Hair texture is a feature present regardless of your hair type. Texture refers to the thickness of each individual strand. It can be fine medium or coarse. Whether it is kinky, curly, or coily hair types can have any or all of these textures. If you were to compare your hair to a piece of thread, medium texture would be the same thickness as a fine piece of thread. Fine would be thinner and coarse would be thicker.

What is Texture?

Your texture refers to the diameter of each individual strand of hair and can be described in 3 terms:  

Fine: Barely felt between your fingers, no medulla

Medium: Easily felt between your fingers

Coarse: Feels strong and thick between your fingers

 

  • Cuticle: Protective outer layer of the hair made of overlapping cuticles, like scales on a fish.
  • Cortex: Thickest layer of the hair, made of proteins, protected by the cuticle
  • Medulla: Soft core of the hair strand

 

Test for your Hair Texture

To test for your texture, pull out a single strand of hair, from different sections of your head. Rub the strands between your fingers and feel how thick they are. It is likely you will have more than one type of texture. You can also lay your hair beside a strand of sewing thread (not hair thread) compare your thickness to the thread, fine will be smaller, medium about the same, and coarse will be thicker.

Fine Hair

Fine hair is the thinnest of the 3, with the defining characteristic being the lack of a medulla, the innermost layer of hair. Fine hair can have difficulty holding a curl or may be easily weighed down by too much product. It is also common to have a higher density than other hair types. Those that do not have this characteristic, however, will notice their hair may break more easily than their peers. 

Fine Hair:

  • Breaks easily
  • Is easily weighed down
  • May not hold a curl well

Medium Hair

Medium hair is comfortably in the middle of the spectrum of hair texture. It does have all 3 layers; the medulla, cortex, and cuticle. It is thicker than fine hair and thinner than coarse hair. Medium hair can hold a style better than fine hair, and due to its added layer, it is less prone to breakage. 

Medium Hair

  • Less prone to breakage
  • More tolerant of product buildup
  • Can hold a style 

    Coarse Hair

    Coarse hair is the thickest of all 3 types. It has the same 3 layer as Medium hair, and is more tolerant of product buildup, heat, and styling. Coarse hair is often associated with low porosity hair, because of its increased drying time, but please note, they are not always the same. 

    Coarse Hair

    • Is least prone to breakage
    • Most tolerant of product buildup
    • Holds styles well, in low humidity

    Bottom Line

    Hair Texture is one of the many qualities sometimes overlooked by naturals, but it can tell you a lot about how to deal with your hair. Continue to learn about your hair texture, type, and porosity to take another step towards learning your hair type.

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