Saturday, March 20, 2010

What's your Hair Type?

I have read many posts about hair typing on many other blogs. When reading them in the past, I always thought to myself "Who Cares!" But, as my locking journey continues and I contemplate changes (i.e combining), and maintain my own hair, I realize that if I knew my true hair type from the beginning, I could have possibly made better informed or different decision on the type of locks to start and what method to start with. Knowing my hair type also affects the type o locks that my hair will produce versus the locks that I had envisioned for myself upon install. Becoming a do it yourselfer (DIY) has lead me to do some research. Why am I telling you this? Well, lets just say that the locks that used to top the head of Ms. Lauren Hill, are exactly what I would love to have as my crown. After looking recently at old photos and you tube videos of Lauren while examining my own head trying to determine how to combine and what I could do to achieve this look, I realized that I will never, ever, have locks like Lauren's. Why is this? Well lets take a look at a hair typing chart.

Fia's Hairtyping System

FIRST CLASSIFIER - Your curliness (or lack thereof)

The straight ones
1a - stick straight
1b - straight but with a slight body wave, just enough to add some volume, doesn't look wavy
1c - straight with body wave and one or two visible S-waves (e.g. nape of neck or temples)

The wavy ones
2a - loose, stretched out S-waves throughout the hair
2b - shorter, more distinct S-waves (similar to waves from braiding damp hair)
2c - distinct S-waves and the odd spiral curl forming here and there

The curly ones
3a - big, loose spiral curls
3b - bouncy ringlets
3c - tight corkscrews

The really curly ones
4a - tightly coiled S-curls
4b - tightly coiled hair bending in sharp angles (Z-pattern)

SECOND CLASSIFIER - What (most of) your individual strands look like

F - Fine
Thin strands that sometimes are almost translucent when held up to the light. Shed strands can be hard to see even against a contrasting background. Similar to hair found on many people of Scandinavian descent.

You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Fine hair is difficult to feel or it feels like an ultra-fine strand of silk

M - Medium
Strands are neither fine nor coarse. Similar to hair found on many Caucasians.

You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Medium hair feels like a cotton thread. You can feel it, but it isn't stiff or rough. It is neither fine or coarse.

C - Coarse
Thick strands that where shed strands usually are easily identified against most backgrounds. Similar to hair found on many people of Asian or native American descent.

You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Coarse hair feels hard and wiry. As you roll it back and forth, you may actually hear it.

THIRD CLASSIFIER - Your overall volume of hair

Put your hair in a ponytail with as much hair as possible in it. Don't bother with the way it looks - the goal is to have most/all of your hair in there. If it means it sits smack dab on top of your head, put it there.

Measure the circumference of the ponytail. If you have bangs and/or you can't get all of your hair in there adjust according to how much of your hair you have measured.

i - thin (less than 2 inches/5 centimeters)
ii - normal (between 2-4 inches or 5-10 centimeters)
iii - thick (more than 4 inches/10 centimeters)
(Black Hair Media Hair Forum, 2006) why will I never have locks like Lauren's old ones? The answer is simple; it's because she and I have totally different hair types (Duuhhh). From what I can tell from the photos and the youtube vids that I watched, Lauren has 4b-C-iii hair type. Me on the other hand; I have a combination of 3c/4a-F-i/ii hair type. Now these types are completely different and produce completely different results when locking.

Although I have fallen in love with Lauren's thicker locks, which look more organic to me, and she can continue to be my lock idle (although she lo longer rocks locks), I have come to the realization that I will never have that exact look. Why...because my hair is too soft, too fine, and too thin. On the other hand, I can smile anyway because my head is covered in beautiful smaller locks that fit me perfectly and I am happy about that (for now). Of course it is OK to admire the beauty of other locks but mine will only look like my own and no one else's. My hair type is what determines the crown of locks that will sit atop of this queens head. Learn and love your unique hair type as it is beautiful, regardless of the curl pattern, the texture, or the volume. Individual uniqueness is what gives locks their beauty. No two heads are exactly yours, because I am surely loving mine. (besides, if I had Lauren's hair, I'd have a big ol' head cause my ego would be ever expanding and broken neck from swinging my head waaay too much:p)

Lock on wit yo bad self!

Black Hair Media Hair Forum. (2006). Fia’s hair typing systems. Retrieved from,

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