WHAT IS HAIR TEXTURE?*
Hair texture is determined by the diameter of the hair strand itself. Fine hair has the smallest diameter, coarse hair has the largest, and medium texture is somewhere in between. Your hair texture plays one of the most important roles in how you should care for your curls and tresses, not only through daily maintenance, but also when considering any chemical services such as hair color.
Fine hair can appear very limp or flyaway and does not hold a style well. It frequently seems dry, when it may be over-moisturized. It is very easy to over-process and is quickly damaged by chemical services if great care is not taken. Products with humectants and emollients should be balanced with protein treatments, which acts as a strengthener and gives fine hair strength and structure.
Medium hair is what is considered “normal” hair, meaning it has a mid-range texture. Undamaged hair with a medium texture can generally support products with a wide range of ingredients.
Coarse hair is much thicker and stronger than fine or medium hair. It is also often dry and brittle, due to an overabundance of protein. Products with a lot of protein should be avoided in favor of those with humectants and emollients, as protein adds strength to an already abundantly strong hair strand and can cause a dry, hard, “broom straw” effect.
STRAND TEST – HOW TO DETERMINE HAIR TEXTURE
HOLD A SINGLE STRAND UP TO THE LIGHT: Does the hair strand look delicate, a bit insubstantial, somewhat translucent, and seem almost as if it’s “barely there”? If any of these characteristics fit, the hair texture is most likely FINE. Does the hair strand look thick, wiry, and sturdy? Does it seem substantial and strong, with a very definitive presence and a distinctive lack of suppleness? If so, the hair texture is most likely COARSE. Does the hair strand seem somewhat solid, but not overly thick? Does it has substance to it, but is still fairly supple? If so, the hair texture is most likely MEDIUM. It is possible to have hair of varying textures all over your head―texture isn’t always a “one size fits all” kind of hair property!
The density of your hair is simply how thin or thick it is in total. Hair density can be low, medium or high. The number of hair follicles in a 1-inch square area determines your hair’s density. On average, humans have about 2,200 hairs per square inch. Those with more than 2,200 strands have thicker hair and those with less have thinner hair.
HOW TO DETERMINE HAIR DENSITY
Gather the hair into a ponytail if it is long enough. Low density hair has a circumference of 2 inches or less. High density hair measures 4 or more inches around. Measurements in between are considered normal or medium density.
*The above information is summarized from the Live Curly Live Free website