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When women decided to return to their natural roots there was an explosion of naturals trying to figure out their hair type by identifying their cur pattern. To be honest I never played into the hair typing system because I knew there had to more to natural hair care besides knowing your curl pattern. The more I thought about hair typing the more I felt uncertain about this theory. This is how I thought about about it – if you line 10 women up by hair type and let’s say you have 2 from each group and examine them closely each person’s hair would still be different. So I decided to dig deep to learn more about black hair and found out that knowing your curl pattern was not enough but understanding your hairs porosity and texture was most important.

Look at the images below. Here are several different curl patterns: Wavy, Curly, Coily and Kinky. Now your hair may look like one of these pictures, but keep in mind the difference between these pictures and your hair is porosity level and texture.

In a recent blog post I explained the 3 levels of hair porosity and how to test your hair to determine your porosity level. Click here to download your free worksheet and watch the video.

Knowing your hair porosity is a key factor to determining which products work best for your hair. But there’s more! Identifying your hairs texture, strand size, density, and elasticity will help you understand the texture of hair to select the right products to save you time and money.

5 Types of Texture

1. Thready – low frizz, hair easily wets but dries out quickly.

2. Wiry – water beads and bounces off the hair strand, takes time before hair feels wet.

3. Cottony – high frizz, absorbs water quickly.

4. Spongy – absorbs water before thoroughly getting wet.

5. Silky – levels of frizz vary, hair easily gets wet.

How to Find Your Strand Size

Compare a strand of your hair to a strand of thread. If your hair strand is larger than the thread then your hair is THICK. If your hair strand is smaller than the thread then your hair is FINE.

How to Identify Your Hair Density

– Density (thickness) is determined by the diameter of your ponytail when your hair is dry.

– Larger than a quarter = THICK

– Smaller than a quarter but larger than a nickel = NORMAL

– Smaller than a nickel = FINE

Test Your Hairs Elasticity

The simplest test to determine the elasticity is on freshly washed hair. Stretch several strands of your hair and let go, if your hair is healthy the hair should return to its natural curl pattern.

Nicole Patrick, founder of thenaturalcole.com is an online hair care resource for women of color with natural hair. To learn more visit thenaturalcole.com or contact her at cole@thenaturalcole.com.

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