I have been checking out other natural afro-hair blogs and for some reason a majority are not sure or don't have info on hair type 4C...Please do a post on afro hair types, there textures and perhaps some pictures to accompany them. Mob love *:*:*
So in response to Jacky's email (Big UP Miss J!), we came up with this post on hair typing for Afro Hair.
For a brief history on just how this typing system came about, and a detailed account of Andre Walker's methodology, follow this link right hurr. Before we continue, we would like to give you our stand on hair typing, here goes...
Nyachomba and I (Mary) have very different hair types. Her curl pattern is looser than my own; her curls are defined and form loose locks when wet. My curl pattern is much tighter i.e. I have more coils than curls. When wet, my hair will form tighter ringlets and become even tighter when dry.
Nyachomba's Hair when wet; notice the thick clusters of wet hair
This completely resembles my hair type (Image courtesy of Nonie of LHCF). The coils are much tighter and do not cluster as much.
It goes without saying that there is a clear distinction between our hair types. And you know what, we ain't even mad! You see, the thing about hair typing is that it forces us to sort, segregate and file in relation to the differences. As human history can attest, the minute individuals or characteristics are classified, feelings of 'the other' come into play.
We, as Kurly Kichana, associate hair typing with other grossly misinformed societal stereotypes; the perfect example being the infamous notion that sisters with lighter skin are prettier than dark skinned sisters. Yes, you may think of us as drastic, but indulge me for a minute.
We have received numerous personal emails, chats and queries via Facebook and Twitter from women with coilier hair types seeking advice and telling us how much they dislike their hair type. They often cite this as the main reason as to why they are reluctant to go natural/ openly display their natural hair. Words such as 'ugly', ''makonge' (sorry if my spelling is wrong), 'unmanageable' and 'unsightly' were often used in these correspondences. More often than not, they ask us how they can get their hair to look like ours, more so - I presume - Nyachomba's.
This kind of 'fro-envy', as far as I am concerned is not healthy. I remember when Nyash and I first watched Good Hair, we kinda hoped Chris Rock would have touched the issue of natural African hair types in relation to the concept of 'good hair', but alas. We still enjoyed it though! We heart Chris Rock.
Now we may be wrong, but we feel that within the natural hair community there exists a thought that claims looser hair is prettier than coily hair. We do not in any way claim that this thought is seconded by every natural out there! Heck no! But it is a widely shared notion.... (I welcome your backlash, come at me).
Kurly Kichana, as the slogan(s) go, are in love with all things hair/ a kurls best friend. We do not care for hair type. In our eyes, all hair is awesome hair.
We believe that the aforementioned system came about to aid women in their hair maintenance regimens. As such, Mr. Walker saw a need to classify our hair for the ease of understanding. It is true that my hair requires a heavier amount of moisture than that of an individual who has 3B hair. It is evident that people bearing different hair types will need different regimens. This however is not always a positive, in light of the system.
All natural hair types require the same basic governance which dictates a moisture protein balance that encourages maximum health for the individuals hair. Hair typing is not the answer. KNOWING what your hair likes, and dislikes, how it reacts to manipulation is what counts. No two heads are the same. On an individual basis, no two WEEKS are the same! One week may require you to go hard on the moisture campaign, while the next might see you reaching for that protein. This reality affects the 3A's all the way to the 4C's.
Manipulation is the most important skill to master. Learning how to effectively manipulate your hair can have it looking super fly as a shrunken afro in one day, and draping down your back/neck in a perfectly executed twist-out the next. Basically, I can go from looking like a 4B to a 3C, heat free! And so can you.
You can take that to the bank.
Anyhoo... By now you know we tend to over think things. We will leave it at that. Below is a rough guide to Andre Walkers hair typing system for your viewing pleasure.
Type 3 Hair (3C):
- Looser S-shaped coil, hair is more coily than kinky
- Can be fine in texture
- Use creamy leave ins in moderation.
- Avoid using heavy oils to seal, they can weigh down hair and make it too greasy.
- Trim ends often.
- Sleep without a satin cap - tangle central!
- Use too much protein, can cause your hair to become very hard.
Type 4 Hair:
This has an "S" pattern, much like curly hair. It is kinky, or very tightly curled, with a clearly visible curl pattern. Type 4 hair is extremely fragile and can be prone to breakage.
Type 4 hair can range from fine to coarse with lots and lots of strands densely packed together. It can also be known to shrink to 75% of its actual length.
Hair that is coilier than 4C is sometimes referred to as 4Z
- Use creamy moisturisers and water based moisturisers as often as possible.
- Seal with butters and oils to make sure your hair is moisturised for longer.
- Do not use heat often, this is calling out for breakage and hair damage.
- Detangle without loading your hair with a creamy conditioner.
That's basically it!
Let us know your thoughts on the hair typing systems. As always we welcome your thoughts and appreciate the time you take to provide them.