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Hair elasticity: what is it and how do you test it?

If you want to start with the curly girl method, it is important that you know your hair characteristics. We help you on your way in three articles. In addition to your hair elasticity, we also explain everything about your curl type, hair thickness and density and the porosity of your hair.

The elasticity of your hair is an important factor in choosing the right hair products. Your hair elasticity determines whether you should use products with or without protein. But what exactly is elasticity? And how do you measure that? In this article, we’ll explain and share a handy hair elasticity test. This will take you a step further in discovering your own curly girl hair routine!

Also read: How to start the curly girl method: Steps for beginners 

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What is hair elasticity?

Elasticity is the hair’s ability to stretch and return to its original shape. Hairs are made up of protein and moisture, and the balance between them determines the elasticity of your hair. 

About 95% consists of protein, also called keratin, which helps to maintain the elasticity of your hair, gives it structure and makes it strong. 

With an imbalance, your hair can be brittle, stiff, dry and / or fluffy. And of course we don’t want that! No idea if your hair needs protein or moisture? Then do the elasticity test.

Wat is mijn haarelasticiteit en hoe test ik dit?

The elasticity test

You measure the elasticity of your hair by stretching a curl and observing how quickly the curl returns. If the curl does not bounce back – or not quickly – it is a sign of too little moisture. 

A more specific test is as follows:

  • Take a loose hair and wash it with dish soap.
  • Grab a ruler and take the hair between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure there is a distance of 4 cm between your two fingers.
  • Pull the hair apart and see how far it works:
    • Healthy hair stretches to 5 cm and then bounces back;
    • Hair with a lack of moisture hardly stretches;
    • Hair with a protein deficiency stretches easily and barely bounces back.

Remember that this test is only an indication. Every hair on your head is different, and the elasticity of your hair can also change. 

That is why it is wise to do this test more often to continue to observe your hair.

What to do with a low, normal or high elasticity?

  • Low hair elasticity
    The hair does not stretch. It contains too much protein, which makes it feel straw-like and breaks quickly. Remove all protein by washing your hair with a CG-friendly shampoo, and avoid protein until your hair is back in balance. Use water-based products, leave-in conditioners and deep conditioners.
  • Normal hair elasticity
    The hair stretches a bit, but also returns well to the original curl. The balance between protein and moisture is good. Continue to observe your hair and choose a balance between protein and moisture in terms of hair products.
  • High hair elasticity
    The hair stretches too much and does not bounce back properly. It contains too little protein and too much moisture. This makes it feel dry and lifeless, and it is fluffy. Preferably use products that contain protein.

Hopefully it is now clear what the elasticity of your hair is and whether you can best include moisturizing hair products or protein hair products in your curly girl hair routine!

You're not there yet. also read our articles about your curl type, hair thickness and density and elasticity

  • What is my curly girl curl type, hair thickness and density? If you know your curl type, hair thickness and density, you can adjust your routine, products and hairstyles accordingly. With this knowledge you can provide even more beautiful and healthier curls!
  • This is how you find out the porosity of your hair : Porosity is about the extent to which your hair absorbs moisture and can retain it (measured by how long it takes your hair to dry after showering – is this fast or slow?). If your hair doesn’t easily absorb moisture, you need thicker, richer creams.

And now? Which hair products are right for me?

Very nice of course that you now know everything about your hair properties, but what can you do with this knowledge? 

In our three articles about hair properties you can read about curl type, hair thickness, density, porosity and elasticity and how to determine the properties of your hair. 

Now you want to know for sure: which products are best for my hair and fit the curly girl method? We will soon write an extensive article about this. Keep an eye on our website.


  1. Thank you so much for teaching me how to check my hair and understanding the definition of hair check

    • Hi,
      You’re welcome, we are always happy to help! 🙂

      xoxo Team Kurlify

  2. Hello Demi, what a great read! What are your thoughts on washing your hair every day? I only use shampoos with a high keratin content. Do you think this is safe? I work in a kitchen, and I have to wash my head every day. I have naturally curly hair, but it’s not the kind of curl I’d like, so I use other hair products besides shampoo.

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