Sooo, What’s Your Hair Type? | Salon Secret Africa

Curly Hairstyles

Sooo, What’s Your Hair Type?

07 March 2018
What's your hair type?
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Hey, ladies with African hair.

You probably throw around words like “dry”, “soft”, “thick” and “thin” to describe your hair type. But what about Type 4? There’s a whole official categorisation system for hair based on curliness and texture. In fact, there are multiple systems for hair types!

That may sound crazy confusing, but don’t worry. Using the curl system, we’ve outlined each of the different hair types. This way you can more easily find your type… and then start making better haircare decisions for your specific needs.

Diversity of hair types

Type 1: Straight to Minimal Wave

This hair type is known for its shine, but also for its inability to hold styled curls. A common problem is oiliness, as sebum travels easily along the kink-free hair shafts from the scalp to hair tips.

Texture: Thin to thick
Growth pattern: Grows down from the scalp
Body: Lacks volume
Elasticity: Marginal stretching, with return
Porosity: Compact with slightly raised cuticle. Less prone to frizz

Type 2: Open wave

Not perfectly straight but not quite curly, Type 2 hair has only a little volume. It can easily be flattened out by products that are too heavy.

Texture: Thin to thick
Growth pattern: Grows down from the scalp
Body: Some volume or end-wave curl movement
Elasticity: Marginal stretching, with return
Porosity: Compact with slightly raised cuticle. Less prone to frizz

Type 3: Wavy

With this type, hair tends to fall in loose S-shaped waves around the face. Frizz starts to be a concern and requires gels or other control products.

Texture: Thin to thick
Growth pattern: Grows down from the scalp
Body: Some volume or end-wave curl movement
Elasticity: Moderate stretching, with moderate return
Porosity: Slightly raised to raised cuticle. Prone to frizz

Type 4: Curly

This hair type has a lot of body and tends to poof away from the face. It’s more susceptible to frizz, and curls can look dull without proper care.

Texture: Thin to thick
Growth pattern: Grows down from the scalp
Body: Volume and bounce
Elasticity: Moderate stretching, with moderate return
Porosity: Slightly raised to raised cuticle. Prone to frizz

Type 5: Very curly

The curls here are more spiralled, springy and dense. Again, frizz is a concern, but the overall coarser nature of the hair means tangling is far more common.

Texture: Thin to thick, or combination
Growth pattern: Grows down from the scalp, then curls
Body: Reduced volume with some movement. Prone to be compact
Elasticity: Stretching, with minimal return
Porosity: Raised cuticle. Likely to frizz and tangle

Type 6: Coiled

This hair type may look wiry and tough, but it’s fragile in reality. As scalp oil struggles to travel the length of hair strands, common issues are dryness and breakage.

Texture: Thin to thick, or combination
Growth pattern: Grows up and away from the scalp, then curls
Body: Some volume. Likely to be compact, and has less movement
Elasticity: Stretching, with minimal return
Porosity: Raised cuticle. Some frizz and tangles

Type 7: Very coiled

With this type, hair coils directly from the skull, and appears very tight. Individual curls are difficult to identify. Very coiled hair is dry and easily tangled.

Texture: Thin to thick, or combination
Growth pattern: Curls directly from the scalp
Body: Minimal volume. Some compaction with no movement
Elasticity: Stretching, with minimal return
Porosity: Raised cuticle. Frizzy, tangled and prone to knot

Type 8: Zigzag coiled

The most tightly coiled hair type, with strands bending sharply in zigzag coils. So densely coiled, in fact, that it appears immobile. Extremely delicate, it requires regular moisturising and gentle detangling.

Texture: Thin to thick, or combination
Growth pattern: Curls directly from the scalp
Body: Compact with no movement
Elasticity: Stretching, with minimal return
Porosity: Raised cuticle. Frizzy, tangled and with some knots

If you’re still uncertain about your hair type, don’t worry. It’s a lot of information to process. We recommend you speak to an expert. A stylist will be able to provide a personalised hair and scalp diagnosis unique to you. To start that process, find your nearest salon here.

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