The human hair (part 1)

Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles in the dermis of the skin and is a defining characteristic of mammals. Hair covers most of the human body, having different lengths, textures, and thicknesses. For humans, hair serves as insulation, protection, friction buffer, redirection of water and sweat from the body.

Hair is used by mammals for differentiation and beautification. The best example of differentiation is male lions having manes while females lions do not. For humans, men grow facial hair while women do not. Hair also adds beauty and that is why women often have elaborate hairstyles and why men go to great lengths to battle baldness.

Male baldness has a great psychological effect, and some products are used daily to combat baldness, like Thermalabs Shampoo Gracilaria For Men.

Classifications of hair

There are several classification systems but the most popular is Andre Walker’s classification.

Andre Walker hair types
Type 1: Straight
1aStraight (Fine/Thin) Hair tends to be very soft, thin, shiny, oily, poor at holding curls, difficult to damage.
1bStraight (Medium)Hair is characterized by volume and body.
1cStraight (Coarse)Hair tends to be bone-straight, coarse, difficult to curl.
Type 2: Wavy
2aWavy (Fine/Thin)Hair has a definite “S” pattern, can easily be straightened or curled, usually receptive to a variety of styles.
2bWavy (Medium)Can tend to be frizzy and a little resistant to styling.
2cWavy (Coarse)Fairly coarse, frizzy or very frizzy with thicker waves, often more resistant to styling.
Type 3: Curly
3aCurly (Loose)Presents a definite “S” pattern, tends to combine thickness, volume, and/or frizziness.
3bCurly (Tight)Presents a definite “S” pattern, curls ranging from spirals to spiral-shaped corkscrew
Type 4: Kinky
4aKinky (Soft)Hair tends to be very wiry and fragile, tightly coiled and can feature curly patterning.
4bKinky (Wiry)As 4a but with less defined pattern of curls, looks more like a “Z” with sharp angles
FIA hair classification
Curliness
Straight
1aStick-straight.
1bStraight but with a slight body wave adding some volume.
1cStraight with body wave and one or two visible S-waves (e.g. at nape of neck or temples).
Wavy
2aLoose with stretched S-waves throughout.
2bShorter with more distinct S-waves (resembling e.g. braided damp hair).
2cDistinct S-waves, some spiral curling.
Curly
3aBig, loose spiral curls.
3bBouncy ringlets.
3cTight corkscrews.
Very (“Really”) curly
4aTightly coiled S-curls.
4bZ-patterned (tightly coiled, sharply angled)
4cMostly Z-patterned (tightly kinked, less definition)
Strands
FFineThin strands that sometimes are almost translucent when held up to the light.
Shed strands can be hard to see even against a contrasting background.
Fine hair is difficult to feel or it feels like an ultra-fine strand of silk.
MMediumStrands are neither fine nor coarse.
Medium hair feels like a cotton thread, but isn't stiff or rough.
It is neither fine nor coarse.
CCoarseThick strands whose shed strands usually are easily identified.
Coarse hair feels hard and wiry.
Volume
by circumference of full-hair ponytail
iThincircumference less than 2 inches (5 centimetres)
iiNormal… from 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimetres)
iiiThick… more than 4 inches (10 centimetres)

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