Many people think that “hair texture” is simply how their hair feels. Maybe it feels dry or oily—or maybe it feels so good that you want to run your hands through it all day long. But the truth is that “dry”, or “greasy” is not technically hair texture, it simply describes the state of your hair. Hair texture and hair type for that matter is something you’re born with.
There are three different hair textures and four different hair types. Each hair type can be divided into three subtypes: A, B or C. Once you understand the different hair types and hair textures—you’ll understand what your hair is naturally capable of when it comes to things like having body or holding a curl. Plus, once you know your hair type, you’ll learn how to take better care for your hair.
So, let’s talk about the different types of hair. We’ll go through each hair type below. And, if you’d also like to learn about what hair structure is, you can read more about that here.
What is Hair Texture?
Hair texture describes the circumference of your hair. There are three different hair texture types—fine, medium and thick. Each hair texture type has its own traits that set it apart from other hair textures and influence the care or treatment it may need.
- Fine hair is the most fragile hair texture. Each individual hair is thin and only has two hair layers; cortex and cuticle. If you have this hair type, you might find it hard to keep your hair in a style, or it might get oily easily. And, as you probably know, too much product will weigh this hair texture down, making it break easily.
- Medium hair is what most people have, and is thicker than fine hair. The individual hairs have the same two hair layers that fine hair has, but may also have the third one – the medulla. Medium hair can keep hairstyles better, looks thicker and is more resistant to breaking.
- Thick or coarse hair has all three hair layers; cortex, cuticle, and medulla. Thick hair gives the impression of a fuller head of hair, and it can hold a hairstyle well. If you have thick hair texture, your hair is more tolerant to heat, styling products, hair dye and breakage than fine or medium hair. But this also means that your hair takes longer to dry and can get frizzy in humid weather.
It’s easier to visualize the different hair texture types if you look at a hair texture chart. With a hair texture chart, you can more easily see how the fine hair type compares to the medium hair type or thick hair type. Unfortunately, the creators of the hair texture chart might themselves not know the difference between hair texture and hair type. Keep reading for a better idea of the different types of hair.
So, What are the Different Hair Types?
Your hair type simply means whether you have straight or curly hair. But, understanding the different hair types isn’t quite that easy because there are several subcategories within the different types of hair.
- Type 1: Straight hair. Straight hair is often fine hair. It can easily get oily and shiny since the lack of curls in the hair means that the oil from the scalp goes all the way down the hair shaft faster than in curly hair. Type 1A hair is very straight and fine. Most common in Asian people. Type 1B hair is thicker – it is still very straight, but has medium texture so it has more volume. Hair that is type 1C is very thick and coarse, but still straight and shiny so it can be hard to make curls last.
- Type 2 hair is naturally wavy, with more curl than some types of hair but less than others. It is usually thicker than the first category. Type 2A hair is wavy and can be fine and thin or a little coarser. It normally has s-shaped waves and is easy to style. Type 2B hair is wavy and medium thick. It can be frizzier. Type 2C hair is wavy, thick and coarse. It can get very frizzy and hard to style
- Type 3 hair is definitely curly. These types of curls go straight when the hair is wet and then go back to being curly as it dries. It is easy to style and has clear springy curls. Type 3A hair is shiny and thick with defined curls. It can also get frizzy. Type 3B hair can also have a combination of hair textures and has tighter curls. Lists over hair types often skip type 3C hair, but it is a hair with very tight curls or kinks.
- Type 4 hair is very curly or kinky hair. It is often very coarse, but in actuality, it is also sensitive and easily damaged. If type 4 hair is healthy, it should have some shine and elasticity to it. Type 4A hair is soft, with tight and well-defined curls. Hair that is type 4B is also soft and fragile, with very tight and less defined curls. Type 4C has such tight curls that it may not even look curly.
What To Do About Dry Hair
Obviously, each of us is born with a unique hair texture and hair type. You can’t change your type of hair to a different hair type. However, the way your type of hair looks is something you can alter. You might curl, straighten, braid or perm your hair, for example. You can also alter your hair care routine. Dry, dull or frizzy hair can be helped with various home treatments, like hair masks or products. If your hair is constantly very dry, there may be health factors to look consider, as your overall health affects what your hair looks and feels like. If this is the case, a hair supplement can help you because it contains the important vitamins and minerals your body needs. It will also specifically provide you with the vitamins essential to healthy hair growth.