There are many types of hair, not to mention color. Maybe you know them all, maybe not? Here’s a quick look at what you know and what type of hair you have. Yes, what is your hair type ? Do you know it ?
The structure of your hair
The structure of our hair is mainly composed of hard protein, keratin. However, our hair fibers have a structure composed of several different layers.
The three different layers are the cuticle, which consists of several layers of thin, flat cells. The cortex, which contains the keratin, is grouped into a cell-like structure and the medulla, a disorganized, open area in the center of the fiber.
Each layer plays a role in the characteristics of our hair. The medulla is not always present and is an open, unstructured area.
The cortex, or middle layer of the hair, is the main source of mechanical strength and water absorption. Also, the cortex contains melanin, which colors the fiber and determines the color of your hair, depending on the number, distribution and types of melanin granules. The shape of these follicles determines the shape of the cortex and the shape of the fiber depends on whether your hair is straight or curly.
People with straight hair have round hair fibers, while people with oval fibers or other shapes usually have more wavy or curly hair.
The cuticle is the outer shell of the hair, its structure slides as the hair swells and is covered by a single molecular layer that repels water.
To determine it, there are different systems that help people classify their curl patterns. It is important to know what your hair type is because it is a good way to know how susceptible you are to hair damage and, therefore, how to care for your hair.
The Andre Walker system is the most widely used system for classifying hair. The system displays four categories of hair types, all with more detailed subcategories.
Hair type 1: straight hair
Type 1 is straight hair, which reflects the shiniest and strongest of all hair types.
Straight hair is very difficult to damage and curl. In fact, the sebum contained in this hair texture spreads easily from the scalp to the ends without curls or folds, and is also the greasiest hair type.
Hair type 2: Wavy hair
Wavy hair has a texture and shine between straight and curly hair and is susceptible to becoming gassy. Fine, wavy hair can be tame and easy to style, but medium and thick hair can be difficult to manage. And maybe you know why you have curly hair and not wavy hair?
Hair type 3: Curly hair
Type 3 is made up of curly hair, which is known to have an S-shape. The hair pattern resembles an « S » shape and sometimes a « Z » shape. This type of hair is usually voluminous, climate dependent and prone to damage. If your curly hair lacks proper care, you can cause less defined curls.
Hair type 4: Frizzy hair
Frizzy hair has a tightly wound curl pattern that is often very fragile with high density. This type of hair shrinks when wet, as it has fewer cuticles than other hair types and is therefore more susceptible to damage.
These are the 4 main major types, which all come with subcategories (see table below). The sub-categories go more in depth to the type of hair, what it looks like, how susceptible it is to damage and how easily it is tamed and styled.
Know your hair type
Knowing yours is very important because it can help you choose the best way to care for your hair. Your lifestyle and the way you care for your hair can help with your growth cycle and, in some cases, help reduce the risk of hair loss.