Detailed Hair Care for Black Men - Part 1


Hair Pattern


When it comes to taking care of your hair, you need to, first of all, understand your hair pattern type. The best way to know this is when your hair is wet with no products in it or when it is freshly washed with just conditioner. Here are the four main types of hair patterns.


  • Type 1 (straight): this hair type lays down on its own as it grows out. It has a lot of sheen and is resistant to damage. It is also almost impossible to curl it. 
  • Type 2 (wavy): this hair has large, loose “S” waves. It is easy to
     change to style; it can be straightened and curled. It is also susceptible to frizz.
  • Type 3 (coily): this hair has well defined and tight “S” shape curls that look a bit like a spring. It also frizzes quite easily.
  • Type 4 (kinky): this is the tightest curl pattern. It is susceptible to breakage and harder to care for at longer lengths. The use of harsh chemicals can damage this hair type. It needs delicate and tender loving care.

Hair Texture


Apart from knowing your hair pattern, knowing your hair texture (density and thickness) also helps a lot. 

  • Hair density is the number of individual hair strands on your head. Of course, you can’t count this but people with dense hair have a high number of hair strands and their scalp is barely visible. On the other hand, for people with sparse hair, their scalp is quite visible especially when it’s in twists or braids. You can also fall in between both categories. 
  • Hair thickness refers to how thick each hair strand is. To gain a rough estimate, you can use the thread test. Get a piece of regular, all-purpose thread and split it in half if it’s way too thick. Rub each strand between your fingers. 
    • Fine strands are usually a lot finer than a thread.
    • Medium strands are about half the size of a thread.
    • Thick/coarse strands are usually about the same size or thicker.


Another method is to hold the strand up to a light. Fine strands can barely be seen, medium strands are quite visible but not too visible and thick strands are very visible. 

People on the lower ends of thickness and/or density spectrums get the most damage because they have the most fragile hair. Hair types that are both dense and thick are the strongest and most resistant. All hair types are fragile but those that are both sparse and fine are the most fragile and require more delicate care.


Your Hair Type and Waves

Waves are laid down curls; all hair pattern types can get waves apart from type 1 hair because it’s straight. You have to be careful when it comes to the type of brush bristle you use. If you have fine strands and/or sparse hair, stay far away from hard brushes! See the table below for which brush to use based on your hair type.

 (Swipe left below)


Type 2

Type 3

Type 4

Fine strands and/or sparse hair




(soft for fine and sparse hair)

Medium hair




Thick strands and/or dense hair

Any or medium

Any or medium/hard

Any or hard


 Written by Esther Adebiyi

    Leave a comment