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What’s Your Hair Type?

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It seems that if you're born with straight hair, you lust after wavy locks. And if you're a kinky-haired babe, you dream of getting straight, tamed tresses. Yes, it's true—the grass is always greener on the other side of your salon chair.

But does that mean you have to change your hair texture? While many women complain that having curly hair can be a pain, the cause of such mess could be the inadequate knowledge of how to work with the kind of hair you were born with. Because believe us when we say that it doesn't matter what your hair texture is—straight, curly, thin, or thick—everyone has bad hair days, and most of them happen because we don't know how to take care of our hair well.

Emmy-award winner and hairstylist Andrew Walker developed a classification system of different hair types to take the guesswork out of handling, styling, and treating hair. Read on to find out how to tame your tresses, according to your hair type.

Type 1: Silky straight

It's the hair type most Asians are known for: silky smooth, straight hair that reflects the sun. It seems to be the most resilient type, and if you've ever tried working with a curling iron, you'll know that it's impossible to keep curls with this hair texture. This hair type reflects the most sheen, thanks to its oily texture—which is because oil from the scalp can work its way to the ends without being interfered by curls.

How to give it volume: Unfortunately for straight-haired sisters, their locks lack volume. Because there aren't any curls or waves to take up space on their crowns, straight-haired women feel their hair always lie flat and dull. If you feel like you're stuck in this rut, add some volume by applying a root-lifter product (such as a volumizing mousse) at the roots right after washing your hair. Then, turn your hair upside down, and blow-dry until it's a bit damp. Finish off by brushing from the roots with a round brush, to "lift" up hair.

Type 2: Wavy

Neither super straight nor very curly, Type 2 hair has S-curls that every Victoria Secret supermodel seems to sport nowadays. This unusual hair type can further be classified into three types: fine, thin hair, which is easy to handle and style; medium-textured type; and the thick and coarse wavy hair. The last two types have a tendency to get frizzy.

How to tame frizz: You might want to use anti-frizz products to tame frizz. Your hair can also be easily weighed down by styling products, so use lighter formulas like mousses and sprays. You might also want to shampoo every other day, since too much shampooing can make your hair dry and cause it to become even more frizzy!

Type 3: Curly

Type 3 hair may look straight when wet. But as it dries, you'll notice it slowly going back to its curly state. It has a lot of body and bounce, and can easily be styled while in its natural state. In fact, healthy Type 3 hair is shiny, with smooth curls and strong elasticity. The curls are beautifully well-defined and springy. They are also climate-dependent, and damage-prone.

Too much humidity can cause curly hair to frizz, making you look like you stuck your finger in an electric socket. Plus, oil isn't able to reach the ends of your hair, with curls obstructing the way…this leaves you with dry hair.

How to keep the frizz down: Try to keep frizz down to a minimum by shampooing once or twice a week—more than that could strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and prone to breakage. Use emollient-rich shampoos and conditioners, and consider running a wide-toothed comb through your hair when applying conditioner for even distribution. Apply a leave-on conditioner after rinsing your hair, and never, ever rub your hair with a towel—the friction will only cause more hair damage and frizz.

Air-dry your hair and apply an anti-frizz serum and moisturizing gel while hair is still damp. If you're looking at using hair styling products, keep them to a minimum, often giving your hair a "time-out" in between: styling products can deplete hair of natural oils.

(More tips on how to learn to love and live with your curls)

Type 4: Kinky

Think Macy Gray's 'fro is super tough? Think again. Type 4 hair, or kinky hair, may look super strong and durable, but it's actually the most fragile type of hair. This type of hair looks wiry, but each tightly-coiled strand has fewer cuticle layers, making it more prone to damage than any other hair type. It's also the driest hair type.

Many people think kinky hair doesn't grow as fast as straight or wavy hair, but it actually grows at the same rate…but since it's so much more drier, hair tends to be prone to breakage, making it seem like it didn't grow. Plus, Type 4 hair shrinks up to 75% of its actual hair length, making it look like it hasn't been growing in length!

How to fight dryness and breakage: Type 4 hair is fine and fragile, so treat it with as much care as you would a super expensive cashmere sweater: cleanse and detangle softly, and avoid harsh chemicals! Use a creamy, sulfate-free moisturizing cleanser on your hair once a week (washing your hair more than once a week will strip it of natural oils) followed by a super hydrating conditioner. Apply a leave-on conditioner to make detangling easier, and apply pomade to seal in moisture. Avoid using mineral oil, petrolatum oils, and heavy waxes—these will only weigh down your hair.

If you want to style your hair, pick styling butters that have conditioners and moisturizers. Detangle your hair with a special detangling brush, since combs and brushes will only cause more tangles and could break your hair. Lastly, reduce tangles by sleeping on a satin pillow or using a satin head wrap.By Maui V. Reyes for Yahoo! Southeast Asia




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