Understanding your hair type & finding the right products for it

In a previous blog post, we explained the anatomy of the hair which builds the foundations for understanding how your hair grows and what it is made of. The second steps in this series of blog articles about hair education is understanding your hair type. Knowing your hair type is essential in order to understand which products will work for you (believe me, your wallet will thank you for it!).


1. Hair types


The shape of your hair is defined by genetics, and more specifically the shape of your follicle. The longer and asymmetrical it is, the curlier your hair will be. You can alter the shape of your hair with heat, chemical and sometimes hormonal treatments but the basis of your hair shape is in your DNA.


The general hair care literature has identified four main hair types. If you don't know what your hair type is, take a hair strand after washing your hair and before styling your hair so that it is as close to its natural shape as possible. Then, compare it to the drawing below:


The four main categories are:

  1. Straight hair

  2. Wavy hair

  3. Curly hair

  4. Coily hair

Some of these categories have been divided into sub-categories for more precision. It also may be that your hair type at the roots is different from the hair type at the ends. In any case, it is useful to understand


Okay, now that you know your hair type, let's deep dive into the care which each of these require. Luckily for you, we have done a ton of research so that you don't have to!

2. Hair care by hair type


Type 1: Straight

Straight hair can be thin or thick but one thing they have in common is incredible shine. That's because the oils naturally present on your scalp can easily travel along the length of your hair. This ensures our hair is properly nourished and moisturised. However, the downside of that is that straight hair tends to become oily quickly and have little volume. Making a hair band stay in your hair without slipping out is a real challenge. On the plus side, straight hair often tends to have less frizz and require less care.


Things to avoid:

  • Products containing lots of butters or oils

  • Leave-in mousse or gel products

  • Applying conditioner to your roots

  • Using too many different products - a mild shampoo and conditioner will do

Instead, try these:

  • Texturing sprays which won't weight down your hair

  • Dry shampoo to provide volume at the roots

  • Drying your hair with hair dryer to give volume, by blowing your hair upside down

  • If you are curling your hair, make sure to apply a fair amount of hairspray for the curls to hold

Straight hair often don't require much care. In fact, the biggest challenge is not using too much products so that they don't weight down your hair!

Type 2: Wavy hair

Wavy hair is probably one of the most fun hair types to style. It has a natural S-shaped wave but it can be prone to frizz and the main challenge will be defining the waves which are already present in your hair. Wavy and curly hair are naturally dryer than straight hair because it is more difficult for the natural oils of your scalp to travel down the hair length. So your key challenge will be providing hydration and nutrition to your hair without weighting it down and helping your waves be more defined.


Things to avoid:

  • Leave-in creamy or oily products near the roots

  • Brushing your hair when dry as this will deconstruct your waves

  • Products that contain sulfates and silicones as they are too harsh to the hair

Instead, try these:

  • Keep your hair moisturized with conditioner and mask regularly (once every 2 weeks for instance)

  • Detangle wet hair with a wide-comb brush or your fingers to keep the hair's natural waves

  • Twirl your wet hair with your finger to define wave

  • Fix your wave with a creme and a light gel or mousse on wet hair

  • Let your hair air dry or use a diffuser on a hair dryer

  • Once dry, apply a small amount of light hair oil from the middle to the tips to lock in moisture and reduce frizz

  • Apply a salt spray on dry hair to help define your waves (make sure not to use one with too much salt as this will dry out your hair)


Type 3: Curly hair

Curly hair is defined by hair that curls around on itself like a spring. It is common for certain curly types to have a mixture between wavy and curly hair. Curly hair are known to be very reactive to the elements such as humidity, wind, sun, etc. and therefore often suffer from dryness. The challenge for curly hair (as for wavy hair) is to store enough moisture in the hair without losing it and defining your curls. Because it suffers from dryness, it is recommended to reduce the number of hair washes down to once every 4-5 days. In between washes, refresh your curls with non-shampoo based products.


Things to avoid:

  • Leave in creamy or oily products near the roots

  • Brushing your hair (wet or dry)

  • Washing your hair too often (curls become more defined on day 2 or 3 after a wash)

Instead, try these:

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate - mask at least once a week to boost your hair's moisture which will help with wave definition

  • Oil your hair regularly before shampooing to provide nutrition

  • Detangle wet hair with a wide-comb brush or your fingers

  • Boost the curl definition with mousse or gel

  • Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch while still wet

  • Use a diffuser on your hair dryer

  • Refresh your curls in between washes with a water based spray with contains a bit of leave-in conditioner. Then apply your styling products and scrunch.


Type 4: Coily hair

Coily (or sometimes called 'kinky' or 'zigzag' hair) is the most fragile, dry and prone to breakage of all hair types. Because they are so fragile, it is recommended to only wash once per week.


Things to avoid:

  • Leave in creamy or oily products near the roots

  • Brushing your hair (wet or dry)

  • Washing your hair too often (curls become more defined on day 2 or 3 after a wash)

Instead, try these:

  • Leave-in products with dense butters and oils for deep nourishing

  • Leave-in gel to fix the curl

  • Using a heat cap when applying hair products, to help your hair absorb the product

Stay tuned for our next article about hair types!


Thanks for reading,


The MADU team



MADU is a natural hair care brand making products based on honey and beeswax from our family's hives. Discover our 100% natural hair oil today and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more beauty tips.

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