Low to medium to high density: Which are your curls?
The short answer is: Yes.
Although this may seem like a no-brainer, the reality is that many of us in the natural hair care community do not think about the multiple variations of our hair texture when making product purchases. Sure, you know that your curls are 3B, but do you also factor in density, porosity, width, and length? These texture type variables are key factors in your product selection process.
In this article, we will specifically address hair density and why it needs to matter to you!
What is Hair Density?
As stated on our NaturallyCurly TextureTyping resource page:
While hair width measures the width of individual strands of hair, density refers to how closely those strands are packed together on your head. Your hair's density can also be affected by your hair texture, porosity, and width.
We will touch on porosity, width, and length in upcoming CURLS 101 articles, so stay subscribed to NaturallyCurly for updates!
Do you have low, medium, or high-density hair? Are you unsure?
No need to fret, dearest curly! You can easily determine your hair density right now. Learn how:
First and foremost: do not determine density on wet curls. Wet hair tends to look thinner than when it is in its natural, dry state. Use a hand mirror, look at your hair on all sides. Can you see your scalp easily? Then you have low hair density. Only see a bit of your scalp? You have medium hair density. Can't see your scalp at all? You guessed it: you have high hair density. Simple, right?
If you prefer a more definitive assessment, ask a trusted curlfriend or your stylist to part your curls into 1"x1" sections and count the number of strands growing in each. Yes, this is time-consuming, but it is a great way to determine your hair density with greater accuracy.
What products should you use based on your density?
This is where the fun begins! Once you have determined the density of your hair, you can start sampling, purchasing, and raving about your new favorites and true blue curly products. Take a look at these curly women with varying hair densities and learn what types of products work best for their curls!
NOTE: I would also like to venture a guess that some of us have a mixture of densities. If that is the case, consult with your stylist to learn how to best manage product combinations to get the styles you desire without compromising sections of hair that are more or less dense than others.
A lightweight curl creme like Controlled Chaos Curl Creme is perfect for curly women that need curl definition without heaviness. To add a voluminous touch, you will want to apply mousse to your curls when styling. For general maintenance, look for a shampoo and conditioning combination that features ingredients such as keratin, tea tree oil, and stylist-recommended thickening agents.
Medium density curls can benefit from numerous products but especially get their definition and awesomeness on with mousse. A winner like The Doux Mousse Def Texture Foam is a great scrunch-and-go product and can even give you a stunning blowout! Medium density hair holds styles like braids and heat-styled looks very well.
Since I have high hair density, I apply gel to my curls on a regular basis, especially for wash and go styles and twist outs. My favorite thing about using gels for my high density, 4C coils is that my curls become super defined at the ends and are stable enough at the root to gently fluff out for volume. My tried and true gels are Design Essentials Natural Honey CurlForming Custard and Ampro Pro Styl Olive Oil Gel.
So, tell me all about your hair density by taking this quick survey and sharing your product tips in the comments section below!:
Upcoming CURLS 101 articles will address additional hair texture factors to help you walk hair care aisles with greater ease.
In the meantime, learn more about how your curls behave with the following helpful articles: