The hotly criticized hair typing system is one way to characterize your hair and tailor ingredients that work best, but there are other complexities that make each person's hair unique. In this post, we'll cover hair density, porosity, structure and texture and how to best treat each type.
A strand of hair has 3 layers: the outermost layer is the cuticle, below the cuticle is the cortex, and the innermost layer is the medulla, which is usually only seen in thick, coarse hair strands.
Healthy hair has cuticles that lay flat and cover the underlying cortex. This allows the hair to retain moisture for a long period of time. Hair with flat cuticles will feel smooth and look shiny.
I bet you remember when your mom or grandma would grease your scalp and your hair, and it would feel so good!
But, did you know why your hair needed those oils? Oils can seal moisture within your hair by sealing the cuticles shut. Oil can also move deeper into the cortex of the hair to help nourish it. How do you know which oil is right for your hair type and texture?
Hair density and hair texture
The number and thickness of hair strands can vary a lot between people.
An easy way to determine your hair density is to gently pull a small section of hair to the side. If you are able to see your scalp underneath or through your hair then, you have low density hair. If you can hardly see your scalp, then you have high density hair. If it is in-between, then you have medium density hair. Based on your hair density, you may need to dial up or dial down the amount of product you apply during styling for example, or pay special attention when rinsing shampoo.
There are two quick ways to find out the diameter of your hair.
- Hold a strand of hair - Hold a strand of shed hair in between your fingers. If you can barely feel the hair, then you have fine hair. If you only slightly notice the strand of hair, then your hair has a medium level of thickness. If you notice the hair easily, then you have coarse hair.
- Compare a strand of hair to sewing thread - Put a strand of shed hair next to a piece of sewing thread. If your hair is much thinner than the sewing thread, then you have fine hair. If your hair is about just as thick as the sewing thread, then your hair has medium thickness. If your hair is thicker than the sewing thread, then you have coarse hair.
Fine hair has thin individual hair strands. If you have fine hair, then a lightweight oil or butter will help protect your hair without weighing it down too much.
lightweight oils and butters
- argan oil
- camellia oil
- grapeseed oil
- jojoba oil
- macadamia nut butter
- mango butter
- murumuru butter
- sweet almond oil
- tucuma butter
- wheat germ oil
Coarse hair has thick individual hair strands. If you have coarse hair, then a heavier oil or butter would be good to adequately coat all of your strands.
medium-heavyweight oils and butters
- avocado oil
- castor oil
- coconut oil
- olive oil
- shea butter
How should I use the C+K Cream based on my hair characteristics?
The CUPUAÇU + KOKUM CREAM has a mix of lightweight oils such as argan oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, and sweet almond oil and denser butters, which makes it a great choice for fine and coarse strands. Lightweight oils are great for fine and low- to medium-density hair because the oils will not weigh down the hair and make it feel greasy. The C+K cream also has cupuacu butter, kokum butter, and cocoa butter which are rich butters that help coat thicker strands and high-density hair.
If you have fine hair, then only use a nickel-sized amount on wet hair and a dime-sized amount on dry hair. If you have coarse hair, then apply the cream more liberally to fully coat your strands.
It is also a great option for people with low porosity and high porosity hair since the butters will penetrate through the hair shaft and the oils will create a strong seal to keep the hair cuticles closed. Check out our post on porosity, if you aren't sure about yours.
C+K is best used right after using a leave-in conditioner or refreshing your hair with water to make sure that all of the hydration stays in your strands.