Just My Type
Aug 06, 2018 12:00AM
By Kelsey Casselbury
You’re envious of your friend’s straight, shiny locks of hair, and she would give anything for your curls—it’s always greener on the other side of the salon, isn’t it? Did you know that there are not only four types of hair—in relation to its curls and textures—but three of those four types are also divided into subtypes? Each type of hair has its perks and drawbacks, but one thing is for certain: They all need to be managed differently.
Type 1: Straight Hair
The idea of straight hair often sounds lovely to curly-haired women—after all, you just need to let it air-dry, and it’s ready to go. It’s also often shiny, resilient, and hard to damage. On the flip side, stick-straight tresses are nearly impossible to curl, even with the hottest of curling wands, and it can get oily quickly. The natural oil, known as sebum, that’s produced by your scalp quickly works its way down the strands without any curls or kinks to slow it down. How to Manage It: Type 1 hair typically needs a little boost for volume. After washing, add a quarter-sized amount of mousse and massage it in, and then blow-dry your hair with a big, round barrel brush. Michelle Salas of MS Style & Co. in Symmetry Salons in Annapolis recommends finding sulfate-free products, particularly if your straight hair has been color-treated. “This helps preserve color from fading, maintains the integrity of the hair after being color and protects it from the environmental factors such as UV rays,” Salas says, specifically recommending L’ANZA Healing Haircare.
Type 2: Wavy Hair
Somewhere between curly and straight, wavy hair doesn’t have a standard spiral of curly hair, but it certainly has more texture and, in some cases, frizz than straight hair. This hair type is divided into three sub-categories—A, B, and C—and as you go from type 2A down to 2C, the strands become more resistant to styling and the waves lose their shine. How to Manage It: To cut back on frizz, type 2 hair desperately needs deep conditioning or a hair treatment mask at least once a week. As a bonus, these treatments also boost the shine factor of your locks. Ashley Ciampo of Hair by Ashley Nichole—also located at Symmetry Studios— suggests Dream Coat by COLOR WOW. She says that it acts as an at-home smoothing treatment and repeals humidity and rain from penetrating the hair cuticle.
Each type of hair has its perks and drawbacks, but one thing is for certain: They all need to be managed differently.
Type 3: Curly Hair
Like wavy type 2 hair, curly hair has three varieties that range from a definite S-shaped curl down to a tight Z-shaped curl. Even without styling products, the hair naturally dries in an obvious curl pattern. However, as any curly girl knows, there’s a definite frizz factor (particularly in humid Maryland summers!) and a lack of shine. How to Manage It: Proper care of curly hair begins at the haircut—avoid getting haircuts where the hair is shampooed and washed first. “Dry cuts are recommended for curly hair,” Dawn Cassidy of Curley Girls at Symmetry Studios says. On a daily basis, use a repair or reconstructive shampoo and conditioner, says Chris Cartageione, Studio C5, in Symmetry Studios. If you want to take curly, frizzy hair management one step further, Jackie Nunez of Jackie’s Design Hair & Skin Studio in Annapolis, offers keratin treatments and Brazilian blowouts, both of which removes frizz, adds shine, seals in color and decreases blow-dry time for curly hair, she says.
Type 4: Kinky Hair
Coily, kinky hair might seem robust and thick, but it’s actually the thinnest, finest hair out there—it’s just packed together and has the fewest cuticle layers to protect it from becoming dry and fragile. Hair type 4A still has that tight curl pattern of type 3 hair, but the pattern disappears in type 4B and 4C, the latter of which is the most delicate and prone to damage of them all. How to Manage It: The driest of all hair types, kinky hair needs a dose of moisture every single day. Work in a creamy, sulfate-free shampoo each morning and follow with an extra-hydrating conditioner. Style with a creamy product that contains moisturizers, such as humectants or natural conditioning agents.