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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hair Typing...Helping or HURTING the Natural Hair Community? (Repost)

http://slimwavy.blogspot.com/2010/12/which-one-are-you.html
Ok, this chart above is in one word....RIDICULOUS!  There are way too many levels up there for me.  I have seen a hair typing system with only 3 going up to C, but I'm making a predition that this particular chart will be found on more websites, blogs and vlogs.  

Needless to say, this is becoming an increasing issue.  Hair typing.  Why is it necessary?  Well, some say it aids in choosing hair products and getting hair care tips.  I can and DO see that.  It actually helped me when I was fumbling around blindly trying this product and THAT product wondering why some worked and others didn't.  When I paid attention to the person's hair texture CLAIMING it worked for them,  I understood there was a true difference.  

Yes, I'm claiming ignorance.  I truly didn't know there was that much difference in black hair textures.  I'm not stupid.  I just never knew my hair would curl in it's natural state so I assumed ALL Black women would have the same thing happen when they transitioned to natural hair.  

I can ALSO see how it can drive a wedge between the hair levels.  There's no need to state the obvious about our color history in America.  Whether I say, House Slaves vs. Field Slaves or paper bag test or good hair vs. bad hair; you know what I'm getting at.  Is hair typing just another way to cause a division?

There's a few opposing hair typing systems out there. There's Fia's, Andre Walker's, LOIS, as well as Mizani's. The last one was new to me.   I've recently started the Curly Girl Method and they have curl types as well. I understand there can be different types but all types seem to have the Kinkier textures towards the END of the spectrum.  I'm just saying...

So.....is it helping or hurting?  I say doing a little bit of both.  As more Naturals rise from the depths of chemically altered hair, (did you like that?) we will see the hair typing systems continuing.   Some are already angry as hell about it and I'm sure the animosity towards it will make room for new systems to come out trying to unoffend the offended.  Experts will tout their system as correct and may start to discount others.  I may be exaggerating but as long as there are debates over Natural vs. Relaxed hair there will be problems swirling around both and hair typing won't be the only issue raised.

It's all hair Naturals....all good hair,
Sabrina
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4 comments

  1. I think that the 1,2,3, and 4 helps us all, regardless of race, to identify where our hair is. In THEORY, it helps to know which type your hair is in order to know which products to use. The problem with that theory is that product manufacturers lie about what type of hair their products will work on. The a,b,c, and d is ridiculous for Black hair. Because we can have more than one curl pattern within the texture, it is impossible to specify one that totally describes your hair. My hair is type 4. Kinky. I leave it at that.

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    Replies
    1. You make a great point about what the manufactures do with their promoting. I agree that the typing has helped me especially in the beginning when I needed guidance on what products or techniques to use. It has REALLY helped now that I'm using the CGM. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I believe the hair typing system is flawed and creates unnecessary expectations. Let me explain :-) I can identify my hair type as 4a and view a gazillion YouTube videos with ladies that have the same "hair type" for product recommendations. Try the exact same product(s) and end up with a major fail.... why? The important thing to know is not the curl pattern or "hair type" but your hair's true type; porosity, texture and density. I have medium to low porosity hair, medium to course texture and medium, thick or thin density depending on which part of my head I am looking at. Some products that that seemingly work for other type 4a ladies do not work for me at all.

    Also, the hair typing system(s) do have an advantage but should come with a disclaimer. Let's go back to the gazillion You Tube video's I have watched; and see another type 4a vlogger do awesome twist and twist out. I use my own products that are tried and true, follow her instructions to the "T" on the twist and twist out and still come out looking a hot mess. Why? It's because, I have at least 3 different "hair types" or curl patterns on this head of mine. The front is somewhere around the 3a's (loose and wavy), the crown, is almost straight, and the rest is a true 4a with maybe some 4b thrown in for good measure. I will never be able to get the luscious twist and twist outs because of the front and crown area. For my head of head with its multiple personalities I know the products, process and style to use to satisfy each hair and texture.

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  3. I love your perspective and your willingness to share it. You have valid points and show just how hair typing can misinform as well as hurt the hair community even with its benefits.

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