Although you can achieve straight hair through various styling methods, you are born with a certain hair type or texture. Did you know there are specifics to straight hair? It’s not simply a matter of if your hair lies flat. Is it able to hold a curl? Does it have a slight wave? There are defining characteristics that differentiate your hair type on the type 1 hair scale. Who knew?
Understanding Straight Hair Types
Type 1 hair is hair that lies flat, or straight. Straight locks tend to be on the shinier side because the hair’s natural oils are able to travel from root to tip. This hair category includes divisions 1A, 1B, and 1C.
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- Type 1A is “stick” straight hair that has no hint of curl or wave. In fact, it’s hard for people with type 1A hair to even hold a curl. It’s the rarest hair type and is common mostly among Asian women.
- Type 1B is not as flat as type 1A, and has extra body. When left unstyled it is generally straight, but it can hold curls, which gives the hair more movement and texture.
- Type 1C achieves the tousled look when air dried, while still lying mostly flat. This straight hair type is also usually thick and coarse, which can cause frizziness depending on the climate or environment
Myths About Straight Hair
There are several beauty myths that have circulated for years regarding straight hair. Here’s the lowdown on how much truth lies within these statements!
Myth: Cold water helps keep hair shiny and straight.
Have you ever blasted cold water on your hair at the end of your shower because you thought it’d help hold in shine and keep it straight? Unfortunately, the temperature of the water doesn’t affect how straight your hair will or won’t be. But by closing the hair cuticle, it does help lock in moisture, which is good for your straight hair’s health and luster.
Myth: Using heat styling tools at a higher temperature will help maintain straight hairs.
The truth is high settings will actually damage your hair and cause frizzing and breakage. Depending on how thick or thin your hair is, you can raise the temperature to adjust. Generally speaking, however, keep the temperature low to medium and always use a heat protectant before you start styling.
Myth: Straight, fine hair will never have body or hold curl.
Type 1A hair is the only straight hair type where it’s unlikely you’ll have any sort of body, wave, or curl. But flat hair types 1B and 1C can all achieve different styles with the right styling tools and products. This is true even if your hair is fine.
Myth: Combing hair from root to tip when wet helps promote straight hair.
While this combing method gives a temporary straight hairstyle, it doesn’t lock in the look once the hair dries. It can actually cause strands to break and become frizzy once dry. Instead, prep hair with a leave-in conditioner, then gently work the comb through the ends first, working your way up.
How to Care for Straight Hair
People with straight hairs face common challenges, such as dryness, limp locks, lack of shine, and product buildup. To ensure your hair is silky, healthy, and smooth, here are a few dos and don’ts to be mindful of when caring for your straight hair.
- Do wash your hair regularly. While some people opt to skip shampooing for a day or two, regular washes ensure clean hair that won’t leave your locks limp and oily-looking. Because natural oils collect more easily in straight hair, you run into the problem of having greasing-looking roots if you go without shampooing. Between washes, use a dry shampoo to refresh your roots and add volume to flat hair.
- Don’t overcompensate with products. Maybe your straight hair seems lifeless without adding your daily routine of products to the mix. Rather than using more products, find ones that incorporate multiple benefits into one bottle. Also, select products that contain natural ingredients and give your hair a healthy boost without sticky residue that can weigh down the hair over time.
- Do use hairspray or finishing spray to keep curls intact. Have you ever curled your hair only to have them lose their bounce an hour later? Maintain your styling by using product to hold curls in place. Also, comb through the hair with your fingers rather than a brush, if you want to separate for looser curls.
- Don’t sleep on wet hair. This is one way to invite frizz or cowlicks that will be harder to work through in the morning. If you decide to go to bed with damp hair, spray a leave-in conditioner over your tresses and pull into a loose braid.
Common Straight-Hair Concerns
In addition to dryness and limp locks, flyaways, tangles, and frizz are common straight hair concerns. Flyaways may occur when flat hair isn’t hydrated. Dry hair can be caused by a number of things: environment, static electricity, styling products, poor nutrition, or simply not enough water intake. If you are experiencing extra frizz, consider switching up your hair routine and/or diet.
Tangles are common as well, especially when wet. Leave-in conditioner can help alleviate this problem so your hair doesn’t knot up as easily. Give your hair the extra TLC it needs, especially as it adjusts to seasonal elements. It’s all about what works best for your straight hair type!
What Are the Best Cuts and Hairstyles for Straight Hair?
There are plenty of options for haircuts for straight hair. Depending on the thickness of your hair and your face shape, the best cuts for straight hair can range from a sleek bob to long layers.
Those with a round face, for example, might opt for a shorter cut with side bangs. Angular bobs are popular because the cut falls into place with little to no hair maintenance needed. It also helps take weight off for those who have thicker hair.
Additionally, layering is one of the top go-to hairstyles for straight hair because of its versatility. Layers add movement, body, and texture to locks that might otherwise look limp or dull. Stylists can judge the length of layers that would work best for your face shape and how to cut them so they blend into the rest of your hair as they grow out.
There are also tons of easy hairstyles for straight hair. One simple styling solution for flat hair is switching up your part. A middle part is common, but a dramatic side part can change a look immediately. Play up the look by adding one thick braid or several mini braids to add personality to the straight hairstyle you want to achieve.
If you have been blessed with straight hair, you have a little more freedom to play around with different cuts and styles than those with other hair types.
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