Hair Journey

Hair Type 101: The Quick Guide To Determining Your Hair Type

5min Read

Hair Type 101: The Quick Guide To Determining Your Hair Type

Why isn’t my hair waist length? It’s been x many years, so why won’t my hair grow like I want it to? I know you’ve said this to yourself ladies. As a matter of fact, you’ve probably said this out loud several times throughout the course of your hair journey. Don’t sweat it sis— you’re not alone. To be honest, many women out here have no idea why their hair is not growing down to their booties after being natural for over 5 years. While some of it has to do with genetics, the major reason is because they just are not taking care of their hair properly. A big part of being able to take care of your hair goes back to having an understanding of your particular hair type. Everyone is different, but there are a few strand tests that you can take to determine where your hair fits on the spectrum. Keep reading to find out how to determine your hair type.



Test #1 Hair Density

First things first: let’s take a moment to talk about hair density. Density is pretty straight forward and refers to how much hair you have on your head or its overall thickness. Testing this is simple: take the hair from the front section of your crown and move it all to one side. How well can you see your scalp through your hair? If you can see it very well, then your hair is on the thinner side. If you don’t see your hair at all, then your hair is thicker. Once you determined whether or not you have thin or thick hair, then you can move on to porosity.


Test #2 Hair Porosity

Knowing the porosity of your hair is arguably one of the most important things that you can determine when going through your hair journey. Hair porosity is just the fancy way of saying how well your hair holds on to moisture. Remember, maintaining the moisture is the key to hair growth. Those with lower porosity have a hard time keep their hair moisturized because the cuticles of the hair do not open enough to allow for oils and water to really get into it. Low porosity hair takes forever to dry because the water sits on the hair, not to mention the fact that they get frequent product buildup.  Next we have those that have high porosity hair. High porosity hair is sometimes interchanged with hair that is damaged because the hair has holes in the cuticle which prevents it from maintaining the moisture that it takes in. The final type is normal porosity hair which maintains moisture and is by far the easiest to manage.


If you want to determine your hair’s porosity, you have a couple of options. The easiest way is the infamous strand in the water test. Take a strand of your hair that has shed, and place it into a glass of room temperature, clean water. If the hair floats, the porosity is low. If it sinks slowly, then the porosity is normal. If the hair sinks as soon as you put it in, then the hair porosity is high.



Test #3 Hair Texture

The third and final test also involves looking at one strand of hair. The texture of your hair can fall along a continuum composed of both a number (1-4) and a letter (A-C). The number refers to whether or not there is a curl pattern present in the hair while the letters represent the diameter of the said curl. The first set are those with the 1 texture. 1’s have straight hair that is difficult to curl and usually harder to damage. 2’s have hair that is wavy and tends to get the most frizzy. 3’s have curly hair, and 4’s have kinky hair. Most women of color fall in the 3 and 4 categories.


To determine your hair’s texture, take a freshly plucked strand of hair and put it onto a white sheet of paper. Look closely at its circumference and the direction that the hair bends. Use the chart below to help you to distinguish between which hair type you fall under.



Now that you know your density, porosity, and texture, you can better pick the right products that can help you to grow strong, healthy hair. No matter what your hair type, Shedavi has the solution.


After taking this 3-part test, I found out that I have medium density hair, normal porosity, and a 4B texture. What did you discover about your hair type? Tell us about it in the comments.


Written by Bianca Scott


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  • Valerie J

    I have medium density hair, low porosity, and a 2c texture.

  • Marilyn Weaver

    My hair test went right to the bottom which means it’s high and the number is 2A

  • Stephanie Johnson

    My hair is 4C. I want to know which products to use for my hair. Is there anything to use to loosen the tight curls?