Determining your hair type is the best way to know what hair products to buy. There are so many different hair types and it can be confusing when you are trying to pick out a product that is right for you.
There are a few simple steps you can take to figure out your hair type, and this guide should also help you to understand the difference between hair thickness, diameter and density.
Hair Thickness or Hair Density?
What most people think of when they hear “thick hair” is how much hair you have. This is actually the density of your hair, which is how many strands of hair you have. Thick hair refers to the thickness of each individual strand of hair.
- To determine hair density, simply part your hair and see how easily you can see your scalp. The more hairs you have, the less likely you are to see any visible scalp.
- To determine how thick your hair is, you can do a strand test by plucking a hair and comparing it with a piece of sewing thread. It is easier to see its thickness when compared with thread. You can also tell how thick it is without plucking it, based on how it feels. If you can feel the strand in your fingertips then you probably have thick hair, as a thin strand of hair almost feels like nothing.
Some people may have a large amount of fine hair, whereas others may have coarse hair but it is thinning in areas. Understanding these differences will help you to better understand the needs of your hair. People with both thick and dense hair can achieve the appearance of floatier, softer hair by adding feathering and layers to the hair. People with finer hair may benefit from a blunt cut and using volumizing products to add more body and volume to the hair.
Keep Control with Hairshark
The Hairshark hairbrush is a great styling tool to add volume to hair, without damaging the hair. With natural bristles and high gloss polymers, this two-sided brush is designed to be gentle on the scalp and hair whilst offering so much versatility. It’s a fantastic way to achieve the appearance of thicker, fuller hair if that is the style you prefer. You can also try home solutions to encourage hair growth and get thicker and denser hair.
You can judge the strength and elasticity of your hair gently pulling on the end of a hair strand. If you can stretch it out, then it has high elasticity. If you stretch it a little and it snaps then medium, and if the hair snaps immediately as you try to stretch it then it has low elasticity. Determining how much your hair can stretch and then return to its original state will give you an indication of how strong your hair is. If your hair is snapping and breaking off too easily, this might be because it's dry and damaged.
You can purchase products that will help restore and strengthen your hair, plus hair masks and oils to nourish and condition the hair. You also need to be sure that you are using heat protection sprays if you are using heat to style your hair.
It may be easy to observe the texture and curl of your hair just by appearance, but being aware of the texture of your hair will also help when shopping for products.
- Generally, curlier hair tends to be drier and products like mousse and lightweight oils can help to bring curls out.
- Drier hair also tends to be frizzier, so keeping hair well moisturised will help when tackling frizz.
It can be tempting to use heat and hairspray when dealing with frizz but be careful to not damage the hair. Your hair is less likely to be frizzy if you avoid damaging it with heat-styling tools and instead focus on repairing and moisturising the hair. There are also natural remedies you could try out, too.
Oiliness and Dry Scalp
Other things that you can observe about your hair is how oily your hair gets and the condition of your scalp. Oily and greasy hair can cause you to wash your hair more frequently, but it is actually better to do the opposite. Often, oily and greasy hair is a result of your hair over-producing oils to compensate for the natural oils that are stripped away when your hair is washed. You should try to wash your hair less often and make sure you use a gentle shampoo with plenty of nourishing ingredients. Never skip out on conditioner either, as this will add important moisture to the lengths of your hair, but don’t rub it into the scalp.
If your hair is too greasy between washes, use some dry shampoo to absorb the excess oil. Your hair will adjust to less washing once you give it a chance to start actually absorbing all the natural oils it is producing. If your scalp is dry and flaky, it will also benefit from less washing, as this could have dried the skin out. Showering when the water is too hot can also dry out your skin, so adjust your water’s temperature.
Simple tricks like rubbing coconut oil into your scalp before showering can help soothe the scalp, and you should also pay careful attention to the ingredients of your hair products. Many anti-dandruff shampoos can actually be too harsh, and some people have skin sensitivities and allergies to certain ingredients such as Methylisothiazolinone (MIT). This preservative is used in many mainstream shampoos but is actually an allergen that can irritate the scalp, so try looking for products that don’t contain it.
Ingredients to Avoid
If you are still having trouble, you may also need to avoid other ingredients like eugenol, limonene, and linalool, which some people can be allergic to. If you are having big issues, consult your doctor or dermatologist for professional help and skin testing.
There are lots to consider when shopping for hair products; even shampoo and conditioner require a bit of thought. Once you have a better understanding of your hair and what it needs, shopping should start to become much easier. It is important to pay close attention to your hair and skin as you want them to be in their best condition for years to come, so give them the best chance that you can.