Determining Your Hair Type

The type of hair dictates the kind of care and style it needs. The testure of hair is genetically determined. Each individual hair may be coarse, fine, thick or curly. Your hair's type and texture will affect its care and condition and also determine the styles that will suit you best.

Hair texture

Hair may be coarse, fine, frizzy or thick. You may have a lot of hair follicles on your head, giving you a thick head of hair, or you may have fewer, giving you fine, flyaway hair. The thickness of the individual hairs also varies from person to person; these factors will determine your hair care routine.

The amount of natural cural in a hair depends on the shape of the hair follicles. Straight hair grows from a follicle that is more or less round, and the hair itself is round in cross section. Wavy hair is kidney-shaped in cross section, and the amount of wave in the hair depends on the degree of curve in the follicle. Curly hair grows from a very curved hair follicle.

Hair condition

Although no two people have the same hair, most people's hair falls into one of three categories; dry, normal, or oily. these categories are determined by the amount of oil produced by the sebaceous glands, which are located at the top of each hair follicle close to the scalp surface. This oil is necessary to healthy hair, as it coats the hair in a fine layer, providing sheen and elasticity.

Dry Hair

Dry hair occurs when the sebaceous glands produce too little oil to keep the surface of the hair supple and shiny. Dry hair looks dull and brittle, and often feels rough to the touch; it often splits easilt and loses elasticity.

Dry hair may be caused artifically, from overprocesing and overheating, from too much sunlight, too much perming and bleaching, or overfrequent washing. Dry hair has little natural protection and regular conditioning is essential. A weekly deep moisturizing treatment is recommended to keep dry hair in good condition, and ends need regular trimming to avoid splitting.

Oily Hair

Oily hair generally goes hand in hand with oily skin. It is due to overproduction from the sebaceous glands, which coats the hair with excess oil and makes it lank and lifeless within a day or so of washing. The grease attracts dust, so oily hair needs frequent washing. Use a mild shampoo if you wash your hair daily, as the hair requires a certain amount of natural oil if it is to stay healthy and elastic. Hair may become more oily during times of illness or stress. Only comb or brush it when necessary, and do not play with the hair or rub the scalp, since this only stimulates the sebaceous glands.

Normal Hair

Normal hair is as much the result of good luck as is is careful treatment. It has a natural gloss and shine and feels soft and smooth to the touch. Always use mild shampoos and conditioners, and at the first sign of any problems, take the necessary steps to protect your hair.

Combination Hair

This type of hair is oily at the scalp and dry at the ends. It occurs more in oily long hair that has damaged ends. It can also occur to people with dandruff as the oil soaks into the dry flakes on the scalp instead of travelling along the hair shaft. Use a mild shampoo and condition the ends of the hair only, leaving the scalp free from this type of treatment.

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