If you are clear about your type of curl and you have started a care routine for your hair, you can further customize your hair care. How?
Very easy! knowing all the key factors and characteristics of the strands .
In previous posts, we have highlighted the importance of using key products for hair recovery and getting to know the needs and demands of your scalp, hair, ends, etc.
So, if once the method has started, you want to increase the quality of care for your hair, get the most out of your waves, curls, definition...
The second step will be to know what your thread type is.
The most important characteristics that you must take into account of your hair is to know the porosity, thickness, elasticity and density.
Although we can place ourselves in categories 1 to 4, the reality is that knowing the type of strand that forms your curl or wave will be essential to know which products to choose, which routines to improve or which techniques to implement.
And it is that, two people in the same category, if they have different factors of porosity, density or thickness, can benefit from totally different care and techniques.
But…don't worry, you don't need to rack your brains for that!
Have you ever heard someone define their hair as type 3B with medium porosity and high elasticity? Well, thanks to this post, you will be able to do it and also take advantage of it to get the ideal and personalized products for you.
Hair porosity is the strand's ability to absorb and retain moisture. It is the outermost layer of our hair, the cuticle.
Sometimes, after deep hydration, the feeling of silky hair lasts for a short time and this is not always the fault of an inadequate mask, sometimes the explanation lies in the type of hair porosity.
A strand is made up of several layers. The outer layer is made up of small cuticles that cover the strand and the separation between these cuticles is what determines the type of porosity of the strand.
- Low porosity: the cuticle is very compact so it is more difficult for water to penetrate the strand but it is very easy to retain it. Low porosity hair takes a long time to get wet and dry. These curls can be prone to product buildup, especially if they are very heavy or contain a lot of protein. If your hair falls into this category, try to wash with clarifying shampoos from time to time to avoid buildup. Avoiding products with heavy oils will also help keep your hair from looking flat and lifeless.
- Medium porosity: the cuticle has small separations so it is not difficult for it to absorb water and it suffers a slight loss of it due to these separations. Medium porosity hair takes an intermediate time to get wet and dry. This is said to be the ideal type of porosity.
- High porosity: the cuticle has large gaps, so high porosity hair absorbs water very easily but loses it just as easily. This type of hair gets wet and dry easily. As a result, this type of hair is prone to frizz and is difficult to control in humid climates . That your hair is of high porosity can be a quality of your hair or the result of damage caused by external factors such as treatments with chemical or thermal products. To control this type of hair, try to insist on conditioning, moisturizing and , later, sealing the cuticles so that they retain moisture for longer. Avoid or use less of products with moisturizers (glycerin, sorbitol, propylene glycol) as these attract moisture and consequently will cause frizz to form more quickly.
How to know what is the porosity of my hair?
We leave you some tricks so that you can easily determine the type of porosity that your hair has:
- Glass test: With clean hair (free of products), take a whole hair (take advantage of a fallen one, don't pull it out) and put it in a glass of water. If it floats, it means that the water has not entered, therefore you have low porosity. If it stays in the middle, or one part floats and the other doesn't, it will be medium porosity. Finally, if it sinks to the bottom quickly, it is because the water has been drunk with pleasure, that is, you have high porosity.
- Touch test: Place the tip of a strand between the tips of two fingers and slide gently from end to root. If you notice small bumps, it means that your cuticle is raised and that they have high porosity. If, on the other hand, your fingers glide smoothly, you have low porosity.
- Drying test: see how long it takes your hair to dry after washing it. If it takes a couple of hours or even more, your porosity is low. If the drying time is short, you have high porosity.
The type of porosity of our hair can be determined by internal factors (such as genetics) and by external factors (application of heat, chemical treatments, stress).
Also within the same hair we can have strands with different porosity and different root and tip porosities, the tips being the most porous.
Porosity influences how our hair absorbs the products we apply to it, for this reason it is essential to know what the porosity of our hair is.
Elasticity is the ability of our hair to stretch and return to its original shape . This elasticity is determined by the balance between protein and moisture of our strands. For this reason, knowing our type of elasticity is important to choose a good product.
To find out how elastic our hair is, we will carry out a small test:
- Separate a lock of about 3-5 clean hairs, without products and wet.
- We hold the lock with both hands and proceed to stretch the lock between our hands exerting opposing forces until we notice that it is going to break.
- Shortly after starting to stretch it, it breaks: Very low elasticity. Your curls are very dehydrated, either we suffer from an excess of protein or from severe dehydration. Whatever the reason, you should temporarily hydrate and eliminate protein from your routine.
- It stretches more than 50% and it is difficult for it to return to its original shape or it does not return: Medium-low elasticity. Your hair needs protein, so incorporate a protein product into your regular routine and space out deep hydrations a bit.
- Stretches 30% and returns to its original shape: High elasticity. Your hair is balanced. Keep your routine since you have managed to find the balance in that balance of hydration and proteins.
We refer to capillary density when we talk about the amount of hair we have, that is, the number of strands per square centimeter. Density is independent of the thickness of our hair. Therefore, we can have thick hair and low hair density.
How to find out the density of my hair? Make a ponytail with your hands and measure its outline with a tape measure.
- Low density: if the circumference measures less than five centimeters.
- Average density: if it measures between 5 and 7.5 centimeters.
- High density. If it measures more than 7.5 centimeters.
Another way is to choose a place on our head (where we don't have the line done or flawed) and we will try to see our scalp.
- If we see it with the naked eye or just with a movement we have low density.
- If we have to look for it with the odd movement, we have medium density.
- And if it is difficult or impossible for us, we have high or very high density.
When we talk about the thickness of the hair, we refer to how thin or thick our hair strand is. It is determined by the circumference of each strand of hair.
Depending on its width, it will be thick, medium or fine, although we usually have a mixture of the three types.
Knowing its thickness will make it easier for you to know which products and which textures are most suitable for you and which ones you should avoid using.
How to know what is the thickness of our hair?
There are several ways to find out.
- Take a strand of clean hair and hold it up to the light. If you have a hard time seeing it or you don't even see it, you have fine or very fine hair. If you see it with the naked eye or against the light it looks chubby, you have a thick strand.
- Grab a strand between your thumb and index finger. Start moving your fingers from pad to pad to try to feel your strand. If you don't notice it, your thickness is thin. On the other hand, if you notice the strand sometimes, but not others, they have a medium thickness. If when rubbing you clearly notice your strand, you have a thick strand.
- We will compare the strands with a sewing thread. If it is much finer, and you need to gather several strands to match the size of the thread, your hair is fine. In the event that you only need to take a few strands (from 3 to 6 for example) your hair is of medium thickness. If, on the contrary, your hair has a thickness similar to the thickness of the thread, your hair is thick.
- Finally, you can also know the thickness of our hair according to the time it takes to dry when we wash it, if you let it dry in the open air and it takes less than 1 hour it is fine hair, if it takes more than 60 minutes it is probably medium or thick.
Hair type according to THICKNESS
Thick hair has the largest circumference of all and is prone to losing moisture easily and being porous. The thick hair type is the strongest and therefore more resistant to external damage than other hair types.
Recommendations: apply moisturizing masks frequently to keep curls soft and supple.
Medium thickness hair is the most common type of hair, where each of the strands does not become very fine but not very thick either. It is easier to style and although it is strong hair, much more than fine hair, excessive handling, dyes, styling and even the weather can affect the health and general structure of our hair strands.
Recommendations: Follow a hair routine that includes both hydration, nutrition and reconstruction treatments. This will make our hair replace the protein that it normally loses due to causes such as the outside climate and the bleaching that we do to our hair.
This type of hair has delicate strands that are very vulnerable to damage. It tends to be oilier than other textures and generally loses definition very easily, as the curls are prone to "fall out".
Recommendations: Opt for products that have light textures, but do not apply a large amount. It is best to use products that are specially formulated for fine hair.