Hair Care 101 - Hair Care - iVillage Beauty Hair and Nail Salon

When you go to the drugstore and look down the hair care aisle, if you're like most of us, you're overwhelmed by the number of choices. One product claims to give your hair volume, another says it cures split ends, a third touts its antifrizz formula. It goes on and on. How do you decide which one is right?

The key to understanding what will work for you is to determine what type of hair you have. If you're of European descent, your hair will fall into one of three broad categories: fine and thin, medium or coarse and thick. Asian hair is the thickest of all, and African Americans have a completely different hair type. While a Caucasian hair is oval and an Asian hair rounder, an African hair alternates thick and thin. This is what makes it curly, but it's also what makes it fragile and prone to breakage (at the thin points). African hair can be fine, medium or coarse, but most falls into the third category.

In addition, some hair is more porous and will quickly soak up whatever you put on it, as well as the humidity in the air. If your hair gets frizzy on muggy days and flat on very dry ones, it's probably porous. Coarse hair is often porous, as is any hair that has been permed, straightened, permanently colored or otherwise damaged.

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