How to Choose the Right Products for Your Hair Type
By Guest Blogger
“It’s just hair!” How many times have you heard that? While it’s true that hair is but one component of your physical appearance, it’s also true that it is a huge part of your identity. After a great personality and a winning smile, hair is often thefirst thing people notice about you. Whether polished or intentionally unkempt, hair makes a statement. But getting healthy, beautiful hair can be tricky. With so many hair care products out there, how can you find the right products for your hair? Natural hair products are the way to go. Free of chemicals that can damage your hair, natural hair care products like the ones you’ll find at Malie prioritize high quality, organic ingredients to keep your strands strong. You’ll find that our hair products contain leading ingredients such as Kukui Nut Oil and Macadamia Nut Oil to preserve the strength, shine, and style of your hair.
The secret to getting healthy-looking hair lies in understanding which products are best for your hair type. Abiding by this methodology can save you both time and money. Read on to learn how to choose the right products for your hair.
General Considerations When Choosing Hair Products
Hair texture is determined by the number of strands in your hair. The most common types of hair texture are:
- Fine (less than 0.06 mm): Fine hair is highly elastic and can be worn in many styles without being brittle. This type of hair can either be frizzy and wavy or straight but tends to not tangle easily. It is sensitive and resistant to extreme temperatures. Use the right shampoo and a weightless conditioner. Pro tip for fine hair care products: avoid heavy, creamy products, as they will weigh down your hair and reduce bounce and body.
- Medium (thickness of 0.07mm): Medium-textured hair has a combination of fine and thick strands and can be worn in styles that require more strength than finesse. This hair doesn't need special care; a general shampoo and conditioner will do.
- Thick hair (Diameter of more than 0.08mm): Coarser than most, thick hair tends to have fewer strands per inch than medium or fine-textured hair. This hair type does not retain water and is resistant to breakage and extreme temperature. Thick hair requires moisturizing products like hydrating shampoos and nourishing conditioners. It may also be beneficial to add hair oils to your daily routine.
A Note About Curly Hair
While curly hair can fall into any of these categories, it tends to have a texture of its own. Curly hair is defined by its tightness, which can vary from tight, wavy curls to loose spirals. Some curly hair is thick while other curly hair is rather thin and fine. Regardless of the thickness of your curly hair, it is imperative to use the right hair products for curly hair. This includes shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, and styling products for curly hair.
Another consideration when choosing the right products for your hair is your scalp. There are three major scalp types: normal, oily, and dry. Each type has special needs for hair care and styling. To test the type of your scalp, wash your hair, air dry it, and don't apply products. The next morning take a tissue and press it on your scalp. If there is oil in the tissue, you have an oily scalp; if the tissue is dry, you have a dry scalp.
If you have a dry scalp, you probably have dry hair. A dry scalp results from a lack of moisture in your hair, which can make you more prone to split ends and breakage. You may also notice dandruff if you have a dry scalp. This is common, as the dead skin may start to flake off. All the products that you use should be for a dry scalp. People with dry scalps should look for hair products with natural oils, as the healthy fats will promote moisture and hydration.
This is the most common type of scalp, but that doesn’t mean that people with “normal” scalps aren’t prone to hair breakage and damage. They can experience the same split ends and breakage as anyone else if they don’t care for their strands properly. Always use a nourishing shampoo and conditioner. Make sure to wash your hair at least twice a week.
People with oily scalps produce excess oil, which may make their hair look greasy and stringy. The excess sebum from oily scalps may also cause dandruff, a condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. While a doctor may prescribe certain medications for severe cases, using the right hair products for your hair and scalp type is necessary to preserve your hair health.
If you have an oily scalp, there are a few things you can do:
- Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner specially formulated for oily scalps.
- Wash your hair at least 3 times per week.
- Shampoo less often so you don't strip away all the moisture from your scalp and leave yourself with dry flakes.
Another factor that impacts the right products to use for your hair type is hair porosity. Hair porosity measures the amount of water your hair absorbs. Porosity levels can be affected by factors such as climate, scalp health, and even genetics. To test hair porosity, place a strand of your hair in a bowl. If the strand sinks, you have high porosity; if it floats, you have low porosity; if it floats in the middle, you have medium porosity.
Your hair porosity is the key to choosing the right products for your hair type:
- Low porosity hair has a lot of water on the outside that doesn't get absorbed. This hair takes a lot of time to dry. Because of product build-up, you’ll need deep cleansing shampoos to care for low porosity hair. The shampoo will open the cuticles for absorption. Also consider using treatments and hair masks for this type of hair.
- Medium porosity hair means your hair maintains hydration decently well. This hair doesn't have a problem with volume. It is generally shiny and healthy, and no special care is needed.
- High porosity has gaps in the cuticles which may be caused by heat or other damage. When you apply a product to hair with high porosity, it soaks it up quickly, which tends to make people apply more. This can lead to hair product overload! Pro tip for dealing with high porosity hair: avoid using heat tools and always be on the lookout for hydrating products to add moisture.
Now that you have an idea of what to evaluate on your own head, the next step is to start choosing the right hair products for your hair type.
Choosing the Right Hair Products…
If Your Hair is Wavy
When looking for shampoos and conditioners for wavy hair, prioritize products with natural oils and butters like jojoba oil, coconut oil, and sunflower oil. These will be hydrating and help keep waves smooth without compromising body and wave definition.
As for styling products, look for hair gels with light hold and mousse. Hair gel will hold the hair in place and smooth out frizz while the mouse will enhance volume.
If You Have Dry, Curly Hair
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to products for curly hair. That’s because some curly hair is thick and voluminous while other curly hair is fine and needs volume. Make sure you know the type of hair you have before purchasing a general “curly hair product.” With that in mind, all curly could benefit from enhanced coils and shine. Ingredients such as argan oil, coconut oil, amino acids, and jojoba oils can be great for hydrating curly hair and giving your curls their moment in the sun.
If You Have Straight Hair
The best products for straight hair contain ingredients such as olive oil, aloe vera, and argan oil. Shampoos and conditioners should be sulfate and paraben-free. Gels and hairspray should be used sparingly, except for when styling to preserve extra hold.
One of the most important things you can do to keep your hair healthy is to ensure it's properly hydrated. Hair, like skin, needs moisture to function optimally and stay healthy. That's why it's so important to look at your porosity level—you want to ensure that you're using appropriate products for your hair type and purpose.
Look for shampoos and conditioners that are tailor-made for your hair type. Beware of harsh chemicals and specifically watch out for parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petrochemicals, mineral oil, silicone, PEGs, and gluten. Many shampoos and conditioners on the market contain chemicals that can harm your hair, so choose wisely. In addition, look at how long you can use the product before switching to a different kind. Of course, this will depend on your hair type and your scalp health. ExploreMalie Organics Shampoos & Conditioners to find authentic, organic hair care products for your hair type.
FAQs About Finding the Right Hair Products
How do I know what product is good for my hair?
You’ll know if a hair product is good for your hair based on your hair type, your scalp type, and how well your hair responds to the ingredients. Hair that feels full, smooth, maintains body and volume, and is resistant to breakage is healthy and in good shape.
How do I find the right natural hair product?
It may take some trial and error to find the right natural hair product for your hair type. One of the best ways to find the best natural hair product for you is to ask someone who has hair like yours about the products they use. Additionally, you can check out online reviews to see customer experiences of certain products from various brands to give you an idea of how your hair may fare.
How do I know if I’m using the wrong hair products?
You’ll know if you’re using the wrong hair products if the products are not doing what they are supposed to do. For example, if a product claims to enhance volume but your hair still falls flat, this is a clear indication that it is not the right product for you.
In what order should I use hair products?
When washing your hair, always start with the shampoo and end with the conditioner. If you are letting your hair air-dry, use ahair oil on wet or dry hair once it is washed and clean. If you are using heat tools, always use a heat protectant spray or product prior to using the heat tools. Follow up with a mouse, cream, or gel. Lastly, set your styled hair in place with a styling spray.