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Hair is very complex — it comes in a variety of different types, textures, patterns, and lengths. Hair types, specifically, break it down into a series of categories — from straight to wavy to curly — as a way to classify how it grows. Plenty of people use hair types as a blueprint when figuring out how to properly care for their hair, but not everyone subscribes to the system. Take celebrity hairstylist Whitney Eaddy, for example.
“Hair typing is a man-made construct to explain the enigma of naturally textured hair, and it can be extremely inaccurate and confusing,” she told POPSUGAR. “Structurally and scientifically, all hair is more alike than most recognize.”
Essentially, if you’re someone who only bases what kind of products you should buy on your hair type, you may need to go back to the drawing board because there are a handful of other factors that come into play aside from that. “Curl pattern, texture, porosity, and density are the characteristics to consider when it comes to hair care, and this varies from person to person almost like fingerprints,” she explained. “It’s all going to be slightly different because everyone is different, but structurally hair is hair, no matter how textured. So, I advocate that we stop treating textured hair differently just because it has more kink, curl, or coil.”
Much like buying products for specific skin concerns, what’s more important when coming up with a hair-care routine is looking into how your hair behaves. That means instead of choosing a shampoo or conditioner marketed specifically for curly or wavy hair types, consider what your individual hair needs most. Is it dry? Damaged or overprocessed? Is your scalp healthy? Does your hair shed a lot or tangle easily? How does it react to specific ingredients? Consider these things the next time you take a stroll down the beauty aisle.
Image Source: Getty / Klaus Vedfelt