What is Hair Texture and Hair Density?

What is Hair Texture and Hair Density?

 

One of the amazing things about natural hair is the diversity of hair types. From thick straight hair to fine curls, you can even have a mix of hair types on your own head! If you want to understand your specific hair type though, it’s important to consider other characteristics such as texture and density.

 

With a better understanding of texture and density, you’ll be able to create the best hair care routine for your curls including finding the right hair products is much easier.

 

Here’s all you need to know about hair texture and density.

What is hair texture?

Hair texture is determined by how thick your hair strands are. There are three main categories: fine, medium, or coarse, and figuring out your hair texture can help you find the right hair products for your type whether you have straight hair or tight curls.

 

There are three main hair layers: cortex, cuticle, and medulla. Those with all three will have the thickest hair texture and those with only one layer will have the thinnest hair texture.

 

Fine texture - This hair texture is the most fragile and can often absorb products quicker than other hair textures. Thinner hair may break easily and you may find it harder to maintain styles so using a repair oil can prevent further breakage. However, hair oil is a great product to use on all hair types for added moisture.

 

Medium texture - Most people have a medium hair texture. It’s more resistant to breakage than fine hair and is usually pretty good at holding hairstyles. The hair strands are neither too thick or thin.

 

Coarse texture - As the thickest hair texture, coarse hair will look full but will take longer to dry and is more tolerant to hair products. Applying products with thicker formulas such as hair butter can help coarse hair types stay hydrated.

 

A common misperception is that cutting hair actually makes it thicker, not true! The growing zone of hair doesn’t exchange information with the ends of hair to signal increased thickness. There is no way of changing the thickness of your hair follicles but you can make your hair appear fuller, healthier, and stronger.

Does the Andre Walker system determine hair texture?

The Andre Walker hair typing system is commonly used to determine texture, however, it’s important to remember that there are no hard and fast rules for classifying hair as everyone’s curls are entirely different. In fact, you might even have more than one hair texture running throughout your hair.

 

You may find it useful to identify which category your hair falls under although some people fall under more than one subcategory:

 

Type 1 - The first category is for straight hair that is curl resistant. Type 1 hair is poker straight and can be fine, medium or coarse but

 

Type 2 - The second category is for wavy hair that has a slight bend in shape or an obvious wave. The wavier your hair is the more coarse it will be.

 

Type 3 - This category is for curly hair. 3A curls are defined as ‘S shaped’, 3B texture is medium-sized ringlets and 3C hair is smaller ringlets.

 

Type 4 - Type 4 includes kinky or afro hair. 4A type has tight spirals that are ‘S’ shaped, 4B hair has a ‘Z’ structure and 4C hair can have ‘O’ shaped curls.

Which hair products are best for each hair texture?

If you find that certain hair products don’t work for your hair, they might not be suitable for your particular hair texture. Not all products will work for people with the same hair texture, but here’s a rough guide to get started:

 

Hair products for fine textures - Lightweight styling creams are a good choice as they’ll be easily absorbed but won’t leave your hair weighed down or greasy. If you have straight hair, mists and sprays can lift volume and add shine.

 

Hair products for medium textures - A good cream and gel combo will define your curls. You can then break the gel cast and add hydration to your hair with a moisturisingoil. For type 1 and type 2 hair, a carrier oil such as castor oil can be great on your ends.

 

Hair products for coarse hair textures - Coarse hair usually refers to type 3 or 4 hair but you can have coarse hair whether your hair is straight, wavy or curly. Coarse hair

can take longer to soak up products so using a hair maskregularly will ensure that your hair is soft and hydrated.

What is hair density?

Hair density is determined by how tightly packed your hair strands are and the average person has around 2,200 hair strands per square inch on their scalp. Learning more about your hair density can help you pick out appropriate hair products.

 

For example, if you have very dense curly hair then you’ll need a styling cream or gel that has enough hold to define your curls well whereas low-density straight hair will flourish with lightweight products that don’t weigh down the hair.

 

So, how do you measure your own hair density? Counting your hairs is, of course, an impossible task, however, taking a birds-eye photo of your hair and seeing how visible your scalp is will give you a better idea of your hair’s density.

 

Scalp is visible = low curl density
Scalp is somewhat visible = medium curl density
Scalp is barely visible - high hair density

What’s the difference between hair density and hair texture?

Density and texture are terms often used interchangeably but they actually refer to different things. Hair density is the number of individual hairs per square inch on your scalp whereas hair thickness refers to the width of a single hair strand. That means someone could have thin curly hair that is high density or thick straight hair that’s low density.

 

Comparing a single hair strand to a piece of thread can help you measure its thickness. If your hair strand is wider than a thread, you have coarse hair; nevertheless, if it is thinner than a thread, you have fine curly hair.

How to care for low-density, medium density and high-density curls

Low-density hair: Try using lightweight hair treatments, such as a moisturising mousse, that won't weigh your hair down. Using volumizing shampoos and getting your haircut in a round shape will both provide the appearance of having more volume.

 

Medium-density hair: If your curls are medium-density, you can use a variety of products. Although heavier products may help your curls come together and perform nicely, don't forget to fluff up your roots with an afro comb to prevent flatness.

 

High-density hair: Butters, gels, and rich creams work nicely on tightly packed hair strands. If you want to give your hair some movement and break up the density a little, you might also think about adding layers to it. This can help curly hair have more shape or straight hair look less flat.

 

 

To get your hair in the best condition you must take the time to understand important hair characteristics such as hair texture, density and porosity. Get to know your hair a little better and you’ll soon see results!


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