Does Hair Typing Really Matter?
As soon as you decide to take your hair care seriously, you probably discovered “hair typing”, or hair by numbers. While not scientific, this system was designed to help women identify their textures in order to make the best styling and product selection choices. Numbers run from 1 to 4, with 1 representing straight hair, and 4 representing curly/kinky textures. There are also alphabet addendums which add a little more detail; for instance, type 3 is categorized from A to C, with 3A being spirally waves and 3C being tight curls. It’s nothing to worry about if you don’t fit neatly into one of these boxes because many of us have hair that displays at least two qualities. There’s also the L.O.I.S. system, which some women find more comprehensive due to the amount of detail involved. Respectively, the letters represent Bend, Curl, Straight and Wave. You also take into account your hair’s strand thickness and how much shine or sheen it has.
Whether you’re familiar with one or both of these systems, or you’ve never heard of them and don’t use them to determine what to do with your tresses, the big question is the same: Does hair typing matter?
It’s helpful to know what your hair needs, but realistically, your hair is much more than a number or letter. Some women have painfully discovered that the numbering system meant little when it came to product selection. They bought and used the exact same products as someone who had great success with them, someone whose hair looked very much like theirs. However, the results were extremely different, and disappointing. Other factors determine how your hair texture reacts to styling techniques and product usage, including porosity, how well-conditioned your hair is, as well as any chemical processes or residual damage you may have. A hair typing system can be a good beginning point, especially if it helps you connect with like-minded women who are willing to share tips and advice, but ultimately, you learn what your unique head of hair likes and needs.
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