All About Hair Texture
In the realm of natural hair, texture does not refer to how the hair feels, like when the word is used in other contexts. When describing natural hair properties, we use it a little differently. So what is hair texture? Simply…
the definition: Texture is Hair Width
As you can see, we are getting a bit technical and graphical now. This hair thing is a bit of a science hey, so bear with me. Texture refers to the thickness in diameter of each strand of hair. The wider in diameter, the coarser your hair, the smaller in diameter, the finer your hair is.
the test: Look at It!
Unless we use a microscope we obviously can’t measure the diameter itself. Holding a hair strand against the light and simply observing it can give you a pretty much fair assessment of your texture. If you can clearly see your hair, you probably have coarse hair. If it appears light, or you struggle to see it, you have fine hair and if it’s neither nor, you’re medium.
the meaning: Texture Is Strength
Contrary to misinformed beliefs, the single determining factor of hair strength is texture. The thicker your hair strands, the stronger they are.
the reasoning: Protein Protection
The inner shaft of a hair strand is made largely of a protein structure. It is this protein that gives hair its strength and structure.
the breakdown: Coarse | Medium | Fine
We will all lose a bit of protein due to the washing and styling that is needed to maintain our hair. It is good practice therefore to include a protein treatment in your regimen to replenish the loss.
Those with fine hair might benefit from including a deep conditioning protein treatment on a weekly basis. Medium hair can usually maintain their protein levels with a monthly treatment, and those with coarse hair have sufficient protein levels either from their diet or genes and could cause damage to the hair if they excessively raise their protein levels, so be cautious of that.
It is also worthwhile to note that it is not uncommon for some people to have different textures in different sections of their hair perhaps due to excessive exposure of those parts to certain damaging conditions. For example your hair strands might be wider towards your scalp and finer towards your ends. This could be due to the fact that the hair near your scalp is the new growth that has not been exposed to as much damage as your older hair.
the conclusion: Observe
Continually observe your hair every time you handle it. Its needs will constantly change and you need to apply techniques that are always addressing its current state and meeting its current needs.
Hair properties need to be considered collectively as they can affect one another. This article is the first of our ‘All About’ Series where we unpack hair terms to broaden your understanding.
Now that you know all about hair texture, share this post with those you know will love it and move on to our next installment where we dive into density!