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Hair Features - Part 1: Determine your Hair Features

No hair is the same. The Curly Girl method is applicable to many different hair types, but a lot of variation is possible within the method. To know what care your hair needs, we look at five hair characteristics:

· Hair type


· Elasticity

· Density

· Thickness / structure

Curly hair is naturally drier and more porous than straight hair. You have to compensate for this with hydration. By hydrating with conditioner you also immediately fill the small holes in the porous surface of the hair, making the hair smoother, less lint and your curls are better defined.

Toch is geen enkel krullend haar hetzelfde. Leer daarom met onderstaande informatie de eigenschappen van jouw krullen kennen, zodat je ook beter leert hoe je goed voor je krullen kan zorgen.

Curl types

The most common method for typing curly hair is by looking at the appearance of the curls. Click here.. So here is only looked at the appearance of the curls, but this does not say much about the properties of your own specific curls. The properties listed below and in the following two files are more important to know so that you can determine which products will work well for your hair. It is therefore interesting to look at the density and thickness of your hair, but especially the porosity and elasticity of your hair.

Density / density

The density of your hair means how many hairs you have on your head. You can have thin, medium or thick hair. You can determine this by picking a tuft of hair and then looking at your scalp.
• You have thin hair if you can see your scalp very well (80-100%)
• You have medium hair if you can see a little of your scalp (120-130%)
• You have thick hair if you can barely see a scalp (150-180%)

Hair density  

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, 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 observing what you feel. If you feel almost nothing, you have fine hair. If you feel the hair clearly, you have coarse hair. Is it in between, you logically 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 do not have to have thin hair (in terms of density). Their hair can therefore look very full. Fine hair is fragile and that is why it is often difficult to grow your hair long. You should therefore be extra careful with fine hair. Fine hair can get greasy faster and it is often not so good against heavy products.
Medium / normal hair: This hair structure is between fine and coarse hair.
Thick hair: Thick hairs are generally strong hairs. Thick hair usually needs good hydration and usually less need for protein (but always test this on the basis of elasticity, more about this below).


These are actually the two most important hair characteristics to know, so that you can determine which hair products you can use best.
Porosity is about the extent to which your hair absorbs and can retain moisture.
The elasticity has to do with the balance between protein and hydration: If the balance between them is not optimal, your hair may, among other things, be fragile, stiff, dry and / or fluffy. To find out what exactly the cause is, you will need to determine the needs of your hair using the elasticity test.


Hair characteristics - part 2: POROSITY

Porosity is the term used in the science of hair care 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 from a hair straightener or hair dryer or chemical treatments such as dyeing your hair.

It is important to know the porosity of your hair because, for example, it says something about whether you can use light or heavy products for your hair. You can have high, normal or low porosity.

Low porosity:
Hair with a low porosity has a cuticle layer with flat, overlapping cuticles. This makes this hair usually looks a bit shiny (because it reflects light). But because of this closed cuticle layer, the hair cannot absorb moisture so well. And once it is wet, it takes a long time before it is dry again, because the moisture first remains on the hair before it is absorbed. Hair with a low porosity is sensitive to build up. It is therefore very important to use neither too heavy nor too many products.

High porosity:
For hair with high porosity, the hair scales are raised. This hair therefore often looks dull and not shiny. Because the hair scales are open, the hair can absorb moisture quickly, but the moisture also goes out at the same rapid pace. This will make your hair dry quickly and get tangled quickly.
If your hair is damaged by heat (hair dryer or hair straightener) or paints, chances are that you have a high porosity. This means you can often use slightly heavier products. You can also use a sealing oil to retain moisture in your hair. And don't forget to use masks.

Normal porosity: lucky one!

Hair with medium porosity often requires the least amount of maintenance. The cuticle layer is looser so that just the right amount of moisture goes in and out of your hair.

Determine porosity

You determine porosity mainly by carefully observing your hair. A few 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

· Slurps your hair on all the products you put on it, you probably have high porosity

But also the drying time of your hair and how a hair feels will tell you something about your porosity. Therefore, also carry out the following tests.

Porosity test 1: Slip & Slide

Grab a hair between your thumb and forefinger and slide your fingers upwards over the hair (from point to scalp). If you glide up easily without feeling too many bumps, this often indicates low porosity hair. If you feel a lot of bumps you probably have high porosity hair. The bumps that you feel are the hair scales.

Porosity test 2: Drying time

Determine your hair porosity by looking at how long it takes for your hair to dry if you let it air dry:

· High porosity: dry within 2 hours

· Medium porosity: dry between 4 and 6 hours

· Low porosity: more than 8 hours needed for drying

The drying time also depends on the thickness of your hair, the products that you put in your hair and the humidity in your environment.

Variable results

For many, the porosity is difficult to determine. Sometimes a high porosity comes out in one test, while a low porosity comes out in the other test. One hair may also differ from porosity with the other. These are only 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 for you and what doesn't work for you using the tips below.

Low porosity, what to do:

· Use light products to prevent buildup (watch out with the following products / ingredients: butters, thick oils such as castor oil, esters).

· Because of heat your hair scales will be slightly more open. If you use a deep conditioner / mask, make sure by using warmth for your hair to absorb this well. Do put shower cap (or household foil, 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 putting a (microfiber) towel over it.

The products that you put in your hair can be warmed up by, for example, placing them in warm water. This will make your hair absorb better.

High porosity, what to do:

· The scales close due to cold. Rinse your hair with cold water. You can also rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar, this also ensures that your hair cuticles close.

· Put the products that you put in your hair in advance in the refrigerator, so that they close the hair scales and the products will stay longer in your hair.

· Apply the LOC / LCO method for optimum hydration.

Hair characteristics - part 3: ELASTICITY (protein test)

It is important to test whether you are protein sensitive or whether your hair is in need of protein. You do this by performing the elasticity test (stretch test). Repeat this test regularly because your hair elasticity may change.

What do you need:

· Ruler / measuring tape / tape measure

· One or more hairs (cut or naturally lost);

· Preferably 2 tweezers;

· Possibly a calculator;)

Stretch test:

By means of the stretch test you can test whether or not your hair needs protein. Hair that is well balanced in terms of moisture and protein has an ideal elasticity. This means that the hair stretches and then returns to its original state. By following the steps below you can see if your hair has a good elasticity or not.
• Use a loose hair for the test that has been cut or has fallen out naturally. It is important that the hair has not been stretched before (by pulling it out). It is best to perform the test with wet hair.
• Grasp the hair firmly with both hands between your thumb and forefinger, possibly wrap the hair around your forefinger and gently pull the hair out until it starts to tighten (or use 2 tweezers).
• Hold the piece of hair between your fingers along a ruler (A).
• Stretch the hair further and see how far you can stretch the hair (B).

Elasticity = (B - A) / A * 100%

Suppose that (A) is 12 cm and that (B) is 16 cm. Calculate your hair elasticity as follows:
Elasticity = (16 - 12) / 12 * 100% = 33.3%

In other words:
16 - 12 = 4
4/12 = 0.33
0.33 * 100% = 33%

By using 2 tweezers you prevent the hair from sliding out of your fingers.

Thisvideo shows how you perform the elasticity test and how you then calculate the elasticity:

Low elasticity / hair with too much protein:

This hair breaks down almost immediately without stretching (less than 20%). The hair contains too much protein, which makes it feel rough and straw-like and quickly breaks down. Clean your hair with a CG-friendly shampoo to remove all protein and then avoid protein until your hair is back in balance. It is also advisable to avoid the following ingredients as much as possible, because they often do not work well with protein-sensitive hair: coconut oil, aloe vera and castor oil. Use water-based products, leave-in conditioners and deep conditioners.

Normal elasticity / in balance:

This hair stretches around 30% and then breaks off. The balance between moisture and protein is good. The hair stretches a bit, but also jumps back well to its original state. It does not break quickly. Continue to observe how your hair reacts and opt for protein and hydration in your products.

High elasticity / hair with too little protein:

This hair stretches a lot (more than 50%). This hair contains too much moisture and is therefore (too) well hydrated. It feels dry, lifeless and limp, is fluffy, very elastic and the curl does not stay in it properly. The advice is to use products that contain protein. You can also possibly do a protein treatment, but start carefully and continue to observe your hair.

This test is only an indication. The elasticity of your hair can change due to the products you use. It may therefore be useful to repeat the test more often. Protein is also needed for healthy hair, so don't just keep avoiding it, but keep watching your hair. If you notice that your hair has reacted differently, you can adjust your products accordingly. The trick is to find the right balance between moisture and protein.

TIP: If you color your hair, use one protein mask or co-wash with protein. Do not avoid protein if you dye your hair and you have low elasticity!


Now you know your hair characteristics and you can now do the Product Proposal.