If it’s about getting a haircut or determining what hair care regime will suit you best, one thing that you need to know in order to make the right decision is your hair type. Human hair comes in different types, with each type varying in terms of curl pattern, texture, thickness, density, porosity and elasticity. Apart from these characteristics, hair type can also be based on the natural colour of the strands. Clearly determining one’s hair type can sometimes be really confusing. Here we simplify things for you by explaining each hair type and its unique features:
Based on Natural Colour
There’s a reason why your hair are associated with your identity. You can determine the ethnicity of a person by his/her natural hair colour. On the basis of colour, hair can be classified into:
- Black: Most people outside Europe have black hair, but its greatest distribution is in Africa, Asia, and the pre-Columbian America. Black hair can range from brown-black, blue-black or jet-black.
- Brown: Common among Europeans, brown hair is the second most common human hair colour, after black hair. Apart from Europe, brown hair is also dominant in Australia, Canada and the United States among descendants of the European immigrants. Women with brown-hair are often referred to as brunette.
- Blonde: Most commonly found in Northern and Western Europeans, blonde hair ranges from nearly white to a dark golden blonde.
- Auburn: It is a variety of red hair that occurs most frequently in people of northern and western European descent (Scandinavia, Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, the Benelux countries, France, Poland, north Iberia and Russia).
- Chestnut: Another variety of red hair, chestnut hair is a reddish shade of brown hair. It is common among people in Northern, Central, Western, and Eastern Europe. People often confuse Auburn and Chestnut, but in comparison to auburn, chestnut is browner.
- Red: It is the rarest type of hair colour, with only 1–2% of people having red hair. Scotland has the highest number of people with red hair, followed by Ireland and England.
Based on Curl Pattern
To classify hair based on the curl pattern, Andre Walker system is popularly used. According to this system there are four types of hair: straight, wavy, curly and kinky. Each hair type is further divided into sub-categories (denoted by a, b and c) with each defining the texture of hair: Let’s check out the details:
Type 1 – Straight
- Type 1a - Straight (Fine/Thin): Soft and Shiny hair that tends to be oily. This type of hair can’t hold a curl for long and is difficult to damage.
- Type 1b - Straight (Medium): This type of hair has lots of volume and body.
- Type 1c - Straight (Coarse): Normally bone straight and difficult to curl, this type of hair is common among Asian women.
Type 2 – Wavy
- Type 2a - Wavy (Fine/Thin): Has a definite ‘S’ pattern and can be easily styled.
- Type 2b - Wavy (Medium): This type tends to be frizzy, and is resistant to styling.
- Type 2c - Wavy (Coarse): Very frizzy and resistant to styling; tends to have thicker waves.
Type 3 – Curly
- Type 3a - Curly (Loose Curls): This type of hair usually has a definite ‘S’ pattern and tends to be frizzy. They often have a combination texture – means they can be thick and full with lots of body.
- Type 3b - Curly (Tight Curls): Similar to 3a but have tighter curls
Type 4 – Kinky
- Type 4a - Kinky (Soft): Fragile, tightly coiled hair that have a defined curly pattern.
- Type 4b - Kinky (Wiry): Very fragile and tightly coiled hair but with a less defined curly pattern.