Great Hair is Easy!
The 4 Hair Characteristics You Need to Know for a Successful Hairstyle
By Kate on 2 December 2009
For a hairstyle to be successful it's not just about copying a haircut seen on your favorite celebrity or asking your hairdresser to give you the latest hairstyle. What really matters is you!
Your own hair and individual features (such as your face shape) play a vital role when it comes to the kind of hairstyle we all dream of- something that looks great, is flattering and makes caring for and styling your hair easy.
For more info about how your face shape influences your hairstyle, see our article The Right Hairstyle for Your Face Shape. When it comes to your own hair, all you need to do is keep the following hair characteristics in mind:
Simply put, hair density is the number of hair follicles you have and determines if your hair is thick or thin. If you’re not sure about your hair density then our free consultation, Know Your Hair Texture and Elasticity has a printable hair thickness key that’ll help you to narrow it down.
Your hair texture is based on the dimension of each of your hair shafts and can be divided into two groups: fine or coarse.
- A fine hair texture usually means that your hair is silky, shiny, soft, slippery, and if thick, can take forever to dry. Also, you would find that your hair drops very quickly after being set with hair rollers or a curling iron.
- Coarse hair can look just as glossy as fine hair but more often than not will look wiry and very lackluster. When it comes to holding a curl or elaborate updo, coarse hair does set well but can be quite stubborn. Coarse hair is usually strong, thick and can be very springy.
It is possible for some hair types to have both of these textures mixed throughout, but one texture is usually more dominate than the other.
The movement of your hair depends on your natural growth pattern and the shape of your hair shaft, all of which determines if your hair is naturally straight, curly or wavy.
- Straight hair is smooth, strong, can have either a fine or a coarse hair texture, lies flat (even when wet) and can be hard to set or curl. Straight hair falls well into partings and basic hairstyles.
- Curly hair is springy, usually coarse and very strong (which can make it difficult to set). Curly hair is no stranger to issues with frizz.
- Wavy hair is full of movement (especially when cut into a short hairstyle) and can also be made up of fine or coarse hair textures. It is much easier to set than curly hair and will form great waves when wet.
The best haircut or hair color in the world won’t look good if the basic condition of your hair is poor. This all comes down to you and how you care for your hair and what you eat.
Just as good food will give you good health and beautiful skin; it will also provide your hair with nourishment. If your general health and scalp are healthy, then the strength and health of your hair should also be good.
Healthy hair has:
- A smooth surface (even when wet).
- A faint coating of sebum (the essential natural oil of your hair).
- Doesn’t get tangled easily.
- Has a flake free scalp.
If your hair is not healthy then it may be dry, straw-like, poorly conditioned, prone to breaking, contain split ends, lack elasticity, have dry, powdery flakes on the scalp and be brittle.
If you experience any of these hair conditions then see your hairstylist for advice about caring for your hair and which hair products are best to use.
When combined, these 4 hair characteristics have a big influence on the choice and success of your hairstyle so it pays to know as much as you can and to then find hairstyles that match those characteristics.
For help with finding the right styles, take a look at the suitability info we offer with all of our hairstyles, and for even more targeted help, give our Find Your Perfect Hairstyle Consultation a try. It will provide you with information and hairstyles based on your own personal preferences, including hair type, texture and face shape.