Hi there, I'm new to this site, just found it, and looking to classify my hair so that I can get some help getting it healthier. My current number one hair health obstacle is my VERY hard water; my previous residences have not had this problem and I feel that my hair has been steadily declining the last 3 years, lots of gross hair/scalp problems, but that is for another post. On with my classification woes.

Porosity: When I do the backwards slide test, I find it difficult to slide smoothly up the hair shaft - highly porous, right? HOWEVER, "low porosity hair repels moisture when you try to wet it", my hair seems to NEVER get wet when I'm in the shower. I have to practically squeeze the water into it. Then, it never dries. Hours go by after my shower and it's still dripping. Also my hair floats on the water. Which one am I?

Density: This one I'm sure of. High density. My ponytail is approx. 4" circumference.

Width: Some strands appear very coarse, the majority seem medium, and a few fine strands around all edges of hairline.

Length: currently lots of long layers, longest hair is waist length, shortest (other than bangs) about BSL.

Curl pattern: I feel depends largely on how long my hair is. I've donated it three times now, going from around BSL to chin. Shorter hair gives me around 3A, where now my hair is waist length and it's so heavy...maybe 2b? Sometimes when I shampoo, on day one my hair can be 3A but by day three it can be 2A! In addition, I feel like the "inside" always holds curl better because it is protected from the elements; that is: not the top, bottom, or front hair, but only the back of my head hair that is surrounded by hair on all sides! This part is also the thickest and the most difficult for me to get wet and to get clean when washing. This area seems to loc up on its own into thick clumps of curls and s waves with no coaxing from me.

For reference on my haircare routine: I wash my hair about once a week (between 5-7 days) to cut down on drying out/damaging ends. I mean I literally only wet my hair once weekly, I don't even get it wet in the shower unless I'm using shampoo. I use Clear shampoo & conditioner. Almost never put any other products in unless I'm trying to achieve a particular style for a special event, which is rare. I let my hair air dry. I usually try to braid or pineapple at night to prevent tangling. I fully comb my hair out about once monthly, starting with fingers if that doesn't work then comb then brush, but I gently pull apart large tangles with my fingers as needed, usually every few days. Not color or chemically treated. I use a straightening iron once every month or two for special occasions, Wet2Straight. No blowdrying unless I'm getting a haircut which I think I've gotten 2 times in the last year and a half.

I've tried several products, but never found anything that has made me want to use regularly (and I'm not made of money to keep buying new stuff!) I am currently using the Clear shampoo on a recommendation I read for oily hair/scalp plus dandruff to clear up that problem, it seems to have only cured the oiliness and not the dandruff, but that's better than anything else I've tried. I am not against lowpoo/nopoo but I think I'd want to get a showerhead filter first.

My first problem here is that I feel like either none of the hair classifications describe me OR they all describe me at once! I can't figure out what I have. My other problem is when I try to compare what I've got to other people I can't find ANYTHING similar. Most of the time when I'm watching hair videos the people look like they're bald to me when I go to get a haircut, the stylist (without fail) kind of laughs and says "wow you have a lot of hair!" and by the end of the appointment they are a hot mess and look like they've had the worst day of their life. I do love my hair but for the first time I am attempting to keep it long rather than chop it off and it is becoming too much of a chore to keep healthy. I need help with the basics so that I can purchase products that will actually work on my hair.