Understanding Hair Structure Types


diverse women posing
Yunuli123 |

It goes without saying that everyone is unique in their way — from the hair to the body, we all look different. And while our hairstyles and colors may set us apart, our hair structure also differentiates us. What is hair structure? In short, hair structure has to do with the thickness of the hair.

Understanding the hair structure is essential for stylists because having a comprehensive knowledge of your client’s hair is essential to choosing professional hair care products and the right haircut, color and styling methods.

This article is for you if you’re looking for more insight and to build your knowledge on hair structure types. Here, we will share more information about the many types of hair structures and how to identify them.


What Is the Difference Between Hair Structure and Texture?

While hair structure and texture may often be confused as the same thing, they aren’t. However, it’s really important for you to understand the meaning of both and their differences in depth.

  • Hair Structure

    – A client’s hair structure mainly has to do with the thickness or thinness of each strand. A person’s hair texture could determine the hair structure.

  • Hair Texture

    – A client’s hair texture depends on how straight, wavy or curly the hair is. Usually, the curlier or wavier hair is, the thicker the hair structure is.

up close of woman combing through hair
Source: Catzovescu |


Understanding the Different Kinds of Hair Structure

Now, let’s dive into the different kinds of hair structure types. Hair structures exist on a spectrum from thin to coarse.

  • Fine

    – Fine hair is usually thinner than a piece of thread. This hair structure represents 1a through 1c hair types. This hair structure may be a little weaker than thicker structures. While thinner hair may have more difficulty holding curly styles, it is usually a lot easier to style. So, it’s important to use lightweight styling products that don’t weigh the hair down.

  • Medium

    – Medium hair is thicker than finer structures and a piece of thread and can feel soft to the touch. This hair structure represents 2a through 3c hair types. Medium hair can usually hold any kind of hairstyle, but you may still want to use lightweight hair styling products that help the hair retain the style.

  • Coarse

    – Coarse hair is the thickest structure, and while it is usually stronger, it can feel dry. This hair structure represents 4a through 4c hair types. Some 3a through 3c hair types could also be coarse, depending on the hair’s texture. Coarse hair may experience difficulty with holding certain hairstyles similar to finer hair structures because it can be hard to style. Coarse hair needs heavy styling products to tame the hair and condition it. Once styled, the hair can usually retain a style pretty well.


woman with soft silky hair
Source: Dmitry Sorokin |


How to Determine Hair Structure

Knowing how to determine your hair structure or your client’s hair structure can help you determine how to use professional hair styling products, as well as know which styles work best for specific hair structures.

  • Use a Thread

    – If you can, take a single strand of your hair and lay it on a flat surface next to a piece of thread. If your hair is thinner than the thread, this may indicate a finer hair structure. Whereas, if the hair is thicker than or equal to the thread, this means the hair structure is medium or coarse.

  • Analyze Volume

    – If hair is thin, it may lack volume. On the other hand, thicker and coarse hair is usually voluminous. Medium and coarse hair also hold volume a lot better than finer hair structures.

  • Look for Scalp

    – Another way to find out the hair’s structure is by combing hair to the side and looking at the scalp. The hair may be fine if you can see the scalp through the hair. If it’s difficult to see the scalp, this means the structure is medium or coarse.

Now, you’re a hair structure pro! We hope you can use this information to improve your services and the experiences you create for your clients. Being a hairstylist who understands how to identify different kinds of hair and match a client with the right products and styles for their hair is incredibly important and helpful. Your clients look to you for the latest advice and insight on hair products that enhance their styles, colors and hair health. And understanding hair structures will allow you to make superior recommendations.


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