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January 2020

Understanding Types of Hair


Did you know?

Curly, wavy and straight hair not only

L👀K different, but that they’re also MADE differently?


The curls in the hair are formed by the inner hair structures changing in size and shape.


The hair cuticle itself is more thin on the outward side of a curl, and sticker on the inward side of the curl coil.


Beneath the cuticle lies the cortex. 


Within the cortex are varying sized bundles of cellular material. On the outward side curve of a curl, these bundles are larger. 

On the inward coil of a curl, these bundles are smaller. 

This pulls the hair fiber into kinks throughout the entire length of the hair.


Why is understanding this important? 


Because as we manipulate the hair with our tools and methods, it’s important to remember that any time we work across curly or wavy hair, any place where there is a change in the shape, there is also a change in the structure which makes that hair succeptible to breakage if we pull too hard on that area. 


The shape of the hair follicle itself is different from a straight hair to a wavy hair or a curly hair. 

As well, the emerging hair grows out of the skin at varying angles depending on whether it is straight wavy or curly.


The angle at which the are emerges from the follicle is what produces our oblique or tight coated dogs, our combination coats, and our upright or curly coats.


For instance, on the jacket areas of our terriers and sporting dogs, why do many of these breeds get sticky-outies across the shoulder layback?

Because within the skin in that area, the hair grows upward in a whorl, and is surrounded by hair growing from the follicle at a downward angle.

When you pull your carding or stripping knives across these areas, it is easy to accidentally grab hold of the hairs growing at a different angle and cut or break them. 

As they grow out, they stick out!


Think about how we apply our air dryers and tools to these varying types of coats in order to manipulate them towards the best finish product! 


If you understand that all of these things are going on right beneath our noses and just outside our view every day, on every dog, you can better see how to apply your skills.

If you understand how canine skin and coat works, it is easier to achieve a beautiful groom and maintain optimal health of canine skin and coat on every client in your salon!😉