Curly Hair 101: How to Figure Out Your Hair Structure

No two heads of curls are the same! And that what's makes it so hard to find the right products that work well for your curls. You may feel like one product did not give enough frizz control whilst an other product made your hair too heavy and greasy. This is because you don't fully understand your hair structure yet. 

If you are wondering how to figure out your curly hair structure, take a look at the below tips to measure it.

Hair Texture

There are 4 different hair textures each with their own subcategories. These range from 1A being straight hair all the way to 4C which are tight zig zag coils. It is also normal to have more than one type in your head. We don't want to make it too easy right? 😝

The best way to determine where your hair falls is to wash it and let it naturally air dry with no products. However, keep in mind that hair texture tells you only about the appearance of your curls but not about your hair structure. Sure, if you have wavy hair the probaility to have also fine, and low porous hair is higher than if you have super curly hair. But it doesn't always go like this! This is why you need to do the following tests to be sure what is your actual hair structure to get the best out of your hair care routine.

Hair types from straight to kinky hair

Hair Density 

Hair density refers to the actual numbers of hair you have on your head. Many people mix this up with hair thickness which actually refers to the circumference of each strand. 

In a nutshel, hair density is the number of individual strands per square inch on your scalp. (Fun fact: The average person has approximately 2,200 strands of hair per square inch on their head. The average person also sheds between 50 and 100 hairs per day.)

To figure out your hair density you can measure your ponytail. When you put your hair up, measure the circumference of the ponytail. If it's less than 2 inches thick then it's a low density, while a medium-density will be 2-3 inches and high density is 4 or more inches.

If you have short hair you can simply check how well can you see your scalp without moving or pulling your hair back. Can you easily see your scalp? If so, your hair is likely low density. No scalp visible? Probably high density. If you're in the middle, you likely have hair of medium density.

Once you understand your hair density you can properly pick products for your hair. If your hair is low in density you'll want to choose products that keep your hair light, like our Wavy hair range. Also, products that will stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss are ideal for low density hair. Take a look at our Charm oil that is designed to promote thicker hair growth by setting up ideal conditions for the hair to receive nourishment for growth. 

How to measure hair density

Hair Thickness

There is a simple trick to determine your hair thickness, no need for a microscope. Take an individual hair strand and hold it between your fingers.

Can you feel it between your fingers? If not, you have fine hair. If you can feel it slightly, you have medium thickness. If the feeling is clear and the strand is thicker than a thread, you have a thick or coarse hair texture. 

Also, how your hair holds a style tells a lot about your hair srtucture. Fine hair is easy to style but typically can’t hold curls very well. Medium hair is relatively easy to style and will hold its shape for a longer period of time. Thick hair meanwhile, can hold curls very well but are often more resistant to styling. 

This said, for fine hair it is better to use lightweight products for nourishment and extra hold. Look for ultra-lightweight oils and strong defining gels. When moving more towards thicker hair types, hot oil treatments are a great way to nourish, moisturize, and soften the hair texture.

How to measure hair thickness

Hair Porosity

Hair porosity refers to your hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture and there are three levels of it: low, normal or high. The outer layer of your hair strand, the cuticle, is the one determining your hair porosity. The cuticle can open and close to let moisture and products in and out. The more porous your cuticle is (more “holes” in it), the more it absorbs moisture into the hair strand. And careful now! This doesn’t mean that it is necessarily a good thing. High porosity hair absorbs fast moisture but loses it equally fast, making it dry again. On a contrary, low hair porosity has compact cuticles and it is hard for it to penetrate moisture into the hair strand.

Genetics does play into your hair's porosity but also how you treat your hair. Bleaching and heat styling your hair does affect the porosity. When you are consistently bleaching your hair it keeps the hair cuticle open causing a difficult time for your hair to retain moisture.

If you want to make sure your hair porosity remains in good standing make sure you are properly conditioning your hair with oils. For extremely high porosity hair seal in the added moisture with a sealing hair oil. If you are not sure about your porosity, follow these steps to know how to determine it.

How to measure hair porosity

Scalp Condition

If your scalp is not in a good condition your hair won't be either. Maintaining a healthy scalp is essential! First you have to determane what kind of scalp you have. The second day after a wash day gives you the best hint. 

If your roots appear flat and greasy, you’re most likely have an oily scalp. In that case, we suggest adding our Fortune Scalp Oil Treatment to your hair care routine. This doesn't just work for dry scalp but it also re-balances your scalp oils and can prevent excessive oil production. 

If you experience flaking and dry scalp, besides oil treatments, you might need a more gentle and hydrating shampoo. Our Wild Curl Shampoo is a gentle sulphate-free shampoo that uses natural oils to ensure your hair keeps hydrated after a wash day.

However, if your scalp is oily and flaky at the same time, you might have formed some product build up. This can be caused by infrequent or improper washing or using only cleansers/co-wash that doesn't clean efficiently enough. If this is the case, ensure you always massage your scalp well when shampooing or add a bit stronger shampoo to remove product build up. Clean scalp is essential! 

Girl looking at her scalp

Your Curl Pattern Is Unique to You

It's important to remember that your curl pattern is unique and that it may take a while to fully understand your hair. 

If you're still curious about your hair what products to use make sure to take this curly hair quiz! This quiz will give you products that work best for your hair type. Make sure to check out our articles for all your curly hair needs.


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We want to create a 100% natural hair care line without any added toxins specifically designed your curly hair.

Vanessa Martins, Founder TheWildCurl