With so many hair colors, textures, and patterns among us, there are several combinations that make up our unique, individual hair types. Our hair is a key, visible characteristic that differentiates us and sets us apart. This month we are focusing on a few specific hair types and want to share some interesting facts about what factors determine these specific hair types and how best to care for them.
Curls can be tight and coiled like a 4A, or loose and wavy like a 2C. The pattern of your hair is determined by the shape of your hair follicle, which creates the shape of your hair strand, and determines whether your hair grows out straight or curly. Curly hair is the result of a flattened hair follicle and therefore, an elongated oval hair strand, which grows out in a coiled pattern. Curly hair can be fine or coarse, thin or thick, and is more or less common, depending on ethnicity.
HOW TO CARE FOR CURLY HAIR:
Curly hair tends to frizz more, so extra care needs to be taken to minimize frizz-making, hair care mistakes. Since frizz is the result of lifted cuticles, it's important to focus on optimizing cuticle health. Using an Aquis towel or turban to zap water out of hair quickly and gently, helps reduce water pressure on the cuticle of the hair, which leads to frizz. Curly hair can also become dry, since the curly pattern of the hair makes it harder for sebum from the scalp to make its way down the hair strand. A lightweight, hydrating spray, used after drying hair with an Aquis towel or turban, helps seal in the natural moisture (not water!) that curly hair needs.
Fine hair is often confused with thin hair. But did you know that your hair can be fine without being thin? Fine hair actually refers to the size (diameter) of the hair strand, and therefore the size of the hair follicle. Thin hair refers to how many hairs are on one’s head. If a person has fine, individual hairs, yet has a lot of hairs on their head, they can have fine, yet still thick hair. In addition to being thin or thick, fine hair can be curly, wavy, or straight.
HOW TO CARE FOR FINE HAIR:
Since fine hair is thinner in diameter, it usually has a smaller or non-existent medulla (the very innermost layer of the hair strand). Because of this, fine hair tends to lack strength and is therefore more prone to breakage. For this reason, it's especially important for those with fine hair to be very careful during the cleansing and styling process. Try to reduce rubbing the hair excessively during washing and drying, as well as mechanical damage from brushing and combing.
Fine hair dries quickly, but it can still benefit from using an Aquis towel or turban as they are proven to be gentler on the hair, reducing breakage and split ends. Fine hair is also easily weighed down by heavy conditioners and styling products. Skip in-shower conditioner and opt for a lightweight leave-in conditioner applied after towel-drying. This will make hair less likely to frizz and snag during combing, without weighing down fine hair.
Whether natural or dyed, red hair is beautifully unique. Some even say red-heads have a special “red-head sense” that makes them able to sense temperature changes and have a higher sensitivity to pain. While these may be myths, one thing that’s certain about red hair is its rarity. Red-heads are so rare, that it is said they make up only 2% of the population, with more frequency in Northern and Eastern Europe.
Hair color is the result of melanin (the same pigment that is responsible for our skin color) within the inner cortex of our hair. Inherited through our genetic makeup, the distribution, type and amount of melanin in the hair’s cortex produces a specific hair color. Red hair contains more of the reddish pigment which is called pheomelanin. The recessive MC1R gene is responsible for red hair, and is actually said to be a genetic mutation.
HOW TO CARE FOR RED HAIR:
On average, natural redheads have fewer strands of hair on their head compared to blondes and brunettes. However, their hair tends to be thicker in diameter. Thicker hair strands are usually less prone to breakage, as hair diameter plays a role in hair strength. That's great news for natural red-heads!
To bring out the true brilliance of your red hue, take care to keep your hair’s cuticle smooth, in order to enhance shine and really make your red color pop! Cuticle care begins with a pH balanced shampoo, which causes less cuticle disruption during cleansing, as well as the use of an Aquis hair towel or turban, which are proven to cause less damage to the cuticle during drying.
If you’re not a natural red-head, your red color is more prone to fading than other colors. To maintain vibrant red tones, extra care should be taken during cleansing. A shampoo with a pH of 4.5-5.5 will keep the cuticle closed and flat, reducing color wash out. Products with antioxidants or UV protection can also help reduce color fade that occurs from oxidation and environmental assaults.
Gray hair is the result of reduced pigment (melanin) in the cortex of the hair. As we age, we make less melanin in our hair, and it gradually becomes gray or white. At the same time, oil glands in the hair follicle start producing less sebum as age progresses, which is one reason why gray hair seems more dry and coarse. The rate and amount that our hair turns gray is dependent on genetics and more likely to start happening after age 35. While we say that hair “turns gray”, a hair can not start out colored and turn gray. Rather, new hairs grow in with less melanin, and over time, gray hair becomes more prominent.
HOW TO CARE FOR GRAY HAIR:
Gray hair looks best when its smooth and shiny. Light reflecting off of gray hair gives it a beautiful silver glow, but hard water and product buildup can make gray hair look dingy and even yellowish. To avoid this, use a clarifying shampoo every 6-8 washes to remove all build up and mineral deposits from the hair.
Shampoos with a purple hue help balance brassy/yellow tones in order to bring out the vibrant silver hues. Being gentle on hair’s cuticles also keeps hair smooth which enhances light reflection and shine. Aquis towels and turbans are proven to dry hair quickly yet gently, reducing frizz and enhancing sheen to bring shimmery-goodness to gray locks.
At Aquis, we believe in embracing your hair type, whatever it may be. No matter the color, thickness, or texture, your hair type has unique features that make it strong and beautiful. The key to being #hairstrong, is caring for your hair in a way that enhances your hair type’s best features. So you can spend less time fighting your hair type’s problematic traits and more time loving its unique beauty.
Aquis Product Developer and Expert