Understanding your hair texture and curl pattern is the first step towards knowing which products and styles work best for you. Is your hair straight, wavy, curly, or tightly coiled? For more in-depth information about hair textures and curl patterns, check out Diane Da Costas book Textured Tresses.
Lets begin by first understanding what texture is, then you will be better able to identify your own hairs texture. Websters Dictionary offer three definitions of texture.
- The surface or look or feel of something.
- The basic makeup of a surface.
- Distinctive or identifying characteristics.
Texture is quite simply what you can see and feel! It is the actual straightness or curliness of the hairs surface, as well as the softness or coarseness of the hair.
Wavy hair follows an s pattern.
Wavy hair is less challenging to twist or braid than straight hair. Because the wave pattern is so loose, textured-looking styles such as twists and braids can be somewhat challenging to achieve. Styles on wavy hair may require the use of rubber bands, rods, or products to give the hair hold.
Loose Curly hair follows a tighter s pattern than wavy hair and shapes in the form of a spiral. Loose curly hair mimics the curl of the childs toy, Slinky.
Because loose curly hair has a tighter curl pattern than wavy hair, the ends may not need to be secured with a rod or rubber band as with wavy hair. Hairstyles also typically last longer on loose curly hair than wavy hair.
Very Curly hair has a tight spiral that mimics the curl of a mattress spring or pen spring.It is great for twisting, braiding, and creative natural-styling because of its strong elasticity and tight curl pattern. Styling tools such as rods may be unnecessary because the curl pattern itself performs like a styling tool. Styles achieved on very curly hair have excellent staying power!
Tightly Coiled hair has the tightest curl pattern of all the curl types. In fact, to the natural eye, it may not appear to have a curl at all.
Tightly coiled hair draws tightly to the scalp. It tends to be the driest hair texture and is most prone to breakage. Therefore, a regular moisturizing regime and proper hair care are necessary. Hairstyles with tightly coiled hair tend to hold the best of all textures.