Let's get back to the basics of understanding the best way to care for our hair. Choosing the right products, understanding the most effective way to use your products and determining the best hair care regimen is all based on the anatomy of the hair strand. I want to start simple by first discussing the difference between texture and curl pattern.
Let’s establish the most important point about curl pattern and hair texture. It’s all in the genes. The pattern and texture of an individual’s hair is GENETICALLY determined. Therefore, there is no way to permanently change your hair texture or curl pattern without altering the structure of the hair strand. This can be done with heat, chemicals or both. Ultimately the chemical bonds that determine curl pattern have to be broken, either temporarily or permanently.
Hair texture refers to the size of the hair strand (thickness of the cuticle).
There are 3 main types of texture: fine, medium and coarse (there are in-between’s as well). The hair pattern refers to the degree of curl in the hair strand. The primary hair patterns are tight coils, curly (medium coil; resembles a spring), wavy (loose coil), straight (no coil) and of course, there are in-between’s.
The shape of the hair follicle creates the pattern and textures in the hair. An oval shaped follicle produces fine to very fine hair strands. The pattern of hair an oval follicle produces can be straight or wavy. A round follicle produces a hair pattern that is very straight and thick hair strands. A flattened oval shaped follicle produces a curly hair strand that grows in a spiral. The thickness of the strand varies, so textures can be fine, thick or a combination of both.
These basics are important to remember when selecting your products. In my next blog post I will discuss what type of products and product regimens work best for different hair types.
Dr. Kari is a Licensed Stylist and Board Certified Trichologist. Learn more about Dr. Kari by visiting www.drkariwilliams.com