Hair Typing: What is It & Is It Necessary?

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Some questions that I get most of the time are: “What do you mean by 4A-4C hair?” “That’s your hair type? What does that mean?” “Hair typing? What’s that?”

Well, don’t worry your little heads off any longer because Mama De La Fro has the answers.

Basically, hair typing is the categorizing of hair according to your hair’s natural texture and curl pattern. Hair types are just textures broken down. Here’s hair typing, for the most part, broken down:

 

1. 2A-2C Hair Type: If your hair has a very loose curl pattern or wavy, your hair would fall underneath the 2A-2C hair type family. 

2. 3A-3C Hair type: Your hair’s curl pattern is tighter than the 2 family but your curl pattern is pretty loose. 

3. 4A-4C Hair Type: The 4 family’s curl pattern is the tightest and kinkiest of them all. I fall under the Type 4 family. 

Now. that you have a general idea of what hair typing is, let’s talk about why this has raised such a ruckus in the natural hair community.

Many feel that hair typing is just a way to further cause division among black women and more specifically natural hair women. Others feel that it’s necessary to know your hair type to take better care of your hair.

Here’s how I feel about this:

Do I feel that hair typing is necessary? Yes and no.

Hear me out on this.

I think hair typing is necessary because it really does help you figure out what works and what won’t work for your hair texture. For example, 4a-4c hair types have tighter curl patterns which sucks up moisture more than loose curl patterns, so we have to moisturize our hair more often and more denser than say someone with 3a-3c type hair. Another example would be, if I wanted an ultra defined bantu knot, I have to do two-strand twists whereas someone with looser hair could probably just twist and roll it up in the knot and it come out defined as is. Yes, there are general rules to natural hair such as low-manipulation styling and keeping your hair moisturized but hair typing helps you know what’s best for your hair and what your certain hair type needs in order to be at its healthiest. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

However…

The down side to hair typing is that people get caught up. They get consumed and engrossed by this hair type mumbo jumbo. People box themselves in because they feel that a certain hairstyle wouldn’t work for them instead of considering their hair texture and making the style work for their hair in particular.

People take hair typing too far and cause division between natural women.

I think hair typing is fine when it’s done in balance and moderation. I think it’s fine when they don’t let it engross them.

What’s your hair type? Do you feel that hair typing is a no or a go?

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