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There’s a lot of confusion around what exactly stylists and hair gurus alike are referring to when they talk about hair texture. And rightly so! There are different hair types, styles and now textures, too? We’re sure you’re wondering what the difference is and why it matters. So, we’re here to help!
Regardless of what type your hair falls into – straight, frizzy, curly, kinky, or anything in between – there are three basic textures that your hair will inevitably fall under. These textures refer to the width of your individual hair strands. While you may have a lot of hair, each strand is either fine, medium, or thick.
Fine hair is the most fragile, easily damaged, and has to be treated with gentle care, especially when using chemical processing of any kind. Fine hair has less protein than other textures, so using a protein-fortified conditioner like L’Oréal Professionnel’s Lipidium Absolut Repair Conditioner, helps keep the hair nourished and healthy. Fine hair also tends to be oiler than other hair textures, so you may find it difficult to style because it doesn’t hold well. Terry-Lee Germishuizen, Matrix regional education developer, suggests, “Styling products are a must for the fine hair girl, but they must be chosen carefully because heavy formulations can weigh down your hair. The same care is required for your styling tools too. For example, vented brushes are fantastic when paired with a blow dryer.” Hair can also appear flat on your head because your hair is lighter, so using a product that promotes volume, like Volumetry Root Volumizing Spray from L’Oréal Professionnel, will help create some body.
Medium is a common hair type that’s not as fragile as fine hair, and is more manageable when it comes to styling, in comparison to thick hair. Taryn Bloem, L’Oréal Professionnel national education manager, says, “Medium hair is a nice thing to have as you enjoy many styling options, and far fewer of the drawbacks that women with fine and thick hair know. When you’re a medium, you’re free to concentrate more on achieving overall hair health, and its indicators like lustrous shine and sleekness.” Medium hair looks thicker than it is because it covers more of the scalp, so instead of investing in volumising shampoo, we suggest a regular nourishing shampoo, like L’Oréal Professionnel’s Nutrifier Shampoo, that leaves hair glossy, soft and supple.
This hair texture is stronger and more durable than the other two. It tolerates heat well, but takes a little longer to dry once wet. Your head of hair appears full, it holds styles well and can be more resistant to hair colouring and chemical relaxers. Richard Nienaber, Redken education manager, confirms this.
“The great thing about this texture is that it’s generally nice and strong, so it can take on some big colour changes. It’s also good with heat so it can be styled in many different ways. The challenge, though, is that colouring, styling and even drying are definitely more time-consuming. Clients with coarse hair must plan to spend more time in the chair. It most certainly takes a great deal more effort to get the desired finished look clients want.”
Richard’s recommended product combo for thick, coarse hair is award-winning Redken All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner, which contain argan oil for an instant softening effect. You can also enhance results by applying All Soft Argan-6 Multi-Care Oil to your wet hair after conditioning.
So, the next time someone asks what kind of hair texture you have, you’ll be able to answer them with confidence, and probably teach them a thing or two while you’re at it. Visit a salon near you for advice on the best ways to style your unique texture and for ways to look after your hair going forward.
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