What's Your Texture and Why You Should Care

I have declared this week Natural Hair Education Week!

OK, so let’s get something straight (pun intended!). We know that many of you (like me) are adverse to hair typing. That infamous four point scale had our sexy curls come in last place and who doesn't want to be a winner? Hair typing gets especially tricky when you factor in the many states and styles our hair can achieve. When it’s wet it curls, when it’s humid it frizzes and when it grows it hangs. Yep, you read that right. Hang tough.

Below I have provided a guide for how Curls Understood™ groups hair textures. Their intention is to make it easier for you to find education and products best suited for you. So please don’t send me or them hate mail if you don’t see exactly your hair texture listed. 

COILY

Coilys stand up! Now sit back down because your hair texture was probably the hardest to categorize! You have attributes that mimic your Kinky sistas and behavior that borrows from the Curly crew. Your texture has visible coils and curls from a short distance, but a fierce Angela Davis ‘fro is achievable. Think corkscrews and kinks… sounds like a naughty toy, but you get the picture. Your coils are approximately ¼” to ½” in diameter and you hair strands tend to be fine. Your hair is awesome at absorbing moisture, hence the ability to pretty easily retain length assuming you’re ever so nice to your Coils.

CURLY

Do girls with curls have more fun? You tell us. Your springy, S shaped ringlets bounce around like they sure do! Your curls are roughly ½” – 1″ wide and easily revert back to their original shape after being stretched. Your hair absorbs water easily and therefore takes some time to dry. So in the winter months it’s important your hair fully dries before leaving out. When your hair is wet your curls are exaggerated but you may need some product to keep those curls defined once your hair drys. You retain length easily assuming you “follow the rules”. Curly girls shouldn’t be afraid of frizz, it can give you volume if your hair’s on the thinner side and who doesn’t like volume?

KINKY

Your hair texture’s name says it all, you sexy minx you. Your tightly coiled hair is densely packed together giving the illusion that you don’t have a curl pattern, but look closely and you’ll see tiny gorgeous coils. When wet your curl pattern becomes more visible but your hair can shrink up to 75%. Shrinkage just means more styling versatility. You can go from short to long hair overnight! Either way, your Kinks are up for for anything. Your hair strands tend to be very fine therefore more vulnerable to damage. Sealing in moisture is key. Just remember to spritz with warm water first to encourage your cuticles to open up.

This is definitely what my hair looks like!

This is definitely what my hair looks like!

WAVY

When we think of Wavy hair we think tousled locks that look like you’ve just got back from the beach. Your texture has a less defined S shape that seems to get straighter towards the ends – especially the longer your hair gets. Your curls don’t bounce as much your curly textured sistas but your hair is very resilient to styling and manipulation. That doesn’t mean you should over do it. Your hair texture cringes at the sight of a brush. Your hair strands are generally on the thicker side and have a natural sheen though they are oh so prone to frizz. No biggie. That’s nothing a little product can’t fix.

This is the hair texture of my dreams!

This is the hair texture of my dreams!

LOCS

We’re sure most of you here know what Locs are but humor us for a second. The “locking” process involves twisting/rolling/coiling/braiding your hair and allowing the individual strands to grow without unravelling or combing them. Those unfamiliar with locs may assume that you don’t need to do much to take care of them but unless you’re going for the freeform Bob Marley look, loc maintenance takes a lot of work! Whether you’re in the starter phase or have bonafide rooted locs, we love the elegance ladies who loc radiate. You put to bed the myth that locs are “Dreadful”.

STRAIGHT NATURAL

It does exactly what it says on the bottle, ladies…Straight Naturals don’t have chemically or permanently straightened hair. You choose to keep your natural coils, curls, kinks and waves straight by getting regular blow outs. Why? Reasons vary, but some include preferred styling and maintenance options. Many of you find it more convenient to care for your hair when it’s straight. Now let’s get something straight (we did it again ;). Straight naturals don’t loathe their curly/natural hair. Blow outs are just a styling option. Just like locs are a styling option. The only thing straight naturals hate is humidity!

TRANSITIONER

Chin up Buttercup, transitioning ain’t all that bad. You’ve conquered the hardest part of your journey – making the decision to go natural. Now all that’s left is to transition from the old relaxed straight hair to the new fabulous curls. There may be days when you want to call your old hairstylist and schedule a relaxer STAT, but why buckle when you’ve come this far? When the toll of negotiating between your two textures becomes too much, Transitioners can always wear braid extensions for a mini hair vacation. Just keep your eye on the prize and remember to stay inspired!

I hope this cleared up a lot for you. Feel free to ask me any questions.

XoX,

Olivia