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Hair + Beauty

Do You Have “Irish Hair?” How To Find Out

It can be described as curly at the bottom and straight on top

If you’re a natural redhead, there’s a good chance you’ve got some wave or curl pattern to your hair and this is primarily due to genetic factors. The gene responsible for red hair (MC1R gene) is linked with the production of a type of melanin called pheomelanin, which also affects the texture of hair. People with this gene variant often have hair that is thicker and tends to be more curly or wavy compared to those without it. Additionally, curly hair can be influenced by other genetic and environmental factors, but the prevalence among redheads is notably higher due to these genetic associations.

If you fall in the category of having curly (or even coiled hair) at the nape of the neck and straight or wavy hair on top, you might have what TikTok calls, “Irish hair”. The term “Irish hair” typically refers to hair characteristics that are often seen in individuals of Irish descent. These characteristics include:

1. Red Hair: A significant number of people with Irish ancestry have red hair, ranging from bright copper to auburn shades.
2. Wavy or Curly Texture: Many Irish individuals have naturally wavy or curly hair, but this specific hair type is curlier underneath and straighter on top.
3. Fair Skin: Along with the hair, fair skin is a common trait among the Irish, often accompanied by freckles.
4. Thick Hair: The hair is often thick and full, sometimes with a coarse texture.

These traits can vary widely among individuals, but these are some common features associated with the “Irish hair” type.

Check out these redhead TikTokers discovering they have Irish hair:


#duet with @Irish Daily #irishdaily #redhair #ginger #redhead #longhair

♬ original sound – Irish Daily


So your saying, there’s hope for this hair? 👩‍🦰 #fyp #foryoupage #irishhair #irishcurls #redhead #ginger #gingerhair #redhair #curlygirl #curlyhair #coils #coilyhair #hair #hairtype

♬ Monkeyshine-JP – Lt FitzGibbons Men

As you may have seen when scrolling your FYP, some redheads are styling the curly and straight sections separately in an attempt to even out the style. There aren’t many tutorials or routines built around this hair texture yet, but hopefully there will be once more redheads (and people of Irish decent) figure out that their hair is supposed to be that way — and isn’t damaged or “weird”.

The biggest piece of advice we can give redheads with this hair description is to moisture! This hair type needs a lot of hydration, so use moisturizing products like leave in conditioners and hair oils, and try different wavy/curly hair products that enhance moisture. 

If you’re wondering how to determine your hair type, it involves examining a few key characteristics: curl pattern, porosity, density, and thickness. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you identify your hair type:

1. Curl Pattern

Hair types are generally categorized into four main types, each with subcategories:

Type 1: Straight

  • 1A: Fine and thin
  • 1B: Medium texture with more volume
  • 1C: Coarse and thick

Type 2: Wavy

  • 2A: Fine, loose waves
  • 2B: Medium waves, more defined
  • 2C: Thick, coarse waves, frizzier

Type 3: Curly

  • 3A: Loose, large curls
  • 3B: Medium, tighter curls
  • 3C: Tight, corkscrew curls

Type 4: Coily/Kinky

  • 4A: Soft, defined curls
  • 4B: Z-shaped, less defined curls
  • 4C: Very tight, zigzag curls, prone to shrinkage

2. Hair Porosity

  • Hair porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture:
  • Low Porosity: Hair repels moisture, takes longer to dry, and products tend to sit on the hair.
  • Medium/Normal Porosity: Hair absorbs and retains moisture well, and products are easily absorbed.
  • High Porosity: Hair absorbs moisture quickly but also loses it quickly; often prone to frizz and dryness.

To test porosity, place a strand of clean hair in a glass of water:

  • If it floats, you have low porosity.
  • If it sinks slowly, you have medium porosity.
  • If it sinks quickly, you have high porosity.

3. Hair Density

Hair density refers to the number of hair strands on your scalp:

  • Low Density: Your scalp is easily visible.
  • Medium Density: Your scalp is somewhat visible.
  • High Density: Your scalp is hardly visible.

4. Hair Thickness

Hair thickness refers to the diameter of individual hair strands:

  • Fine: Strands are thin and may feel silky.
  • Medium: Strands are not too thick or too thin.
  • Thick/Coarse: Strands are wide and may feel rough.

Putting It All Together

By analyzing these characteristics, you can determine your specific hair type. For example, you might have Type 3B curls with high porosity, medium density, and fine strands. This detailed understanding will help you choose the right hair care products and styling techniques for your hair.

Rock it like a Redhead! 


READ: Best Hair Masks + Treatments for Redheads of All Hair Types

READ: How to Determine Your Hair Type: A Complete Guide for Redheads