Your hair ain’t 4C hunni!!!
So I’m in quite a few natural hair groups and for those of you who may not know what we do in there, basically it’s like this:
You have a good hair day (or a not so good hair day): you post it. You need a hairstyle, product advice, any kind of advice, you ask (some random non hair related or NHR stuff happens from time to time, but this can pretty much sum up everything).
A trend that I’ve been noticing recently in a few of these groups is that quite a few persons have been coming forth venting their frustrations about managing their 4C hair. Thing is, most of them complaining don’t have 4C hair.
What in the flying curry duck is 4C hair?
To explain that, let’s take a look at the hair typing system, more specifically the one developed by Andre Walker. His typing chart essentially breaks down all hair into 4 categories:
1-straight 2-wavy 3-curly 4-kinky
Within these categories are sub categories (a/b/c) hence where you get 4C. Makes sense? How about I let this explain.
So what’s the deal with 4C hair?
4c hair is the kinkiest, with curls soooooooo small that unlike other hair textures, 4C strands don’t clump together, almost giving the hair the appearance that it doesn’t have a curl pattern at all (it actually does, but another day for that discussion). Persons with 4C hair also experience a higher percentage of shrinkage from my observations. These factors, from what I have seen do play a part in why persons think that 4C hair is hard to manage. Maybe?
So why are non 4C Naturalistas assuming they have 4C hair?
I have a two plausible explanations for this:
- In the natural hair circles that I am a part of, when it comes to hair types, 4C hair is the most talked about. It is also what people perceive as true “African” hair. So in that respect, if they consider themselves of african decent then they must have 4C hair. Right? No not quite, but another blog for that.
- Many naturals associate 4C hair with being hard to comb, unmanageable. It is often defined by words such as nappy in american terms, or in trini speech: hard head, late for school, tac tac head, picky head…I can go on and on. So, one can deduce, that if a person finds their hair had to manage, they must have 4C hair, right?
In either scenario, I have realized that many persons don’t know their hair type. I’m not saying that they have to know, it is not mandatory as a natural to know, but in many cases those who aren’t that knowledgeable in hair typing often misclassify their hair. And for some reason, many naturals who assume 4C hair status do so only in relaying how difficult it is to handle their hair.
So what do actual 4C naturals have to say about this?
You can read the rest of this highly engrossing post over at A Day In The Life Of Nelly B.
- 5 Reasons Why the Curl Pattern Hierarchy Is Working Against The Self-Loving Principles Of The Natural Hair Movement
- How to Create the Textured Bun With 4c Hair
- 3 Tips That Will Help You Stick To Your Hair Journey
- Are You A ‘Fake’ Natural?
- Battling Natural Hair Blues: When A Naturalista Stops Liking Her Hair
- My Brillo-Pad Hair Will Never Look Like Tracee Ellis Ross’s, And I’m Finally OK With That
The Andre Walker system actually did not include a 4C hair type. In its original iteration, he only "invented" 4A and 4B. The 4C type was added by those women who believed they had a type of hair that was beyond the two types he described as 4.
On another note, I haven't heard the term "picky head" in a long time. And when I heard it last (decades and decades ago), it was picky head nah nah. I'm not sure what the nah nah meant or why it was important to include.
I remember when 4c wasn't on the chart. I had locs for 7 years and when I went back to loose hair 4c made a magical appearance o to the chart. I t should have been there all along.