How to determine the right products for your hair (Part 2: Hair Width)

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In order to determine the right products for your hair you will want to identify your hairs porosity and its width (thickness). In the previous article (Part 1) I covered what porosity means, how to assess your hairs porosity and which products you can look out for. In this article I will go over what hair width means, how to determine your hairs width and products you might want to try out.  Apart from getting the right products, identifying your hair width can actually also aid you retain length because it can help you determine how to ha understanding how to helping you find products that will moisturize your hair.

What is hair width?

Hair width is defined as the circumference of your hair strands, how thick hair strand is. Thickness can sometimes be confused with how much hair you have on your scalp (“density” which is different). Hair width can also be called ‘texture’ but again can be confused with how the hair “feels” (completely different context). There are three categories of hair width:

Hair Width Examples by Maicurls

–        Fine: the circumference is extremely small and narrow.

–        Medium: the strands circumference is in the middle – neither too small nor too big.

–        Coarse: the strands have a very wide and large circumference.

 How to determine your hairs width?

There is no “fast and steady rule” however you can hold a piece of shed hair next to a light bulb  or place it on a piece of paper with a string of thread and if:

–        It’s so hard to see the strand that it almost appears not there you are considered as having fine width.

–        It’s clearly visible and really thick you are considered as having coarse width.

–        It’s neither thick yet clearly visible then you are considered as having medium width.

What can you do and what products can you look for?

Fine

  • You want to lightly ‘layer’ products (moisturizer and sealant) without being heavy handed.
  • Try apply a Deep Condition (DC) every time you wash your hair
  • Fine hair can easily be weighed down with thick or heavy products so opt for light products and oils:
    • Light liquid/spray leave-in conditioner
    • Thin hair milks
    • Grape seed oil
    • Sweet almond oil
    • Almond oil
    • It might not be advisable to use butters however if you do, use ones with low fat content:
      • Mango butter
      • Coffee Bean butter
      • Fine hair is extremely fragile with limited elasticity and susceptible to breakage if it is not handled with extra care.
      • You can benefit from Henna applications to help slightly “thicken” and fortify the hair
      • Take your time when manipulating/detangling!

Medium

  • You want to layer products however you can get away with them being slightly heavier compared to fine hair:
    • Light creamy leave-in conditioners
    • Creamy Hair milks
    • Moisturizing and Protein DC’s should be rotated and balanced (depending on your hair needs).
    • Butters and oils for sealing can include:
      • Mango butter
      • Aloe Vera butter
      • Cupuacu butter
      • A light whipped butter mixed with oils
      • Jojoba oil
      • Avocado oil
      • Coconut oil
      • Medium width hair is strong and has enough elasticity to be manipulated (never be rough) without snapping or breaking.

Coarse

  • Coarse hair is not easily weighed down however you want products that include moisture and do not want to ‘coat’ your hair
  • Water should be within the top 3 ingredients if not the first.
  • Try applying a moisturizing DC on days when you wash your hair and spread out protein DC’s (e.g. every 6 weeks).
  • Depending on the weather conditions in your area, humectants can help add moisture:
    • Glycerin
    • Honey
    • Agave nectar.
    • Butters and oils for sealing can include:
      • Shea butter
      • Cocoa butter
      • Whipped butter with oil
      • Jamaican black castor oil
      • Castor
      • Olive oil
      • Coconut Oil
      • Coarse hair is really strong (some call it “hard”) with a little elasticity.
      • While it is strong you still want to handle it with care!
      • It can be susceptible to protein sensitivity therefore lookout for products with protein.
      • It is prone to breakage when dry so do not be afraid to use water when manipulating your hair.

We have all been through the dreaded trial and error phase, especially when we are newly natural or going through a “product junkie cycle”. It is perfectly normal to want to try out new products, experiment, who knows perhaps become a little mixing vixen! However, instead of wasting money on products that will not work for you due to your hairs structure, use a little background knowledge about the characteristics of your curls (porosity and width) to help save money and avoid chaos on your hair. Try not to get bogged down with “curl patterns” because knowing if you have 3a or 4b will not make it easier to find the perfect product for your lovely curls!

 [By Maicurls]

 


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