Everyone’s hair is different, when you take into account color, texture, density, length, and style, no two heads of hair are identical. So when choosing beauty products, hair styles, or hair color, it's important to understand your hair and its specific characteristics.
As a hairstylist, I've encountered thousands of heads of hair along with a way to assess and classify it. These classifications make it easier to determine what should and can be done to a particular client's hair, while recommending products that enhance their hairstyle.
How do we evaluate hair color?
The first step is to refer to a color chart that has ten levels, each level represents the lightness or darkness of the hair strand. This level represents the color you see and the combination of color molecules that exist inside the hair strand.
Your natural hair color level will help you determine not just what hair color you can more easily achieve, but what type of beauty products you should use. Your natural hair color also helps determine, on average, how many hairs you have on your head. Did you know blondes have the most strands? Blondes rank number 1 with nearly 150,000 strands, 110,000 for brown and black hair. Red heads have about 90,000. What’s unique about red hair is that the color molecules inside are the largest of any on the chart.
Now let’s talk density
...a.k.a. how fine or how thick your hair strand is. The main difference between fine and coarse hair is how many layers the strand has. Thicker strands have a medulla, which is the innermost part of the strand, along with more cuticle layers on the exterior. Density matters when formulating hair color, and choosing beauty products. If you have coarser hair you should focus on using lighter shampoos and washing less frequently, and using richer conditioners more often...for fine hair it would be the opposite. When using styling products on fine hair it's ideal to apply when the hair is damp, and for coarser strands you will want to wait until they are closer to dry.
Texture is the most fun because it's the characteristic of your hair strand you can change from one day to another. But before the hair products were applied and you ran the brush through your ends or wrapped your hair around a wand… what texture is your hair when you wake up? By understanding your natural state of texture, we can apply products or techniques to enhance or completely change it, but it will always end up the same after you wash it!
Texture is classified as straight, wavy, curly or extra curly. What adds complexity to texture is density. Having extra curly, coarse hair is possible just as much is extra curly fine hair.
Texture + Density + Natural Color = possibilities.
Here are a few texture combinations and what type of products would best enhance your hair.
Natural hair color level: 5 / Density: fine / Texture: curly
I would recommend brushing dry hair before washing to move as many oils as possible to the ends. Think about applying conditioner or oil to your ends before shampooing. Use gentle cleansing shampoos on the scalp while trying to avoid over cleansing or removing oils from the ends. Leave-in conditioners would be great in between washing days which should be limited to 1-2 times a week.
Natural hair color level: 8/9 / Density: thick / Texture: straight
I would recommend using a powder dry shampoo after washing and drying your hair. Because blondes have the most hair strands, that means they also have the most sebaceous glands. This hair will be more likely to develop an oily or greasy feeling...by adding the dry shampoo from day one you will get ahead of the build up and turn it into texture. Shampooing 3-4 times a week is best while using lightweight conditioner that won't weigh the strands down. A scalp exfoliant would be great to add in monthly for a deep clean on the scalp, and to help clear the way for better hair growth.
Natural hair color level: 6 / Density: medium / Texture: wavy
What's unique about red hair is that the color molecule is larger, and it doesn't live as deep in the hair strand. A leave-in conditioner that provides UV protection will be helpful for maintaining color, along with a gentle cleansing shampoo. A lightweight conditioner would be best. Using a deep conditioner or mask could add too many moisture molecules to the strand, which can force red hair color molecules from the hair strand.
How to grow your best hair.
As important as it is to understand your hair type, it's equally important to nourish it in order to keep growing the best hair possible. Regardless of what color, texture or density you have, taking Not Today, Grey daily can help provide your body and hair follicles with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Along with using To The Root, you are preparing your hair to stimulate cellular activity that can preserve your natural color, and even re-pigment greys.