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COILY

Like tightly coiled springs

One of the most versatile, usually the least dense, of all hair types. Often quite fragile as fewer cuticle layers on the outside of the hair shaft than other curl patterns.

Kinky

Has kinks in it

Each strand of hair makes a zig zag shape; not a coil, winding curl or S. Can be perceived as being strong but often this hair type is quite delicate.

Wavy

Varying degrees of S

The curl pattern that each strand of wavy hair makes, can range from loose and elongated to a clear S shape. Often craves moisture and hydration.

Straight

Often naturally quite strong

Straight hair can have a high sheen if it is healthy. This is because oils in the scalp can travel without restriction along the length, or shaft, of the hair.

Curly

Strands wind around themselves

The intensity of curl pattern is determined at the root of the hair. Can range from curls that are bigger and looser, to those with a corkscrew or spiral shape.

Damaged

Needs extra special care

Usually results from over styling, misused heat or chemical treatments. This hair type needs nurturing with informed product choices plus mindful application, drying and styling techniques.

HAIR FACTS

Curl Pattern


Coily

Kinky

Wavy

Straight

Curly
The shape that each stand of hair makes is unique. Whether the hair broadly creates a wave, curl, coil or zig zag shape is what we mean by curl pattern. A, B and C can also be used to show the varying intensity of curl pattern within each of these types; with A being the loosest or mildest form; B being medium and C the strongest or most intense.

It is common for people to have more than one type of curl pattern in their head of hair. Also for different curl patterns to feature as different hair widths; and for different degrees of the same curl pattern to appear in different places on the scalp.

The hair’s curl pattern is created in the middle layer of the shaft, which is called the cortex. The cortex is also where the colour of our hair is determined and where a protein called keratin is found.

The shape of the cortex can either be oval, almost circular, but it is never precisely round. The more rounded the cortex, the straighter the hair; and flatter or more oval shaped it is, is curlier the hair.

HAIR FACTS

Porosity

Hair porosity means how easily and quickly the hair is able to absorb and retain moisture. It is categorised as high, medium or low. Having and maintaining a relatively high level of porosity usually results in better overall hair health; as nourishing ingredients from high quality products can be more easily absorbed, retained and put to good use. Resulting in health, shine and strength.

A simple way to find out how porous your hair is, is to drop a strand into some water. If it floats, this is because it hasn’t absorbed any of the water, showing that your hair is not very porous, or has ‘low porosity’. If it sinks, this opposite is true - similar to a sponge, it is porous. If it suspends mid-way in the water, it has medium porosity.
Hair porosity is determined by the outer layer of the hair shaft’s surface; the cuticle. The cuticle is made up of microscopic scale-like coverings on the outside part of the shaft. Thick or coarse hair is usually more porous, as it tends to have fewer cuticle layers, than medium or fine width hair.

Choosing products that contain lighter oils, like jojoba and argan oil, is best for hair with low porosity as heavier oils are generally harder to absorb. Low porosity hair can also benefit from steam treatments as this will open up the cuticle layers, enabling moisture and oils to be absorbed.

HAIR FACTS

Density

Density means how closely packed together the hair follicles on your scalp are. High density, or ‘very dense’ means lots of strands of hair growing quite close together. Low density means they are more spaced out and there will be fewer hairs per square centimetre compared with high density hair.

It’s important to remember that dense does not mean thick. Thick refers to strand width.

Straight hair is often more densely packed on the scalp than tightly coiled or classical afro hair. Coily hair has an average of 190 hairs per square centimetre, whereas straight hair averages 290.

HAIR FACTS

Width

Hair width relates to how wide the cross section of its shaft is. This can usually vary from 0.017mm to 0.18mm and be grouped into one of three categories: fine, medium and thick or coarse. It’s important to remember that ‘thick hair’ relates to strand width, not density; which is how closely packed together the strands on the scalp are.

The hair’s follicle is the bulb-like base, located just underneath surface of the skin on the scalp; and the size of this usually correlates width the hair shaft’s width. So, the smaller the hair follicle, the finer the hair width; and conversely, the bigger the follicle, the thicker the hair is at its shaft. The follicle is the only living part of the hair.
All types of curl pattern can appear as any width. Straight hair can be fine, medium and thick; as can wavy, curly, coily and kinky hair.

The difference between fine, medium and thick hair can be felt by rolling a strand in between your thumb and forefinger. A single strand of fine hair feels barely there and rolls similarly to a piece of silk; medium width hair rolls in a similar way to cotton; and it’s easier to feel a single strand of thick hair; plus if you hold it up to your ear, it might make a ‘crinkling’ sound as it’s rolled back and forth.

HAIR FACTS

Length

When we talk about hair length, it is in relation to how long the majority of the hair on your head is. Definitions of long, medium and short can vary or be subjective; but at VERNON FRANCOIS® we would say short hair is of chin length or higher; medium length comes to between the shoulders and the chin; and long hair is below shoulder length.

The average growth time for head hair is 0.5 inches every four weeks. It can sometimes appear that short hair grows faster than long hair, but this is an illusion not a fact. Most probably because as the hair’s length passes facial features it can sometimes seem more noticeable.
The life cycle of a piece of hair is in three stages: anagen, catagen and telogen phases. At any one time, different strands will be at different stages of the cycle, which results, usually, in an ever present level of sustained hair growth in a given place, at any one time.

Kinky and tightly coiled hair can shrink more than 75%, so take this into account when determining if hair is long, medium or short.
 

Coily

Like tightly coiled springs

Coily or classical afro hair is one of the most versatile hair types; which can comprise thin and fine or coarse and thick strands.

Coily

Vernon's top tips

Regular trimming, plenty of moisture-giving products and minimal use of heat styling will help prevent damage for this hair type, which can sometimes be quite delicate.

Coily hair can be fragile because the thin cuticle layer on the outside of the hair shaft. It can be susceptible to breakage, so opt for hydrating products and opt for fingertips as the first choice styling tool, where possible.

When it comes to drying, treat coily hair with lots of respect and you will be rewarded. Instead of drying with a regular bathroom towel or hair dryer, try scrunching it in a 100% cotton t-shirt, or even better, a Vernon François® microfiber towel which has been especially designed for this purpose and this hair type. Traditional ‘terry’ towelling material has a tendency to cause tension on hair strands and can strip moisture away rather than lock it in. Leaving hair, particular this type, even more susceptible to damage.

Coily

History / Facts

Coily or classical afro textured hair has been found to grow at a rate of approximately 256 micrometres per day; with a typical density, although this varies, in the region of about 190 hairs per square centimetre. The cross section of a strand of this hair type is quite flat and the tiny ringlets that it forms can be just a few millimetres in diameter.

When coily hair is damp or wet it will usually retain its basic springiness and, unless completely soaked, tend not to stick to the scalp or neck. A theory for this is that communities in equatorial locations needed this aspect for keeping cool and comfortable in hot tropical climates.
The term ‘shrinkage’ refers to how much the hair contracts when in a curly state, versus the hair strands’ full length when pulled out straight. It’s usual for this proportion to be greater when hair is wet. With coily hair, shrinkage can be more than 75 percent; so take this into account when determining hair length.

In sub-Saharan African communities and other cultures in the past, styling hair has been used to show status, social rank and identity: wealth, fertility, age, ethnicity, religion, marital status and death.

Managing Coily Hair

 
 

Kinky

Has kinks in it

Kinky hair is when each strand of hair makes a zig zag shape as opposed to a coil or curl.
 

Kinky

Vernon's top tips

Because this hair type is often very fragile, it will benefit from wearing a silk head scarf in bed, or from using a silk pillow case to sleep on.

Using fingertips or a wide tooth comb to detangle this hair type is often better for preserving its condition, versus a wide paddle brush.

Kinky hair can lack the most moisture of all hair types. When this is the case, co-washing can be done very frequently: up to twice a day, for intense hydration and conditioning.

Kinky

History / Facts

Kinky hair can be the most fragile of all hair types, especially when the strands are fine.

Kinky hair can sometimes feel wiry to the touch because of the torsion twist common of this hair type. Simply explained, torsion is when the hair shaft wraps around itself, or twists, before then forming an overall Z shape. The result is a kind of fluffy look where individual strands seem to have an energy of their own, as opposed to banding together. Hair with torsion can feel a bit crinkly if rubbed forwards and backwards between your thumb and forefinger. Sometimes curly hair can have torsion in the shaft too.
Kinky and tightly coiled hair can shrink more than 75%, so take this into account when determining if hair is long, medium or short.

Managing Kinky Hair

 
 
 

Wavy

Varying degrees of S

Wavy hair will naturally fall in varying degrees of an S shape - from loose and elongated, to a clear S.

Wavy

Vernon's top tips

The ‘praying hands’ technique for applying CURL~COMMAND® moisture spray delivers good results for wavy hair. If you want to create more volume, try diffusing hair upside down when damp.

Styling with roller sets might cause wavy hair to lose definition rather than create it. It’s also quite common from this hair type to develop split ends and ‘fly aways’. Scrunch styling product in section by section to encourage it to hold for longer. Also, using your hands and fingers will allow you to feel your way in handling your hair with care.

A flattering way to wear longer wavy hair is to take it over one shoulder and pin it so that it stays held at one side - a good option if you’re looking for a style that will easily transition from day to evening.

Wavy

History / Facts

It is common for wavy hair to stick to the head and neck when damp; and, without regular cutting, the S shape can be easily weighed down and might have a tendency to appear stretched out.
For wavy hair with fine or medium width strands, a shoulder length style is usually flattering as it encourages definition and movement of the curl pattern.

Managing Wavy Hair

 
 

Straight

Often naturally quite strong

Straight hair, particularly with thick width strands, is often naturally quite strong and it can have a high sheen if it is healthy.
 

Straight

Vernon's top tips

Straight hair can have a tendency to expose split ends; but this can be easily managed with regular trimming.

To create more volume in straight hair, drying it upside down at the roots can be a useful technique.

The internal structure of straight hair means that natural oils from the scalp can travel along its shaft quite freely. Regular shampooing will help to minimise the risk of an oily appearance.

Straight

History / Facts

The gene for curly hair is dominant and the straight hair gene is recessive. Because of population sizes - Asia being the world’s largest continent - there are more people in the world with straight hair.

Straight hair has a more circular cross section than curly hair, which is more oval shaped.

The strands of straight hair can be fine, medium or thick in width. Thick strands will generally resist curling more than fine hair. Fine straight hair that has been curled will tend to find it hard to hold the style.
As with fine wavy hair, straight hair will stick close to the head and neck when it is damp.

Straight hair has been found to typically grow at a rate of 396 micrometres per day; with a density of about 227 hairs per square centimetre.

Managing Straight Hair

 
 
 

Curly

Strands wind around themselves

Curly hair can be S pattern; to big and loose curls; to a corkscrew or spiral shape with lots of strands packed together winding closely around themselves.

Curly

Vernon's top tips

People with curly hair can have different types of curl in different places on their head. This hair type can dehydrate and lose shine quite easily, so moisturising products are a must. Remember there is a difference between ingredients that are oily and those which are moisturising.

All of the products in the CURL~COMMAND® line of the VERNON FRANCOIS® collection are fantastically moisturising and perfect for this hair type.

Naturally dry, curly hair, will benefit from co-washing about once or twice a week; which is very effective in minimising tangling, dryness and breakage. The Vernon François® CO~WASH is a very effective cleanser that simultaneously penetrates the hair with moisture and promotes healthy condition, without the need for a separate conditioner.

Curly

History / Facts

The gene for curly hair is dominant and the straight hair gene is recessive. Because of historical roots and continent population sizes, there are, currently, more people in the world with straight hair. Although when combined genetically the curly aspect will usually prevail.

It is common for people to have more than one type of curl pattern growing from their scalp. Also for hair to be different widths and different degrees of the same curl pattern to appear in different places, on the same person’s head.
The hair’s curl pattern is created in the middle layer of the shaft, which is called the cortex. The cortex is also where the colour of our hair is determined and where a protein called keratin, which also makes up nails, is found.

Managing Curly Hair

 
 

Damaged

Needs extra special care

Hair damage can affect all texture types; and is usually caused by over styling or the misuse of heat or chemical treatments.
 

Damaged

Vernon's top tips

All types of damaged hair need careful handling. Product application, drying and styling techniques that respect its fragility are essential.

Take time to select products that not only moisturise and nourish, but that also actively promote repair, both inside and outside the hair shaft. All products in the RE~VAMP™ line of the Vernon François® collection are perfect for this.

Fragile hair will benefit from: regular trimming; intensely hydrating products that also contain ingredients to promote repair; and minimal use of heat styling.

Damaged

History / Facts

As well as chemical damage from relaxing products and heat damage caused by electric styling tools, damage to the ends of the hair and the shaft can occur when it is brushed or combed very vigorously.
The scalp can sometimes suffer from dryness, hair loss and even bruising when corn rows are worn for an excessively long period of time or if braids have been pulled too tightly.

Managing Damaged Hair