Mar 10, 2021 | Hair Basics

Hair Basics: Introduction

Hair Basics

Written by Bri

In

Building a hair care routine is more than how often you wash your hair and what products you buy. We always need to keep in mind the reason we are buying the product. And how do you know the reason without knowing the properties of your hair? Exactly, sis, keep reading, this is important.

I am a firm believer that you do not need to have a lot of products in order to have healthy hair, you need skills and information.

This article addresses the information needed to care for your hair.  To find out what skills are needed, take a look at our series on The 14 Skills Needed to Complete a Growth Challenge.

If you’re ready to begin your Growth Challenge, I’ve compiled an easy beginner’s guide to understanding your hair for you to review. Do this prior to purchasing any product, you may find you already have what you need on hand.

Type

Type 4 Hair is the tightest coils of all other types. It often needs heavier creams, gels, more product to moisturize and oils help seal in the moisture. 

To test for your hair type, look at a fully shrunken wet strand of hair.

  • 4a
  • 4b
  • 4c

Just keep this in mind when you think of texture vs. type. 

Type of hair is not as important of texture, or porosity, but being 4c is always good info to know, as it affects what your hair can do vs another type/texture. 

Click here for more information on Type 4 Hair. 

Porosity

Porosity has to do with how open your cuticles are to the passage of water through your strands. In order for your hair to be soft, the water needs to penetrate the center of your hair strand.

The higher porosity, the more difficult it is to retain moisture. The lower the porosity, the more difficult to absorb the moisture in the first place.

To test for your porosity type: Fill a glass with water and drop a clean dry strand of hair inside.

Low: Floats at the top before sinking
Medium: Floats in the middle before sinking
High: Quickly sinks to the bottom

For more information about porosity click here:

Texture

Hair texture is a feature present regardless of your hair type. It can be fine medium or coarse. Whether it is kinky, curly, or coily these 3 features exist. Your texture refers to the thickness of each individual strand. 

  • Fine: Strands are thin and fragile. Easily weighed down by heavy oils.
  • Medium: More resistant to breaking. Does well with oils without being weighed down.
  • Coarse: Most tolerant to heat. Often needs a thicker oil/more product to help with management. 

Just keep this in mind when you think of texture vs. type. 

Texture is the thickness of each individual strand. This is different from hair type, which is the diameter of your curls. 

Click here for more information on how to manage your hair texture. 

Density

Your hair density is the amount of strands that are in one square inch of scalp. More hair strands equal more volume. 

To test for density, let your hair hang naturally. 

  • Low Density: scalp is easily visible without moving towards the mirror. Fingers run through the scalp easily without resistance.
  • Medium Density: you need to smooth your hair to see your scalp. Some resistance when running fingers through the scalp.
  • High Density: your scalp is difficult to see even when smoothed down. It is difficult to push the fingers through the scalp.

 

For more information on density, click here: 

Elasticity

Elasticity is very important and it is improved by moisture. Your hair should be able to stretch to some extent without breaking or shedding. If your hair is unable to withstand the tension caused by regular manipulation, then you may have a problem with the moisture levels in your hair. 

  • Low: The hair strand is fragile and breaks easily when stretched, about 20 percent.  
  • Medium: Hair does not break easily and returns to its natural curly state when stretched. 
  • High: Hair stretching more than 50 percent of its length before returning to its original state. 

Click Here for more information on how to improve your hair’s elasticity. 

Health

With all else being known, the final and maybe most important category is the health of your hair strands. Any of the following, when done frequently enough, can damage your hair and cause it to have difficulty retaining length.

  • Heat damage
  • Color treatment
  • Chemical Treatments
  • Combing while tangled
  • Dry Hair
  • Overmanipulation
  • Neglect
  • Dry Brushing

 

Click Here for more information on how to take care of damaged hair.

Join Our Growth Challenge

This Hair Challenge will focus on constant moisture. The extreme summer heat can do a number on your strands. Maintaining a protective style and extra care is all you need to fight against potential damage.

Challenge Begins!

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This site is to showcase ALL of the beautiful 4c naturals who’ve figured it out.  

I built this site to provide a resource for 4C naturals and real representation for girls like me, who just had to figure it out. I’m so glad you’ve found us. This is a journey, it’s not “just hair” its a statement, its identity, and it’s love. Let’s get started!

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Brittany

Brittany

CEO

I am what we call a lazy natural. I love natural hair, drinking water, and minding my business. I have waist length 4C natural hair (that shrinks all the way up to my scalp) and 10 years of skin in the game. I spend my free time gardening and drumming up design ideas for my home