Here do you find info to find out what your hair characteristics are to shop the right products
Determining your hair properties RENEWED
Until now we have done very extensively determining your hair properties, but through our experiences and reading we have come to the conclusion that elasticity is not actually a determining role, just like curl type. Porosity and the thickness of your hair are the most decisive in selecting the right products, which is why we have simplified the determination of your hair properties.
The fact is that your hair is made up of proteins, so every hair needs protein to a greater or lesser extent. It's up to you to find a good balance in protein and moisture. See, feel and experience what certain routines / products do to your curls. Unfortunately it is not that it works the same for everyone, if only that is how we were done in no time. This is truly a personal process and as time goes on you will experience and understand what your curls need.
The ways of styling, how much product, use of a curling brush (denman, scrunch it, etc), whether or not to use gel, are all factors that determine the final result.
Thickness / structure
This concerns the hair thickness of one loose hair. You can have fine, medium (normal) or coarse hair. You can test this by holding one loose hair up to the light. If you hardly see the hair, then you have fine hair. If the hair is clearly visible, you have coarse hair. If it's in between, you have medium hair. You can also test it by holding one loose hair between your fingers and observe what you feel. If you hardly feel anything, you have fine hair. If you feel the hair clearly, you have coarse hair. Is it in between, logically you have medium hair. A third method is to compare a loose hair with sewing thread. Fine hair is thinner than yarn, medium hair is about as thick as yarn, and coarse hair is thicker than yarn.
Fine hair: People with fine hair don't need to have thin hair (density wise). Their hair can therefore look very full. Fine hair is fragile, which is why it is often difficult to grow your hair long. You must therefore be extra careful with fine hair. Fine hair can become greasy more quickly and often cannot handle heavy products very well. It is also advisable to diffuse your hair instead of allowing it to air dry, because water that remains in your hair for a longer period of time can cause it to sag.
Medium / normal hair: This hair structure is in between fine and coarse hair.
Coarse hair: Coarse hair is generally strong hair. Coarse hair usually needs good hydration and usually less protein.
Porosity is the term used in hair care science to describe how well your hair can absorb and retain moisture. The porosity is influenced by the outer layer of the hair (cuticle). This layer consists of scales. How porous your hair is is genetically determined, but it can also be influenced by external factors such as harmful ingredients in hair products, the heat of a flat iron or hair dryer or chemical treatments such as dyeing your hair.
It is important to know the porosity of your hair, because it says something about whether you can use products with or without protein for your hair. You can have high, normal or low porosity.
Low porosity hair has a cuticle layer with flat, overlapping scales. As a result, this hair usually looks a bit shiny (because it reflects light). But because of this closed cuticle layer, the hair cannot absorb moisture very well. And once it is wet, it takes a long time to dry again, because the moisture first stays on the hair before it is absorbed. Low porosity hair is prone to build-up. It is therefore very important not to use too heavy and not too many products.
Hair with a high porosity has the hair cuticles raised. This hair therefore often looks dull and not shiny. Because the hair cuticles are open, the hair can quickly absorb moisture, but the moisture is also removed at the same fast pace. This makes your hair dry quickly and quickly becomes tangled.
If your hair has been damaged by heat (blow dryer or flat iron) or dyeing, chances are you have high porosity. As a result, you can often use slightly heavier products, but this also depends on your hair thickness. You can also use a sealing oil to retain moisture in your hair. And don't forget to use masks.
Normal porosity: lucky one!
Medium porosity hair often requires the least amount of maintenance. The cuticle layer is looser, allowing just the right amount of moisture in and out of your hair.
You determine porosity mainly by observing your hair carefully. Some hints:
- As described above, hair that has been damaged often has a high porosity (the scales are damaged).
- If you experience build up quickly, you probably have low porosity
- If your hair slurps all the products you put in it, you probably have high porosity
- If your hair is wet immediately when you are in the shower then you have high porosity, it takes a long time for your hair to penetrate with water then you have low porosity
- But the drying time of your hair and how a hair feels also tells you something about your porosity. Therefore, also perform the following tests.
Porosity test 1: Slip & Slide
Grab a hair between your thumb and index finger and slide your fingers up the hair (from tip to scalp). If you slide up easily without feeling bumps, this often indicates low porosity hair. If you do feel bumps, and they are not close together, you have medium porosity. If you feel a lot of bumps in a row, you probably have high porosity hair. Those bumps you feel are the hair cuticles that are open.
Porosity test Dry test
Determine your hair porosity by looking at how long it takes your hair to dry when you let it air dry:
- High porosity: dry within 2-4 hours
- Medium porosity: dry between 4 and 6 hours
- Low porosity: takes more than 8 hours to dry
- The drying time also depends on the thickness of your hair, the products you put in your hair and the humidity in your environment.
For many, the porosity is difficult to determine. Sometimes one test shows a high porosity, while the other test shows a low porosity. One hair can also differ in porosity from the other hair. These are just tests that give an indication.
If the results of the above tests are not entirely clear to you, just start with products that are not too heavy. Try out what works and what doesn't work for you with the help of the tips below.
Low porosity, what to do:
Use light products to prevent buildup (be careful with the following products / ingredients: butters, thick oils such as castor oil, esters.
- Heat will open up your hair cuticles a bit more. When using a deep conditioner / mask, make sure to use heat before your hair can absorb it properly. Do put a shower cap (or cling film, pedal bin bag, etc) over your hair, so that your hair stays wet and can steam. You can then create heat by using a "heat cap" or a hair dryer or by covering it with a (microfibre) towel.
- You can heat up the products you put in your hair by putting them in warm water, for example. This will make your hair absorb better.
- Use protein in moderation in your products.
High porosity, what to do:
Due to the cold, the hair cuticles close. Therefore, rinse your hair with cold water. You can also rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar, this also ensures that your hair cuticles close.
- Seal your hair with a gel
- Apply the LOC (leave-in, oil, cream) / LCO (leave-in, cream, oil) or LOG (leave-in, oil, gel) method for optimal hydration.
- Use a mask weekly, do not let it work for less than 10 minutes because your hair absorbs the products very quickly. Use protein if you feel that your curls don't have enough bounce. You can also alternate between protein and moisture, but use protein in your leave-in conditioner if you use a mask without protein.
- Use a leave-in conditioner for hydration, if you have fine hair use very little or use a very light leave-in because a leave-in can also cause your curls to sag.
- Balance protein and moisture well.
Medium Porosity, what to do:
Medium porosity actually has the least problems, it is best to use products with and without protein, or even use more protein products one wash day and less protein the next day.
Continue to observe and feel your curls. If it gets stiff after a protein product, then you know that you have to switch to moisture products.
Now you know your hair characteristics and you can now do the Product Proposal.