Like understanding your skintype is important for choosing the right skincare routine, defining your client’s hair type is crucial when it comes to the client’s daily hair care routine.
But how do you as a hairdresser inform and educate your clients about this?
We have taken a look at the care that straight, kinky and thinhair types require, and how they differ from each other. Hair literacy tools like Andre Walker’s Hair Typing System can help you educate your clients about their hair type.
The Andre Walker Hair Typing System
There are many ways to define hair types. By thickness, volume, pattern, dryness, porosity and much more. One way is the FIA System which classifies the hair by curl pattern, hair-strand thickness and overall volume.
To better understand what differentiates and relates all hair types and how this affects care regimes, we need to agree on one grouping system.
The most frequently used one is the ‘Andre Walker Hair Typing System’ that sections hair types according to texture + pattern and names the four categories of hair; Straight, Wavy, Curly and Kinky.
Straight Hair Types 1a – 1c
Type 1 is one of the most represented categories in Europe and describes straight hair types. It ranges from straight hair that is very fine (1a), to a medium thick (1b) and lastly coarse texture (1c).
These hair types are typically very sheen, resilient and difficult to curl. Also, because there are few to no curls or waves in its texture, this hair type is often oily. That is because of the sebum, a natural fluid secreted by the sebaceous glands in our scalp that passes through straight textures more easily.
Instead of washing their hair every time it gets oily and thereby potentially doing more harm than good your clients can manage and style their hair with the dry shampoo, which will also help them get some body and natural lift.
Type 1b (straight, medium) and 1c (straight, coarse)
These types do not have as much of an issue with lacking volume or a flat texture. Here, we believe that moisture is key as this hair type will accentuate dryness, frizziness and breakages in its lengths, for lack of a curly texture. The NATULIQUE Moisture Hairwash and Conditioner will help nourish your client’s hair without adding greasiness or messing with the natural oiling process of the hair. It’s low maintenance, high reward!
Type 2 hair is almost as common as the first in Europe and describes your clients with wavy hair. This category also represents wavy hair that is fine (2a), medium thick (2b) or coarse in texture (2c). Clients with this hair type are more prone to frizzy hair and may wonder why their hair texture seemingly ‘changes’ all the time. We may be able to help with that.
Type 2a hair (wavy, fine)
This is the most transformational of the three as it can alternate between being straight and curly most effortlessly. This hair shows a clear “S” pattern and ‘likes’ to be styled.
For these clients we would recommend you simply aid the hold and longevity of the desired styles by using the NATULIQUE Ultra Shine Finisher after going straighter. When preparing to go curlier, the NATULIQUE Volume Shape Hair Mousse is a good choice. The former adds shine and acts similarly to a light hair spray, whereas the latter helps prepare your clients’ hair for styling.
Type 2b (wavy, medium) and 2c (wavy, coarse)
These are more resistant to styling and prefer to stay in their natural wave pattern. They are the most frizzy, which can result in flyaways and a more messy appearance if not taken care of.
We would recommend the same products here but with the addition of a more nourishing product beforehand to help the hair retain moisture.
Andre Walker defines Type 3 hair as curly with only 2 subcategories unlike the previous three.
These define curly hair that is loosely (3a) and tightly curled (3b). Clients with these hair types will show a defined “S” or “Z” pattern that either resembles a lower case (3a) or upper case letter (3b) and have a lot of natural volume and lift. This hair is quite sensitive to heat and humidity, and you’ve probably already heard all the stories about a humidity-related hair catastrophe.
For this type, a lack of proper care will result in the loss of definition and dependent on how your clients like their hair to appear they likely already have a very specific care routine in place… We don’t want to mess with this, just slightly tweak and upgrade it.
Type 3a (curly, loose) and 3b hair (curly, tight)
These are generally a very unique mix of thickness, volume and curls. For both of these hair types we would suggest the use of our NATULIQUE Volume Shape Hair Mousse to aid the perfecting process of unruly strands and curls.
Also, this product helps protect your clients’ hair against environmental factors, fights frizziness and aids definition. Specifically for the more tightly curled textures we would recommend our Rejuvenating Hair Mist which helps soften, refresh and detangle the curls before styling.
Too much product will way these hair textures down and be counterproductive to the natural beauty of the curls your clients already have, so in this case: Less is more!
Oh, and if your clients plan on visiting a very humid area, we would suggest swapping the usual products for our Hygge Hair Spray Wax that will help keep those curls in place and under control!
Kinky Hair Types 4a – 4b
Kinky hair type 4a
In this Hair Typing System Type 4 hair is defined as kinky textures and like Type 3 hair there are only 2 subcategories; defined (4a) and undefined (4b) curl patterns.
This hair type features very tightly coiled curl patterns that either resemble very small “zs” or no coil pattern at all.
Your clients with this hair type will experience massive shrinkage when their hair goes from wet to dry and will already be aware of how important moisture is for their hair.
Type 4a (kinky, defined) and Type 4b (kinky, undefined)
These are more susceptible to damage as this hair type has fewer cuticle layers than others. This makes the hair more vulnerable to breakage and frizz, especially when dry. And due to a very high density of the individual hair strands, in order to nourish this hair type properly your clients will need deeply conditioning products.
This hair type can take the most nourishment without fear of getting greasy or being weighed down, so we would encourage you to offer your clients’ hair as much moisture and nourishing oils as possible!
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