicker hair, but not to worry: this type of hair can usually handle straightening or colouring agents quite well and with the right care, it’ll be easy to handle.

Ethnic hair

Ethnic hair usually has a very tight curl, is darker in colour and feels almost spongy to the touch. It can be incredibly fine. A chemical straightener can make styling easier. Of course, colour is restricted because despite the fact that it may be easy to relax or straighten ethnic hair, the ammonia in tints and bleaches cause the hair to deteriorate rapidly and break. Colour shampoos are the best bet for anyone with ethnic hair who is wanting to tint it. Ethnic hair is also naturally dry and needs constant care. Products rich in moisture will serve well to protect and keep hair healthy and hair oils are a good bet in keeping frizz at bay.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Choosing the right hairstyle for your face shape
Hair trends for 2013
Defined by a hair style
Spring wedding hair trends
Bang Bang

Image: Shutterstock.com

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  1. Sue1N

    I have medium, but dry. Need to take good care of it so it is manageable.

    6 years ago •

  1. Pink Lemonade Nerd

    I have fine hair…and tons of it!!!!

    6 years ago •

  1. Jara

    Wow I didn’t know that my hair is medium, thank BeautySouthAfrica from now onwards I will be able to take care of my hair and use the correct products…..

    6 years ago •

  1. mkhize

    Good to know that my ethnic hair needs constant care, thanx.

    6 years ago •

  1. Rox Starr

    I have ethnic hair but my hair is also fine. I’m not sure how that works or if it is correct.

    6 years ago •

  1. Livvy

    Thank your for this update, it makes things clear.

    6 years ago •

  1. AmyR

    I think I have ethnic hair that is very fine because my hair is very fragile, spongy, tightly coiled but oh-so-soft. I don’t know why people think ethnic hair and afros are rough and tough.

    6 years ago •

  1. TJK

    I think I’m somewhere between medium and course.

    6 years ago •

  1. ABeauty

    Hmmm It sounds like I have Medium hair.

    6 years ago •

  1. Talia

    Ok I have Medium Hair.. Thank you for the info!

    6 years ago •

  1. Zellikinz

    I have coarse hair. It’s always so easy to style my hair

    6 years ago •

  1. Grove

    I have fine hair but mine is a combo of straight and curly…

    6 years ago •

  1. Amz

    I have a fine thick frizzy bush of hair which is rather annoying 0 but I made the mistake of buying a chemical straightner on my hair …

    6 years ago •

  1. Jansen

    I have hair that consists of a mix between meduim and coarse hair, but i mange it by using hair masks to be able to manage it better.

    6 years ago •

  1. Whits

    im a medium kinda gal, love the info!

    6 years ago •

  1. Abby

    i have fine hair but its very curly!

    6 years ago •

  1. Natasha#mommalicious

    I’m a medium haired girl, thank you for this article:)

    6 years ago •

  1. Fuhri

    Very well explained and reconfirmed my hair type

    6 years ago •

  1. sloanie

    i have a thick strand of fine hair , i normally use the coarse thick , but looks like ill need to start just with the fine hair , will try it out and keep you posted

    6 years ago •

  1. Carlene

    I have fine, long hair and LOTS of it! My mane has always been somwheat difficult to manage, but once I started treating my hair as ‘fine’ instead of ‘thick / coarse’ it has made a significant difference in the amount of time spent in styling my hair.

    6 years ago •

  1. Ladyconfused

    I might have coarse or medium hair. But leaning more towards coarse

    6 years ago •

  1. Serenity

    baby fine hair and thin as well so knots terribly, what product to use?

    6 years ago •

  1. Dani.Hearts

    Definitely have course hair :/ Won’t a Brazilian blow dry help?

    6 years ago •

  1. SpiceY

    I definitely have fine hair!!!! Thanks for the tip……

    6 years ago •

  1. Rok

    Now I know how to determine what products to buy!

    6 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    I definately have fine hair and a lot of it!

    6 years ago •

  1. Livvy

    ok now that we know hairtype, how about products that suit each hair type.

    6 years ago •

  1. RJ

    After a salon colour, my hair has gone from healthy and thick to weak. I hate it. I would love to have my old hair back :-(

    7 years ago •

  1. Diana

    I think mine is in between fine and medium

    7 years ago •

  1. Cupcake

    I have fine hair. Even the hairdresser has told me so.

    7 years ago •

  1. tsolo

    It helps to be able to identify ones hair type as this will assist in knowing how to treat it helps

    7 years ago •

  1. may-may 22

    im somewhere in between fine and medium … my hair is dry at the tips and oily at the roots?? any other advice?

    7 years ago •

  1. Azraa

    I think i have medium hair, but it has frizz :0! Thanks for the info!

    7 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    Great advice. My hair is definitely obvious.

    7 years ago •

  1. Leana

    True! My hair handles colouring pretty well!

    7 years ago •

  1. Wendy Bean

    I have very fine hair, but lots of it. I always joke that I have baby hair, however, it is a nightmare to maintain as it is very curly and I have to wash it almost daily since I have serious bed-head in the morning. Most people think I have a perm, but it’s natural.

    7 years ago •

  1. Bronwyn

    None of those hair types sounds quite like my hair. Are there more hair types?

    7 years ago •

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