Monday, March 28, 2011

Just MY Type!

Andre Walker is mostly famous for being a hairstylist to huge celebs like Oprah Winfrey.  I learned awhile back, he is also the creator of the Hair Type Classification System.  This classification system was created to help women of all ethnicity's better identify their hair texture, thus making it easier to understand which hair care methods and products will produce the best results.  Most black women fall within the range of Type 3b (loose defined curls)

  Type 3c hair (tightly curled, slightly coiled still defined),

Type 4a hair (coily and kinky easily frizzed usually dry),

Type 4b hair (course instead of curls this type coils, frizzy very little to no curl definition),

 and last but definitely not least Type 4c hair (instead of a coil this hair type is more similar to a zig- zag pattern and is usually very course and dry).

 Only thing is...what about those of us whose natural hair consists of
 multiple hair types?

Over the years one of the things that kept me from keeping my hair in its natural state was my inability to get uniformed looking curls when I wear my hair out.  The front sides and nape have curls similar to 3c with the texture getting more course towards the crown which to me, is 4b borderline 4c.  One of the greatest blessings about keeping my hair  natural is the ability to learn each texture, how each texture reacts to different products and most of all practicing trial and error styles which teach me how to get the uniformed outcome I desire within my multi- textured head.  I feel confident I have mastered the ability to create any hairstyle on multi-texted tresses, whether I have my hair twisted, in an Afro, wash n' go, or in an updo.

Many naturals opt out of subscribing to hair typing.  Since every ones hair is unique, hair typing can sometimes be inaccurate.  Ive had some naturals tell me mine looks 3b, which in my understanding is way off.  I've had some say it looks 4a.  Understanding hair typing can be confusing due to the fact many naturals identify their hair types incorrectly, however to them, it is correct, so who is really to say its been mis-typed.   I don't subscribe to hair typing.  My hair has at least 3 very distinctly different types and to follow the regimen or advice of someone simply due to a typing system that can be and is often misinterpreted is pointless.  For me, hair typing is essential for one reason.  As a natural hair stylist I need to get an idea of the hair texture prior to my appointments.  This way I know what products to use, which styling options are best, and which grooming techniques to incorporate in the styling process to minimize breakage from mishandling a clients hair.

As a natural, I feel it is most important to just KNOW your hair.  A part of learning all I can about my hair is also learning all I can about natural hair in general, hence, understanding the hair typing system and its definitions.  A huge myth I bought into was that the courser the hair texture, the least likely it will grow to extreme lengths and more looser hair types effortlessly grow to extremely long lengths.  This is untrue.  I have seen many 4c naturals with waist length hair.  I have seen many women with 3b and 3c hair stuggle to retain their lengths.  It all begins with understanding how to handle your individual texture to minimize breakage, what products are beneficial for your individual texture to maximize health, and what styling options are best to wear for maximum growth retention.

This is just my type...multiple curl patterns are seen throughout. I Luv My Kynxx!



  1. Respectfully I was born and raised in Africa and most African women in Sub-Saharan Africa ( with exception those from the east e.g Ethiopia) have type 4 hair. Personally I never saw type 3 hair on a person who did not have a direct relative who was white/indian/asian until I came to North America(but then I'm not going to go into a debate on what classifies a person as "black"). As an African I honestly don't believe in typing because it really has very little to do with learning how to take care of one's own hair.Really the only way to take care of it is to learn (from trial and error) what your unique hair-type likes.

  2. I agree...I do not subscribe to hair typing if you couldn't tell from reading my post...that is the reason this post is titled "Just MY Type." As a stylist I have to know the definitions because most of the clientele I come into contact with initially mention their hair "types". I am not a direct relative of any other ethnicity aside from Black and black in America is totally different from black in Africa. Most Afro-Americans have been mixed with white, indian, french or some type of spanish mix somewhere down our family line. Hair typing is too new to even really matter. I've been caring for my hair in it's natural state since 1995 and prior to that I got my first relaxer in 1989 so I have worn my hair natural more years then relaxed. Check out my post titled Versatility of Afro Textured Hair and you will see exactly what my take on hair typing and textures is. Thanks for reading!

  3. I am African from East Africa and I have no ancestry linked to White people or even Ethiopians and my hair is a mix of 3b, 3c and 4a..if I was to go by the classification system..My hair is just my hair :)..Thanks for the above post as always they are great to read.
    Be blessed