What does hair texture, curl pattern, & density mean?
Over the years, multiple hair type classification systems have been created. One of the most popular hair typing systems used is the Texture Typing System, created by NaturallyCurly, which was inspired by the LOIS System, created by Andre Walker. The Texture Typing System only addresses the curl pattern of hair. All healthy hair has specific properties and characteristics in common. To understand these properly, we need to consider more than the texture of hair and look into texture, density, width, and how they each relate to healthy hair care. To successfully address your hair’s needs as they arise, you must develop an understanding of these basic hair properties and how they affect your hair.
Bounce Curl is growing! We are in the process of adding new products to our product line. We know that moisture makes an enormous difference to the results you get from curly hair products. We are going to organize products into three levels:
- Light moisture
- Medium moisture
- Extra moisture
Figuring out your hair texture, type/curl pattern, and density is helpful when choosing products. You may be asking yourself, “How do I figure all this out?” In the discussion below, we will work through them one at a time. You will see that we talk about moisture…A LOT!
What is the difference between thin hair and fine hair?
Many people equate thin hair (density) and fine hair (texture) as being the same, but they are entirely different. It is easy to confuse hair texture and hair density. Having fine hair doesn’t necessarily mean that your hair is thin. Let’s take a look at the differences.
Density refers to the number of individual hair strands on your head; it refers to how tightly individual strands of hair are packed together, which should ideally be 2,200 strands per square inch. To determine your hair density, take a section of hair from various parts of your head and pull it to the side, or look at your dry hair hung loose in its natural shape, from different angles and up close.
Thin (low)-density- you will easily see the scalp underneath or through the hair. Low-density hair should use light products that won't weigh the hair down or reduce its volume. Products like foams, mousse, volumizing shampoos, and conditioners with thickening agents will help hair to appear fuller.
Medium-density- lies somewhere in between thin and thick density hair. With medium-density hair, you can use a variety of products to enhance your texture.
Thick (high)-density- you can barely see your scalp, or the scalp cant’ be seen at all. High-density hair can get away with using heavy products such as creams and butters (for some, not all) to hold the curls together.
Hair texture: Hair width is the measure of the thickness or circumference of the individual hair strand, which is not to be confused with how the hair feels. Hair width can also be referred to as texture (coarse, medium, fine). Hair width is important when discussing your hair because it plays a significant role in determining how products will perform on your hair. Stronger hair (healthy, coarse hair) can be manipulated more than weaker or more fragile hair (healthy, fine hair)
Fine: hair strands have a small circumference and width and are therefore delicate and easily damaged. Fine hair does not have to use a lot of product, simply because it cannot withstand the weight. Multiple products will weigh it down. People with fine hair need a little more help to create volume. Deep conditioning is great for fine hair since the hair strands are more fragile and need strength after mechanical stress and other stressors. Protein treatments can be used monthly or as needed to help fortify the hair. Heavy oils and butters may be too heavy for your strands, unless in the colder months. Instead, try a light butter, like mango butter, or use lighter oils like grapeseed and sunflower oil.
Medium: hair strands are neither too thick or thin, and hair strands are strong and elastic. Layering products is not an issue as your strands can withstand the weight better than those with fine strands.
Coarse: hair strands are very wide and have a large circumference making it the strongest of all the hair types. Your hair is not easily weighed down, but you need products that will allow you to retain moisture to keep hair from becoming dry. This hair is stronger but less elastic than medium width hair. While coarse hair is strong, it can be prone to dryness, which can then lead to breakage.
If you don’t know what your hair width is, try using the thread method:
A strand of frayed thread is about the thickness of a medium-sized strand of human hair. If your strand is larger than this- your hair is thick (coarse). If your strand is smaller than this- your hair is fine. If it is around the same thickness- your hair is medium width.
What products to use with your hair’s width?
This is not a one size fits all, because all curls are unique, and everyone has different preferences; we live in different geographical locations, are different ages, and have different genetics. Despite those differences, we can still find commonalities among hair width types that may assist you in product selections and styling.
If you have fine hair and you want to achieve volume, try our light moisture line, however, if you do not want volume, then we suggest moving up a moisture level and try our medium moisture line.
If you have normal to medium hair and want volume, then we recommend trying our medium moisture products. If you do not want volume, we suggest moving up to the extra moisture product.
If you have coarse hair, we recommend using our extra moisture products. If you want lighter products, then medium moisture can help achieve more volume.
As mentioned before, figuring out your hair type is key to determining the right products for your hair. This hair typing system focuses on three types of hair: Wavy, Curly, and Coily. The hair typing system further classifies the three categories into sub-classes: A to C. These subclassifications are based on the diameter of the hair.
Note: It is common to have a combination of hair types. Don’t rule out a hair type because your hair doesn’t look like the representations in the pictures. The reality is that most don’t fit perfectly into one category or subclassification.