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What is the thinnest type of hair?

What is the thinnest type of hair?


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How to Figure Out Your Hair Type

We feel you. Decoding your hair type can be confusing. You may have different types of textures on your beautiful head — which is totally normal. Perhaps a mix of coarse waves with fine curls (fabulous!). Maybe a smattering of coils and tight structures (gorg!). Or strick-straight hair that poofs and frizzes under the right conditions (gotta love that volume!). So as you can imagine there’s no universally correct hair product, routine, or really even classification system that applies to every hair type in the world.

That being said, Andre Walker, the father of hair-typing, has managed to break them down over the decades into four very broad, very general categories. We’re here to help give high-level descriptions of these categories and break down some traits and characteristics.

Hair Texture

Your hair texture is determined by the shape of the follicle that your hair grows out of from your scalp. The flatter/oval-shaped the follicle, the curlier the hair. And the more circular the follicle, the straighter the hair. The best way to figure out where you are on the spectrum is to check out your hair after you wash it and let it air dry. If it dries straight without a bend or curl then you’re Type 1. If it dries with a slight curve or S-shape patterns then you’re Type 2. If it dries with defined curls or loop patterns, then you’re Type 3. And if it dries with tight curls, spirals or zig-zag patterns then you’re Type 4.

Summary: main categories are for hair texture; Type 1s are straight, Type 2s are wavy, Type 3s are curly, Type 4s are coily

Hair Strand Size

When we talk about hair structure or strand size, we’re specifically talking about the thickness of your strands which can affect how well your hair is able to hold styles and react with certain products. There are generally 3 categories: fine, medium, and coarse/thick. You can compare a strand to a sewing thread — is your hair thinner, the same width, or wider? You can also think about how well it holds style — fine hair doesn’t hold curls very well. Medium is relatively easy. Thicker can hold curls but can be difficult to style as its less supple.

Summary: sub-categories are for strand size; A’s are thin, Bs are medium, Cs are thick/coarse

Remember that “. most people with textured hair have more than one type of pattern on their heads so you can have a combination of kinky, coily, wavy and curly,” explains hairstylist Vernon Francois.

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type 1 straight hair

Straight hair can range from silky and thin to thick and poofy (who doesn’t love a good poof?). But there is one thing in common — oil from your scalp can easily slip and slide down the lengths of your strands, which keeps your strands moisturized. But can also suffer from ‘greasiness’ so keeping your scalp clean and balanced is key.

1A: flattest, thinnest, and silkiest of the straight hair types; will be hard to keep a bobby-pin in.
1B: still straight but with some bends and a few coarser strands; can suffer from greasy roots.
1C: thicker and coarser, which means also prone to frizz, poofiness, and dryness.


type 2 wavy hair

Wavy hair tends to have multiple, wonderful bends from roots to tips. It has definitive S-patterns that lay closer to the head. It can range from beachy waves to larger, undefined waves. Wavy hair is able to hold product and styling pretty well.

2A: fine, barely-there touseled texture that’s very easy to straighten.
2B: hair lies flatter at the crown with defined S-shaped waves starting from the midlength. Strands are thicker in diameter.
2C: waves are thicker and more susceptible to frizzing. S-bends are well-defined and begin at the root.


type 3 curly hair

Curly hair can range from loose, buoyant loops to tight, springy corkscrew-shaped curls. There is one main trait that most curly-haired people have — they are prone to frizz so sulfate-free products and moisture are key.

3A: large, loose curls that are the size of a piece of sidewalk chalk.
3B: spring ringlets similar to the circumference of a marker.
3C: tight corkscrews that range from a circumference of a straw to a pencil; densely packed together, giving way to lots of natural volume; frizziness can be a popular trait


type 4 coily hair

Coily hair can be a mix of textures that range from tightly coils, spring-like S-patters, to zig-zag patterns (so many beautiful shapes!). Because of the hair shape angles, scalp oils can’t easily lubricate your hair making type 4 most fragile, dry, and damage-prone of all hair types. Sulfate-free products and super-duper moisturization are important.

4A: dense, spring S-patterned coils that are the circumference of a knitting needle.
4B: densely packed and can bend in sharp angles with Z-patterns.
4C: similar to 4B but the tightly coiled strands are more fragile and have a very tight zig-zag pattern; can experience the greatest amount of shrinkage than any other textures.

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What’s The Difference Between Fine And Thin Hair?

woman happily standing in front of mirror, brushing hair

Have you ever gone to a hair salon and heard the stylist throw around terms like fine and thin hair? What do these terms mean, and how does it affect you?

Although typically interchanged, the difference between thin and fine hair is pretty straightforward. Knowing whether you have thin or fine hair is essential in helping you choose the right hair care products for your needs. Like skincare is personalized to your skin type, haircare is better when you target your specific haircare needs. Whether you have thin or fine hair, or both, knowing which hair type is yours will determine essential factors such as how often you need to shower or shampoo your hair.

Private Label Extensions adds that although they are different terms, it’s possible to have both thin and fine hair. That is because these descriptors describe two aspects of the hair: density and thickness. Knowing which one pertains to you is the first step to getting your ideal hair.

What it means to have fine hair

curling iron and straightener laying on top of fine hair

When someone refers to having fine hair, they are speaking of the diameter of a hair strand. According to Phillip Kinglsey, having fine hair means having hair strands with a small diameter. Fine hair will naturally lack volume as the strand’s diameter is so small. Phillip Kinglsey recommends those with fine hair to shampoo and condition often, as this hair type will trap more dirt and oils.

To find out whether you have fine hair or not, you want to examine a single hair strand. Compare this strand to a piece of thread. You will most likely have fine hair if it is smaller than the thread or a similar size.

Hair expert Shab Reslan tells InStyle that those with fine hair can be easily fooled into believing they have coarse hair because of its density. If someone with fine hair has a fuller set of hair, it will appear to have much more volume than those who do not have as much hair. Reslan adds that your fine hair cannot change, as your genetics determines it.

What it means to have thin hair

woman massaging her scalp

Thin hair, however, speaks about one’s hair density. Having thin hair translates into having low-density hair or not having a large amount of hair.

Hairstylist Paul Rus tells Martha Stewart that those with thin hair usually find their scalp more visible than others. This is why people with thin hair should also reach for products that add volume to the hair to hide exposed parts of the scalp better. Rus explains that another term, thinning, describes when your hair constantly falls out, regardless of density or texture. If you suddenly lose hair, you will want to reach out to a medical professional to examine the situation further.

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To style and treat thin hair, you want to focus on adding volume to create more movement in the hair that isn’t there naturally. Like fine hair, Pure Wow suggests that those with thin hair find shampoos or haircare products that can target thin hair directly. You want to ensure these products are not weighing down your hair, as this will also decrease the smoothness and volume you seek.

Hairstyles and Haircuts for Thin Hair

Thin hair often appears flat, limp and unable to hold any more or less voluminous style. With the right haircuts and hairstyles for thin hair you’ll add the desirable body and illusion of thickness to your fine tresses. Shag haircuts for fine hair are one of great body-gaining solutions. They are flattering for both types of hair – curly and straight. Hairstyles for fine straight hair emphasize the delicate structure of fine hair strands. The shorter the length is, the thicker they will seem. So, short hairstyles for fine hair are an absolutely winning choice. And what about updos for thin hair? These are a weighty argument of medium length hairstyles for thin hair as well as hairstyles for long thin hair. Discover for yourself beautiful messy updos and chic haircuts for thin hair that suggest minimal styling.

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