HOW TO

Hair texture: what is it and how do you know yours?

In case you missed it, hair care is the new skincare. And to really make the most of said hair care—it’s time to really understand the texture that occurs naturally in your hair. Why spend hours trying to fight your hair texture when it might easier to just enjoy it and enhance it? Here are some tips to figuring out what your hair texture actually is and the products to try so your stands are looking their best at all times.

Where do you start when it comes to working out the texture your hair is naturally? We spoke to Darren Summors, guest artist at Aveda, for his advice. “The easiest way to work out your hair’s texture is to wash it, gently towel dry, lightly run your fingers through to detangle and allow it to dry naturally. Try to resist touching it too much or tucking it behind your ears. Do this during the day, as sleeping on wet hair or tying it up will create an unnatural bend and movement in the hair,” he says. According to Summors, hair texture falls under three categories: straight, wavy and curly. If it dries straight without a bend or curl, then it’s likely your hair is straight. If it dries with a slight curve or “S” shape then it’s considered wavy, and if it dries with a defined curl or loop pattern, it’s most likely curly.

It’s important to realise that the hair texture you were naturally born with can change over time. “Hair will change texture and density over time mainly due to stress, diet, hormones, heat, chemical treatments, pregnancy, medication or age,” says Summors. “So it’s a good idea to check back in and try letting it dry naturally to see if you’ve gone from straight hair to more wavy, for instance.”

FOR CURLY HAIR

Bouncy, curly hair that’s full of movement needs quick treatments to keep it in check when the weather gets humid (no frizz here) or it feels dry or brittle. The Bumble and bumble Curl Pre Style Primer de-tangles curls, adds definition and re-shapes your hair. It can be used as a pre-style spray or a re-style primer—spritz it onto damp hair before styling or dry hair for re-styling. New brand IGK is here for all hair textures, but their Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner is especially kind on hair that shows signs of frizz and damage. Infused with not only hyaluronic acid (yes, it’s not just a skincare ingredient) and coconut milk, this lightweight leave-in treatment repairs, preps a high-shine blow-dry or frizz-free air dry.

Another must-try for curly hair is LÓreal’s Tecni.ART Liss Control Smoothing Cream. For best results, apply through damp hair and allow your curls to dry naturally—this will help to control them and add a glossy finish. Another popular product from IGK is their Speechless Dry Oil Finishing Spray for Hair and Body. As the name suggests, it’s a unique dry oil for hair and body that adds shine and reduces frizz, and when applied to your limbs bestows you with a J. Lo-at-the-Superbowl-worthy sheen.

READ MORE: How to take care of your hair while you sleep

FOR STRAIGHT HAIR

To save time with straight hair, it’s about harnessing products that don’t always require heat styling after they’re applied. For sleek, straight hair that involves little effort (read: you don’t need to use a straightener after you’ve washed it) try Shu Uemura’s Straight Forward Blowdry Oil Spray. Its formula features oil-based gliding agents which invisibly coat each strand for a smooth and shiny finish akin to running your hair through a straightening iron. All you need to do is blow dry it and the oil spray does the rest. Time saving and good for your hair? Tick.

Another thing to remember with straight hair is you want to use products that are lightweight and won’t weigh the hair down making it look flat. Try ghd’s Smooth & Finish Serum Other or Sisley’s Precious Hair Care Oil, both can be applied post-styling and keep hair soft and shiny. Aveda’s Nutriplenish Leave In Conditioner is also a super lightweight spray that won’t weigh the hair down but hydrates, detangles and provides UV and heat protection, too.

FOR WAVY HAIR

For hair that already has some natural body and movement to it, it’s about maintaining that and keeping the waves looking fresh. Aveda Cherry Almond Leave-In Conditioner doesn’t weigh the hair down but the cream consistency is a little richer which means it can control frizz and flyaways easily. If you want to save time but keep your waves looking full-bodied, a volumising spray is the easiest (and quickest) way to add lightweight structure and texture to waves, boosting density right from the roots so you give a lift that lasts.

Bumble and bumble Dry Spun Texture Spray works in the same way—once your hair is dry you can apply it for instant added texture or use it on your non-wash days to refresh your volume. No hairdryer? No worries. Bumble and bumble’s Don’t Blow It is an air-dry styler that enhances hair's natural texture by adding bounce, body and shine.

Regardless of your hair texture, Summors says it’s about loving what you’re working with. “It’s important to embrace your hair's natural texture now more than ever, as I think it shows a sense of pride and power—a symbol of individuality and diversity. Allow it to do its own thing, treat it with TLC, regular haircuts and bad hair days will be a thing of the past."

READ MORE: How to style your hair for every accessory

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