View Full Version : REALLY need some advice on hair-typing, as well as how to manage my hair!

March 28th, 2017, 06:38 PM
So, my hair is about waist-length right now, which I'm happy with. I've been trying to figure out how best to take care of it, and so far I'm pretty confused.

To give you a little background genetics-wise, I am Caucasian. My dad's side of the family came from Ireland originally, and there are quite a bit of Native Americans on my dad's side, too. My mom's side of the family came from England. I was born with a thick head of long black-or-almost-black hair that got really curly and turned brown when I was a toddler, then it kind of straightened out as I got older.

Now it's still its natural color, which is very dark brown, almost black, with a very slight reddish-gold undertone (has a slight orangey tint in direct sunlight, as well as when I'm wearing certain colors like green shirts). It looks mostly straight, but not completely. It's like I have a giant, stretched out "S" that starts at the top of my head, curves out around my face, curves back in just under my jawline, then curves back out until it reaches my shoulders. Then it kind of drops straight down until it reaches the ends, where it sort of flips out like it's trying to curl itself or something. If I take an individual strand and look at it, it's mostly straight but with a few noticeable bends here and there. Some strands are a little bit more "bendy" than others, and sometimes it even depends on the condition my hair is in at the time. Most people describe my hair as straight.

It feels soft and smooth and silky to the touch, but it tangles up and gets matted like nobody's business. Trying to brush my hair out is like playing Whack-A-Mole with tangles; as soon as you get one part brushed out and move on to the next part, the part that you already brushed out somehow retangles itself so you have to brush it out again. It gets oily and greasy-looking REALLY fast, and I do have a problem with dandruff. I try to only wash my hair twice a week, and I use the original Mane 'N Tail shampoo. I've tried using conditioners, but all they seem to do is weigh my hair down. My hair is kind of hard to wash because it won't hardly get wet; I've actually been accused of not washing my hair after getting out of the shower because my hair still feels "bone-dry". And then when it does get wet, it will NOT dry without the aid of a hairdryer. I've tried letting it air-dry multiple times, but every single time it never dries completely, and then my hair clumps together and winds up looking like a greasy, stringy, frizzy mess. I've also tried squish-to-condish and plopping, which curl my hair up but again, leave it looking like a limp, greasy, stringy, frizzy mess. Speaking of frizz, my hair is ALWAYS frizzy, no matter what I do. Air-dry or blow-dry, braided or unbraided, curly or straight, my hair is always frizzy, even though it's limp and flat, which I don't get.

In terms of styling, I'd say my hair is relatively easy to style. Aside from the hairdryer, I practically never use heat tools on it, and on the rare occasions that I do straighten or curl it, it's pretty easy to do both. I do need to use the highest heat setting on the curling iron if I want to get a tight curl, though, and I lose volume pretty fast if I don't use hairspray. Without hairspray, the curl itself will usually last 'til about the end of the day, and with hairspray I can usually get it to last for a few days if I don't wash it. Overnight heatless braid waves and curls have always worked reasonably well for me; asking my mom to French-braid my hair so I could sleep on it and wake up with wavy hair was something I did a lot as a little kid, and I still like to sleep with my hair in braids as a protective style. My only complaints are, like I said, the frizz and the way my hair wants to clump and be stringy when I take it down in the morning. My hair also seems dull and shiny at the same time, if that makes sense?

Last but not least, my hair in terms of density has ALWAYS been considered thick. People have told me all throughout my life what a thick headful of hair I have, and yeah. It feels and looks thick, especially when I blow-dry it upside down.

So, with all this said, does anyone have any idea what my hair type could be, and how I could go about getting it to look its healthiest?

March 28th, 2017, 06:46 PM
I can't help you on hair typing as my hair is very curly and I'm not as familiar with other hair types.

From what you've described however, you probably have wavy hair and low porosity. The fact that your hair doesn't get wet, takes forever to dry and weighed down easily is a dead giveaway. Although, you could also have fine strands.

Maybe someone else will chime in on the hair typing front. Have you tried diluting your conditioners or an ACV rinse to condition without weighing your hair down too much? Those may help.

March 28th, 2017, 07:13 PM
I have tried the low porosity test where you put a strand of hair in a clear glass of water to see if it floats or sinks; I left mine for a pretty long time, and it floated like a boat, so I don't know. Fine strands could also be a possibility, because my individual hairs do look pretty wispy, even though, like I said, people tell me my hair is thick.

March 28th, 2017, 07:47 PM
My initial hairtype guess is 1c, based on your description. Very stretched out waves that read as straight is a good way to describe that.

Regarding the tangles, there are two things that come to mind for me. It might just be buildup, in which case applying a clarifying shampoo directly to the length and lathering it all the way to the tips concentrating on the length should fix it. Another possibility is that you've got an issue with the balance between protein and moisture, which is something I've occasionally struggled with. (I easily end up with too much protein, which will make my hair feel a bit rough-textured, gives it stiff hooked ends, and makes it tangle faster than I can detangle it.)

March 28th, 2017, 08:48 PM
Part of what has me so confused in regards to hair-typing is looking at all these different charts online. Some of them depict and describe type 1 hair as being nothing but stick-straight period, with the only difference between the a, b, and c subtypes being density and/or strand width. Some of them, though, depict and describe it the way you did, which sounds and looks more like my hair. Also, a lot of them say that 1c hair is coarse and hard to curl, which isn't necessarily true of my hair. I think the individual strands of my hair might be fine, and while my hair may not be the absolute easiest thing in the world to curl, it's not, like, ridiculously hard or anything. I've been looking at type 2a hair, too, and some pictures of "2a" hair I've seen look a lot like my hair, while other pictures I've seen of "2a" hair are way too wavy. Some of the descriptions of 2a hair kind of fit mine, too, so I thought maybe I might have 1c/2a hair; kind of in the middle of both of them, but I don't know.

March 29th, 2017, 01:01 AM
I'd clarify, air dry and then post a picture. That will give folk the best visual guide to help type. You might find just clarifying will make things easier!