Styling for your hair type could be the key to your best hair
16th Dec 2020
Knowing what hair type you have is key to having great hair days every day. We asked a Dyson expert how we can tell what kind of hair we have and how to style it effectively.
The key to really great hair is knowing what you’re dealing with.
Despite my best efforts in younger years to have poker-straight hair, understanding that my hair has a natural wave and a bunch of textures made styling my hair so much easier. Embracing this meant I got my first great haircut – a blunt bob.
I cannot overstate the difference a great haircut has made to my life. It looks healthier when I straighten it, holds a curl much better and it dries into a perfectly dishevelled bedhead when I dry it with the right tools. On lazy days, I can keep it neat in a low middle-parted ponytail that is mostly chic but occasionally regretfully reminiscent of a United States founding father.
Finding the right cut has made my life inexplicably simpler and given me good hair days as a regular occurrence and not a rare post-appointment perk. But I never would have gotten there if I hadn’t identified and embraced my natural hair texture.
Dyson ambassador and professional hairdresser Dylan Bradshaw says, “The beauty of a good haircut is that it’s like treating yourself to a tailored designer coat that fits perfectly and provides you with that confidence boost. The world becomes your oyster when it then comes to styling it.”
Are you absolutely clueless as to your hair type? We asked a Dyson expert how we can tell what kind of hair we have and how to style it effectively.
DIY Hair Consultation
Want to know if your hair density is fine or coarse? Try holding a single hair in your fingers to see how thick the strand is. Can your hair hold a curl for days, or does your blowdry fall flat in a matter of hours? Coarse hair will have greater style retention, so if you have fine hair learning to style for your hair type could help you keep those locks looking lush for longer.
There’s a difference between hair thickness (how many hairs you have on your head) and hair density. You can have a lot of individual strands, but it’s the shape of those strands that really matters for styling.
Whether your hair is short, medium or long can change the style that would look best on you.
It’s time to embrace your natural texture! Would you describe your hair as straight, wavy, curly or coily? Haven’t a clue? Here’s a guide for understanding the natural movement and shape of your hair.
While straight hair can be the glossiest hair type, it has issues too; it can be greasy and limp and can be impossible to curl. Straight hair can range from poker straight to straight hair with a few visible waves.
Wavy hair can be fine or coarse and can range in texture from a slight bend in the hair to full beachy kinkiness. If you’re regularly battling frizz and wispy bits or if your hair air dries into a slight S shape curve, chances are you’ve got wavy hair! Your waves can be loose with stretched ‘s’ waves throughout, they can be short with distinct ‘s’ waves or they can have distinct ‘s’ waves with some spiral curls.
Are you one of many rediscovering your curly natural texture after decades of straightening? As the world has finally woken up to the beauty of curls, you might be finding it a minefield to decode your texture. One head of curls can contain several kinds of curls, from loose curls to corkscrews that can sometimes be too limp and sometimes too voluminous.
Coily hair tends to be drier, coarser and more fragile, with several textures often present in one head of hair. You might have tightly coiled, springy curls, coils that can bend sharply like the letter z, called a z pattern, or a tightly kinked z pattern.
Although higher temperatures will style faster and last longer, we know that excessive heat can damage our hair. So how do we get around this? Styling your hair from wet to dry can help prevent extreme heat damage because your hair will take on its new shape as it dries, without the excessive temperatures required for some hot tools.
This is where the Dyson Airwrap styler succeeds where other styling tools can’t; it not only offers a range of tools for all hair types, from barrels to curl and wave, and brushes to smooth, but it styles with air, not heat. It measures the heat temperature 40 times a second, ensuring your hair is safe from extreme heat damage.
Want to learn more about styling to protect against extreme heat? Read more.
Styling tips for your hair type
Looking to add height and volume to limp or flat straight hair? Dylan Bradshaw provides his top styling tips for straight hair.
“If you are trying to achieve that well-lusted after straighter look, it’s important to start from wet hair. When your hair is wet, the hydrogen bonds (the memory of your hair) breakdown, making it the perfect setting to manipulate your style to last longer and reset the style of your hair.
“The Pre-styling Dryer attachment for the Dyson Airwrap styler will take the heavy wetness from your hair and leave it damp and prepped for styling.
“Next, attach either the Soft Smoothing Brush or the Firm Smoothing Brush. The Soft Smoothing Brush attachment has gentle bristles for sensitive scalps and gives a smooth, blowdry finish. For creating a straighter style on coarser hair, the Firm Smoothing Brush gives less frizz and flyaways thanks to firmer bristles.
“Both come in small sizes too, for styling shorter hair and fringes. They couldn’t be easier to use, you just brush through the hair in sections. Both Smoothing Brushes dry the hair while lifting at the roots to add volume.”
Coils, Curls and Waves
For those who are looking for curls, Dylan Bradshaw shares tips on how to get the perfect curl with the Dyson Airwrap styler.
“There are three barrels for the Airwrap in 20mm, 30mm and 40mm. There are two barrels in a set: one to style clockwise and one to style anti-clockwise for perfectly symmetrical curls.
“Once you’ve dried the wetness out of your hair with the Pre-styling Dryer attachment, switch to your barrel. For tighter curls, the 20mm suits all hair types and gives a long-lasting style for finer hair.
“The 30mm barrels create classic waves with more volume and come in long or short barrels depending on your hair length. For loose, beachy waves the 40mm barrel is the one you want. Curl your hair, working in sections, and then gently brush through using your fingers or a wide-tooth comb.”
Have a natural curl or wave you want to keep? Dylan recommends using the Dyson Supersonic diffuser attachment.
“Curly hair needs to be treated with care to prevent breakage and to stop frizz. The diffuser is engineered to disperse air evenly around each of your curls. It simulates natural drying, helping to reduce frizz for improved definition.”
As we said before, it’s not just about looking at the style you want, but styling for your hair type! Here are some of Dylan’s top tips for styling both fine and coarse hair:
- “A big issue for women with finer hair is style retention – stay away from the high hold sprays, use a lighter hold spray for a more natural look and feel. And ditch the conditioner on the days you are going for a curl, creams and oils can weight the hair down. And always set your style using the cold shot.”
- “If you have coarser hair, one common complaint is frizz and flyways. Go easy on the shampoo, as it can make the hair fluffier and avoid rough dry and add a finishing cream or oil to add shine.”
The new Dyson Airwrap styling attachments are available exclusively from Dyson.ie and at Dyson stores in Liffey Valley, Stephens Green, Swords Pavillions and Dundrum Town Centre. Visit now to see the exclusive colours and benefits you can get when you buy direct from Dyson.
Photography by Dyson.