Hair Equity

Hair is a part of our identity. It helps us express our culture, health, and overall wellbeing. Hair type and style is unique to everyone. People may choose to wear their hair short or long, natural or styled—the possibilities are endless! Because everyone has unique hair, we all take care of it in different ways.

hair types

Hair Types

Hair types are not based on race or ethnicity, rather, they are based on the structure and volume of hair strands. All hair types generally fall into one of four categories: straight, wavy, curly, and tight or coil curls. Each hair type has unique characteristics; for example, straight hair tends to become oily very easily, wavy hair is more likely to become frizzy, and tight curls become easily tangled when washed. Refer to the chart below to compare the four different types of hair.

Hair Styling

Because everyone’s hair is unique, there are many tools and products that can be used. You might need to brush, blow-dry, or detangle your hair. Some people prefer to wear their hair in ponytails, buns, locs, braids, or all of the above. If you are having trouble finding styling tools for your hair or have a question about products to use on your hair, you may consult a licensed cosmetologist the next time you get your hair cut.

Styling tools include:

  • Wide tooth comb
  • Comb
  • Brush
  • Infant brush and comb set
  • Blow dryer
  • Hair pick
  • Hair ties
  • Detangling spray
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • Baby shampoo and body wash

Hair Washing

Depending on your hair type, you might need to wash your hair every other day or every other week. When washing your hair, make sure to follow these steps:

  1. Wet your hair: Let water flow over you head for at least one minute. Depending on how thick your hair is, you might have to run your fingers through your hair to make sure every strand is wet—even the ends!
  2. Apply Shampoo: Depending on your hair length and thickness, the amount of shampoo you should use varies. Those with short to medium hair should use about a nickel- or quarter-size of shampoo while those with longer hair should use more. Mix your shampoo with water in the palm of your hand and spread evenly to your entire scalp.
  3. Rinse: Make sure to rinse your hair of all shampoo—leftover shampoo can cause buildup that will sit on your scalp. Spend about 1 to 2 minutes gently rinsing the shampoo.
  4. Apply Conditioner: Skip this step if you have locks, braids, or extensions. Apply a small amount of conditioner to your hair, except for the scalp. Let the conditioner sit on the mid-shaft and ends of your hair for 2 to 3 minutes. You can use a wide-tooth comb to brush out tangles.
  5. Rinse Again: Spend about 1 to 2 minutes gently rinsing the conditioner—all of it!

In order to give personalized care to patients and families and support the effort of “Stand Against Racism, Stand for Health Equity” initiative, Nationwide Children’s Hospital has created a committee focused on hair equity. This personalized hair care initiative provides educational training to staff members so they can provide the best hair care for each patient. Various hair products are available at the hospital for patients with haircare needs.

Helping Hand on Hair Care
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