While the basics of how to build a hair care routine lie in the foundations of wash, dry, and style, there are many other factors to consider for the healthiest, thickest, and shiniest hair. Although you don’t need a dozen products and tools to get the hair you want, there is more to hair care must-haves than shampoo and conditioner.
If you’re ready to get the most out of your hair, here’s a beginner’s guide on how to build a hair care routine.
Determine your hair type
Do a simple strand test. Take one hair strand between your fingertips, if you don’t feel anything this is a sign of fine hair. If you do feel the single strand, your hair is of medium width, and if it feels thick or textured, your hair is likely coarse.
Hair density refers to how much hair you actually have. To determine your hair density, take a handful of hair from the front of your head and gently pull it to the side. If a lot of your scalp is visible between the bunch of hair that you pulled, you have thin density, if you can barely see your scalp at all, your hair’s density is thick. Anything in between is medium density.
Have you ever tried to stretch or snap a hair strand? Your hair’s reaction is the simple way to determine the elasticity and strength of your hair. If the hair strand snaps immediately after trying to pull it between your fingers, your hair elasticity is low, whereas if you’re able to stretch the strand your hair elasticity is very high. Hair elasticity helps determine how well your hair can hold any styling. Low elasticity is linked to thin hair, whereas high elasticity, thick to normal hair.
This is your hair’s ability to absorb moisture and product. To determine your hair’s porosity, fill a bowl with water and place a single strand of hair in the bowl. If your strand sinks to the bottom it has high porosity and is absorbing all the moisture. If your strand remains under the surface, but floats, your hair is well-balanced and is of “normal” porosity. If the strand floats above the surface of the water your hair has low porosity and does not absorb moisture easily. High porosity usually is a result of damaged, frizzy or dry hair. Low porosity can sometimes feel oily as it will take a lot of product in but may not distribute it accordingly.