Asian woman with a straight hair type

All About Hair Types: 3 Ways to Find Out Yours

Want to know your hair type? Learn more about your hair by knowing these easy ways to determine hair types!

As basic as it sounds, knowing your hair type will help a great deal in taking care of your hair and copping stylish hairstyles. Hair products and styles go with different hair types in different ways, and so identifying hair qualities will help bring you to the ones perfect for your hair.

Keeping this in mind, experts have developed different systems to identify hair types. You can classify hair types by curliness, strand characteristics, or by volume.

There’s no need to get overwhelmed because we are here to help simplify things for you in these ways to identify hair types:

Hair Types by Curliness

Hair types: Asian woman with dark shoulder length curly hair wearing a denim jacket outdoors
Your curls are a stylish giveaway in knowing your hair type.

Renowned hairstylist Andre Walker based his hair type classifications on this specific trait, and so do other typing systems that followed suit. This hair quality is the easiest identifying factor for classifying hair types. Knowing this can help you be mindful of the hair products you use.

1. Straight hair

Hair types: Closeup shot of an Asian woman with long straight black hair wearing a black dress outdoors
No curls, no care! Credit: Hariono Halim

If your hair has zero waves or curls and falls flatly on your head, there’s no question that you have a straight hair type. If it’s not obvious enough, the LOIS System calls this type “I” as your hair pattern seemingly forms the letter.

Editor’s tip: Take care of your straight hair by washing it with Dove Straight & Silky Shampoo and Dove Straight & Silky Conditioner to keep its silky straight quality.

2. Wavy

Hair types: Asian woman with long black wavy hair wearing a shirt and cardigan against a pink wall outdoors
Equal parts of straight and curly.

This hair type is not quite straight but also not quite curly, just wavy like a soft letter “S” (the LOIS System is pretty descriptive). Walker also takes note that it’s also not overly oily or very dry—it always settles right in the middle.

Editor’s tip: Keep the TONI&GUY Sea Salt Texturising Spray handy so you can spritz it on your hair and retouch its waves wherever you go.

3. Curly

Hair types: Woman with curly shoulder length haircut
Unadulterated curls make for understated beauty. Credit: Dvora

If your hair pattern is forming a definite “S” or an “O” because of your light curls or tight, curly tendrils, you fall under this hair type. Since it doesn’t fall flat on your scalp, it’s not as shiny as the other two types because it takes time for your hair’s natural oils to get to the tips of your hair. It also differs from the wavy type by its bigger volume and higher height.

Editor’s tip: Elevate your hair shine by tousling a few drops of TONI&GUY High Shine Serum Drops. This product will turn on the glam while preventing frizz.

4. Kinky Hair types: type 3c

Kinky hair kicks with style. Credit: Indigital Images

This is characterized by its really tight coils. It is also called Afro-textured hair and it’s also common among women in Oceania and some parts of Southeast Asia.

Though it looks really tough, this is one of the fragile hair types as it has very few cuticle layers to protect it from dryness. While other hair typing systems put it last in the hierarchy, this hair type, if given proper care, can look rockin’ even without professional treatment!

Bottle of Sunsilk Damage Reconstruction Shampoo

Editor’s tip:  A lot of hair products can be a coil killer. Fix the damage by switching to Sunsilk Damage Reconstruction Shampoo. These products will reverse chemical damage and revive your hair’s natural beauty.

Hair Types by Strand Characteristics

Hair types: Asian woman with long layered dark hair smiling
The secret could be in your hair strands. Credlt: Natasha Estelle

The LOIS System uses a sewing thread as the basis in classifying hair types by its strand size. The Fia’s System builds on this with a slight change of names and a few more details. To try this, just grab a piece of thread and compare it with your hair strand.

1. Fine

Hair types: pretty young chinese girl, wearing a white shirt standing in the room

Thinner than a piece of thread, fine hair strands feel almost like an ultra-fine strand of silk. Volumizing hair products and hairstyles are your best friends if you want to make your hair look thick and bouncy.

Editor’s tip: You can add bounce and body to your fine hair with a few little tricks. Use the DOVE Oxygen and Nourishment Shampoo to help boost your hair’s volume by up to 95 percent. 

2. Medium

Asian woman with shoulder length dark hair smiling
With a medium hair type, your hair falls in the sweet spot between fine and coarse. Credit: Natasha Estelle

The medium strand has the defining quality of being just as thick (or thin) as a regular thread. In other words, this hair type falls right in the middle of fine and coarse.

3. Coarse

Hair types: asian girl with thick full fringe straight hair
Celebrate your thick hair with right hairstyle and haircut. Credit:

Larger than a thread, coarse or thick hair strands can feel hard and wiry. However, this also means that you have lush hair to work with and you can explore various haircuts and hairstyles that flatter your hair’s texture and volume.

Hair Types by Volume

Hair types: Back shot of an Asian woman with long black hair in a double rope braid ponytail wearing a white jacket outdoors
Your hair volume can tell you how far you can go in experimenting with haircuts and styles. Credit: Hariono Halim

Both LOIS and Fia’s Hair Typing Systems determined hair types by volume. Knowing your hair’s overall volume is easy. Tie all of your hair into a ponytail (don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect). Then grab a measuring tape to measure its circumference to determine your hair type.

1. Thin

Hair types: Closeup shot of an Asian woman with black wavy hair in a ponytail
Easy up, easy down. Credit: Natasha Estelle

If your hair ponytail amounts to a circumference less than 2 inches or 5 centimeters, your hair volume is considered thin. Worried about your thin hair looking flat? Here are a handful of hair tips and styles specifically for thin strands. There are several ways on how you can add volume to your hair, one of which is a stylish blowout!

Editor’s tip: While you’re naturally born with thin hair, you can do something about its strength. Wash your hair with Dove Hairfall Rescue Shampoo to help reduce hair fall.

2. Medium

Hair types: Side view shot of an Asian woman with long dark hair in a vintage ponytail standing in an outdoor restaurand
A medium hair volume opens many hairstyle possibilities. Credit: Natasha Estelle

If your hair ponytail circumference reaches between 2 to 4 inches or 5 to 10 centimeters, your hair has medium volume. With this hair type, you can rock any hairstyle and haircut you want!

3. Thick

Haircuts for wavy hair: Woman with long dark brown hair wearing a floral top and black shorts outdoors
Show off your beautiful thick hair in a long down ‘do. Credit: Shutterstock

If your obtained circumference is greater than 4 inches or 10 centimeters, you have a thick volume of hair. You can choose to braid it, tie it, or flaunt it in an elegant down’ do!

Tub of TRESemme Keratin Smooth KERA10 Smoothing Mask

Editor’s tip: Keep your thick hair always on point. Treat it with TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Treatment Mask that instantly gives your hair smoothness and frizz control up to 48 hours.

Phew! That may be quite a list but hey, don’t you feel closer (figuratively) to your hair now than ever? Knowing these traits and qualities will help you take better care of your hair with the right products and looks to cop. Just keep in mind that even with these defined hair types, we all have unique hair. Straight or curly, thin or thick, your hair shows your individuality—something we all should celebrate.

Explore more hairstyle possibilities and ideas by visiting the All Things Hair Live Booth at Watsons, SM Department Store, SM Mall of Asia.