Hair Growth Pattern

Hair growth pattern
Photo: Litvinov/Shutterstock
Q: How do I figure out how the hair grows on the crown of my head? My hairdresser said to dry it almost completely and then look at the back of my head with a mirror.
Still, I don't see how the hair grows, and it's driving me up the wall. If I curl it the wrong way (other than how it's growing) it sticks out and looks awful.

A: While it is true that your hair should be dry (or very nearly) in order to determine the growth pattern in any given area, it is best if you allow the hair to dry naturally in order to check for this.
The fact is that when you dry the hair using a blow dryer, you can redirect the flow of the hair enough to confuse the appearance of the natural growth pattern. Allowing the hair to dry naturally lets the hair conform to its preferred direction of growth and makes the patterns more readily apparent.
Seeing the growth patterns in hair is usually easiest with shorter hair styles, so if the hair is long, you may need to enlist the assistance of a friend who can help you make the proper determination.
You could also go to the hairdresser who advised you initially and have her put her money where her mouth is since determining your growth pattern in the crown of the head should be a simple matter of taking a close look at the scalp in that area and noting how the hairs emerge from the scalp. She can then show you what she's referring to as she speaks and help you to understand what you are looking for much better.
See also:
How to analyze your hair's texture, density, porosity, elasticity and wave pattern
What is a double crown?
Why do I have two different hair growth patterns?
What hairstyles would work with a forward growth pattern?