All You Need to Know About Hair Texture

Woman combing her hair

When choosing a hairstyle, there isn’t a single thing more important to consider than your hair texture. Just about everyone has experienced either first hand or knows someone who has hair that is straight, wavy, curly, or frizzy/kinky. While this quad of adjectives does describe hair’s texture, these attributes are more-or-less changeable. On the contrary, understanding the attributes of your hair’s width and pattern, which are (for the most part) unchangeable, can help you truly understand your hair’s texture. No matter what shape hair holds – straight, wavy, curly, or frizzy/kinky – there is the possibility that is one of the three following widths of texture: fine, medium, or thick/coarse.

These width descriptors – fine, medium, thick/coarse – aren’t used to explain how the hair feels in your hands, rather it describes the thinness or thickness of each individual piece of hair. The standard measurement which is used to determine the width of texture is the thickness of a piece of sewing thread. If a single strand of hair is thinner than a piece of thread, then it is labeled as fine; If a strand of hair is the same width of a piece of thread, it is medium; if a strand of hair is thicker than a piece of thread then it thick/coarse.

So, what does this all mean? Well, a few things really; knowing the width of your hair can help you figure out why your hair “acts” a certain way, and knowing these common hair behaviors can help you style your hair so that it’s always looking its best.

Fine Hair
Typical behaviors of fine hair include not holding styles (i.e. curls) for very long, is easily weighed down by heavy product or too much product, often looks thin, and has a tendency to break easily. While it might not always seem like it, individuals who have “fine” hair texture actually have more hair than those with thick hair. Those with fine hair may also notice that their hair gets oilier faster than others. If you find that achieving volume is a struggle, you should try out either a texturizing powder or a dry shampoo. Both products contain ingredients that absorb oils and bond to the cuticle of the hair, giving it a temporary thickness without weighing it down like most products.

Medium Hair
Typical behaviors for medium hair include the ability to maintain style; a tendency to cover the surface area of the scalp; and it’s typically resilient to breakage. Those with medium hair will find that because their hair is less prone to breakage that it can hold just about any style. One thing that individuals with medium hair may struggle with is dehydration or dryness of the strands. To cure and prevent dry hair you should use a leave in conditioner after washing and get into the habit of using a conditioning mask on a semi-regular basis.

Thick or Coarse Hair
Typical behaviors of thick/coarse hair include a dense, full appearance; the ability to maintain styles with little hair spray; a high heat tolerance; and it is often unwilling to take to chemical hair color. Those with thick or coarse hair may never need extra-hold hairspray, but they do need some sturdy hair elastics. Unlike fine and medium hair, thick or coarse hair contains three layers: the cortex, the cuticle, and (the additional layer) the medulla. Although the medulla is filled almost entirely with air, it’s the protein in its composition that gives it the extra strength. If you find that your hair is resilient to hair color, talk to your stylist about a color compositing shampoo which will prevent the color from fading.

Adding Volume to Thin Hair

Woman with thin hair

Any girl with thin hair knows that the classic fixes, such as sleeping with your hair in a braid or adding in some curls, don’t seem to get the job done. If you feel like you’re at your whit’s end with your thin hair read through the tips listed below of methods you should take in order to successfully add volume to thin hair.

Wash Your Hair on a Regular Basis
Those who have thicker, whether curly or straight, are able to wash hair locks less often simply because their hair has the natural tendency to be drier; Skipping washes for them allows the hair’s natural oils to linger down and condition the hair. However, if you have thin hair the oils manage to slide right down your strands. Not only does this make thin hair look ultra greasy and grimy, but it also weighs the hair down. Prevent the weight of oil buildup by giving your hair a good scrub once daily.

Allow Your Hair to Dry Completely Before Heading Out
When you begin your work day with partially dried hair, you will likely notice it looking thinner as the day progresses. This is because the water remaining in the hair is weighing it down as it dries, once it’s fully dry it will look dull and lifeless. Let you hair look alive and full throughout the day by letting it dry completely, once it’s dry, take a few moments to run the brush through your hair from different angles to infuse some fullness into those locks. Begin by brushing all your hair to the left, then to the right, flip your head upside down and give it a good brush through, then finish off with a final up right brushing.

Blow Dry from a Different Viewpoint
Save your arm workout for the gym; Give those arms a break and flip your head upside down when blow drying. This saw you are literally setting the cuticle in the most voluminous angle possible. Of course, gravity will take over and your hair will fall down, but it will have the extra lift you’ve been looking for. Keep that lift heightened throughout the day by scrunching some high-quality moose into your damp roots before blow drying.

Try a Non-Volumizing Product
Just because something isn’t specifically marketed as a volumizer doesn’t mean it won’t add volume. One product that any thin-haired gal should try at least once is a texturizing spray. Of course, you should do your research before you buy a specific product; Make sure that the product is high quality or produced by a reputable beauty company, also be sure that you are grabbing a texturizer that is lightweight – you can do this by reading reviews of the product.

With the above tips in mind, here are few things that should always be avoided when adding volume to thin hair.

Don’t Condition Your Roots
It may seem strange to only condition the mid-to-lower hair shaft, but of you have thin hair then your roots don’t need that extra moisture. Not only does your hair get enough nourishment at the root from the natural oils, but any additional oils and silicones in conditioner will weigh your roots down even more.

Use Hair Product Sparingly
While in theory, it may seem like the more volume enhancing moose added to your locks will give you a more voluminous look, but this is not the case. It’s okay to use product, but only use enough to allow it to do its job. Using too much product will only weigh your hair down more.

When Is It Time To Wash?

Woman getting a hair wash

Surely you’ve read articles that suggest you should wash your only once every other day. Maybe your sister-in-law told you that the answer to all your hair troubles was to wash your hair just once a week. Perhaps the truth is that although you know that it does more harm than good, you simply can’t even imagine what your hair would be like if you didn’t wash it every morning. You’re not alone. Many women are beyond confused how often they should actually be washing those locks. The problem is that so many women are looking for a one-size-fits-all answer to the question; more specifically a question that is totally dependent on the person asking!

Now, you may already know your scalp naturally produces oils, which you probably see only as the annoying grease that you need to wash out of your hair in the morning. It is often overlooked that these natural oils, which cover your roots at the end of a long day, are extremely nourishing. When you slather on that sudsy shampoo, you are actually stripping your scalp and hair of all these healthy oils. Eventually, one of two things happens: (1) the hair becomes brutally dry, broken and frizzy, or (2) the scalp overcompensates for the repetitive oil loss by producing more and more oils.

Check out the guide below which will give you a better idea of when you should be washing your hair, no matter what type of hair you have.

For those with Thin or Fine Straight Hair
You probably find that your hair is either always falling flat or always feeling oily, simply because your hair isn’t able to maintain volume as easy as other hair types. Washing can be tricky as both over-washing and under-washing can take a toll on your hair. To avoid flat, lifeless hair you should try to wash with shampoo and conditioner about three to four times per week. You are likely to experience the best results when using volumizing and moisturizing hair products. When conditioning, be sure that you are only adding the conditioner in the middle and lower parts of the hair, this way don’t over moisturize and weigh down the roots.

Woman shampooing hair

For those with Thick Straight Hair
People have probably been telling you for years how great your hair was, right? Although it may take an hour (or more) to dry sometimes, you are able to maintain your ‘do’s for days. This is great because it is recommended that people with thick straight hair wash once every other day, at the very most. If your hair is dry due to heat damage or over-washing, switch to a hydrating and repairing shampoo and conditioner.

For those with Tight Curls
It’s likely that you have the driest hair of all three hair types. The simple explanation is that it takes much longer for the natural oils to work their way down a curly strand of hair in comparison to how easily it is to slide down straight strands. For this reason, the best hair days are likely to happen if you give your hair two or three days in between washes. When washing, you’ll want to be sure that both your shampoo and conditioner are ultra moisturizing.

Best Cuts for Thin Hair

Your hair (or lack of it,) is one of the very first things people notice about you. This information isn’t anything new to your knowledge base, however it comes with some suggestions of how to make that thin hair look its very best, and create an illusion of being a lot thicker than it actually might be. Thin hair, left to its own, looks flat and limp. Thin hair is unable to hold any particular style for any length of time, particularly the ones that are at all voluminous. Thin hair, of all hair types, most heavily depends on the way it is cut and styled, in order to get the maximum benefit of body and a thicker appearance. If you happen to be one of the “blessed” ones with thin hair, don’t be discouraged: there’s hope for you and your hair, too! Here are some cuts for giving thin hair the best advantage.

Shag hairstyle

The Shag Haircut
Shag hair cutting methods are among the most widely known ways of adding body and volume to hair. Also known as layering, there are numerous techniques that serve to add bulk to otherwise inadequate hair volume. Layering works well on both straight and curly locks, and the shorter the shag is cut, the more volume the hair will appear to gain.

Stacked bob

Short Cuts
Of every type of cut you can get to improve the look of thin hair, it’s always going to be true that the shorter cuts are the most flattering. One reason they are superior to longer hair styles is that the longer the hair is. the heavier it becomes. Heavy hair hugs the head and lacks the bounce of shorter tresses. A stacked bob haircut is a great way to add volume. While thin hair doesn’t respond with as much precise geometric angling as thicker hair does, but this cut works, and by adding a little root-teasing, the volume can be increased significantly.

Ponytail with side braid.

Medium Length Cuts
Medium length hair styles are perfect for a bouffant effect. By wearing hair in a middle of the head ponytail, it’s easy to create the bouffant look by strategically pulling on different strands of the ponytail. A braid or two added on the sides and wrapped in with where the ponytail is gathered adds a bit more mass. With this length, you can easily increase volume by adding different configurations of curls, which you lightly run your fingers through, but do not brush. Backswept curls are particularly volumizing.