Hair Texture Differences

For best results, hair stylists determine hair texture before cutting and styling hair.

Photo: Hemera Technologies/ Images

To thine own hair be true! No matter what type of hair texture you have, you can have luscious locks and bangin' style. Your hair doesn't need to be limp and lifeless, or coarse and bushy -- knowing your texture is the first step to getting your style on track and your hair into a manageable state. Getting the right cut and proper hair products for your texture type allows you to boost volume, create curl, straighten kinks and smooth frizz.

Three Texture Types

Size does matter! Hair texture is defined based on your hair shaft's thickness. There are three main texture types: thick, fine and medium smooth. Thick hair has the widest diameter and may feel slightly wiry or coarse to the touch. Fine hair has the smallest diameter and tends to feel thin, light and even fragile. Medium-smooth hair has a medium diameter, and it tends to look shinier and feel softer than other textures. Within those three textures, hair can be further defined by its shape, which ranges from tight curls to straight locks and everything in between.

Appearance and Drying Time

You can't measure the diameter of your hair shaft, but you can tell a lot about your hair texture by taking a good look in the mirror. Thick hair usually covers your scalp completely except for the part and puffs up away from your scalp. Fine hair lies flat against your head, and areas of your scalp show though. Medium-smooth textured hair is somewhere in between and feels soft and gentle when you run your fingers through it. If you are still not sure, try "Cosmopolitan" magazine's texture test. Allow your hair to dry naturally. If it's dry in less than one hour, you have fine hair. The longer your hair takes to dry, the thicker its texture is.

Different Style Recommendations

Not all hair textures are created equally! Your best style options depend upon your hair's texture. For example, if you have thick hair, hair stylist Nick Arrojo recommends heavily textured cuts for short, thick hair and long-length cuts for longer, thick hair to take weight away from short hair or to weigh longer styles down, allowing hair to lie flat. Arrojo recommends cuts with soft lines and soft shaping for gals with fine hair since fine texture does not hold hair's shape and style. Ladies with medium-smooth textured hair have all the luck and the widest variety of hairstyling options since nearly any cut or style will work with your hair.

Change It Up

No matter what your texture is, you can broaden your styling horizons with the right hair products. Let's face it, if you have fine hair and want to pump up your volume or achieve some waves, you are going to need serious products! Achieve beachy waves with texturizers, or volumize your locks by using thickening mousse or volumizing spray and blow-drying your head upside-down. You thick-haired gals have your own challenges and may need to use detangling spray or smoothing serums to tame your tresses.

Related Videos




Cosmopolitan: Hair Texture Test
Great Hair: Secrets to Looking Fabulous and Feeling Beautiful Every Day; Nick Arrojo

Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Body Type
or Register
typeF's Survival Guide


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account