COILS OR CURLS – WHAT’S YOUR HAIR TYPE?
When it comes to African hair, understanding your hair type is vital to treating, maintaining and styling your crown. Choosing the best products for black hair comes down to knowing your hair’s personality and it will save you money in the long-term.
NATURAL HAIR TYPES
Loose Curls to Corkscrew Curls
3A: Your curls are big and loose. The circumference of 3A curls are comparable to the bottletop of a plastic coke bottle.
3B: Your curls are springy and voluminous, and you can find variants anywhere from corkscrews to ringlets. The circumference of 3B hair types are comparable to a permanent marker.
3C: This is sometimes called “curly-coily” hair due to its density. It’s made up of tightly-packed corkscrew-like curls that tend to be as big around as a pencil. 3C tends to have the highest amount of volume, but also the most shrinkage.
High Volume & Body
Straight when wet, curls when dry
50/50 balance of moisture and protein
Products that contain Argan Oil
Frizz control products to hold curls,
use leave in conditioners
Tight Coils to Z-Angled Coils
4A: Your coils are either fine or wiry with the circumference of a crochet needle. They’re still dense and springy with a notable S-pattern.
4B: Instead of coiling or curling, you have hair that bends in sharp angles. They look quite a bit like the letter Z. The curl is tighter and far less defined, having the circumference of an ink-pen. The strands range from wiry and coarse to fine and thin.
4C: You have hair as densely-packed as 4B, just with less definition as well as more shrinkage. The hair texture, which is tightly coiled like all Type 4s, ranges from super fine and soft to coarse and wiry. It’s incredibly delicate hair.
Highly textured & full volume
prone to dryness and breakage
about 75% shrinkage
fragile hair, dry scalp
Products high in moisture
if chemical treated - requires protein
leave-in products & scalp treatments
HAIR POROSITY TEST
Testing your hair’s porosity is simple and requires only a glass of water and a strand of hair! Simply pull a few clean hairs from your hairbrush (or your head) and submerge it into the water. Give it a few minutes before checking on the hair strands. If your hair floated to the top, then you have low porosity. If it sinks, then you have high porosity and if it stays in the middle, then you have medium porosity.
WHAT IS POROSITY?
Porosity is a measurement of your hair’s ability to absorb and hold moisture. This is an indication of how easily moisture can penetrate your hair and is determined by the structure of your cuticle. While porosity is mainly determined by genetics, it can also be altered by external factors like excessive heat styling and chemical hair treatments.
Low porosity hair is moisture resistant - meaning that it is not very easy to get moisture into and out of your hair. Strands have a tightly bound cuticle layer with overlapping scales which makes it difficult for moisture to enter and escape the hair. Due to this, hair is more prone to product build-up. Hair may feel dry and needs products with rich moisturising ingredients such as coconut oil, jojoba oil and shea butter.
Medium porosity hair has a loose cuticle and allows for moisture to flow freely in and out of the hair. Hair with this level of porosity needs the least amount of maintenance. This hair can hold styles better, is not prone to dryness or product build-up. However, it is important to limit heat and chemical treatments to this hair type to keep the hair healthy and at its optimal level of porosity.
Hair with a high porosity has more often than not been damaged by chemicals like colour treatments, relaxers and even too much heat. The cuticle of these hair strands contains gaps and holes that make it easy to receive moisture but also easy for moisture to escape. Hair with this level of porosity needs to use products that contain sealants as this hair type is more prone to frizz, flyaways and tangles that cause breakage. Be careful when swimming with high porosity hair since chemicals can easily penetrate the hair and cause the strands to break. The best products to use for this hair type needs to contain avocado oil, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. Because highly porous hair can also lose moisture easily, it's important to use leave-in conditioners, moisturizers and sealers. Layering these products will help your hair hold on to the moisture you're giving it. You can even follow up with a heavy hair butter to help fill the gaps in your damaged cuticles and further protect your hair from losing too much moisture.
LCO VSLOC METHOD
LCO stands for leave-in, cream, oil. LOC stands for leave-in, oil, cream. Custard or gel can also be used instead of cream depending on your texture. So which one should you use and when is it best to use? This depends on your hair texture density and porosity as well as the climate in your region!
Low to Medium Porosity
Low porosity hair is hair with flat cuticles or small pores and therefore can’t absorb moisture as well, or as fast. Starting with a water based leave in such as our Hair Dew Leave In conditioner, will provide the hair with the hydration & h20 it needs. The oil seals in the leave in, acts as a barrier to protect your hair from weathering and other daily damage, however it can also prevent the already struggling pores to absorb a cream. Also, because low-po hair is prone to buildup, some people may find that layering oil and cream will cause their hair to be weighed down and greasy. Therefore we recommend the LCO for 3b to 3b low porosity, dense thick hair using Hair Dew Leave In, Mega Mangrow Moisture Milk and less than a half a pump of Low Porosity Re-Do Prepoo in dry climates and especially during the winter. For fine thinner wavier to loose curl textures such as 2a-3a we recommend using our LCC (Leave in Cream Custard) method. Hair Dew Leave-in, Mega Mangro Moisture Milk and Conditioning Curling Custard. The LCC method is also great for those who live in humid climates, and during the hot summer months.
High Porosity Hair
High porosity hair generally responds better to the LOC method using a water based leave in such as our high porosity Hair Dew Leave In Conditioner followed by oil and then a cream because its larger open pores can absorb the product rather than letting it sit and clog the hair follicle.
Using oil on high porosity hair, directly after using a water based leave in such as our Hair Dew Leave In Conditioner can also prevent damage that can happen from constantly reapplying water on the hair. This can lead to hygral fatigue; the result of excessive hair swelling and contracting from too much moisture. The LCO method can be used in high porosity hair that is not as dense, thick or dry and for those who live in very dry climates.
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