Fine hair, thick hair, oily hair, curly hair, straight hair... There are many hair types, and maybe you’re not entirely sure which one is yours.
Don’t worry, by using these 6 criteria will give you the answer.
Start by looking at the density of your hair. Density means how many hair strands you’ve got. Don’t worry, you won’t have to count every single one... It’s actually super easy to determine your hair density.
Take a large section of your hair and pull it to the side – like you would do if you were making a parting. Your hair density depends on how much of your scalp is visible through the hair. Your hair density changes over time. It may be affected by hormonal changes that may lead to hair loss.
You may have a high hair density and still have thin and fine hair. We use the diameter of each hair strand to determine how thick your hair is.
Grab one strand of hair between your index finger and your thumb and feel it. If you can hardly feel it, you have thin hair. The more you feel the strand between your fingers, the thicker your hair type.
Your hair type can be thin, medium or coarse. If your hair is thin and you want to add more volume, you may want to read our article on how to add volume to your hair.
Your scalp produces oil – or sebum. The question is, how much? Once you know if your hair type is greasy, you’ll know how often to wash your hair.
Wash your hair before bedtime and let it air dry. This prepares your hair for the ‘grease test’. After a good night’s sleep on your newly washed hair, grab a tissue or another kind of thin paper and press it against your scalp in different places – preferably behind your ears or on the crown of your head (the back part of the top of your head). The more grease that’s left on the tissue, the greasier your hair type is.
If your hair is of the greasy variety, the greasy blot on the tissue is easy to spot. If your hair is greasy, you’re probably itching to wash your hair daily – and we completely understand. Although washing your hair feels great, those frequent hair washes may actually be the cause of your greasy hair! If you have greasy hair, you might fancy our blog post on how to get rid of that greasy hair.
The greasy blot on the tissue is not that visible, but it’s there. It means that you have combination hair, where some sections of your scalp produce more sebum than others.
If the tissue shows nothing, your hair is of the dry variety. For a very dry scalp, we recommend using a moisturising shampoo like the IdHAIR Solutions No. 2.
The elasticity of your hair indicates whether your hair type is strong and healthy.
Pluck a wet hair strand and stretch it as much as you can. The longer it stretches without breaking, the stronger and healthier it is.
When wet, a healthy and strong hair strand actually stretches up to 50% before it breaks. Impressive, right? On the other hand, if your hair strand virtually breaks before you stretch it, you have a low-elasticity hair type. A low-elasticity hair type benefits from a strengthening hair treatment like the one from IdHAIR Elements Xclusive Repair.
Take a large cup, fill it with lukewarm water and submerge a few of your hair strands in the water. Wait a few minutes and watch how the hair strands position themselves in the water. This will reveal your hair’s porosity, meaning its ability to absorb moisture. Now, on with the test:
If your hair strands float to the surface, your hair has few pores, which minimises its capacity to absorb water. Low-porosity hair tends to stay wet for ages after you wash it. For low-porosity hair we recommend the IdHAIR Elements Xclusive Volume shampoo and conditioner.
If your hair strands are still floating in the water after a few minutes, your hair is likely to be of medium to normal porosity. It means that your hair absorbs just the right amount of moisture. IdHAIR Elements Xclusive Moisture shampoo and conditioner is the perfect choice for medium to normal porosity hair.
Chemically treated hair strands will most likely sink to the bottom of the cup, because they are porous. It means that your hair strands have lots of pores that absorb a lot of water. If your hair type is highly porous, your hair tends to get frizzy and rough easily.
Your hair strand may also be floating vertically in the cup after a few minutes. If you’ve let your highlighted hair grow into an audacious ombre, the porosity of each hair strand may be different at the top and at the bottom: The treated part of the hair strand will sink to the bottom while the root part will reach for the surface.
If you have high-porosity hair, you should look for hair care products with lots of nutrients to rebuild the strength of your hair. For example, the IdHAIR Elements Xclusive Repair series, which is designed for damaged hair.
Another way of testing if you have a porous hair type is to perform the ‘slide test’.
Grab a hair strand between your index finger and your thumb. Start from the end and slide your fingers up the hair strand. The more ‘bumps’ you feel as you slide along the hair strand, the greater the chance that your hair type is porous.
Your hair type can also be categorised according to the structure of your hair. There are four main categories: straight, wavy, curly or kinky.
These main categories are then further divided into three subcategories. Let’s take a detailed look at each category below. Take a strand of your hair and place it on the table in front of you to determine your hair structure as we move along.
Your hair lies flat and straight on the table. If your hair is straight, it typically lies flat from the roots to the tips, and you’ll more often than not have fine hair.
Your hair falls in soft S-shaped waves. You may have a few soft waves or several more defined waves. If you have long hair, your waves will typically form from below your ears and down.
Curly hair may be everything from large, soft curls to those spiral-shaped corkscrew curls. Even though you stretch the hair strand flat on the table, it stays curly.
If your hair structure is kinky curls, you’ve probably never wondered about your hair structure. Your hair is tightly coiled.
Sections of your hair may have different curly structures. For example, you may have a tuft of hair at the back that is curlier than your front hair. Your hair strands may also be porous at the ends and greasy at the roots, meaning that your hair strands require several types of hair care products.
Now that you’ve pinpointed your hair type, you’ll find it easier to choose the hair products that will make your hair day.
Have a nice hair day!