People all over the world have different types and textures of hair.
Some have wavy, curly, straight, black, blonde, brown, red, and auburn.
The various types of hair give
us a part of our personalities and are part of who we are as a people.
Being born with a certain type of hair does not guarantee that you will have that same hair type for the rest of your life. Some children born with curly hair grow up to have straight hair. The occurrence of these different hair types has not been fully understood although it may be attributed to different factors:
- The arrangement of the big bundles of keratin inside every individual hair shaft.
- The position of the hair bulb within the hair follicle. This affects
the shape of the hair in the Negroid or African type of hair,
the bulb may possibly be located at the side of the follicle,
making the hair grow out at an acute angle.
- The irregular growth in the bulb. If the growth varies even slightly, the hair may grow out as wavy strands.
- The shape of the hair follicles also affects the type of hair that grows out.
- The occurrence and number of twists in the hair. All hair twists
as it grows even the seemingly perfect Mongoloid or Asian type
hair. The twists in any given length of hair determine the amount
of curl if there are a large number of twists, the hair is more
likely to be very curly.
The different hair types and hair variations are directly linked to ethnicity. There are three types of hair related to race: Mongoloid, Caucasoid, and Negroid. Caucasoid hair type ranges in color from pale blonde to black, and also varies in shape and texture from curly to straight. Mongoloid hair is typically black and straight, while Negroid type of hair is black and comes in tight curls. Of the three types of hair, the Caucasoid hair is the most diverse in appearance. There are also mixed types of hair as races have intermingled producing different blends of hair type, texture, and color.
For the Asian people, the bundles of keratin in the hair are straight, producing hair shafts that are thick and nearly completely round. Keratin bundles in Caucasians, on the other hand, are a mixture of both curly and wavy, producing hair shafts that are typically oval in shape. The African type of hair contains a large number of twists if compared to the other two types of hair. The African type of hair is characterized by hair shafts that are oval in shape with well defined edges. The cuticle in this type of hair is kinked and prone to damage.
The shape of hair may be affected by humidity and water. Straight hair may become rather wavy when exposed to too much humidity, while slightly curly hair can straighten out if drenched in water. This is due to the greater number of hydrogen bonds that are broken due to exposure to water. This effect; however, is only temporary and the hair will go back to its original shape after drying.