The Ultimate Guide To Hair Types & Finding The Right Products For You

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Are you sick of buying countless amounts of hair products that don’t work? Look, I hear you and in this post I’m going to help you get to the bottom of what your hair type is and what product you SHOULD be using.

If you’re new here to my blog, my name is Thomas or better known on the world wide web as Thomas In Action and I’m a hair enthusiast that’s been creating hair content online for over 7 years now.

In that time I’ve become become a certified hair stylist and had the pleasure of working with many brands in the hair & beauty industry including Chaptr Hair by Jordan O’Brian, Tiege Hanley by Aaron Marino, Bhave, Gillete, Manscaped, Everyday Wigs, BluMaan & more!

If you want to check any of those sponsorships out after reading this article you can just click the hyperlinked text and you’ll be redirected to each one.

Ok, enough about me and let’s get back to what’s important, finding the right hair products for you!

The first thing we need to get clear on is yes, some products do indeed suck and don’t work, however, that’s only half the story.

A lot of the time we buy hair products because either someone we trust recommended it to us and said it’s fantastic or the ad we saw on Facebook looked so good in the demo that we just had to try it.

Now, it’s more than likely that the person that recommended the product to us or the brand who created the ad we saw on Facebook had good intentions and wanted us to live our best hair life…

BUT, the one vital step that gets missed is whether or not that product is actually made for the type of hair you have. The reason this is so vital is because hair products are designed to solve specific hair issues.

Example: Curl creams are designed to enhance the curl definition on naturally curly hair. You wouldn’t recommend curl cream to someone with pin straight hair would you? Nope… or at least I hope not haha.

The above example is just an obvious one that I wanted to use to get this concept across to you.

However, from a high level it’s simple to understand that certain hair products are for certain hair types but the reason this topic is SO confusing is because everyone’s hair type is different and far more complex than just curly and straight.

And that’s exactly why I’ve made this guide for you so you can finally understand how hair types actually work, how to figure out what your hair type is and what products are most likely going to work for you.

So with that said, let’s get started with 5 main hair type categories.

Hair Type Categories

Before we dive into how to identify your hair type, it’s important to first know what you’re looking for.

In short, there’s 5 main hair type categories that make up a hair type and inside the 5 categories are multiple subcategories that all have their own characteristics.

Example: “Curl Pattern” is a main hair type category and “hair type 3b” is a subcategory that falls under the curl pattern umbrella.

The 5 main hair typing categories we’ll be covering in this guide include:

1. Curl Pattern
Our curl pattern describes how tight or loose our hair looks to the naked eye. From a high level this is measured on a curl typing scale from 1 to 4.

Curl type 1 identifies straight hair, curl type 2 identifies wavy hair, curl type 3 identifies curly hair and curl type 4 identifies coily/kinky hair.

Each curl type also has 3 sub variants ranging from a to c which help us identify the intensity of that particular curl type. To help this sink in a bit better I’ve put a hair type chart below to visually illustrate each type and it’s variants.

We’ll get to what those variants look like on real people later on in the post but for now I just want the concept of this hair type category to be clear first.

2. Scalp Type
Our scalp type describes how much natural oil our scalp produces. To keep things super simple, there’s 3 main scalp types which include the oily scalp, the dry calp and the balanced scalp or as some people like to call it, the “normal” scalp.

Your scalp type is probably the most complex category when it comes to hair typing on a few accounts which we’ll go over in a bit more detail a bit later in this post.

3. Hair Thickness
Hair thickness (often confused with hair density) describes the actual width of each individual strand and are sub categorised from thin, medium to thick.

Strands that are on the thinner side are referred to as fine hair and hair strands that are on the fatter side are referred to as coarse hair.

Hair thickness is also known as hair texture. At the end of the day It doesn’t really matter which terminology you want to use, thickness/texture refers to the width of the individual strands.

4. Hair Density
Hair density is the sister (not twin) of hair thickness. Our hair density describes how many individual hairs there are on our head and are sub categorized from low, medium to high.

People with fine hair and high density look will often say their hair is thick when really their hair is thin and there’s just a lot of it. Hence the confusion between the two.

5. Porosity
Porosity describes our hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture and is defined by how much space there is between the fish-like scales that sit on the cuticle layer of the hair. 

The cuticle layer is the outermost layer of the hair and is made of a protein called keratin. The cuticle layer’s natural state varies from person to person and can be altered based on external factors like weather, heat styling or any type of chemical treatment including bleaching, colouring, keratin treatments and so on.

Porosity is measured on a scale from low to high, low indicating minimal space between each cuticle and high indicating larger space.

Later on in this post we’ll cover more about how porosity works. The main focus of this section is to just get our head around the basics.

Hair Types in Review

So now we’ve covered why knowing your hair type is important and the 5 main categories that make up a single hair type, we’re now ready to get into the nitty gritty of each hair type category, how to identify which categories you fit into and what products you should be using depending on the type of hair you have.

It’s a process huh…

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to complete the full blog article by the deadline as there is so much I wanted to write here. I’m still writing the rest of it behind the scenes and until the next segment is ready I thought I should at least leave you with some helpful information.

Here’s a helpful video from Brad Mondo about hair types that should tie you over until I complete this post.

See you soon!

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