Types of Hair

Written by Kristina Collins, M.D., FAAD

Hair comes in a huge variety of colors, textures, and natural styles. All hair grows from the hair follicle and the shape of the follicle determines whether the hair is curly or straight. When the follicle is asymmetrical the hair grows in an oval shape and appears curly. In general, hair may be classified as straight, wavy, curly, very curly/kinky, slightly coiled, coiled, tightly coiled, kinky, and very kinky. Hair that is on the curlier side of the spectrum tends to be drier, and therefore, should be washed less frequently than straight hair. When a person has a greater density of hair follicles they will have the appearance of full, voluminous hair. The thickness of the individual hair shafts also affects the appearance of the hair and the ideal hair care. For example, finer hair has thinner individual hairs and this type of hair may be more prone to breakage and damage with heat-based styling techniques. Overall, the type of hair that you have comes from your genes, but you may notice changes in your hair over time as the result of hormonal fluctuations or aging.