Hair textures and types are varied classifications or theories that are used to distinguish hair among women of color. A theory provides an explanatory framework for our observation of the way hair grows, and from the assumptions of the explanations, we derive a number of possible hypotheses that can be tested in order to provide support or challenge the theory.
As it stands, hair is classified in many ways, but for the purpose of this post we are going to look at hair TEXTURES and TYPES along with POROSITY. By understanding the nature of texture, type and level of porosity we can better understand what types of products are best to maintain the overall health of our natural hair.
- 2A Wavy- Southern Europeans & Pacific Islanders
- 2B Wavy Curvy- Southern Europeans & Pacific Islanders
- 2C Wavy Curly- Southern Europeans & Pacific Islanders
- 3A Curly Twirl- Most common among biracial and Hispanics
- 3B Curly Spirally- Most common among biracial and Hispanics
- 3C Curly Kinky- Most common among biracial and Hispanics
- 4A Kinky Coily- Most common among black women
- 4B Kinky Crimpy- Most common among black women
- 4C Kinky- Most common among black women
- Type A- Hair that is naturally bone straight. Also the most resilient of all hair types. Tends to be resistant to damage and does not curl easily.
- Type B and C- Soft or deep waves with a definite S shape. This hair type is full of body, climate dependent (Humidity=Frizz). And also damage prone. Lack of proper care renders dull curls. Use anti- humectants and products to reduce frizz.
- Type D and E- hair does not have much sheen. Has lots of body, straightens when wet and curls as it dries. S or Z shaped curls. Use products with light natural oils like Olive, Argan and Marula
- Type F, G and H- Very tightly curled and wiry. Driest of all types. F type has a looser coil. Strands have zigzag shape. Most fragile of all hair types, must be handled with care. Depending on porosity, use natural butters and incorporate the LOC or LCO method into hair care regime to protect your fragile strands.
Porosity vs. Dryness
Porosity is the hairs ability to absorb moisture and is broken down into three categories: Low, Normal and High. A porosity test will determine which category your hair falls into. Drop a strand of clean hair into a glass of water, if it immediately sinks to the bottom your hair is of high porosity. If it lingers about midway in the glass, it’s normal. If the strand floats toward the top and it takes a while to sink, the strand is of low porosity.
- Low- resistant to receiving water and moisture, this hair type does not absorb products easily. To lift cuticle use a product that is more alkaline ex: Aloe Vera juice based moisturizer. Avoid products with a low ph because high acidity works to keep the cuticle closed. Steamers are also a great way to get moisture to your hair. (no steamer? Use aloe juice or natural leave-in, place plastic cap on hair and sit under a warm dryer for 20 minutes).
- Normal- Holds moisture and shine for an extended period of time. If you use heat often, chemically process or relax, your porosity can change. A healthy hair care regimen can help you maintain the normal porosity of your hair.
- High- likely has tears and gaps in the cuticle that allow water to flow in easily but often loses it just as quickly. Use Shea Butter and oils to help lock in moisture your stands would normally lose. Rinsing with an ACV mix and applying Aloe Vera gel can temporarily fill gaps to manage highly porous hair. Usually this hair is not repairable but the suggested methods help.
Dryness is typically a feeling we have when we touch our natural hair. The curlier and coarser the hair texture, the likelier it will be to feel dry because this hair type tends to lose moisture quickly. Historically, African People needed coarse hair so that the brain could stay cool in the extreme heat of the motherland; the genetic code and climate required hair to lose moisture very quickly in order to protect the crown.
WHICH HAIR TEXTURE OR TYPE ARE YOU?
DO YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE TEXTURE OR TYPE?
WHAT AREAS OF YOUR HEAD HAVE DIFFERENT TEXTURES?
By understanding which texture or type classification along with your hairs level of porosity, you can better determine how to manage your moisture level and which products will work for you!
LOC and LCO Method
The LOC method focuses on layering moisture on to the hair to increase moisture retention. Best suited for normal and high porosity hair types. Moisturize hair first with leave in conditioner, use oil, then a crème to loc in moisture. Hair feels softer looks shinier, but works primarily on the surface of the hair. Liquid Oil Crème is the order in which you should apply products. LOCs in Moisture with a Liquid like aloe Vera juice or leave in spray (Botanical Refresher by PN), Oil based Product like olive or castor oil (PN Revitalizer oil spray), and a Crème Product like Tropical Soufflé by Paradise Natural Products. Use this method if you are 3A-4C Texture & Type B-E
The LCO Method focuses on PACKING moisture into the hair then sealing it into the hair with oil. Works well on hair with low porosity because the added moisture from an alkaline product like the Botanical Refresher will lift the tight cuticle layers and allow moisture to penetrate while oil will seal in the moisture. Liquid Crème Oil is the order in which you should apply the products. Same as the previous method, however the sequence is different depending on the porosity of the hair. Use this method if you are 4A-C & Type F-H
Paradise Natural Products: A Great Solution
Paradise Natural products are all natural, paraben, phthalate and sulfate free, formulated with purity, and intended for use on the entire body. When considering hair texture, keep in mind that natural hair CRAVES natural products. Products based in nature are naturally alkaline and nourish hair from root to tip.
Aloe Vera, which is the primary ingredient in PNC Botanical Refresher, works well as a solution for the Liquid in the LOC Method. Olive Oil is the key ingredient in the PNC Revitalizer and works to add sheen and condition the cuticle layer. Tropical soufflé is a rich Crème formulation hand crafted with mango, Shea and cupuacu butter. Together these products work to condition, hydrate, restore and refresh natural hair.
Natural hair Theory is and always has been a way to explain our observation of natural hair as our understanding of our beautiful textures evolve. By studying and practicing the methods of healthy hair care you will learn to manage your hair with confidence! Thank you and many blessings to you for taking a moment to read this post.
With LOVE~ Aziza Yasmine