Five Types Of Hair

Choosing the right hairstyle demands you know a bit about your own hair. There are five general types of hair. Here we explain a bit about each type and help you understand how best to cut and care for your hair.

Natural Sheen

Fine Hair

Some 15% of all women are born with fine hair. This type of hair is around 50 microns in diameter. Fine hair is the best light reflector of the various types of hair so has a natural sheen. Blonde hair tends to be thinner, so most women with fine hair are blondes.

Fine hair has the following characteristics: shiny, flat, flyaway, lifeless, limp, and soft. This type of hair is quite susceptible to damage in comparison with medium or coarse hair. The big issues surrounding fine hair include adding volume and getting your hair to hold its style.

A good rule to keep in mind with fine hair is that the shorter you go, the more light-weight it is making your hair seem fuller and livelier. Streaks can help add the illusion of volume.

Medium Hair

Medium hair is the most common type. The typical diameter of medium hair is from 60-90 microns. Medium hair has a great deal of body and holds hairstyles well. It is the most flexible of the hair types.

The characteristics of medium hair are: manageable, voluminous, soft, tends to be "normal."

Requires Conditioner

Coarse Hair

The diameter of coarse hair starts at 100 microns. The characteristics of coarse hair are: wiry, rough, heavy, strong, wild. Coarse hair tends to be dry and requires conditioner. Keep coarse hair long so its weight helps keep it flatter. Go for layers. Avoid blunt cuts.

Thick and Thin Hair

Whether you have thick or thin hair depends on how much hair you have and not on the diameter of the individual hairs. Most people have anywhere from 100,000-150,000 hairs with daily hair loss at 50-100 hairs. Those with the thickest hair, have around 150,000 strands of hair on their heads. Those with thin hair average at around 90,000 strands of hair.

Thick hair tends to look bushy if cut short. Layered cuts are good for thick hair since layers add mobility.

Short cuts are best for thin hair. Adding highlights or lowlights give an illusion of volume.

Not sure what kind of hair you have? Here's one way to find out: Time how long it takes your hair to air dry. If your hair dries in under an hour, you have fine or thin hair. If it takes longer than an hour to air dry, you have thick hair.


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