It is not a secret that today, more than ever, men are making a greater investment in their appearance. Men work out, dress cleaner, and spend more money and time on their appearance with hair styling products.
Learning the different men's hair types is very important as it can save both money and time by choosing the correct styling aids for the look you desire and deserve, the first time. After all, we would not buy a car without first doing some research, right?
Gentlemen interested in improving the condition and looks of their hair can do so by following good grooming techniques and using the right hair products. If men would like their hair to look healthy, voluminous, and fuller learning both the hair texture and hair type is important as it allows them to choose the correct styling aids for daily maintenance as well as to get the look they desire.
There is not a "one size fits all" solution for men when they care for their hair. Often, the result is that men spend money on products that do not work for them due to the type of hair or hair texture that they have giving them unreasonable expectations as well as a sense of frustration.
Before they select the products to use on their hair, it’s essential to understand the different hair types men have. Once men are aware of the different hair types and hair textures that exist, they can determine which type they have and use the most beneficial products possible to keep their hair healthy, manageable, and looking its best.
Before we begin to discuss the different hair types for men, it is important to define some terminology that often gets confusing or is often used in the incorrect context. Hair texture, hair density, and hair type are often used interchangeably, but they all have different meanings.
- Hair texture or hair thickness refers to the circumference of each strand of hair.
- Hair type refers to characteristics of men’s hair that make it straight, wavy, curly, or kinky (coily).
- Hair density refers to the number of strands of hair per square inch on the scalp. Highly dense hair gives the appearance of having a "thick head of hair."
Men's Hair Density
Hair density for men is a measure of how many hairs are present per square inch of the scalp. A higher hair density means that there are more hairs present on the head, while a lower hair density indicates that there are fewer hairs. Although there is no definitive answer as to what constitutes high hair density, generally speaking, a density of more than 200 hairs per square inch is considered to be on the high side.
Hair density can vary from person to person, and it can also change over time. For example, it is not uncommon for hair density to decrease as a person ages. Balding men have a lower hair density than men who do not suffer from male pattern baldness.
Hair density can vary depending on a person's age, ethnicity, genetics, diet and other factors. For example, young men typically have higher hair density than older men. Caucasians usually have higher hair density than people of other ethnicities. And men with a family history of hair loss are more likely to have low hair density than those who do not.
High Hair Density
High hair density is generally defined as more than 200 hairs per square inch on the scalp.
Low Hair Density
Low hair density is generally considered to be a condition where there are fewer than 50 hairs per square inch of the scalp.
How Can Men Determine Their Hair Density?
For some men, hair density plays an important role in their overall appearance as well as their level of confidence. However, most do not know how to measure it.
There are a few different ways that you can measure hair density at home, but perhaps the most common is by using a tape measure. To do this, simply divide your head into quadrants and then measure the width of each section. The average man has 2,500 - 3,000 hairs per square inch of the scalp, so if you find that you have less than this, you may be experiencing hair loss.
Another way to measure hair density is by using a comb. Simply count the number of teeth on the comb and then multiply this by four. This will give you an estimate of the number of hairs per square inch of the scalp.
Lastly, men can also try parting their hair in different ways and counting the number of hairs that are exposed. If they notice that you are losing more than 100 hairs per day, they are more than likely experiencing hair loss.
Men's Hair Texture
There are three main textures of hair: thick, normal, and fine. Each texture of hair has its benefits and drawbacks.
Thick hair is strong and resilient, making it less likely to be damaged by styling or environmental factors. However, it can also be harder to manage due to its tendency to frizz and may require more frequent trims to keep it looking neat.
Normal hair is neither too thick nor too fine, making it easy to style and maintain. However, it can be prone to damage if not treated carefully.
Fine hair is delicate and often requires special care to prevent damage. It can be difficult to style, but the results are often worth the effort. Fine hair tends to look best when left "natural" or worn in a simple style without the use of heavy styling aids.
No matter what type of hair men have, the important thing is to take care of it and treat it with respect. With a little effort, men can keep their hair looking its best.
Thick Hair Texture for Men
Thick hair has a larger circumference than that of normal hair or fine hair. Thick hair is tolerant to styling products and can hold a hairstyle well. Thick hair, often referred to as coarse hair, resists breakage.
Normal Hair Texture for Men
Normal hair is the most common hair texture. Normal hair texture can hold a hairstyle relatively easily. Normal is also called medium hair and is between thick and fine hair.
Fine Hair Texture for Men
Fine hair has the smallest circumference compared to thick and normal hair. Fine hair can get oily and is the most fragile hair texture. Use caution when choosing styling aids as fine hair can easily be weighed down resulting in a poor look as well as allowing it to break easily.
Also, as a side note, thick hair should not be confused with hair density. Hair density is how closely the hair strands are located in proximity on the scalp, not how thin each strand of hair is. We often hear "what a thick head of hair" when referring to a man’s mane. Most of the time this is referring to hair density or a dense head of hair.
How to Determine Men’s Hair Texture
When it comes to hair texture, there is a lot of variation among men. Some have thick, luscious locks while others have thin, wispy strands.
But what does all this variation mean? It turns out that hair texture can tell us a lot about our health, and genetics as well as choosing hairstyles as well as styling aid products to produce the desired look they want. That's why men need to know how to determine their hair texture.
Luckily, it's not too difficult. All they need is a strand of their hair and a magnifying device. Simply hold the strand up to the light and closely examine the individual strands. If they appear thick and sturdy, men likely have coarse hair. If they appear fine and delicate, men likely have fine hair. Lastly, if they seem to be somewhere in between, men probably have medium hair.
Another method is to remove a strand of hair and compare the strand of hair to a piece of thread. Hair that is visibly thinner than the thread is classified as fine hair texture. Hair that appears to be equal to or the same size as the thread is considered a normal or medium hair texture, and hair that is visibly thicker in circumference is thick or coarse hair texture.
Knowing hair texture and the difference between them can help men better understand their unique physiology and choose the right products and styles for their individual needs.
Men's Hair Porosity
There are three types of hair porosity: low, normal, and high. Porosity is a measure of how well hair absorbs and retains moisture. The type of porosity men have is determined by the structure of their hair's cuticle. Hair porosity is important for men to know as it allows them to manage their hair and get the styling results they want and deserve.
Several factors can affect hair porosity, including genetics, environmental factors, and chemical treatments. By understanding hair's porosity, men can make sure that they are using the right hair products and treatments to keep their hair healthy and strong.
High-Porosity Hair For Men
High porosity hair easily absorbs moisture and has a loose or damaged cuticle that stands away from the shaft. This type of hair is often frizzy and difficult to manage. Although men with high porosity hair have hair that absorbs water the hair also doesn't retain moisture. Men with high porosity hair may benefit from using leave-in conditioners and oils to help tame frizz and add moisture. High porosity hair is more susceptible to damage and breakage, so it is important to understand the hair's porosity to care for it properly.
Medium Hair Porosity For Men
Normal porosity hair has a well-balanced cuticle that lies flat against the shaft. This type of hair is easy to manage and style.
Low Hair Porosity For Men
Low porosity hair has a very tightly bound cuticle. This type of hair is often resistant to moisture and can be difficult to color and style. Those men with low porosity hair may need to use lighter products and avoid products that contain silicone, which can build up on the hair and cause it to look greasy. Knowing hair porosity can help you achieve healthy, manageable hair.
What Is The Best Way To Determine Hair Porosity?
There are a few different ways for men to determine their hair porosity at home. One method is to perform a strand test. To do this, take a single strand of hair and place it in a cup of water. If the strand sinks, the hair is likely to be high porosity. If the strand floats, the hair is likely low porosity.
Another way to determine hair porosity is to do an elasticity test. To perform this, take a small section of hair and lightly stretch it. If the hair stretches easily and snaps back into place quickly, the hair is likely high porosity. If the hair stretches slowly and does not snap back into place, the hair is likely low porosity.
Finally, men can also assess their hair's porosity by its appearance. If hair looks dull and lifeless, it is likely high porosity. If hair looks shiny and healthy, it is likely low porosity. By doing one or more of these tests, men should be able to get a good idea of their hair's porosity.
Hair Types for Men
There are four primary hair types for men. Each of these primary hair types has three subcategories that will further explain the type of hair men possess. While some men have straight, fine hair, others may have voluminous, thick or coarse hair that has a curl pattern. Why is this? Well, it is simple, it is part of a man’s DNA and what he was born with.
Straight hair is characterized by having a round or circular hair follicle. Oblong hair follicles represent wavy hair types, while oval-shaped hair follicles will result in a curly hair type. The illustration below will help explain.
What is the Importance of Hair Type?
When it comes to hair care, one size does not fit all. The type of hair men have (straight, wavy, curly, or kinky) can have a big impact on the hair products they use and the styles they choose. For example, those with straight hair may find that their hair is easy to style. However, they also have oily hair which makes the hair limp because it lacks natural volume.
Those with wavy hair may find that their hair is both frizzy and is prone to static. Curly-haired men may have to fight the frizz but often have voluminous locks.
And those with kinky and coily hair may find that their hair is the most difficult to manage but can be very versatile. Men who know their hair type will have an advantage in choosing the right hair products and styles for their hair.
Type 1 Hair - Straight Hair
Men who possess type 1 hair have entirely straight hair strands. The straight hair does not have any wave or curl pattern to it. Type 1 hair lies flat on the scalp and is often characterized by being oily as the oil from the scalp has a direct path to the end tip of the hair giving it a natural sheen. Type 1 hair lacks volume in comparison to other hair types.
Type 1a Hair
Characterized by being completely straight. In addition, this hair type for men possesses a fine hair texture.
Type 1b Hair
Straight hair but has a medium circumference or texture. The normal texture gives Type 1b men’s hair a bit more volume than Type 1a hair.
Type 1c Hair
Hair is straight but it is thick in hair texture. This hair type is coarse and can be frizzy.
Hairstyles for Men with Straight Hair
There are several factors to consider when choosing a hairstyle, such as face shape, hair texture, and personal style. However, one of the most important considerations is hair type. Men with straight hair have a few distinct advantages when it comes to styling their locks.
First, straight hair is easy to manage and style. It can be worn long or short, and it responds well to a variety of styling products.
Second, straight hair can be styled in several different ways. Men with straight hair can choose from a sleek and polished look or a more textured and messy style.
Third, straight hair is versatile and flattering. Men with straight hair can experiment with different looks from short hair to long hair until they find the one that suits them best. With so many options available, choosing the right hairstyle for men with straight hair is easier than ever before.
Faux Hawk with Short Sides
Drop Fade with Hard Part
Side Part Pompadour with Drop Fade
Best Hair Products and Styling Aids for Men’s Type 1 Hair
Type 1 hair generally holds up well with styling. Most men with Type 1 hair suffer from a lack of volume so consider adding a pre-styling hair product such as a Sea Salt Spray to your styling plan. Sea Salt sprays can be used alone or in combination with other styling products.
Men who desire flexibility and a low to medium hold would do well with a Texture Cream. Texture Cream is a hair product that is not heavy and will help add volume to Type 1 hair. Texture Creams are pliable and and offer a medium to low shine.
Using a bentonite-based Styling Clay would also work well for men who want a stronger hold level. Styling Clays generally offer a matte finish.
Due to the natural oils in this hair type for men, stay clear of products that add more weight such as an oil-based product.
Maintenance for Straight Hair
As mentioned above, men who have Type 1 hair often have hair that is oily due to their natural oils that travel from the scalp to the hair. Therefore, it is advised to wash your hair often to have the appearance of hair that is clean and healthy. A cleansing shampoo is recommended for daily use. Using a moisturizing conditioner a couple of times per week is also recommended.
Men who have straight hair crave volume. To achieve body and volume, apply Spray Sea Salt to damp or wet straight hair and use a blow dryer. Using a hair dryer will add volume as well as much needed texture to the hair.
Type 2 Hair - Wavy Hair
Men who possess Type 2 hair do not have kinks or curls, but they do have natural waves. Type 2 hair for men is characterized by having an “S” shape from the hair root to the hair tip end. Type 2 is generally not as oily as Type 1 due to this “S” shape because the oil has a more difficult path to follow to the hairs tip end.
Type 2a Hair
Type 2a hair type for men has a fine hair texture and is the thinnest and most fragile of Type 2 hair. Type 2a hair is characterized by a classic “S” shape.
Type 2b Hair
Men with Type 2b hair also possess the classic “S” shape but differ from Type 2a as it has a medium or normal hair texture. Type 2b hair is stronger than Type 2a hair.
Type 2c Hair
Type 2c men’s hair is thicker in circumference than hair types 2a and 2b. It also has an “S” shaped pattern and is the strongest due to its circumference of the type 2 hair types.
Some men do not know they have type 2 hair because they tend to get a shorter haircut that prevents them from seeing the full body of their wavy strands. However, men who have grown their hair out and the hair does not fall flat or look straight from the root to the ends, have wavy hair.
Hairstyles for Men with Wavy Hair
Men who have wavy hair sometimes feel like they are stuck in the middle: not quite straight, but not quite curly. The good news is that there are a variety of hairstyles that can work well with the wavy hair type.
For example, men who want to keep their hair long can opt for a surfer-inspired look with tousled waves. Or, if they are looking for something a little more polished, can try a sleek, side-parted style that is perfect for medium-length hair.
Men who have medium-length hair can also experiment with different styles due to its flexibility in length. For instance, they could try a textured crop with an undone finish, or a classic quiff with neatly groomed sides.
Whether men desire a casual or formal look, there are plenty of options to choose from for those who have wavy hair.
Wavy Ivy League
Wavy Disheveled with Fringe
Best Hair Products and Styling Aids for Men’s Type 2 Wavy Hair
Type 2 hair does not lay as close to the scalp as Type 1 hair but can still benefit from extra volume to unleash the waves. Men should consider adding a Sea Salt Spray to their styling plan as a pre-styling agent. Sea Salt Spray will also help in taming unwanted frizz.
Type 2 hair does well with a Texture Cream which will add volume without the dreaded weight. Men who prefer a matte look should consider a Clay Pomade. Clay Pomade is a great choice for volume and an all-day hold.
Maintenance for Wavy Hair
Men with Type 2 hair or wavy hair have a hair type between straight hair and curly hair. Type 2 hair does not appear as oily as Type 1 hair due to its natural “S” shape. Shampooing regularly is important but men should use a conditioner frequently. A good moisturizing conditioner will moisturize the hair and scalp and add volume.
With simple products like these, men can have frizz-free, voluminous, wavy hair with the perfect appearance.
Wavy hair is one of the best men's hair types. For men with wavy fine hair, or Type 2a, they should apply styling products such as a Texture Cream or Styling Clay to damp hair and blow dry. The result is a voluminous style that unleashes the natural waves with natural pliability.
Type 3 - Curly Hair
Men with Type 3 hair have a curly hair type. Curly hair has a natural spiral shape and does not have a great deal of natural oil build-up due to this shape. Curly hair is fragile, easily damaged, and can also generate a great deal of frizz.
Type 3a Hair
Type 3a hair is characterized by fine textured individual strands of hair. The hair has a loose curl due to the lack of thickness of the hair strands.
Type 3b Hair
Type 3b hair has a normal or medium texture. Type 3b hair has tighter curls than Type 3a due to the hair texture.
Type 3c Hair
Type 3c hair is characterized by very tight curls. Type 3c hair is thick or coarse giving it the most amount of texture compared to 3a and 3b hair types.
Hairstyles for Men With Curly Hair
Men with curly hair often have a difficult time finding the right hairstyle. The key to finding the best hairstyle for men with curly hair is to work with the natural texture of the hair. Many different hairstyles can achieve this.
One option is to wear the hair short and cropped close to the head. This style works well with curly hair because it helps to tame frizz and keep the hair looking neat. Another option is to wear the hair long and loose. This style works well for men with thicker, more coarsely textured hair. It can help to add volume and definition to the curls.
Finally, men with naturally curly hair can also choose to wear it in a classic crew-cut style. This style is versatile and easy to maintain, making it a great option for busy guys on the go.
Regardless of which style they choose, working with the natural curl pattern will help them achieve the best results for curly hair types. Here are some more examples of curly hairstyles for men.
Best Hair Products and Styling Aids for Men’s Type 3 Hair
Type 3 hair for men is often dry due to the lack of natural oils. Steer clear of styling aids that will further make this issue worse. Texture Creams offer a light to medium hold and will not further dry out the hair and scalp. Styling Clays that contain waxes are also a great choice for Type 3 hair as bentonite clay moisturizes, conditions, and reduces frizz which is prevalent in Type 3 hair without weighing down the natural curls.
Maintenance for Curly Hair
Due to its spiral shape, men with Type 3 hair generally have less natural oil in the hair due to the hair pattern and the length the oil travels down the hair shaft. Type 3 hair craves moisture, so it is acceptable to shampoo and condition regularly and make it part of their hair care routine. A moisturizing conditioner is a perfect choice since Type 3 hair damages easily.
Curly hair is prone to frizz. However, men should resist the temptation to use heavy products to gain control of the curl. Instead, men should choose water-based products that are lighter and will not weigh down the natural volume of curly hair.
Type 4 Kinky Hair
Men with type 4 hair have kinky hair that is characterized by tight curls and is often high in density. Kinky or coily hair is often dry because the natural oil has a difficult path to follow from the scalp to the tip of the hair strand.
Type 4a Hair
Type 4a hair is characterized by fine textured individual strands of hair. The hair has tight coils and forms an "Z" pattern when stretched.
Type 4b Hair
Type 4b hair has a normal or medium texture. Type 4b hair has "Z" shaped coils due to the medium hair texture.
Type 4c Hair
Type 4c hair is characterized by very tight coils. Type 4c hair is thick or coarse giving it the most amount of texture compared to 4a and 4b hair types.
Hairstyles for Men With Coily Hair
Several hairstyles can be flattering for men with coily hair. One option is to wear the hair short and tightly cropped, which can help to accentuate the natural spiral of the curls.
Another option is to wear the hair long and loose, which can give the appearance of more volume. For men with especially curly hair, it may also be helpful to use a product that helps to control frizz and flyaways.
In general, men with coily hair should avoid using products that are heavy or greasy, as this can weigh down the curls and make them look flat. With a little experimentation, men with coily hair can find a hairstyle that suits their individual tastes and style.
Burst Fade Coiled on Top
Kinky Long and Loose
Long Top Coils with Shorter Sides
Best Hair Products and Styling Aids for Men’s Type 4 Hair
Styling aids for Type 4 hair that will not dry out the hair and scalp but will still give men positive results are a Texture Cream (low to medium hold) as well as a Pomade. Men should stay away from Sea Salt Spray as it could continue to dry out the hair. Type 4 hair typically has an amazing amount of volume so adding more is not typically necessary.
For men who possess Type 4 hair, it is all about adding moisture to prevent dryness while keeping your hair looking and feeling its best.
Maintenance for Men with Coily Hair
Type 4c hair can be challenging due to its tendency to be very dry. Adding moisture to men’s hair care plan is a key element. Men should utilize a moisturizing conditioner that will help ease the dryness as well as add some strength to the typically damaged hair. Men with curly hair may also want to utilize a leave in conditioner as well.
Kinky hair craves moisture. Men with Type 4 hair should use a high quality moisturizing conditioner frequently in their hair care routine.
Determining Men’s Hair Type
As previously discussed, it is important in learning how to identify hair texture or how thick or thin an individual strand of hair is. For men to discover their hair type, a similar exercise should be completed.
Using a strand of hair, compare the strand of hair to this guide which will demonstrate if they have straight, wavy, curly, or kinky (coily) hair. For example, a gentleman has a strand of hair that has an “S” shaped pattern has a wavy hair type. In addition, his hair is thick and coarse (thicker in circumference than a piece of thread). He has Type 2c hair.
He now knows that a pre-styling Sea Salt Spray, Texture Cream, or Clay Pomade would provide added volume as well as styling aids that offer flexible hold without added weight. Following this model and having knowledge of all these hair types and choosing the hair product that matches the hair texture and hair type is a breeze!
Men Who Have A Receding Hairline
A receding hairline is a common sign of aging in men. It occurs when the hairline begins to recede from the forehead, typically in a symmetrical pattern. While this is not necessarily a sign of health problems, it can be a cause of concern for some men.
In some cases, a receding hairline or thinning hair can lead to baldness. There are several treatments available for men including medication, non-surgical options, and surgical options.
Men Who Have Thinning Hair or Balding Hair
Hair loss is a common problem for men, and it can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from genetics to lifestyle choices. One of the most common causes of hair loss is a condition known as male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia, which is characterized by thinning hair and receding hairlines.
While there is no cure for male pattern baldness, there are treatments available that can help to slow down the progression as well as improve the condition. However, it is important to remember that hair loss is not inevitable, and there are steps that men can take to prevent thinning and balding.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing stress levels, and avoiding excessive sun exposure can all help to keep your hair looking its best.
The good news is that hair loss progresses at different rates for different men. In addition, choosing the correct hair style and styling aids can also help men who are suffering from hair loss.
Men are investing more money and time into their appearance. As exciting as this is, unfortunately, a lot of time and money is wasted because men may be choosing the wrong hair care and styling aid products for the texture and hair type that they have. Knowing key concepts for men's hair types makes shopping for hairstyles and styling aids a much more enjoyable experience.
Hair texture is defined as hair thickness or the circumference of the strand of hair. Fine hair is characterized by hair that has a small circumference. Thick hair has the largest circumference per strand of hair and medium or normal hair texture is between fine and thick hair.
Hair texture plays a role in how much volume hair may have. Hair volume is important for men to understand in achieving their desired look with the hair type they have.
Hair Density is the number of hairs per square inch that are present on the scalp. Hair density is important to understand as it can warn men of unwanted hair loss trends as well as help them in choosing the correct styling aids. Men who have lower-density hair will find value in choosing lighter-weight products that will not further exacerbate the issue of hair that is less dense.
Hair Porosity is the ability of the hair to absorb and retain moisture. Understanding hair porosity will allow men to choose styling and maintenance products that hydrate the hair as well as reduce frizz and tangles.
There are four hair types for men: Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4.
Type 1 Hair – Straight hair. Type 1 hair has low volume and generally lays close to the scalp. Type 1 hair also has a sheen as the natural oil from the scalp has a direct path to travel the hair shaft from root to tip end of the hair. Men can generally choose any type of styling aid as many perform well with this hair type. Shampooing regularly is encouraged due to the oiliness which will help give the hair a clean and healthy appearance.
Type 2 Hair - Wavy hair. Type 2 hair is characterized by an “S” shaped pattern of the hair strands. Type 2 hair is not as oily as Type 1 hair due to its shape. However, this hair type is not necessarily dry either. Utilizing a good conditioner will help add moisture as well as add volume. Sea Salt sprays, Texture Creams, and Styling Clays are good choices for this hair type to provide volume and flexible hold.
Type 3 Hair – Curly hair. Type 3 hair has a natural spiral shape and does not have a great deal of natural oil buildup. Curly hair damages easily and can have a fair amount of natural frizz. A moisturizing conditioner is important to use as it adds moisture to the hair and scalp which will help combat the dryness as well as prevent damage. Texture Creams and Styling Clays that contain wax are great choices to style this hair type as they will provide a good style without over drying.
Type 4 Hair – Kinky or Coily hair – Type 4 hair is dry due to its natural shape as the oil from the scalp cannot travel down the hair from root to tip end. Type 4 hair damages easily. Using a moisturizing conditioner will help add strength to the hair. Styling the hair with Texture Creams or a water-based Pomade is a great choice as they will add flexible style without over-drying further adding to the issue.
As mentioned, one of the most important things men should know about their hair is what type and texture they have. This will dictate how they care for their hair, what products they use, and even what styles will work best for them.
While men can certainly take a free hair questionnaire, another option to get accurate information is to ask their stylist or barber. They will be able to take a look at their hair and give an honest assessment. Men should be sure to ask about hair density, hair porosity, hair type, and hair texture. It will make a world of difference in the health and appearance of their hair.
The guide below is a recap of the information discussed in this article. It illustrates the correct products for the corresponding hair types, textures, and densities.
A well-chosen hairstyle can do more than just improve a man's appearance; it can also give him a much-needed boost of confidence. For many men, feeling good about their hair is an important part of feeling good about themselves.
Fine grooming can leave men looking and feeling their absolute best while adding confidence. Men who learn how to take proper care of their hair by determining their specific hair density, hair texture, hair porosity, and hair type are essential to saving both money and time. Using products that produce the best results creates a healthy, less expensive, and enjoyable hair maintenance and styling and hair care routine.
Whichever hair texture and hair type men possess, they should wear it with confidence. They certainly have earned it.
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