As we step into the natural hair world we are bombarded with terms, products, methodologies and suggestions. It’s enough to make your head spin, isn’t it? One term that you will encounter many times is “hair type”. This term flourished out of Andre Walker’s curl pattern classification.
It is useless to say we’ve all noticed that African hair comes in different curl patterns. But did I ever imagined that I could fit into a category? No. I can’t say that I have. However, ever since I started this transitioning adventure (that is how it feels sometimes!) and the term “hair type” started popping out like popcorns, I couldn’t help but wonder – “Where do I fit in?”.
What is the Hair Type (Curl Pattern) Classification?
Simply put, curl pattern can go from straight to kinky/coily hair. In his book, Andre Walker identified 4 different hair types and each one has 3 subcategories (a, b and c).
How Does This Classification Help Me?
You may ask yourself “How does this classification help me?”. Well, the purpose of this classification is to help us find the right products for each hair type. In general, each category has a specific set of characteristics. Check the following chart to see some of the characteristics (click to see larger image).
By now you might have an idea of where your natural hair fits in and what products you need to care for it. However, can you fit nicely into just one category?
Personally, my hair ranges between all categories of type 3 hair. The same thing probably happens to you too. You could fall between hair type 3c and 4a. So is hair typing that important?
Oh, Boy…! Hang In There.
There are other factors which are important to consider such as porosity, density, texture and elasticity. Now you’re probably thinking “Oh, boy…!! What am I getting into?”. I know, I know… It’s a lot of information, but I promise you it will be worth it. Your hair will thank you! Hang in there!
I will talk about porosity in my next post as we unbox the intricacies of natural hair in this blog post series. Until then, I would like to know which type do you think your natural hair is and if knowing this is helpful to you in any way.
Can you identify your hair type?