Most newly naturals often times don’t know where to start from and what to do to their new hair once they go natural. Handling a totally different type of hair which is not relaxed can be very stressful and frustrating especially when you have no clue or whatsoever how to go about it.
When it comes to choosing the right hair care products, treatments and styles for the hair, determining what hair type one’s hair belong to is very essential and probably the first thing every natural should know. A simple answer to the question “what kind of hair do i have” can change the game. In fact, the health and death of your hair depends on whether or not you know your hair and its corresponding haircare and styling methods. A product or style that may work for lady A may not necessarily work for lady B because of the difference in hair type and structure and also other factors such as hair density and hair porosity.
Natural hair is diverse in texture and curl pattern. A chart developed by Andre Walker shows that natural hair can be classified into 4 categories/types with each category having subcategories apart from the first hair type or TYPE 1 hair which is just straight hair.
People of color or black people generally tend to be in the type 4 category and sometimes type 3 too. You might be wondering given this chart how one can know exactly what hair type he/she belongs to.
Answer: It’s very simple. Even though there are many ways to test this out, one easy way is by washing you hair and allowing it to dry on its own without putting any products in your hair.
If your curls after it has air-dried appear very tightly coiled and almost looks as if it has no curl pattern at all then you are most likely to be a 4C. 4C hair also shrinks the most at about 70% or more after wash or when it comes into connect with water. Hence, without stretching the hair it may appear shorter than it really is.
If your curls are more zig zaggy and have a more fluffy cottony appearance then you might be a 4B. 4B hair also shrinks but not as much as a 4C hair.
If your curls are looser, springier and more defined then you might be a 4A.
It is however very normal to have more than one hair type. I for example have all 3 kinds of the Type 4 hair. I am a type 4B/4C at the back and sides of my hair and 4A/4B but predominantly 4b from the middle to the front of my hair. I guess i can say that my hair is more of a Type 4B.
MY FLUFFY HAIR
So what’s your hair type?