The 4 hair types
We love hair. Your hair, your boss’s hair and your neighbour’s hair. Thick, long, curly or shiny. We all have different hair types and we all love them equally. For us, it is essential to also understand the structureand character of hair. Without this understanding, we cannot do our work in the best possible way.
It will therefore be important for us to pass this knowledge on to you so that you can take care of your hair properly and get the best possible results from our treatments.
What is a hair type?
Research and studies say that your hair type is primarily based on the genetic code that determines how curly your hair is. This is determined by the shape of the hair follicle. The more oval or asymmetric it is, the more curly your hair will be.
Although the hair type is genetic, the appearance of the hair can be changed with heating tools or chemicals (think permanent shaving). Hormones can also have a major impact on hair structure. For example, many women find that they go from straight to curly hair after a pregnancy.
So, what hair types are there?
Hair is divided into four different types:
- Type 1 (Straight)
- Type 2 (Wavy)
- Type 3 (Curly)
- Type 4 (Frizzy)
Type 1: Straight
With type 1 you have no natural curls. Your hair can be thin or thick, fine or coarse, but falls perfectly straight from root to tip. Straight hair has the most shine of all hair types and is most resistant to damage. This type often gets oily easily and should therefore not be washed with shampoo too frequently.
Type 2: Wavy
Type 2A has a naturally scruffy appearance. Generally speaking, your hair is relatively straight from root to eye level. From eye level downwards you have an undefined but existing wave.
Like 2A, this type has waves from eye level down. However, the waves have a more defined S-shape.
Type 2C has the most defined S-shaped waves in group 2. Here you can also sometimes see that the waves start closer to the root. In general, hair that falls below 2C is thicker than A and B.
Type 3: Curly
Hair that falls under types 3 and 4 is more likely to be damaged by a tightly set hairstyle. The hair follicles are more oval and asymmetrical in these hair types. The angle of the hair follicles allows the hair to be pulled in the opposite direction to the natural one when it is in place, leading to damage to both the hair shaft and the hair follicle.
S-shaped loops form relatively loose but strongly defined curls in type 3A. Your curls have about the same circumference as the thicker part of a candle. Hair in 3A should not be brushed as it often leads to a frizzy hairstyle.
Type 3B curls are narrower than A and can be measured with the thickness of a larger marker pen. The curls definitely start at the root and have high volume. Beware of products with silicone and sulphates as they can cause your hair to become dry and brittle.
For this hair type, the curls are very small and feathery. They can be spun around a straw quite perfectly. It is relatively difficult to distinguish between 3C and 4A as 3C is so close to the definition of curly.
Type 4: Frizzy
The curls of type 4A are well defined and could be wrapped around a chopstick. Wearing your hair in a braid can damage your hair as the curls easily get caught in each other.
Type 4B has narrow, tight curls that zigzag. Avoid braids and complicated hairstyles.
Type 4C has the narrowest and tightest but most fragile curls. Just combing through your hair can break off strands. Many people of African descent have this type of hair. This is also the most difficult type of hair to transplant.
What role do hair types play in our work?
When we perform hair transplants, we have your hair type in mind. The structure of the hair follicle determines how a hair follicle to be extracted is transplanted. For example, a hair follicle of a customer with hair type 1 is picked out straight from the top with a thin drill. For a client with hair type 3, we have to use a larger drill and follow the spiral of the curl so that the hair follicle is not damaged in the process. In the case of very curly hair (type 4B-C), we sometimes drill out 2-3 graftsbefore a procedure to see if the transplant is possible.
So, in order to perform a procedure with the best possible results, we need to be fully aware of your hair type. That’s one of the reasons why it’s important that we examine your hair during a consultation. If you just want to find out how your hair is doing or learn more about hair in general, you are more than welcome.