Hair loss treatments are everywhere:
There is not a single day when we don’t see these hair loss ads on Facebook or YouTube promising to grow our hair back.
Many brands claim to offer natural solutions to “stop hair loss in its tracks” and help us regrow our hair naturally, with no to minimal side effects.
Yet, thousands of men and women who have tried their luck with these so-called hair growth formulas report that they haven’t seen any major difference after the treatment.
According to a survey from the Consumer Reports magazine conducted on 8,000 men and women, over 50% of the men polled said that they were disappointed by the results of hair loss remedies 1.
And according to several dermatologists and trichologists, there is a simple reason for that: realistically speaking, there is no “one-size-fit-all” treatment to combat hair loss effectively, as mentioned by Anabel Kingsley, consultant trichologist and president of the Philip Kingsley hair clinics.
That’s because we’re all born with a different type of hair, and one treatment that works for a friend or colleague of ours may not work for us, because every type of hair requires a different treatment approach. For example, a given hair loss treatment may work for someone with curly hair but not work at all for someone with straight hair.
“Determining your hair type is essential to choose the right hair care products. Not every product will be well-fit for your hair. Your unique hair type deserves a customized hair care regimen that caters to your individual hair needs,” explains Dr. Harish Koutam, Chief Dermatologist at SkinKraft 2.
In this article, we’re going to present the different types of human hair, and explain which treatments work best for each of these types.
At the end of this article, you’ll get a chance to find out your exact type of hair as well as suggestions of natural treatments that have proved to be effective for this specific type of hair.
Why the perfect hair loss treatment doesn’t exist
Aggressive marketing campaigns from hair product brands have led people to believe that one hair loss treatment could somehow be the solution to all their hair problems.
“Put this on your scalp every morning and grow back your hair in less than 60 days” – such could be the claim of the typical hair loss product we can find online those days.
The problem is that these claims are simply not realistic, because there is no “one-size-fit-all” treatment to fight hair loss effectively, as highlighted by Anabel Kingsley, consultant trichologist and president of the Philip Kingsley hair clinics.
Dr. Fiona McCulloch, a Naturopathic Doctor, founder of White Lotus Integrative Medicine in Toronto, appears to share the same view:
“Hair supplements should always be looked at critically. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to hair health and many over-the-counter products have not been proven to be effective for hair growth,” says Dr. McCulloch 3.
That’s why many people who decide to try a new hair loss treatment after seeing positive customer testimonials online end up being disappointed with the results they get.
Sometimes they’ll try the product for months, and barely see any difference on how their hair looks and feels. This can feel very discouraging, especially for someone dealing with advanced hair loss or hair thinning.
But the reason some hair loss treatment may work very well for some, but not at all for others, is because we all have a unique type of hair. One hair loss treatment may be very effective to regrow “straight hair”, but completely useless to regrow curly hair, due to biological differences in hair shaft structure and nutritional needs.
Now, you may be wondering: what exactly is our “hair type”?
Simply put, your hair type refers to how straight or curly it is.
Your hair type is determined by the shape of your hair shaft: “straight hair” is round, “curly hair” is oval-shaped, and “coily hair” is flat. The shape of our hair shaft cannot be changed, it is in our DNA.
We may temporarily change the appearance of our hair type, by, for example, blow-drying wavy hair to make them straight. But our hair will always come back to their natural form at some point.
The key thing to understand is that each hair type requires a different approach to stimulate hair growth and fight hair loss. If you’re using a hair loss treatment that uses ingredients targeted at growing back “curly hair”, but your hair type is “straight”, you’re unlikely to see any results, even after months of disciplined treatment.
If you want to find a hair growth treatment that is effective (in the sense that it increases both the density and quality of your hair), then you need to find a solution that is specifically adapted to your unique hair type (we’ll show you how to find your hair type in a second).
As explained Dr. Harish Koutam, Chief Dermatologist at SkinKraft:
“Determining your hair type is essential to choose the right hair care products. Not every product will be well-fit for your hair. Your unique hair type deserves a customized hair care regimen that caters to your individual hair needs,” says Dr. Koutam 2.
What are the four main hair types, and how to recognize them
According to the Andre Walker Hair Typing System (the most widely used system to classify hair created by the hairstylist of Oprah Winfrey), there are four main types of hair:
- Straight hair
- Wavy hair
- Curly hair
- Coily hair
We explain below how to recognize each type of hair, and which specific ingredients are most effective to stimulate hair growth for each of these types.
Type 1: Straight hair
Type 1 is straight hair that doesn’t curl. This type of hair is generally considered to be the most resilient and hardest to damage. However, since the hair is nearly perfectly straight, the scalp sebum spreads easily from the scalp to ends, making it the most oily type of hair.
Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Zac Efron, are examples of male celebrities with straight hair. Emma Watson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Aniston also have a straight hair type.
Key properties of “straight hair”:
- Resilient and hard to damage
- Doesn’t curl easily, can be hard to style
- Can obtain a natural, healthy shine more easily than other hair type
- Can look “oily” quickly due to abundance of sebum on the hair shaft
- Tendency to look limp and flat compared to other hair types (i.e. relatively lower volume)
- Thinning hair becomes more visible than other hair type as the scalp is more exposed
Hair care advice:
This hair type should be cleansed more often as the oils and grease from the sebum can weigh the hair down. Since the hair is naturally “oily”, it’s good practice to avoid creamy, thick hair products that add unnecessary oil to your hair.
Instead, hair specialists recommend using light, plant-based shampoos and conditioners that clean the scalp effectively without making it greasy. For instance, aloe vera, amaranth, and eucalyptus are excellent ingredients to maintain healthy-looking straight hair. They can be found in several high quality shampoos.
Second, since straight hair tends to appear naturally thinner and less dense than other hair types, you may want to use a thickening (but non-greasy) conditioner to make your hair look thicker and more voluminous. Several natural ingredients, such as niacinamide, have been shown to increase hair density by boosting keratin production (a protein that makes up 90% of the hair shaft). So if you have thin, straight hair, try to look for hair products that use hair thickening ingredients like niacinamide – it will make your hair look denser and more luscious.
Finally, when it comes to stimulating the growth of straight hair (to fight hair loss for instance), plant-based ingredients like aloe vera and Capilia Longa can be very effective for this hair type. In a recent study, researchers observed an 89% reduction in hair loss after 150 days after applying Capilia Longa on the scalp of volunteers.
Type 2: Wavy hair
Type 2 is wavy hair that is between straight and curly: not completely straight, but not completely curly either. Compared to straight hair, wavy hair typically has a higher natural volume and thickness, so hair thinning may be slightly less visible on people with wavy hair. That being said, they are also more likely to become dry and frizzy than straight hair, which can cause breakage and potential hair loss.
Male celebrities with wavy hair include: Bradley Cooper, Orlando Bloom, Kit Harington. On the female side, celebrities like Jessica Chastain, Sofia Vergara, or Charlize Theron also have wavy hair.
Key properties of “wavy hair”:
- Naturally higher volume and thickness
- Prone to frizz and dryness. Need oil and moisturizer
- More easily damaged than straight hair
- If well maintained, can be easier to style than other hair styles
Hair care advice:
Wavy hair doesn’t get as oily as straight hair, so they don’t need to be washed as frequently. In fact, excessive washing can cause dryness and potentially breakage.
Since they are naturally prone to frizz, wavy hair needs to be taken care of with moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, to make sure the hair stays hydrated and well nourished. Wavy hair will react well to plant-based moisturizing ingredients, such as Abyssinian oil, aloe vera, or eucalyptus extract, for instance.
If wavy hair offers a naturally more voluminous look than straight hair, people with thinning wavy hair may want to use a hair-thickening solution based on niacinamide or biotin.
Finally, people with wavy hair who are dealing with hair loss have higher chances of growing their hair back by using potent ingredients capable of reaching the scalp. Ingredients like aloe vera, caffeine, or Capilia Longa proved to be quite effective to stimulate the growth of this hair type.
Type 3: Curly hair
Type 3 is curly hair that looks like the letter “S”. This hair type is usually more voluminous than other hair types, meaning that hair looks naturally thick and dense. That said, it is highly climate-dependent, and it can become frizzy and get damaged relatively easily. People with this type of hair need to apply a proper amount of care to maintain healthy, beautiful curls.
Jason Momoa, Timothée Chalamet, and Sacha Baron Cohen are examples of male celebrities rocking this hair type. Female celebrities with natural curly hair include Zendaya, Beyoncé, and Vanessa Hudgens.
Key properties of “curly hair”:
- Thick, naturally voluminous hair
- Highly prone to frizz and dryness. Needs ample moisturizing
- Prone to breakage. Requires delicate combing
- Needs powerful conditioner to nourish the hair and prevent drying
Hair care advice:
This hair type can look fabulous on both men and women, but it’s also one of the types that require the greatest amount of care. First, curly hair should never be brushed to avoid frizz. These hairs should be combed delicately, and nourished with ample doses of moisturizing conditioner to keep the hair healthy and hydrated. If you have long curly hair, avoid applying tension on the hair root as it can favor hair loss.
People with this type of hair should look for powerful moisturizing shampoo and conditioners, formulated with extra-nourishing ingredients like Abyssinian oil, niacinamide, and aloe vera.
Finally, to cope with curly hair loss, it is often advised to use a very potent growth stimulating compound combined with a molecule to open up the hair follicles. That’s because hair of this type is usually extremely dense, making it harder for growth-promoting compounds to reach the scalp. Formulas combining Capilia Longa with low-dose ethanol have shown strong hair growth results for the curly hair type.
Type 4: Coily hair
Type 4, or “coily hair”, is a hair type that is coiled very tightly. This hair type often has extremely high density and volume. It is also very fragile and more susceptible to damage than other types of hair. A rigorous hair care routine is therefore necessary to maintain healthy, strong coily hair.
Many Afro-American male celebrities have this type of hair, including Will Smith, Kevin Hart, and Barack Obama. Female celebs Oprah Winfrey, Serena Williams, and Zoe Kravitz.
Key properties of “coily hair”:
- Very high volume and density
- Highly prone to breakage and frizz
- Need for deep conditioning and moisturizing products
- Need for gentle, natural products to avoid breakage
Hair care advice:
This is arguably the hair type that requires the most rigorous care. Many people with this hair type are blessed with naturally high density and volume, but their hair is also very fragile and susceptible to damage compared to other hair types.
For this reason, people with coily hair should use deep conditioning and moisturizing hair products to avoid frizz and dryness, and give the hair a healthy natural look.
Conditioner is a must. Oils and deeply moisturizing ingredients such as Abyssinian oil, eucalyptus oil, and aloe vera should be favored for this hair type. It’s also very important to use only gentle, natural products to avoid breakage.
People with this coily hair type dealing with hair loss should look for natural ingredients that promote hair growth without drying the hair, such as niacinamide, biotin, or Capilia Longa.
Find out what is the best hair growth product according to your hair type
As explained before, every type of hair is different, and you will see much stronger hair growth results if you’re using a hair product that is well suited to your hair type.
To help you find your unique hair type, we created a brief quiz that will tell you what exact hair type you have after answering a few short questions.
Right after this quiz, you will obtain a curated list of quality hair growth products that have proved to be effective to regrow your specific type of hair. Start the quiz by clicking on the button below: