Monday, July 14, 2008

CURLS, KINKS, AND WAVES...What's your hair type?



Hello again natural beauties! I think we need a moment of clarity on hair types before I go any further. First and foremost, I personally can't stand the word "nappy" to describe "natural hair". It just has a negative ring to it (if some of you love it...by all means keep the party going). I've never heard anyone call someone nappy and meant it in a positive way. Instead, I'd like to call the hair like I see it. Our hair is CURLY not nappy! To describe the different curly types, I think Curly, Kinky curly, and Wavy are more appropriate. Anyway, I'll be using these terms frequently throught this blog so I wanted to give heads up before doing so. Sooooo, without further ado, here is a breakdown of curly hair types (courtesy of Andre Walker) for your reference:



Type 2-Wavy: Type 2 hair falls into the great divide between Type 1, straight hair, and Type 3, curly hair. A relatively unusual type, wavy hair tends to be coarse, with a definite "S" pattern to it. By that I mean the wave forms throughout the hair in the shape of the letter "S". Your hair is wavy, or Type 2, if it curves in the "S" shape while lying flat against the scalp

Type 3-curly: If you're a Type 3, your hair has a lot of body and is easily styled in its natural state, or it can be easily straightened with a blow-dryer into a smoother style. Healthy Type 3 hair is shiny, with soft, smooth curls and strong elasticity. The curls are well-defined and springy: pull out a strand of hair and stretch it; it won't snap in two. Damaged Type 3 hair is usually frizzy, dull, hard and dry to the touch, with fuzzy, ill-defined curls.



There are two subtypes of Type 3 hair. Type 3A, hair that is very loosely curled, like Julia Robert's or Susan Sarandon's, is usually very shiny with big curls. The shorter the hair, the straighter it gets. The longer the hair, the more defined the curl.

Type 3B, on the other hand, is hair with a medium amount of curl, ranging from bouncy ringlets – think of Shirley Temple – to tight corkscrews – think of actress Cree Summer or Tracey Ellis Ross.

Type 4-Kinky Curly: Kinky curly hair-your hair falls into the Type 4 category, then it is kinky, or very tightly curled. Generally, Type 4 hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very, very fragile. Like Type 3 hair, Type 4 hair appears to be coarse, but it is actually quite fine, with lots and lots of this strands densely packed together. Healthy Type 4 hair won't shine, but it will have sheen. It will be soft to the touch and will pass the strand test with ease. It will feel more silky than it will look shiny. Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg and the actress Angela Bassett are all Type 4s.

17 comments:

Tamara said...

Hi! Lovely idea for a blog! I am a 3b, This October, I will have been natural for 3 years woo-hoo! Have a magical day!

Ayanna~The Product Mixtress said...

Yey! You've made the first comment on my blog. I'm so excited. I hope you continue to read! Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

I recently cut my relaxed hair about a month ago. My natural hair is wavy at the top and the sides, the back is growing soft curls. I just apply coconut oil and brush :o)

~Olivia

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about calling our hair nappy. It doesn't bother me for someone else to embrace it in a "positive" light, however I tend to like kinky or curly because that's what it is and that's what we need to know about our hair. Many are shocked to learn that their hair is curly so it gives something to talk about:)

Gables said...

How do you know Angela Basset and Oprah are type 4? Have you personally seen their natural hair?

Ayanna~The Product Mixtress said...

no but Andre Walker who is their stylist has and he is the one who created this "hair type" system!

Kari said...

Nothing wrong with the word nappy. We, as Black people, are the one's who put it in a negative light. Embrace yourself for who you are.

Minahface said...

nappy was always a negative term. it was coined by white folks, who also coined the use of the term "wooly" for black hair, both of which they used to describe sheep. They did this to try and prove black people were more animal than human.

The Dating Diary said...

This is my first time reading this blog, and I've been waiting for someone to explain the textures of hair! Thank you!

Natural beauty said...

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Shalita Heard said...

This blog has very valuable information. I am an extension specialist and my business is starting to receive more natural client inquiries. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Is there way to change how coarse your natural hair can be? For example, if i have 4 type hair and I want 3a/3b, is there a way to get it that way?

SimplyLandry said...

First, how can I follow you. I'm a blogger too. I love the way your blog, plainly addresses: the hair type issue. Thank you for your information. God bless your blog and I hope, I'll be able to follow. Have been transitioning for 6 months, but got tired and afraid and relaxed my hair. Now I'm a one month newbie. More informed, to better form...My natural kinks.

how to curl your hair said...

I tend to like kinky or curly because that's what it is and that's what we need to know about our hair. Many are shocked to learn that their hair is curly so it gives something to talk about:)

Anonymous said...

Why are you using white women as examples for the different hair types? So backwards...

Anonymous said...

So this my first time going natural and my hair are in single braids but it's growing out. So my back appears to be kinky but the rest of my hair appears to be wavy . Should I just wait till I wash my hair to find out ? Also what good products to use for natural hair ?

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of what u said..we as african americans have created several stereotypes but if someone states it their wrong.