A Quick Guide to Men's Hair Types (& How To Find Your Own)

Written by: Piers Le Moignan

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Time to read 9 min

A solid hair care routine is all about finding the products and techniques that work best for your specific, individual hair type. Understanding more about the way your hair 'works' is the perfect place to start. If you've never determined your hair type before, don't worry – it's not as complicated as it sounds.

 

Men's hair is just the same as women's in that there are various types and textures, each with its own unique needs and quirks.

 

By understanding your hair type, you can choose the right products, styling techniques and maintenance routines to look after it properly and perfect different hairstyles. And who wouldn't want to make their hair care easier?

Different Types of Men’s Hair

Hair type is essentially split into two categories – texture and thickness – and is ranked in numbers and letters.

 

Confused? Let's break it down:

Image Credit: Pantene

Hair Texture

Hair texture refers to the style of your hair: straight, wavy, curly, or coily. This one should be a pretty easy one for you to figure out since you know what your hair generally looks like.

  • Type 1: Straight Hair – The hair grows straight down without any noticeable waves.

  • Type 2: Wavy Hair – This type of hair has a slight bend or wave to it. It can range from loose waves to defined curls.

  • Type 3: Curly Hair – This hair type has tighter curls, ranging from loose ringlets to tight corkscrews.

  • Type 4: Coily Hair – The coils in this hair type are tightly packed and can range from springy zig-zags to tight coils.

Hair Thickness

These 4 hair texture types can be further defined by hair thickness and are marked from A to C within each type.

 

For example...

  • Type A: Fine Hair

  • Type B: Medium Hair

  • Type C: Coarse Hair

The thickness of your hair will also affect the pattern and shape of your hair. Type 1 A hair is much more fine than type 1 C, and type 4 A hair is more tightly coiled than type 4 C.

 

Knowing your hair texture and thickness is important as it can help you better understand how to care for and style your hair. Different hair types might require more attention and different products to achieve the look you're going for.

Men's Straight Hair: Type 1 A-C

Straight hair can be defined as hair that falls straight from the scalp with no visible curl or wave. Think of celebs like Ryan Gosling and Becks, who are known for their straight locks. Type A hair is very fine, while type B hair has more volume and body. Type C hair is the thickest of the straight hair types and has more texture.

 

You might find that your hair tends to get greasy more quickly than other hair types because the oil from your scalp can travel down the hair shaft more easily. While that means shinier-looking hair, it also means you might need to wash more frequently.

 

Straight hair is typically very easy to manage, though, and adding texture or volume can be easily achieved with styling products like our Marine Mist sea salt spray. A simple spritz into damp hair can give you effortless everyday waves or add texture for a more tousled look.

Men's Wavy Hair: Type 2 A-C

Wavy hair is a little harder to define, as it can vary from loose, barely-there waves to defined and bouncy curls. A lot of people define themselves as having a curly hair type when, in fact, they actually have wavy hair.

 

Wavy hair can often be straighter at the root and get curlier towards the ends, creating a natural "S" shape. But it can also be more uniform in its wave pattern. This hair type tends to have good body and volume, making it great for creating voluminous hairstyles like a messy bedhead look.

 

As people with wavy hair will know, frizz can be a bit of a nuisance. Wavy hair is coarser than straight strands, so it's more prone to flyaways and can be difficult to tame. Using products that hydrate and nourish your hair will help reduce frizz and define your wave pattern.

 

Our Hybrid Hair styling compound works incredibly well at doing just this, and we've had some great feedback from men with wavy hair that it's done the job when no other product seemed to work. It's lightweight and won't weigh down your barnet, but it provides enough hold to keep your waves in place all day.

Men's Curly Hair: Type 3 A-C

Curly hair has a tighter curl pattern than wavy hair, ranging from tight curls (type 3 c) to slightly looser curls (type 3 a), but these are still distinct curls, not waves. Jack Harlow and Timothée Chalamet are great examples of men with type 3 hair, so if your trim looks anything like theirs, you probably have this type.

A curly hair type also tends to be prone to frizz and dryness, which can sometimes make it a bit tricky to manage. The strands are drier than straight hair due to the natural oils from the scalp being unable to travel down the curved strands as easily. It's also more porous, meaning it doesn't absorb moisture as well.

 

When styling your trim, you'll find that styling it dripping wet will help you achieve the best results, as it allows the products to penetrate the hair, define the curls, and reduce potential frizz.

Using styling techniques like finger coiling, scrunching, or dunking the hair in water can also help enhance and define those curls.

 

Products formulated for curly hair will also be beneficial, as they typically contain more moisturising ingredients and are designed to enhance the natural shape of curls without weighing them down. We've created our hair care products to work with all types of hair, including curly hair.

Men's Coily Hair: Type 4 A-C

Coily or kinky hair is at the tighter end of the curly hair spectrum, characterised by tight, springy curls (type 4 c) or a mix of tight and looser curls (type 4 a). Corbin Bleu, Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd), and Donald Glover are some famous men you'll probably recognise with naturally coily hair.

 

This hair type usually has the most volume and definition but can also be prone to dryness if not properly cared for. Moisture will be your best mate to keep your hair pattern defined, so it's important to use products that provide lots of hydration. They'll also help to prevent breakage, frizz and flyaways and reduce tangling.

 

Styling it when wet will also help you achieve a more defined look so the product can penetrate and hold in the moisture.

Other Factors Affecting Your Hair Type

Aside from the 4 main hair types, there are other characteristics that define what sort of hair you have and can make a big difference in how you care for it.

 

Some of these factors include:

Scalp

Your scalp plays a major role in the health and appearance of your hair. For example, people with a drier scalp may experience more flakiness and buildup, so using products to target these concerns would be beneficial. On the other hand, those with an oily scalp may need to focus on oil control and use lighter products.

Hair Porosity

We touched on this one briefly, but hair porosity refers to your hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture. High-porosity hair tends to absorb moisture more easily – straight hair is the most porous out of all hair types.

 

On the flip side, low-porosity hair, like curly and coily hair, needs a little extra help to absorb moisture. Adding moisture through conditioning and styling products will help maintain healthy, hydrated hair. And you'll find that styling your hair when it's wet is much easier and more effective, so you might find a continuous spray bottle comes in handy so you can dampen sections as you go.

Hair Density

Hair density is a bit like thickness, but it specifically refers to the number of individual hair strands on your head. That doesn't mean you need to start counting your hair strands, but you can get a general idea of how dense your hair is by how thick it is.

 

High-density hair is typically thicker and has more volume, while medium-density hair falls somewhere in between. Because the head has more hair, you might find tangling to be a bit of a pain here, so regular detangling is important. But, the added body will make it easier to create different hairstyles and add more texture.

 

Low-density hair tends to be thinner and can often appear flat, which you'll usually find with type 1 or type 2 hair. You can add more volume to your hair through styling or by using hair-thickening products, like our Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner. These products are formulated with hair-stimulating ingredients like Caffeine, which is a clinically proven ingredient to help promote hair growth and thickness.

The Round-up: Men's Hair Types

Once you've figured out your hair type using the points above, you can start to build out a hair care routine that works best for you, from using the best products to trying out different styling techniques.

 

We have lots of great hair tips for men over on our blog, like hairstyle inspiration, how to care for different hair types, and busting common hair care myths – be sure to check it out.

 

As for products to use on your hair? Our premium collection of men's haircare has got you covered.

 

We've developed a line of innovative and advanced haircare specifically for men, with high-quality ingredients and effective formulas. They've proven to be effective on all hair types, helping to nourish and strengthen your hair while also promoting healthy growth. Build your routine with our shampoo, conditioner, and styling products to achieve the best results for your hair.

FAQs

Does it Matter What Hair Type I Have?

Figuring out what hair type you have can be really helpful for determining how best to care for and style your locks. Some styling techniques will be more effective for certain hair types than others, like scrunching for curly hair or blow-drying for thinner, straighter hair. Your hair may also need more hydration if it's more porous or a boost in volume if it's finer.

Do Men Have the Same Hair Types As Women?

Generally, yes. The 4 main hair types are universal and apply to both men and women. Sometimes, it can be a little trickier to define hair type for men since they tend to have shorter hair that can be more difficult to classify. However, the same principles apply.

Can My Hair Type Change?

Your hair type can change as you get older. Many people may find they lose their curl pattern as they age, or that their hair becomes more dry or coarse, or vice versa. This can be down to a number of things, like hormonal changes, medication, or even lifestyle factors.

Should I Use Different Products Depending on My Hair Type?

Using products specifically designed for your hair type can be beneficial for targeting any specific concerns you may have. For example, someone with fine hair may benefit from using volumising products to add body and lift. We've created our haircare products to be totally universal, using the goodness of natural ingredients to powerfully cleanse, nourish and protect your hair, no matter what type it is.

Piers Le Moignan

Piers Le Moignan is the founder and CEO of Salt Grooming, an award-winning British luxury men’s haircare and styling brand. 


Founded in 2018, Piers has quickly grown the company into a global brand that has distributed to 43 countries and counting.


Headquartered in London, Piers leads an agile workforce of 10 employees and consultants, including the company’s formulation team which features some of the UK’s leading cosmetic scientists. Piers is responsible for overseeing logistics, supply chain, and performance marketing, and is the driving force behind Salt’s product innovation and brand/creative direction. 


Previous to foundership, Piers spent a decade at some of London’s leading creative agencies, developing global brands and communications for the likes of Adidas, Jaguar Land Rover, British Airways, and more.

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