Know your hair type(Part 1)

Hi people, from my previous blog Hair transitioning journey I promised to share on how to maintain natural and relaxed hair. Maintenance is about knowing the right products to use. You know the right products to use you for your hair when you know your hair type. Be careful of the type of products you use. I recently bought Aunt Jackie Curl la la, it is a good hair product with a nice smell but it is no tfor my hair. It made my hair so dry and frizz because it has olive oil. My hair does not want olive oil. Study your hair and know what it wants exactly.

1.Hair types using the hair Typing chart

My hair is 4b when I use the hair typing chart which has curl pattern guide as below

Hair typing chart

This chart is biased though as one person can have 4a, 4b and 4c. The chart is not 100% reliable because it was created by someone that’s why one can have multiple hair types. The problem with 4b hair is that it loses moisture fast ,so I need products that moisturize my hair and retain moisture.

Most Africans we have kinky hair type which ranges from 4a-4c and partly 3c.

4a hair type

It has a defined curl pattern almost like s. This type of hair retains moisture very well and can be prone to dryness. Gentle sulfate free shampoos, conditioners and rich creamy products or butters like shea butter/mango butter/mafura butter. Sulfate is dangerous for hair because it makes hair dry and frizzy. Read more about sulfate here Sulfatefreeshampoos

4b hair type

It has a more fluffy cottony appearance. It’s highly susceptible to dryness and breakage. This hair type shrinks up to 70% so without stretching hair it will appear shorter than it actually is. Naturals with this hair type will benefit from protective(buns, twist, braids) and low manipulation styles/ roller sets ,pony tails puffs, twist outs to protect hair from damage. A lot of moisture, gentle cleansers and frequent deep conditioning will be helpful. This hair type needs maintenance big time, I am speaking from experience

4c hair type

Looks similar to 4b but it’s tightly coiled. In its raw state it does not have a defined curl pattern. Coils have to be defined by either twisting, braiding or shingling through the strands. Many 4c naturals have shrinkage up to 70% or more. So while your hair may be 10 inches long it may appear like you only have 3 inches of hair if you do not stretch your hair out. It is the most fragile hair type, so if you desire to grow your hair long protective styles like twists, braids, or buns should be your go to style choice. These styles do not require daily manipulation (combing/brushing) giving hair less chances to break off. You can then wear your hair out for a couple of days in a low manipulation style (puffs, roller sets, twist outs) and then repeat the cycle for a balanced routine.

2. Knowing Hair type by hair texture

Hair texture refers to thickness or diameter of hair strands . Hair can be fine, medium(normal), or thick(coarse) .

Fine hair is delicate with less protein structure and does not hold curls well. Fine hair is more prone to breakage especially if it is prone to dryness.

Medium hair(normal hair) has more protein structure than fine hair, but it is more pliable or flexible than coarse hair.

Coarse hair is a thicker hair strand that holds curls will but it is less pliable than fine or medium hair.

There are so many ways to know your hair type. Others ways of determining hair type will be on my next blog post. Knowing your hair type is a guide to the type of products which should be used because we all have different hair.

Hope I have enlightened you a little about hair types. Stay tuned for more xx…………


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