Ready to Be a Hair Genius? Everything You Wish You Knew About Hair

woman facing backwards touching her brown curly hair
woman on bathrobe drying her hair on her face with a hair dryer

Everyone has it, and everyone deals with it.

Whether it’s thick or thin, long or short, or brown or red, hair gets a lot of attention because it is an important physical attribute.

Cow with a Blond Hair flown by the air

And, that’s just the start…

People are always telling you how to cut it, how to style it, and how to make it look its best.

Even if you don’t have any hair, you will still get advice on how to make it grow, how to stop it from falling out, or how to embrace your bald.

When it comes to hair, there’s a lot to talk about.

I mean, will we ever forget the disaster that was the mullet?

man touching his ears while walking away from the stage

There’s even a Broadway musical with a hit song about the long, beautiful hair of the hippie era.

People are always trying to find new things to do with hair to create bold looks or new styles that become the most sought after. From The Beatles to Jennifer Aniston, famous people seem to often be at the heart of hair trends.

But enough of that!

There’s a lot to learn about this stuff growing out of our heads. If you strive for the perfect look and want to make your hair the envy of all your friends, then you need to keep reading.

This guide will teach you everything the pros know, but you probably don’t, to make your hair look stunning.

Let’s Start at the Beginning!

Here’s the thing:

You can’t get amazing looking hair if you have no clue what hair type you have. This is the foundation of hair care.

There are four basic hair types. Each type also has sub-types. Your hair will fit into one of them.

woman facing backwards touching her soft curly brown hair

Source: pexels.com

Type 1

woman with a long Silky straight hair

If you are a type 1, you have that enviable stick straight hair that so many people have tried to emulate with their straightening irons.

You don’t have an ounce of curl. It even lies flat at the roots. Consequently, many type 1s have fine hair and struggle with oil issues.

There are three sub-types:


  • 1A: fine
  • 1B: medium with volume
  • 1C: thick and coarse

Fun Fact: Type 1A is usually someone of Asian descent.

Type 2

woman waving her Blonde silky Hair

If you have type 2 hair, then you have “S” shaped waves. It isn’t curly, but it also isn’t straight. You are in the middle.


Sub-types include:

  • 2A: thin, frizzy, hard to style
  • 2B: medium, hard to straighten
  • 2C: thick, dry

Type 3

woman proud of her curly short hair

As a type 3, you have curls for days. Many people have worked hard to get curls like yours.

Some have even put themselves through the long process of getting a perm just to get the “S” shaped, defined curls of a type 3.


​One distinguishing feature of this hair type is when your hair is wet, it is straight.

Type 3 sub-types are as follows:

  • 3A: loose curls
  • 3B: medium curls
  • 3C: tight curls

Type 4

woman showing off her short curly black hair

Type 4 hair is also curly, but it is known as kinky or coily. You probably fall into this category if you are African American. The curls are “Z” shaped as opposed to being “S” shaped.
The “Z” pattern may be so tight that you can’t really even discern it.

Sub-types of type 4 include:

  • 4A – soft
  • 4B – wiry
  • 4C – extremely wiry

Now you know all about the hair types, and I’m sure you want to move on to something more exciting.

But wait! Figuring out your hair type is just the beginning.

You want to know as much as possible about all the properties of your hair to get the look you desire.

The rest of the story…

Hair properties are the different attributes of your hair, outside of the type that let you know about the health of your hair.

Destiny…

Err… Density. We mean density

Density refers to how much hair you have.

woman with long black hair in silhouette

Hair Density

  • If you part your hair and can easily see your scalp, then you have thin density.
  • When you have thick hair density, you cannot see your scalp when you part it.
  • If you fall somewhere in between and can partially see your scalp, your density is medium.

You want to know your density when choosing hair products and deciding on hairstyles.

Fun Fact

In general, people with red hair have the lowest hair density. Blonds typically have the highest.

Diameter

Diameter is the width of your individual hair strands.

Your diameter can be fine, medium or coarse.

Here’s how you tell:

  • It is hard to feel an individual strand of hair if your hair is fine.
  • A coarse hair strand will feel similar to a piece of thread.
  • Medium is, of course, somewhere in the middle.

Fine hair is often fragile, and hair products weigh it down.

Thick hair, on the other hand, can tolerate most styling products well, but it has a tendency to become frizzy.

Medium is the ideal. If you have a medium diameter, you are very lucky because it is easy to style and care for without a lot of issues.

Porosity – not ferocity…

Porosity is the ability of hair to retain and absorb moisture.

If you struggle with frizz or dryness, then you know the importance of moisture to hair. Knowing the porosity will help you choose better products that will actually work for your hair.

But, how do you know how well your hair holds moisture? 

testing hair porosity by putting a strand of hair in a glass of water

Greasiness

This factor is obvious.

It is how much oil you have in your hair, and it affects how often you have to wash and will impact what products you can use.

man stylishly touches his hair like elvis presley

If you have super oily hair, then you probably already know it.

You will notice a greasy sheen to your hair often. On the flip side, if you don’t ever see oil, you could have dry hair, which also poses problems.

Pro Tip

If you have elasticity issues, you need to deep condition often. It is also a good idea to stop using heated styling tools and to stay away from using chemicals on your hair. Give your hair a rest period where it can begin to heal.


Elasticity

Elasticity is the ability of a hair strand to stretch.

Ideally, you want your hair to have good elasticity because that means it is healthy and won’t break easily. If your hair breaks when stretched at all, it means you have hair health issues.

Did you know the products you use matter here?

You want to use products that will get your hair elasticity to a good place.

Taming Your Beautiful Mane

Unicorn with a beautiful hair holding a hair dryer

Stop! Take a few seconds to note your hair type and properties before you go on.

Got it?

Okay. Keep reading.

Are you a 1B,with medium density and diameter, with strands that have medium porosity, no greasiness, and good elasticity?

If so, you are incredibly lucky. You are the hair unicorn.

The rest of us are incredibly jealous of your amazing locks.

While perfect hair people may not need help, for everyone else here are some helpful tips and things to do and not do to get hair that is enviable.

Type 1 Styling Tips

If you are a  type 1A, your goal is volume without weight. Getting volume is a balancing act between bulking up hair without over styling, which can lead to weighing down hair.


Try a thickening shampoo to boost volume, and style with a light mousse. You will also benefit greatly from a dry shampoo, which adds texture without weight and can help boost the volume of your hair significantly.

But, this is really important:


Stay away from oils or serums. These are too heavy and too greasy for a type 1A.

A type 1B is the unicorn. It is pretty much the dream. You can use almost anything you want and do almost anything you want to your hair without bad effects. So, just keep doing you.

If you are a 1C, you can use heavier products. Try an oil or cream to tame your locks. Finish off with a shine spray to combat dullness.

Type 3 Styling Tips

If you are a type 3A, B, or C, you need to focus on controlling your curls.

You want them to keep their shape and not frizz out. The ideal choice is to use a conditioner with silicone every time you wash.
If you don’t wash often, you can use a leave-in conditioner to give your curls a boost each morning. You also can use heavier products, such as gels.

Pro Tip: Don’t touch your hair too much. If you mess with it, it will frizz. Consider this your warning.

Type 2 Styling Tips

As a type 2, your main goal, regardless of whether you are an A, B, or C, is to combat frizz.

Frizz is the bane of every type 2’s existence. Fight the good fight with light frizz control products.
Keep this in mind:

Always avoid silicone-based products; they won’t do you any favors.

You can use salt sprays to play up your waves and get that beachy look. These sprays are perfect for bringing out the natural beauty of type 2 hair.

Type 4 Styling Tips

If you are a type 4, then you are well aware of the struggles your hair has.

Type 4 hair is very dry. You need a deep conditioner and a leave-in conditioner to get that moisture back in and prevent breakage issues.

While you can use heavier products, such as oils and serums, you should avoid spray on products.

They won’t penetrate the hair enough to do anything.
Use creams instead.

Pro Tip: Twirl damp curls around your finger to help set the shape.


The Many Colors of Hair

Okay, so now you know about your hair type and its properties.

You have learned a little about properly caring for your hair, so it looks healthy. While that is a good start, we have just scratched the surface on the things you need to know about hair.

Next up is hair color. Hair color is a big deal.

woman facing backwards showing her rainbow colored hair

So, of course, we have to talk about it. This wouldn’t be the ultimate guide to hair if we didn’t.

Let’s first look at how you get your natural hair color. I promise this won’t be a bunch of science mumbo jumbo.

It is actually interesting information and explains a lot about hair color, so you’ll want to read it. Trust me.

Is hair color in your DNA?

Hair color is genetic, but there is not a hair color gene.

Various genes influence it. We don’t want to discuss anymore about genetics because that is tedious. So, your takeaway is multiple genes create your hair color.

Fun Fact

Hair is not just there to look good. The biological function of hair is to insulate our heads because they lack the fat reserves other parts of the body have.

Now, let’s move on to what you should focus on.

Your hair color is a result of melanin — both the type and the amount — in your actual hair shafts, according to Explore Biotech.

Pheomelanin gives hair a red hue, and we all have at least some of it.

Eumelanin creates darker colors.

Fun Fact

The genes linked to hair activate and deactivate over your lifetime. This is why your natural hair color changes, usually darkening as you get older and then lightening as you get even older.


Stay with us, let’s break this down:

If you are blond, you have low eumelanin. If you have red hair, you have high pheomelanin. Brown or black hair has low pheomelanin and high eumelanin.

So, the balance of these melanins creates the appearance of your hair color.

Natural hair colors include different shades of the following:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Blond
  • White/gray
  • Red

Fun Fact

Red is the rarest hair color with only about four percent of the population being redheads.


Tired of your natural color?

Were you born a blond, but in your soul, you dream of being a redhead?

Maybe you have brown hair, but you’ve always wondered if blonds really do have more fun. You are not alone if you want to switch up your hair color.

Lots of people love to try out a different hair color. Some people even feel they look better with a color different from their natural one. Others just like to experiment and express themselves through their hair color.

Either way…

woman with a beautiful blue green hair

Source: pexels.com

When you color your hair, it requires altering the hair shaft in some ways.

Some dye causes just surface changes, but How Stuff Works explains to make a color last, it needs to go into the hair shaft.

This means the outer layer of your hair shafts needs to open.

This is why most hair coloring contains chemicals. If you are changing to a lighter color, the pigment in the hair shafts also needs to be removed, which is an additional process.

Take Caution

If your hair isn’t healthy, to begin with, coloring can take a real toll. Too often, it leads to hard to repair damage.

Types of hair color

Hair dye generally comes in three types:

  • Temporary: coats outside of hair shaft and washes out
  • Semi-permanent: usually not as harsh on hair, last about eight washes
  • Permanent: chemical processing, penetrates hair shaft deeply, lasts for weeks

You can pretty much dye your hair any color you want, including unnatural colors.

Professional stylists use a variety of techniques. You can get multi-colored hair or hair that fades from dark to light.

The hair coloring process has really become an art with just as many trends as you see with hairstyles.

woman unloose her long straight silky brown hair

Hair Trends Through the Decades

Speaking of hair trends, there have been some real doozies throughout the decades.

There are a few particular hairstyles that won’t seem to go away. Everyone has a photo of themselves sporting a hairstyle they wish they never wore.

Whether your past is filled with a bunch of hair don’ts or you are one of the few people to never make bad hair decisions, it is always fun to look back over the hair trends throughout history. Here is a look at styles from the 1900s through today.

Hair Trends Through the Decades for women
Hair Trends Through the Decades for men

Hairy Situations

Wow. It's been a wild ride so far learning all about hair.

There's just a bit more to go.

You cannot talk about hair without talking about the problems people have with their hair.

Unless you are truly blessed, you probably have had some issue with your hair. The chances are pretty good, we cover your issue below, so check out our advice.

Hair loss

The American Academy of Dermatology explains hair loss is normal. However, excessive hair loss that leads to baldness, such as alopecia, can be problematic.

Nobody wants to lose their hair. It can happen to men and women, but regardless, it is devastating.

Treatments may include:

  • Minoxidil: medicine applied to the scalp that stimulates growth
  • Laser treatments: lasers used to stimulate growth
  • Finasteride: slows loss and starts regrowth in men by stopping production of the male hormone that leads to baldness
  • Corticosteroid: injected in the scalp to stop inflammation
  • Hair transplantation: surgical procedure to replace lost hair with new hair
  • Scalp reduction: removal of part of scalp to resituate the hairline

Dry

Dry hair is frustrating.

If you moisturize too much, you end up with oily hair.

Then again, you have to continuously moisturize. You can’t just use some conditioner one time. You have to do it regularly to get any results.

There really are no instant fixes that will zap moisture back into your hair.

What’s worse?

Dry hair becomes damaged hair way too easily. It breaks. The ends split. It also frizzes.

What causes this?

Hair can dry out whenever there is not a lot of moisture in the air around you, so winter is a big time for dry hair issues. It may also happen if you wash your hair too much because you will strip your hair of natural oils that keep it hydrated.

How to fix it:

Dry hair needs moisture. Deep condition it, and don’t wash too often. You also need to be gentle with it, especially when it is wet.

Give it a break from heated styling tools and harsh products, as well.

Oily

The flip side of hair that is too dry is hair that has excessive oil.

When your scalp goes into supercharge mode, it produces too much oil that gets trapped in your hair. This can make your hair stringy and gross looking.

What to do about it:

Dry shampoo is the greatest thing if you have oil issues. Spray it on, and it will soak up that oil. Surprisingly, you also should try not to over wash your hair.

daily schedule of washing your hair

What to do about it:

Dry shampoo is the greatest thing if you have oil issues. Spray it on, and it will soak up that oil. Surprisingly, you also should try not to over wash your hair.

How to avoid it:

Washing too much can trick your scalp into thinking it is dry and boost oil production. Wash less often to help your head calm down.

Damage

Damage covers a lot of areas when it comes to hair.

How?

Usually, damage happens because of something you have done to your hair.

A good example is over processing.

hair stylist accidentally burn the hair of his customer in the salon

Let me break that down for you:

If you color your hair a lot with dyes that have harsh chemicals, it causes damage that adds up. Overusing styling products also can lead to issues.

Just being rough on your hair, such as brushing it too hard or pulling it back into a severely tight ponytail every day, will damage hair.

Damage might include breakage, split ends, and frizz.

How to fix it:

Essentially, the best way to fix damaged hair is to stop doing whatever you are doing to cause the damage. Then, you want to deep condition and use leave-in conditioners.

If the damage is extensive, you may need to cut away as much as possible of the damaged hair.

Fun Fact:

Hair can be incredibly valuable. If you have trouble believing that, then consider this: someone once paid $15,000 for a lock of Elvis Presley’s hair.

The Last Strand

woman with a stylish hair forming a heart shape on her hand

While most of us are not blessed enough to be the rare hair unicorn with everything just perfectly balanced, at least you now have the knowledge you need to take care of your hair properly.

Everyone wants flowing locks that have bounce and shine. Nobody wants to be the poor soul who has limp, damaged hair without any bounce and shine that comes from grease.

Ready to LOVE your hair?

With everything you have learned in this article, you can have amazing hair that makes other people jealous.

Even if you hate your hair type of long for hair that is completely the opposite of what you have, we hope you can at least learn to embrace what you have and make the most of it.

Regardless of what hair type you have, you can have stunning hair. Remember that. Your hair has the potential to be beautiful. The key is caring for it properly, which you now know how to do.

So, go forth and style those locks into their best shape ever.

woman showing off her beautiful curly hair

What type of hair do you have, and what are your favorite products for it? Let us know down in the comments!

woman waving her hair in the beat of the music on her headphone

Source: pexels.com

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