There are multiple goals women have when it comes to their hair. Some women are concerned about volume or length. In order to have any of those goals, people’s hair should be healthy. One popular way that is known amongst most curlies is the hair chart. (which really has nothing to do with the health of your hair)
This hair chart was created by Andre Walker. He is famously known to be the hairstyles of Oprah Winfrey. This chart was created for women to figure out what is their hair pattern. Instead of women having to explain what type of pattern, this chart allows women to be able to express their hair type with the chart (Styles, 2017). This also became a marketing tool to be able to get you the consumer to associate with which product will "work" on your hair.
This chart contains four different sections which is first divided by numbers and then divided into three letters by subsections.
The first section is 1 which is hair that have no types of curls in it. This type of hair is considered straight and this type of hair is less likely to become damaged out of all the hair types. The first section does not have subsections (Effortless, Frizz Free Waves, Curls & Kinks).
The second section is hair that has a wavy type of pattern. This type of hair is not exactly straight and not exactly curly. This type of hair can frizz up. There are three types of wavy hair (Effortless, Frizz Free Waves, Curls & Kinks).
The third sections is hair that has a curly type of pattern. This is divided into three subsections. The patterns of the hair is in the shape of the letter S. The uppercase S pattern is considered 3a. This is the following hair type after wavy hair. The lower case s pattern is 3c and this is getting closer to the coil hair type. This type of hair definitely could get frizz depending on the humidity in the air (Effortless, Frizz Free Waves, Curls & Kinks).
The last type of hair pattern is considered kinky hair. This type of hair is the most fragile and appears to be the most dry type of hair. The hair patterns are looked to have really tight coils (4a) to no type of pattern at all (4c). This type of hair has to be treated properly (Effortless, Frizz Free Waves, Curls & Kinks).
With all this information, there are ton of black women who still make the mistake of what their hair texture and pattern are. A lot of these women believe that they have 4c hair type. This comes with the fact that these black women believe that they have kinkier hair. This could be due to lack of knowledge of the first three subsections of the fourth hair type.
4a type hair have really tight coils. These coils make the shape of a really small s shape. 4b hair type may not appear to be like curls or like coils.This type of hair are in the shape of z’s. This pattern is tighter and is less defined. The appearance of the hair is more fluffy. The last type of kinky hair is 4c. 4c is very similar to 4b hair, especially with seventy percent more shrinkage part. The biggest difference between the two is that 4c hair does not have a defined coil pattern. This type of hair is the best to manipulate and is the most delicate (Camille, 2019;Terry, 2019).
Even with this knowledge, black women still make the mistake that their hair is 4c. This could be due to the fact that the products that the women are using for their hair are not the correct products for their hair. That’s right! Using the wrong type of products in your hair could cause your hair to appear to have little to no type of definition and causes you to believe that your hair is a 4c hair type.Once the correct product is being used upon the hair, women will see that they could be a 4b or even a 4a.
Women might believe that they have 4c hair because they found an area of their hair that is in the range of 4c hair. What is very interesting about hair is that it does not typically have one type of texture or pattern throughout the entire head! Some women could be 4a in the front, 4c in the middle and 4b in the back. This is important to keep in mind when looking at what is your hair texture or pattern. Not all areas are the same. Another reason why black women may assume that their hair is 4c is because of frizz. Frizz is normal to the hair and that does not make hair immediately a 4c hair type. Try not focusing so much on the frizz but on the pattern that is in the hair (NaturallyCurly, 2018).
In the time between the transitioning style and even hair damage, there is a weirdness in the hair where there is no define hair pattern. That does not make your hair automatically a 4c. This just means that the hair needs some time in order for it to find its correct hair pattern (NaturallyCurly 2018).
This idea is the same for when you manipulate your hair or try to look at your hair when it is dry. In these times, you can not make a judgement on what type of hair you have. You would have to see your hair in its natural stage to know what type of pattern you have. A question might be sitting in your head, along the lines of, “so what can I do to have a better understanding of what type/types of hair do I have?” Here are a few suggestions of what a person could do to have a better understanding.
Try to use products with less oils. Oil is very heavy on the hair shafts and could loosen the hair pattern and also create some frizz. With less oil, you will start to see the difference in how the hair starts to show off more of its pattern.
Taking your time to detangle could help too. Instead of rushing or use your fingers or the proper detangling brushes. Make sure to detangle from ends to roots, not root to ends.
When looking for your hair pattern, you should be looking for it in its natural stage. The natural stage is when the hair is wet and when the shafts have absorbed enough water.
It takes time to find out what type of hair texture or pattern a person has. This means that you will not know right away. This could take up to a few washes and testing a few products to find out what works better for your hair. The less manipulation done in your hair would help find the results quicker too. This process is not a process to be rushed. Patience is necessary in order for this to work.
Over all, the more a person understands about their hair, the more they are able to take care of it. This way the hair could grow healthy. Black women please do not rush to assume your hair is 4c. Give your hair some time and love to really understand what is really the pattern of your hair.
The reality is there are 10 other factors that have you have to take into consideration when trying to find out about how to have healthy curls. We call that the essential elements of your hair. Your "Curl Type" doesn't really have much to do with it. Hair is Hair is Hair. Please know that just because you see something in the store that says "GREAT FOR TYPE 4 OR 4C HAIR" doesn't mean it's true. Most of those products have tons of heavy oils and butters in them. Which we teach to keep at a minimum. Your lack of definition of your curl pattern could be because of practice not your DNA. If you would like to see your Curls pop some more. Contact us for future updates on our next class. Or you can always schedule a Curl Therapy Bootcamp in the salon or virtually if you live long distance.
Check out what one of our guest to our Curl Therapy Bootcamp Styling Class had to say about knowing products.
Sources Camille Wilson. (2019, January 23). Retrieved from https://www.naturallycurly.com/hair-types/coily Effortless, Frizz Free Waves, Curls & Kinks. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.curls.biz/curly-hair-type-guide.html NaturallyCurly. (2018, September 24). Retrieved from https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/hair-typing/7-reasons-you-can-t-figure-out-your-curl-pattern Styles, A. C. (2017, January 30). Finding your hair type. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-akyyxey8w4 Terry. (2019, January 03). Know Your Hair Type | Type 4 Hair | Hair Type Chart. Retrieved from https://blacknaps.org/know-your-hair-type/