In a nutshell the answer to knowing your hair type is a resounding “Yes”, but is the most important piece of information for new naturals? Will knowing your hair type change how you care for your hair or pick the best products? I’ve been natural for almost 13 years and while I know my hair type, I still have to incorporate other factors to keep my hair healthy. Do you know yours?
Although there are many women who hate the term or feel it is useless and inaccurate, there are just as many women who find it vital to maintaining healthy hair. I sometimes ask a question of the day and I always get the most engagement when I ask if hair typing is necessary or beneficial.
Pretty innocent question but the sparks flew and many Naturals had much to say about it. I wasn’t surprised as one’s hair type is as problematic as skin color. Hair typing to many is seen as another way to divide women of color and make some feel they are either inferior according to physical traits.
To others it is just what it is. A scale depicting differences in hair texture that aid in hair care maintenance and product usage. I am not the only one questioning whether this system needs to die as others find its usage limited and out-dated. It is considered dying out as more are finding other scientific ways to find the better products for their hair product like though hair porosity or thickness.
Then there are others who find new charts to give a clearer picture of the hair typing system all together:
This is the MIZANI Natural Curl Key and according to Mizani it “reference guide that allows you to identify your hair type and determine its key characteristics and special needs, as well as the most beneficial care and product suggestions.”
This is a new chart to me and many have found it simpler but the bottom line is all of this really helping women who are natural or going natural to take care of their tresses?
For me personally, the original hair typing system helped…in the beginning but after I knew what to use I was still flailing about because I had no system to connect with my hair type. What helped me more than anything else was the book Curly Girl, the handbook and with the identification of your coil, curl or wave came with specific instructions on washing, conditioning and overall care for your tresses.
The stigma that is associated with any typing system is problematic but if women are finding ways to better care for their tresses in these systems then we need to either accept them or find more useful ways to deny their aid. For right now, It is useful for many and as long as some find it to be there will be room in the natural hair community for some type of system.
I say better charts will continue to be created and hair typing is not going anywhere. What say you naturals? Do you feel knowing your hair type is necessary or simply a division among black women? Share below!
Take care Naturals,