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The Only Hair Type Chart That Really Matters

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Forget the hair typing system based on curl pattern as it doesn’t really help you look after your hair. Strand texture and thickness is what really matters.

The Only Hair Type Chart That Matters

FINE HAIR COMBINATION HAIR COARSE HAIR
 Seal with light oils like coconut. Seal with medium coating oils like extra virgin olive oil. Seal with heavy coating butters like shea butter.
Hard protein treatments periodically plus light protein and moisture conditioners. Light protein and moisture conditioners. Hard protein treatments when necessary. Opt for moisturizing conditioners and steam treatments. Protein only when necessary.
Finger detangle exclusively if possible. Be gentle. You can both finger detangle and use a wide tooth comb. Be gentle. You can both finger detangle and use a wide tooth comb. Be gentle.
Remain natural and use herbal color like henna. Remain natural or texturize your hair lightly. Use henna or use regular hair color sparingly. Remain natural or texturize your hair. Use henna or use regular hair color sparingly.
Do simple protective styles like updo’s and buns. Braid and twist gently. Do styles like updo’s, buns, braids, twists and sew ins. Be gentle. Do styles like updo’s, buns and sew ins. Try more extravagant braid styles but be gentle.
 Use heat very infrequently and at low temperatures. Use heat sparingly at low to medium temperatures.  Use heat sparingly at low to medium temperatures.




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Alma

About Alma


Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.



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50 Comments

  1. 1

    Love this!

  2. 3

    How did I miss this? Brilliant chart, thanks Alma. My hair is without a doubt coarse. My strands are almost twice a thick as my sisters which is was able to grow my hair to bsl even before I started my hhj. Now I am at mbl and not looking back.

  3. 4
    Paris Cymone says:

    I’m still having trouble. How do u determine if ur hair is fine, course or combination? Please forgive me, i’m slow, lol

    • 5

      Hi Paris, I’ll give you the same advice I gave to some ladies wondering the same thing on faceook: If your hair is dry and rough feeling, don’t assume automatically that your hair is coarse. I have found that the easiest way to tell your hair type is straight after a wash and DC. If your strands feel cottony soft then your hair is fine. Coarse hair after a wash will lose some but not all of it’s initial roughness even after a DC so will feel moisturized, spongy but pretty resilient. If it’s somewhere between the two then you have combination hair. If you have coarse hair you are luckier than you think! Lots more options than other hair types.

      • 6
        Paris Cymone says:

        Okay! Thanks, that makes plenty more sense now! Yea, my hair seems to be more in the middle after a wash & DC, kind of soft & weak, yet dry feeling but strong. Plus, I always thought it was somewhere in between medium & course, lol. I’ve tried to figure out the other strand tests I’ve read online by holding a strand up to the light to see if its see-thru or rubbing a strand to determine its thickness….all had me lost, lol. This clears up my ideas on my hair so much! Thanks again

        • 7

          No problem Paris. I can understand your confusion. The rubbing a strand technique only works if you have something to compare it to! lol

  4. 8

    I have fine hair, but A LOT of it. My hair is considered thick, yet fine. I still can’t figure out how to seal it correctly.

    • 9

      Hi Verona. I find it easiest to moisturize and seal my hair in sections to make sure that everything is well coated. If you are finding that light oils are just not doing it for you try a heavier oil like EVOO or JCBO

    • 10
      Miiss Keciia says:

      Hi Verona! I’m in your same boat: tons of fine hair! I find i still need a leave in conditioner but i use coconut oil and its amazing! I use many leave ins but the one im loving right now is Eden Curl Defining cream ( you can find it at Sally) If i don’t want a cream Hawaiian Silky 14-in-1 Miracle worker is great too! Hope that helps and you find something you like! (:

      -Miiss Keciia

  5. 11

    I have combination hair and am having a hard time finding a good DC that both moisturizes the coarse strands as well as the fine but doesn’t require a hot dryer. Any suggestions ?

    • 12

      Why not try something with hydrolyzed silk? They penetrate really well and don’t tend to cause protein problems (with most ppl). Tresemme & Redken conditioners come to mind. Why don’t you want to use a dryer? They really help coarse hair soften . . .

      • 13

        Ok Ill keep my eye out for a tresemme of redken that contains hydrolyzed silk. Do these things have to say DC or repair mask on the bottle? I’m not really clear on what all a conditioner needs in order to qualify as a “deep conditioner”. I’d love to use a hood dryer but I don’t have one and currently lack the funds and the space. Does a regular blow dryer work as a substitute? Thanks so much for all advice I really appreciate it !!

        • 14

          Some will say ‘deep moisture’ or ‘penetrating’ but when it comes to protein ones, they need to have the word ‘hydrolyzed’. This could be silk, protein or keratin. This tells you that the product will get into all areas of your hair. BTW amazon sell some cheap bonnet dryers that can be used with any regular blow dryer. No space needed, they fold up and can go in your sock drawer! Only $12-$14 depending on which model you purchase. http://www.amazon.com/Soft-Style-Bonnet-Dryer-System/dp/B00184517Y/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1361149644&sr=8-8&keywords=bonnet+dryer

          • 15

            Wow thanks for the link, Ill definitely have to pick up one of those. My hair is natural, I don’t use color and rarely use heat so hopefully some hydrolyzed protein and silk will help me put a stop to these broken hairs!

  6. 16

    I did my first ever salon treatment in February since beginning my hair journey in January. I am still learning but I think my edges are coming back. The stylist said my hair was coarse at first then she did a DC and afterwards my hair seemed soft. After I left the salon and the hair got dry it felt coarse again. I usually do rope twists but I have cut that out to assess the progress I am making in terms of texture. My question is “Can you seal with olive oil?”

  7. 18

    I want to like the chart but… Why are you recommending combination or course hair texturize?

  8. 19

    I want to like the chart but… Why are you recommending combination or course hair texturize? Whats wrong with simply working with our God-given texture?

    • 20

      HI Tanesha, the chart is for both relaxed and natural women (as is this website) in case you hadn’t noticed :) While I am natural myself and, and if you have read my articles in the past you may know that I generally recommend that everyone at least try natural hair before assuming that it’s not for them, I accept that there are people out there who will never go natural regardless of what we think. For those people it’s important to let them know that relaxed hair can be grown long and healthy too and that generally involves texturizing your hair rather than relaxing it bone straight. You will notice however that my first recommendation is to remain natural.

  9. 21

    Hello! My name is Candace and I have been natural for about 7 months, the more my hair grows the harder it is to manage and keep moisturized. I’ve always had thick hair but now that I’m natural it’s even harder to manage! It’s not the texture of my hair it’s just so thick I really struggle with dealing with it…please tell me you have some advice to help me properly care for my hair. I really love being natural I just need HELP!!!!!

    • 22

      Hi Candace. Thickness was one of the things about natural hair that overwhelmed me at the beginning too but compared with my thin relaxed hair, I decided to count my blessings instead of seeing it as a problem. What helped me however, was dealing with my hair in sections when in came to washing and styling. I never deal with my hair in less than 6 sections but you should find what is most workable for you. Stretching your hair properly will also help you cope with the thickness but most of all embrace it! There are women out there putting lotions and potions on their scalps to make their hair thicker, trust me, it’s not a problem that needs fixing! Good luck.

  10. 23
    tattedgem says:

    I’ve been perm free going on 4 months now. Im having trouble maintaining my hair I’m African America with a mixture of white and Indian. I have dry scalp grease doesn’t help, it’s breaks off terribly, and it doesn’t seem to want to grow at all. Can you help point me to the right products.

  11. 25

    The fact that this post is promoting weaves and texturizures is a bit odd to me. As a natural hair stylist I have seen SO many women damage their natural hair with braids, weaves, texturizers and heat. I tell me clients this: to have the healthiest hair, wear it as close to its most natural state as you possibly can.

    • 26

      P.S. Saying curl pattern doesn’t matter is like saying skin types don’t matter. A person with oily skin has a different regimen than someone with dry skin. I don’t use oils, butters and I don’t comb or brush my hair. All of these leave my hair in a mess. The above chart would not work for me.

      • 27

        No chart can completely describe the unique differences in our hair and this one is no different Monique. Jeni of justgrowalready has waist length texlaxed hair even though she has fine hair strands. The chart really just points you in the right direction but its through self experimentation that we really get to know our own hair.

        I still don’t believe that curl type matters all that much having seen the differences first hand even among same curl types. I don’t expect to make everyone happy with this chart but it does help many people :)

        • 28

          it’s all relative and personal (I guess). This chart would not have pointed me in the right direction at all.

    • 30

      We are a natural and relaxed hair website not just natural. Texurizing is better than relaxing bone straight because it is closer to the natural state.

  12. 31

    I know I’m late to the party but I want to thank you for this chart. I always suspected that hair typing system with the numbers and letters was BS :-D The recommendations for fine hair are more or less exactly what years of trial and error led me to. I could have saved myself a lot of time, money and aggravation if I had this chart ten years ago.

  13. 32

    I have fine hair and its begining to break at the nape (on right side only) also my edges also mainly right side. I’m looking for products to help smooth the edges but also help them to grow and not break. I find gels dry them out. Currently I’m wearing it straight with no relaxer so I’m using heat daily. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  14. 34
    CherylLynne says:

    Hi! I have fine, curly hair and I was wondering if anyone could give any examples of hard protein treatments?

  15. 35

    I love curly hair but I just don’t feel my curls! I have at least 4 different curl patterns (bi-racial) and no matter what I do twists finger curls….. its just does not come out how I would like. I don’t want a perm been natural for 6 years but I’m really frustrated! Has anyone ever tryed the Brazilian Keratin treatment?

    • 36

      If you want a Brazilian keratin treatment get it from Organix.. There hair products are all natural. And it works the best without damaging your hair

  16. 37

    I have coarse hair

  17. 38

    My hair is corse but I can c my curls when its wet but no amount of conditioning keeps it from frizzing lol

  18. 39

    My daughter has a combination of several different textures. Nd corse fly ways.

  19. 40

    I have 3 different curl patterns and it makes styling really difficult.

  20. 41

    Hair pudding and twist outs work well.

  21. 42

    I have dry coarse hair,the creamy crack is really calling my name.

  22. 43

    Combination

  23. 44

    Thank you Shakari Nikia Angelica Whitfield I will try to see if I can order it and that they send it overseas! ! Thats one of my biggest problems I can’t find a good natural hair stylest here!

  24. 45

    Coconut oil is still too heavy for my hair so I use jojoba oil.

  25. 46

    Kinky kinky hair no curl pattern at all

  26. 47

    I have 3C/4A (approx 70/30) hair that is dry (especially the 4A) and frustrating because I don’t know what to do with it…new natural. I’m wearing it straight this week just because it’s what I’m used to it but I don’t want to heat damage my hair either. I would love a product that would control the frizz without the crunchiness for my wash n go’s.

  27. 48

    Good to know I should be using Shea butter . Ice been using coconut oil for awhile and while it helps it.doesn’t seem to be what it should.

  28. 49

    I have a combination of fine and coarse.

  29. 50

    Hi, I have trying almost everything and browses a lot of sites. Some talk about knowing your hair type, what kind of product s is best etc. The thing is my hair is thine but i used a lot of Natural hair Oils cause of the hair texture i have it sucks up the oil or grease it become brittle and dry. I have even try Castor oil but it damage my hair badly before. Oh confusing in which leave in condition to used cause on most site i have read they said sulfate Shampoo or nothing with sulfate is bad for your hair is it true ? Need help plz

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