Hair Texture vs Hair Type

A beautiful woman with beautiful fine, coily hair looking back to the camera and smiling happily

Have you ever heard someone discuss coily hair and coarse hair as if they are one and the same? It’s not uncommon to confuse hair texture with hair type; but in reality, these two terms refer to incredibly different traits!

While hair texture refers to the thickness of each individual strand of hair, hair type refers to the natural curl pattern. Your curl pattern, determined by genetics, refers to the shape and tightness of your hair’s curl. 

By confusing these two terms, you take away from the uniqueness of your hair and lose the opportunity to treat it in a way that suits both its type and texture. 

What are “Hair Types”? 

Hair type refers to the natural way your hair curves, curls, or coils. Most people actually have a variety of different hair types. By using our easy guide, you can best decide what type the majority of your strands fall into and learn how to care for your hair as a whole! 

The most famous guide to hair types was first created by celebrity hairstylist Andre Walker, who worked with none other than Oprah Winfrey! His guide categorized hair into four different types: Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4. Each type was further divided into its own subcategories, each increasing in intensity of curl and coil. 

Here’s a brief, easy overview of the four major hair types: 

  • Type 1 – This hair type is generally straight and sleek.
  • Type 2– The second hair type is best categorized as “wavy,” with an “S” shape that typically lies close to the head.
  • Type 3 – This hair type is the beginning of the “curly” hair category, featuring loose curls to tight corkscrews.
  • Type 4 – This hair type has the tightest curls, “kinks” and coils, which form a zig zag or “S” pattern.

For a key on how to identify your specific hair type, check out “How Do I Know My Hair Type?“. Our hair typing guide comes complete with visuals and detailed tips on what products your specific hair type craves!

The Three Hair Textures 

While type discusses the shape of each curl, “hair texture” refers to the thickness and durability of the strand itself. Hair tends to fall into one of three textures: fine, medium, or coarse. 

Fine hair is the thinnest of the hair textures, making it the frailest and most open to damage. Thinner than a thread, this texture craves products that provide protective moisture without weighing down the roots. 

Medium hair is the most common of the hair textures. Medium texture strands are about the same width as a piece of yarn and generally more durable against heat and styling than fine hair. 

Coarse hair, wider than a thread, is the thickest of the hair types. This hair texture tends to be dry, meaning that people with thick, coarse hair need moisture rich products.

Does the Difference Matter? 

It’s tempting to assume that, because these two terms are so frequently mistaken, it can’t be that big a deal. The truth is, knowing the difference between hair type and texture is crucial! 

While “kinky” is sometimes used to describe Type 4 hair, “coarse” describes the texture. Just because hair is coarse doesn’t necessarily mean that it must also be kinky, or vice versa! 

By treating fine curls the same way that you might treat coarse, more durable hair, you risk accidentally damaging your curls with mistreatment. 

Texture Specific Haircare  

There’s no such thing as “unmanageable” hair; there’s only hair that hasn’t received the right, specialized care and attention. By learning more about your natural hair type and texture, you can better understand your hair’s needs and invest in products that can bring your coils to life.

van + veronica Haircare for Fine Curls System

Created for fine naturally curly hair, van + veronica products are silicone, sulfate, and paraben-free, meaning, we avoid ingredients that may damage delicate strands. Our special blend of argan, grapeseed, and apricot oils seep deep into your coils, sealing the cuticle and providing moisturizing protection. Best of all, because these natural oils are lightweight, they provide all of the moisture with none of the greasiness!

Our van + veronica product line for fine, dry curls includes Shampoo, Conditioner, Leave-In, and Styler: everything you need to keep your curls healthy, nourished, and shining! 

By understanding your natural hair’s type and texture, you can take the steps you need to turn dry curls into moisturized, beautiful curls with volume! Take the Curl Quiz now to find your hair texture and get personalized recommendations!

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