Recognising Your Client’s Hair Type

Published 19th Mar 2024 by Chlo Weldon

Understanding curl pattern and hair type has become hot topic and for good reason – being able to advise clients on their hair allows them to unlock its potential. Boucléme founder and curl specialist, Michele Scott-Lynch, gives a four-step guide to curl type, take a read…

Step One: Curl Type

Identifying the curl type is much easier when the hair has air-dried from its soaking wet state. Wet and clean hair resets the curls to their natural form. If your client notices kinks or frizz as their hair dries, they are likely to have a natural wave or curls.

Step Two: Texture

Examine the hair’s texture – the thickness of each strand. Take a single hair between the finger and thumb – if it’s barely noticeable and translucent when held up to the light, it may be fine in texture. Robust, strong, or even wiry strands indicate thick or coarse hair. Somewhat flexible and reasonably strong strands suggest medium-textured hair. Don’t be surprised if you find your client has multiple curly hair types and textures – just like combination skin, it’s the same with hair.

Step Three: Density

Hair density refers to the actual number of curly strands on the head and how closely they’re packed, not how thick the hair is. Enter the scalp test – start with dry, loose hair. Can you see the scalp without moving the hair? If yes, your client may have low-density hair. If you can see the scalp with a little effort, your client likely has medium-dense hair. If the scalp is entirely hidden, your client has highly dense hair.

Step Four: Porosity

When it comes to hair porosity, determining the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture, depends on the health of the hair’s cuticle – the outer layer protecting the hair. Grasp a hair strand and slide the thumb and index finger of your other hand from end to root. If your fingers ‘catch’ going up, the hair is overly porous. If they glide smoothly, your client has normal porosity. If they zip up super quick, the hair is low porosity. Typically, if the hair loses moisture quickly, is chemically treated or coloured, it is likely to be porous.

Read next: A Brief History of Curly Hair

Chlo Weldon

Chlo Weldon

Published 19th Mar 2024

Chlo writes regular content for the print magazine and website, as well as scheduling the content for HJ’s social media channels. Chlo has a master’s degree in Magazine Journalism and previously worked as Assistant Editor at craft magazine Tattered Lace. After moving to London from her small hometown to be part of the HJ team, she is loving every minute of being involved in the industry. She loves a good treatment and is on a mission for a longer and thicker mane.

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