Have you ever been frustrated about the fact that a hairstyle suits someone so well but doesn’t work for you the same way? I guess pretty much everyone has. But have you ever wondered what could be the reason behind that? Well, if you haven’t yet, now’s the time!
In most cases, the reason is men’s different hair types. When it comes to choosing the perfect hairstyle for you, having a thorough idea about the type of your hair is actually the key factor here. You might think that you know your hair quite well.
But that’s what probably every 7 out of 10 men think who have surface level knowledge about it all.
The thing is, all types of hair are very sensitive by nature. So, having a basic and rough idea about your hair and its type definitely won’t suffice if you want to ensure good care of it. That’s why in this article, I’ll help you with all the information you’ll need to precisely figure out your hair type.
So, let’s start!
Table of Contents
- Why is it Necessary to Have a Good Idea about Your Hair Type?
- What are the Factors That Influence Hair Types?
- Different Types of Men’s Hair and How to Maintain Them
- Hair Types by Texture
- Straight Hair
- Wavy Hair
- Curly Hair
- Coily Hair
- Hair Types by Thickness
Why is it Necessary to Have a Good Idea about Your Hair Type?
Let me make this easier for you with an example. Let’s say you have a jacket that’s very precious to you. So, it’s quite obvious that you would want to take great care of it. Now imagine that you somehow got a stain on that jacket, and in order to make it clean and shiny again, you used bleach while washing it.
BTW, you don’t know that it’s made of leather. Can you guess the result?
In case you’ve no idea about what bleach does to leather, let me tell you that it’ll completely ruin your jacket, your precious jacket! So, that will be exactly the opposite of what you wanted, won’t it? This situation could be easily averted only if you had a good idea about your jacket’s type.
See where I am going with this?
Exactly something like this happens when we use different products and apply heat on our hair without knowing the hair type. The thing is, some products may ensure good results for a particular type of hair, but they may not do the same for another type. Sometimes they actually make things worse!
Also, based on the hair type, you have to decide how much shampoo you should use and what type of shampoo that would be. Also, you need to understand which heat-based hairstyling processes you must ignore. Heat works as a game-changer in hairstyling, but for some types, it causes permanent damage.
Now the question arises, what makes a particular type of hair different from another type? That’s what we’ll discuss in the next part.
What are the Factors That Influence Hair Types?
When it comes to influencing the hair type, genetic factors seem to have a major role. A couple of genes work together to determine the thickness & texture. We usually inherit the hair type from our parents. It depends on who has the dominant gene among your father & mother. Most features usually come from the dominant side.
But, can someone have a different hair texture and thickness than their parents?
The answer is ‘yes.’ Your hair type and your parents’ hair type can be completely different, and it’s not even that rare! Because there are other secondary or outside factors too that influence the hair types. For example, the environment you’re living in can play a significant role in deciding the type of hair you have.
Now comes the factor that’s structurally responsible for men’s different hair types, the hair follicles. Based on the different shapes and sizes of the follicles, you can decide whether you have curly hair, straight hair or some other type of hair. The hair follicles can be thick, thin, round, ovular, and of many other shapes.
Different Types of Men’s Hair and How to Maintain Them
Basically, the hair types for men are distinguished based on two standards, how straight the hair is or how curly it is. Like I said earlier, floating on the surface level won’t be enough here; we’re going to dive deep! That’s why we’ll follow the Andre Walker Hair Typing System to describe the hair types.
About the Andre Walker Hair Typing System
It’s one of the most popular hairs typing systems when it comes to classifying hair types. It’s not ‘the perfect’ one and ‘the complete guide’ but I personally think that it’s quite effective. After classifying the hair types by texture, he describes each of the main categories with 3 sub-categories.
The main categories are described with numbers (1, 2, 3, 4). Then the 3 sub-categories (A, B, C) are described based on the thickness of the hair strands. So, this hair typing system also helps you to figure out whether your ha is thin, thick, or in between thick and thin. This helps a lot when you need to compress the list of ‘dos and don’ts’ with your hair.
Hair Types by Texture
Based on the texture, men’s hair can be classified into four main categories. These are: straight, wavy, curly, and coily. The coily hair type is also known as the ‘kinky’ type sometimes. Now in this part of the article, we’ll discuss how to identify these hair types, what their pros-cons are, and their maintenance tips.
Here we go with the straight hair basics.
How to Identify:
When it comes to identifying the hair types, straight hair is the easiest to distinguish. Because there is hardly any visible curl pattern in straight hair. Straight hair is also the most flexible in terms of styling and the least vulnerable to damage in adverse situations. According to Walker’s system, straight hair is type 01.
Another way to identify straight hair is that it always has a shiny look. As the hair has a straight growth, the natural oils from the scalps can easily reach to the tips of the hair strands. This natural hair is the reason behind the shiny look.
Up until now, everything about the straight hair type looks so perfect, right? Well, it isn’t!
‘Who doesn’t like shiny hair?’, if that’s what you’re thinking, then let me tell you that’s where the problem is. The natural hair that gives a shiny look is also responsible for the ‘greasy look’ that straight hair gets. And the greasier it gets, the more it’ll attract dust and other residual particles.
But there isn’t much to worry about if the hair gets proper care. If you have straight hair, then you need to wash your hair very often to avoid any oily buildup. Remember this, the buildup is the worst thing you can imagine for this type of hair. That’s why you need to shampoo very often.
It’s best if you shampoo every day, but that’s not always possible. So, I‘d recommend shampooing once every two days. Pretty much the same goes for conditioner. Two or three times every week will do the trick. You can use a thickening conditioner like the Lemon Sage Thickening Conditioner to keep the hair shiny and strong.
Dandruff is a very commonly visible problem for straight hair. It’s not like people with other hair types don’t get dandruff; it’s just that their ones aren’t that visible. So, you need to be on the lookout. Another thing, the more you avoid using creamy products, the better it is for your straight hair.
Here are the subcategories of straight hair:
1A: If your individual straight hair strands are the thinnest of all then it falls to the 1A subcategory. This type tends to get oily if not washed regularly.
1B: Comparatively thicker straight hair strands and might have an oily scalp.
1C: The thickest of all straight hair belongs to the subcategory 1C. If your hair type is 1C then you have to be a little cautious for dryness, frizz, and curls.
Curious about wavy hair? Let’s answer all those itchy questions.
How to Identify:
Wavy hair is type 02 according to Andre Walker’s hair typing system. It falls somewhere between straight and curly. Imagine some frequent waves in the straight hair type but not so frequent that it starts to look like curly hair. That’s pretty much what wavy hair looks like.
In terms of style, naturally wavy hair is definitely a blessing. If you get a short haircut or a medium haircut with wavy hair, then it adds a completely new dimension. The kind of fluff people with straight hair try to obtain using various hair products that comes naturally with wavy hair.
But, unlike straight hair, it’s more likely to get frizz.
Experiencing frizz is very common for men with wavy hair, but you can choose not to have the frizz, and all you need for that is a little care on a regular basis. You don’t have to be worried about buildups when it comes to wavy hair. And believe it or not, it’s already a great relief.
For this hair type, you need to shampoo a couple of times a week. It’s best to use moisturizing shampoos to keep the natural waves in place. This artnaturals Morocca Argan Oil Shampoo has got quite good feedback from many men with wavy hair. You can also use other moisturizing shampoos that you find convenient.
Using conditioner is really important for this type of hair. Frequently using a conditioner on wavy hair strengthens the scalp and the natural texture. I’d suggest using a light one as it needs frequent use of conditioner. Because frequently using a thick conditioner can sometimes affect the natural style.
BTW, if regularly using a conditioner seems like a hassle to you, then there is a more convenient way. You can use leave-in conditioners like the Redken One United All-In-One Leave In Conditioner. With conditioners like this, you can get back to having the drop-dead gorgeous look anytime at any place.
Here are the subcategories of wavy hair:
2A: Has thin hair strands. That’s why thick and creamy products can weigh down the wavy style. Comparatively lighter gels and mousses work better in this case.
2B: It’s comparatively thicker and so the creamy products can’t really affect the style.
2C: This is the thickest of all wavy hair and the most resistant to styling. Styling with this type of hair really gives a hard time to anyone. Then again, this type is prone to frizz.
Don’t stay on a loop of doubt. Curly hair isn’t all that hard to understand.
How to Identify:
Curly hair has more definitive curls than the wavy type, and the curls are very noticeable. Let’s just say that you’ll know right away when you see someone with curly hair.
If someone has more frequent curls and kinks in an inch-long hair strand than the wavy type, his hair type definitely falls into type 3, is Walker’s guide.
If you’re in a dilemma between types, then it won’t be between wavy and curly; it’ll be between curly and coily. The ones with curly hair don’t need to bother much about buildup. But it’s very prone to frizz. Curly hair type is also very sensitive to humidity, and the hair is usually very thick.
Apparently, curly hair is very high maintenance compared to all the other types. When the topic is the maintenance of curly hair, then it’s less about the things you should do and more about the things that you shouldn’t! Let me make this a little bit easier for you.
Curly hair is too prone to frizz and too sensitive to heat. So, the best way to avoid frizz is to avoid any heat-related things if you have this type of hair. Even when you’re taking a shower, make sure that the water isn’t too hot. I’d also suggest avoiding rough water flow if possible.
If a snake bites you, you shouldn’t bite back. Consider this the motto for all the guys who have curly hair. If you think that showing strength with a hairbrush in your hair is the solution for anything, then you, my friend, are absolutely wrong. Because curly hair is also very sensitive to friction, so, it’s better not to brush at all!
The friction caused by brushing will only give you more and more frizz. However, you can use wide-toothed combs to gently caress the hair. It’s better to use the comb when you’re taking a shower, and you’ve conditioner on your hair. BTW, this hair type needs a lot of shampooing and conditioning.
Moisturizer is the ultimate key to avoiding having any frizz. So, when you’re buying shampoos and conditioners, make sure to choose the ones with moisturizing formula. You can use the Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner for convenient use.
Here are the subcategories of curly hair:
3A: Loose and well-defined curls are the things you should look for to identify this hair type.
3B: The curls in the hair strands are comparatively tighter than the 3A type. Another characteristic is, the shape of this hair type is quite similar to a ringlet.
3C: This curly hair needs a little gentler care than the other types. The hair curls are very tight, and it’s more prone to frizz than the other types.
(Initially, type 3C wasn’t part of Alan Walker’s hair typing system. But later on, members of the natural hair community included this hair type which ultimately took this one step closer to perfection.)
Now, this is something I’ll enjoy talking about!
How to Identify:
Type 04 or coily hair type was also referred to as ‘kinky’ a few years ago. This hair type can be easily identified from the very tight curls or coils that start from the very bottom of the hair strand. Another characteristic is, it tends to shrink a lot when it gets wet. It’s also prone to frizz.
This hair type has an Afro texture that’s very common in black men. Coily hair is very thick and dense than the other ones. So, it’s often misunderstood that this kind of hair can undergo a lot when it comes to styling.
But the truth is, it’s the most fragile of all as the natural hair oil can’t pass through the coils easily.
Dryness is like the arch-nemesis of coily hair. The harder it gets for the natural hair oil to pass through the strands, the faster it tends to dry out. So, it’s quite obvious that type 04 needs more gentle moisturizing care than all the other types of hair.
For this particular hair type, the main key to avoiding getting frizz is to keep your scalp, roots, and strands moist. You need to use conditioner thoroughly and slowly while washing the hair. Shampooing 2/3 times a week should be enough. But using a moisturizing conditioner is something coily haired men shouldn’t slack off with.
On days you won’t take a shower, you should use oil and other creamy products to avoid getting frizz. It’s best to avoid something fancy and stick with the natural oils. I personally suggest the Ancient Greek Remedy Oil for anticipated results. It has an organic blend of olive, lavender, almond, and grapeseed oils.
‘No brushing’ rule is as applicable for this type of hair as it is for the curly hair type. You should also try to avoid any styling method that uses heavy heat. First of all, it’s time-consuming, and secondly, it gradually damages the hair. So, it’s best to stick to your natural curls and kinks.
Here are the subcategories of curly hair:
4A: The curls are noticeably tight but can be moisturized with good moisturizing products.
4B: Hair strands seem like a long chain of ‘z’s. The curl patterns aren’t that well defined and the hair is much likely to shrink and dry out.
4C: The thickest among the 3 types and the most prone to dryness. Very fragile and sensitive. So, take good care of it. (4C was also introduced to Alan Walker’s typing system later)
That’s pretty much all the information you need about the four main hair types. Being able to identify the exact hair type is the key to keeping good care of your hair. That’s why, even though it’s a lot of new information to consume, I believe it’s completely worth your time.
Hair Types by Thickness
The Andre Walker Hair Typing System covers a little bit about the thickness, but that’s not enough. In this part of the article, we’re going to classify the hair types into normal hair, thin hair, and thick hair and then we will try to explore the aspect of thickness.
Normal hair type falls in between the thin hair type and the thick hair type. I’d like to describe this hair type as the one which has all the positive sides of thick hair and thin hair combined. Seems like a little bit of oversell, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t!
Normal hair is very easy to maintain compared to the other hair types. You just need to shampoo your hair every other day and use conditioner twice a week to maintain good health. You don’t need to worry about losing natural hair oil from your scalp because of that.
This hair type is also very convenient in terms of styling. You can pretty much obtain any hairstyle with this hair type and use any hair styling tool to do that. On top of that, any hair care products work really well on normal hair types and yield good results.
Thin hair type refers to a type in which the hair strands are comparatively thinner and have less density than the other hair types. Natural thin hair is good, and all, but the problem is most men obtain this hair type after a certain age. Men who are prone to losing hair get a hint of it around their 20s.
The most important things for people with thin hair type are the volumizing products. If you have this hair type then you should always go with the hair products that have ‘volumizing’ tag on it. These products in your hair regimen help a lot to increase the density of the hair strands.
This hair type needs special attention and care when it comes to styling. You must avoid any styling tools or products that can cause potential hair loss. To get the anticipated lift and fullness, you can use a light-hold mousse such as the L’Oreal Paris Hairspray.
When it comes to thick hair, there are only terms to describe the hair type; high density and thick hair strands. The scalp of your head will be hardly visible if you have this type of hair. Also, with proper haircut and styling you can get the best lift and fullness.
Shampooing on a regular basis is the key to healthy, thick hair. And adding conditioner after every shampoo in your hair regimen ensures the anticipated shiny look. But make sure not to use any volumizing shampoo or conditioner as it’ll make things worse.
A significant issue of thick hair type is that the hair is stiff and hard to control. Because of the density, it’s hard to hold your hair in one place. Using hard gel to do that can sometimes complicate the situation. However, using the right products and professional touch can give you some awesome hairstyles.
That’s pretty much all the information you need about the hair types. Being able to identify the exact hair type is the key to keeping good care of your hair. That’s why, even though it’s a lot of new information to consume, I believe it’s completely worth your time.
Wrapping it Up
I’ve often seen that some men get frustrated because of their hair type and they mostly crave for the type that they don’t have. Even though not everyone says this out loud, I know for a fact that it’s true. But the fact that they are looking over is, by doing this, they are actually failing to discover the true potential of their hair type.
Yes, it’s true that some types of hair are easy to maintain, and some types of hair give a really hard time. So, frustration is something that grows on its own. And it won’t stop until you own what’s yours! Does it benefit you in any way if you think about which one of men’s hair types is better or worse? Of course not!
There are very few traits that describe a man as a distinctive individual, and the hair type is one of them. Trust me; there are lots of things you can do with your hair only if you know it well. There are tons of men out there who spend a lot just to make their hair look like yours!