• "How To" Hair Type Your Hair, by Irishred

    Originally published by Irishred, 11/30/2009 Figuring out your hair type can be very confusing even for those of us that have been on these boards for a while. I hope this article will help. I did not see this advise anywhere so if it is, I apologize.
    Full Article
    Fia's Hair Typing System can be very confusing, even to those that have been on the boards a long time. Styled hair is not your natural hair type. That is what you desire your hair to look like. Hair typing gets even more confusing when you are one that usually blow dries, flat irons, curls, uses lots of products or combs, brushes your hair to make it do some thing different. When you don't do all this and look at your hair, you see something that well, to be honest may look alien to you.

    Before you ask on the boards... or you have and have been directed here, here are some suggested steps to prepare your hair for typing. Remember you want as natural a state as possible (chemical processing aside - we cannot hair type permed hair as the natural texture is changed).

    Detangle and Direction
    Detangle as much as you can before washing your hair. If you are a curly, do whatever you usually do, I am clueless to that hair type other than what I have learned here.

    Try to wash your hair in the direction you can leave it dry naturally. In the shower is probably best but I know not every one has a shower. Draped over your shoulder could be second best. I do NOT recommend washing upside down for this particular process as that can lead to lots of tangles if not tended quickly. The intent here is to wash and then dry in an untouched state.


    Clarify
    Clarifying your hair will remove most chemical residual build-up from -cones or styling products. This will not remove color processing or perms but could dull your color or change the perm. You can clarify with special clarifying shampoos, you can usually find them along side the regular products.

    Although it does not do the same thing, you can remove some residues, like minerals from hard water and I believe a minimal amount from chemicals by using a baking soda wash and/OR a vinegar rinse. *** Remember these are acids and bases so unless you are sure your hair can use them or have already tried them with good results, be cautious and do your research first.

    This is not exactly clarifying, but I find if I was with a super plain shampoo (baby shampoo for example) works to get through the build up as well. Changing products can work as no two products are the same and will see the other similar to dirt.

    Wash all your hair. This is something I do on a regular basis anyway with my length as there are time you never know what might have gotten in there....(4 kids, 2 dogs 2 cats and a husband)

    Condition
    Condition as usual. Clarifying and baby shampoo can dry hair out. They are made to strip not replenish as some shampoos are made to do now. I would even consider leaving the conditioner in just a bit longer than usual, though maybe not quite a DT unless you are just pampering yourself and really have the extra time.

    Combing
    For hair typing we really like to see hair that is clean and dried from soaking wet or barely towel blotted. I suggest combing with conditioner in the shower. It doesn't have to be much, just a few strokes to get the hair all going in the right direction. Rinse with as little tasseling as possible. Don't comb after you rinse (stop washing) as this will change your hair's wave or curl pattern.

    Drying
    Optional. throw a towel over your shoulders and drip away or lightly blot. Micro fiber towels are wonderful. But we all don't have them. They are pretty cheap in the auto section of most department stores though Just manipulate as little as possible.

    Please correct me if I am wrong here about this being not exactly manipulating. If needed, flip upside down, use fingers just on your scalp to "loosen the hair" removing the plastered feel. Then flip back over. Do not finger comb while upside down or when you flip back over, this is just to loosen the hair at the scalp.

    Pictures
    I like to take pictures of the stages. My hair changes as it dries. When soaking wet, it will almost spiral. The waves stretch and soften as it dries. Some washes leave me more curly than others... I think my hair has split personalities at times.

    Typing
    Compare your hair to pictures at the visual hair typing page or use the verbal Fia's hair typing
    Please feel free to post your pictures and ask for help. This is confusing.

    What is worse, you can have several types all on your head and not fit into any one place. And yes, your hair can change under all sorts of circumstances. Chemical processes are the most obvious change makers. Even Henna can change your type. Other chemicals that can change your hair are medicines. Short term stuff usually doesn't apply, but long term stuff certainly can. Peuberty, pregnancy, post-partum and the fall of life (menopause for women) can change it but usually has a slower but lasting effect because they are hormonal. Major Surgery is another hair changer.

    Don't forget to read Teacherbear's article about how to measure your hair the TLHC way.

    There is also a Standard Lengths guide but many picture links are gone.

    Hope this helps a few you .... got a bit longer than I planned. Sorry.