Essential Guide To Hair Types and Colouring

As you walk around town, you will see a huge variety of different hair types, styles and colours. Every hair journey is unique, so it is helpful when hairstylists are confident in performing services on different types of hair.

Knowing how hair responds to colour is important too, as different types will respond in different ways. For example, depending on the type of hair your client has and their dyeing history, you may need to use a hair toner to achieve the look they want.

Straight hair

Straight hair is defined as having no curl or wave pattern and comes in three types:

  • 1A which is fine and thin,
  • 1B which is straight with a slight curve,
  • 1C which is thick and straight. 

The benefits of having straight hair are that you can achieve a highly shiny look as there is a straight patch for your natural oils to travel down your hair. However, Type 1A hair can be particularly prone to greasiness. 

If you are looking to colour your straight hair, going darker may be a mistake. Darker hair allows more of the scalp to be visible through the hair, which can make your hair look thinner and flatter. Add some dimension to your hair through techniques such as balayage and highlights and lowlights to add the illusion of thickness. 

Wavy hair

Wavy hair sits in between straight and curly hair. It is not poker straight, but it is equally not fully curly, so it has movement and is known as Type 2 hair. Type 2A is a tousled wave, Type 2B is more of a curl than a wave, and Type 2C is waves that form a tight S shape, bordering on a full curl. 

Wavy-haired people will find that they are more prone to frizz, but they do have more volume than straight hair. 

Similar to straight hair, darker colours can show the scalp more so going lighter may be your best bet for thicker-looking hair. 

Curly hair

Type 3 hair, or curly hair, is again divided into subcategories. Type 3A is for S-shaped, loose curls. Type 3B is defined as springy curls that start from the root and are well-defined. Finally, Type 3C is a tight curl that resembles corkscrew curls. 

Curly people will know that their hair requires a lot of conditioning treatments, so that is worth bearing in mind when thinking about dyeing curly hair. Curly hair tends to be soft and fine, therefore it is important not to over-process it, especially when bleaching. 

If your client has requested to go darker, remember that their curly hair is likely to be more porous than other hair types. So putting on a level 6 may actually turn out much darker at a level 4.

Coily hair

Coils can typically be very dry, so adding moisture back in is important when looking at haircare. Type 4A curls, such as chopstick curls, benefit from nourishing creams. Type 4B curls are more of a zig-zag shape and are very tight. Finally, Type 4C is the tightest type of curl and is unfortunately most prone to damage. 

The great thing about coiled hair is that all colours will look amazing if done by the right stylist. You may want to advise your client to get deep conditioning treatment after their dye job has been done. 

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