While no two heads of hair are the same, there are three main classifications of hair type based on race Asian hair, Afro hair and Caucasian hair (which can also be referred to as European hair).
There will of course be small regional differences, but in general there are defined similarities among each ethnic group. Whether it is a question of the hair's density, speed of growth or the shape of the hair follicle in the scalp, we can consider that each of the ethnic types mentioned above has its own identity.
All hair be is straight, wavy or frizzy is essentially made up of the same thing. Each strand consists of three layers, the cuticle, cortex and medulla, and a protein called keratin is the hair’s main component.
However, the shape of the follicle is what determines the hair’s shape.
Asian hair grows from a round hair follicle, while Afro hair sprouts from an oval one, and Caucasian hair follicles vary. Being a dead material, the hair subsequently keeps this original shape Asian hair is usually bone straight, Afro grows in a spiral like fashion, and Caucasian hair can be anything in between.
Wavy, curly, kinky and coily hair can be further classified by its curl pattern. This involves being allocated a number and a letter based on your curl type and tightness, eg. 4C, 2B, etc.
Type 1 hair is straight, type 2 hair is wavy, type 3 hair is curly and type 4 hair is coiled. The letter, A, B or C, which appears next to this number refers to the width of your curls. A is the widest curl, B is a medium curl and C indicates the tightest curls. Therefore, for example, 4C hair would be tightly coiled, whilst 2B hair would have a medium wave.
Hair growth rates also vary between hair races. Caucasian hair grows at a rate of about 1.2cm a month and has the greatest density of all three hair types. Blondes have about 146,000 hairs on their heads, black-haired beauties about 110,000 hairs, brunettes 100,000 hairs and redheads roughly 86,000 hairs. Afro hair is predominantly black and a healthy person possesses about 50,000 to 100,000 hairs on their head but they have the slowest growth rate of about 0.9cm per month. Asian hair the most dominant hair type in the world out speeds the rest with a growth rate of 1.3cm per month, and despite an estimated 80,000 to 140,000 scalp hairs, it usually has the least density.
Despite these marked differences, the causes of greying hair and hair loss do not differ between the races. Genetics, hormones, environmental factors all of these play a large role in hair thinning as well as certain lifestyle and hairstyling habits.
There are a high numbers of genetic hair loss cases in Caucasians, but traction alopecia is prevalent in people of colour. While Asians tend to be less susceptible to hair loss, it is becoming more common as their lifestyles become more westernised and Asian women are more likely to notice thinning hair compared to their counterparts.
Even though the types, prevalence and severity of hair loss and greying hair may vary between the hair races, the causes are invariably the same and so too is treatment generally speaking.
FDA-approved hair loss treatments are usually suitable for all hair types and people of all races, but you should get a specialists’ opinion if thinning or receding hair is a concern. There can be individualised variations on these treatments and sometimes a combination of proven treatments, hair supplements and hair growth boosters might be the most beneficial solution.
To see examples of Belgravia hair loss treatment results for clients with the same hair type as yours, simply visit our Success Stories gallery and use the drop down 'Hair Type' filter to select your hair type.
The racial differences in hair shape means that different care is needed for each. For hair that is prone to dryness, extra moisture is needed daily and monthly conditioning treatments are also recommended if dying or colouring your hair. Because Afro hair grows in a tight spiral fashion, it’s difficult for the natural oils to work their way from the scalp to the ends of the hair. It can be more vulnerable to certain scalp problems and tends to be dryer and more prone to breakage, whereas Asian hair usually has higher porosity levels, absorbing and retaining moisture more quickly. Though, as Asian hair grows faster and tends to be longer than other hair types, it too can suffer dryness as it tends to lose moisture along the length of the shaft.
If you’d like more information about hair loss, or to find out more about what can be done for thinning hair, contact the Belgravia Centre on 0207 730 6666 or send an email. Alternatively, fill in the online diagnostic form for an individual hair analysis and one of our advisors will contact you shortly with the results and recommendations.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.