An expert guide to giving yourself a hair reading

What are your hair’s cards saying?

Editor / July 18 2023

Ever had a psychic reading? We can confirm they’re incredibly insightful when it comes to discovering fascinating intel about your truest desires. A good reading can teach you ways to understand your many complexities, while also making it crystal clear what you really want and why.

Or rather, in this case, your hair’s truest complexities, and what said precious strands are searching for. Yep, we’re here to guide you through the process of a ‘hair reading’, an exercise with the power to provide information on your hair that you didn’t even know you didn’t know.

Pay close attention to your tresses as they share, and it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out - we see remarkably good hair in your future.

How to read your hair’s… type

First comes type, an essential-to-understand aspect of caring for your hair. To assess yours, wait until the second day after washing, then try the tissue test. Simply press a tissue straight onto your scalp, and assess the residue that’s left on it.

If the tissue is blank with zero oil stains, you’ve got dry hair. If it comes away with a large oil stain, your hair is oily. And if there are small or sporadic oil spots or stains, your hair is normal.

For dry hair, you’ll want to add hydration and strength with something in the style of the OGX Extra Strength Hydrate + Revive Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo ($25 at Coles). For oily hair, try a formula like the OGX Clarify + Shine Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo ($23 at Coles) to purify and refresh.

And hey if you’ve got normal hair, congrats, you can focus on something fun like your colour! Give the OGX Color Care Vibrant Color Vibes Shampoo ($23 at Woolworths) and Conditioner ($23 at Woolworths) combination a go, why don’t you?!

OGX Extra Strength Hydrate + Revive Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo

OGX Clarify + Shine Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

OGX Color Care Vibrant Color Vibes Shampoo

OGX Color Care Vibrant Color Vibes Conditioner

How to read your hair’s… thickness

You might think of ‘thick’ or ‘thin’ hair as the state of either having a lot of hair or a lack of hair. But actually the truth is that hair ‘thickness’ refers to the size of each individual strand, rather than the amount of them you have.

To find out your personal hair thickness, you’ll want to seek out the ‘sewing thread test’. Here’s the gist: pluck a strand of your hair (ideally from a spot that hasn’t seen as much breakage, e.g. not a piece framing your face that sees the most heat styling/colour damage), and compare it to a piece of sewing thread.

If your hair’s equally as wide (or just about), you’ve got thick hair. If it’s noticeably thinner, chances are you’ve got thin. Neither are necessarily good or bad, but it’s handy information for everything from explaining your hair to any professionals to picking out products.

How to read your hair’s… density

Yep, density is a different thing altogether to thickness! Density does in fact translate to how much hair you actually have. To find out what kind of density you’re dealing with, take a front section of your hair and gently pull it to one side.

If you can clearly see sections of your scalp underneath or through the hair, your hair is thin in the density stakes. If your scalp is barely visible, your hair is thick. And if you can somewhat see sections of your scalp, your density is most likely medium.

If your density is full, grab a glass of champagne and sit tight! However, if your hair reading shows that it’s sitting on the thin or medium side, try a fullness-enhancing haircare formula like the OGX Biotin & Collagen Weightless Oil Mist ($30 at Woolworths) for the appearance of full, strong, healthy-looking hair.

OGX Biotin & Collagen Weightless Oil Mist

How to read your hair’s… desire

It’s easy to assume that when strands are struggling, they all want the same thing, but there are actually different types of ingredients that hair will crave depending on what it’s lacking in. Your hair may be missing (and thus trying to get extra doses of) either moisture or protein depending on its condition.

Luckily, you can get a read on its desire with another simple test! The stretch test, to be exact. To try it, take a single stand of hair, and stretch it taut. If it struggles to stretch (or even snaps), it’s most likely that you’re missing moisture. On the other hand, if it stretches easily, but refuses to return to its normal pre-stretched state, you’re probably lacking protein. And hey, if it bounces right back into place, then you’re good in both departments; lucky you!

To add some serious moisture, try the deeply hydrating and argan oil-powered OGX Extra Strength Hydrate + Revive Argan Oil of Morocco Hair Mask ($25 at Woolworths). Or for a protein uplift, work the OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Conditioner ($23 at Woolworths) into your regular routine for a welcome hit of hydrolysed wheat proteins.

OGX Extra Strength Hydrate + Revive Argan Oil of Morocco Hair Mask

OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Conditioner

And there you go, you’ve officially mastered the skill of a DIY hair reading!

Main image credit: Getty

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Delaney began her career in the Australian beauty media industry in 2015, landing amidst the glossy world of women’s lifestyle magazines (or more literally, in their beauty cupboards). Since then, she has gone on to write across a multitude of beloved Australian media brands, including OK!, NW, InStyle, and Harper’s BAZAAR. She’s covered every side of beauty content, from directing beauty editorial shoots to rounding up the best glossy serums for golden hour skin. Having spent nearly a decade immersed in the beauty realm, Delaney’s knowledge of beauty is as extensive as her collection of tinted lip oils (read: extremely extensive). Delaney is currently the Digital Managing Editor of BEAUTYcrew, and her beauty wisdom also appears across beautyheaven, ELLE and Marie Claire. She enjoys channelling her personal hobby (testing beauty products) into her professional work (talking about testing beauty products), and considers perfecting the art of a cat eye in a moving car her life’s greatest accomplishment.