LOIS Hair typing system uses the letters L, O, I, S to define hair typing.
According to study,
The L= Bend
The O= Curl
The I= Straight
The S= Wavy
(confused? read on, you’ll understand)
It was created by a website that is no longer active, the system appears to be slowly dying even though many naturals still prefer it to the famous Andre Walker hair typing system as many black women feel that Andre Walker’s numbering system categorizes Type 4 hair as the least and undesirable hair type. This is not so with the LOIS system which mainly promotes healthy hair while trying to eliminate the number labelling of hair types as created by Mr. Walker. Thus, the adoption of letters for this system instead of numbers.
These three characteristics is used by The LOIS hair typing system to define hair:
(1) pattern (2) strand size (3) texture.
(1) Hair Patterns
It is important to note that hair pattern simply means the pattern of each strand of hair that make up the hair on your head. It could be curly, coily, wavy or straight.
The LOIS system defines the hair pattern by the letters L,O, I, S. Don’t worry, I’ll explain:
L = If the hair is dominated by bends, right angles and folds with little to no curve, then you’re considered a pattern “L”.
O = If the strand is significantly rolled up into the shape of zeros, looking like a spiral, then you’re considered a pattern “O”.
I = if your hair lies flat on your head with no distinctive curl or bend pattern, you’re considered to have a pattern “I”.
S = If your hair strand has “S” shaped curls or waves with defined hills and valleys, then you’re considered a pattern “S”.
Note: just like in the Andre walker’s hair typing system, a person can have different LOIS hair patterns. The system allows you combine LOIS letters to determine your hair pattern when this happens.
For instance, your hair pattern may be an “LS” LOIS hair type. Meaning that your hair would have a combination of “L” shaped bent and angled curls and “S” shaped curly waves.
(2) Hair Strand Sizes
According to Lois hair typing system a piece of thread is approximately the size of a medium sized hair strand and can therefore be used to determine the thickness or thinness of hair. This being said, Identifying your hair strand within the LOIS system definitely starts with using a strand of frayed hair, more like a piece of sewing thread.
Here’s how it works;
Larger than a piece of sewing thread = thick hair strands
Same Size as a piece of sewing thread = Medium hair strands
Smaller than a piece of sewing thread = fine and thin hair strands
(3) Hair Textures
Thready – this defines a hair texture with low sheen and a bright shine when the hair is held taut/ stretched. This hair texture has low frizz, gets wet easily but water dries out very quickly.
Wiry – This defines a hair texture with sparkly dheen appearance with low shine and low frizz. When wet, the water seems to bounce off the hair strands. This hair texture seems difficult to get fully wet.
Cottony – this defines hair texture with low sheen or high shine if the hair is held taut or stretched. It is characterized by high frizz, absorbs water fast but does not get completely wet very fast.
Spongy – This hair texture is characterized by a spongy hair texture, fast water absorbant just like a sponge and has a pretty high sheen and low shine.
Silky – This defines hair with a silky texture, low sheen and a very high shine. It could have low or high frizz as this can vary substantially. The Silky hair texture gets completely wet very easily.
Simple Test to Determine Your LOIS Hair Type
- with hair freshly washed, without products applied to it and rinsed in cold water
- allow the hair to dry naturally
- Check the mirror so you can see the curl pattern.
Another option is
- wash hair and rinse it in cold water
- Pick a strand of hair from your most common hair texture
- Allow the individual hair strand to dry on a paper towel or any chosen base without touching it to get an accurate depiction of your LOIS hair type.