I can understand why a lot of ladies prefer not to type their hair. It’s confusing. There are two over-arching types (3 or 4), then there are sub-types within each (a, b, or c). Add on top of that the fact that most women have multiple types of hair on one head, and just thinking about it can get overwhelming!
I was overwhelmed initially. While I was transitioning from relaxed to natural, I tried to type my natural hair. I looked at the few inches of new growth that I had, and hoped it was enough to tell me its identity. It wasn’t.
As long as I had relaxed ends attached to my natural hair, my natural hair somewhat stretched (or weighed down). Now that my natural hair is free of the relaxed ends, I’m seeing its true texture lol. I have a really tight curl pattern, and in some areas, there seems to be no pattern at all. The hair strand just turns every which way.
I noticed my hair type when I tried a “wash and go” this past Friday. I spent several hours watching MahoganyCurls on YouTube because I loved how easy her wash and go looked (although her hair texture is a lot looser). She even did it on oooop95, who has a texture similar to mine, and I thought, “okay, I will give this a shot”. In short, the method is to use a conditioner and a gel (or curling custard) and finger comb it into your hair in smaller sections. As you comb your natural texture becomes more defined. The thicker (or more dense) your hair, the smaller the sections should be. The results (at least with Mahogany Curls and ooop95) were beautiful, defined curls. I loved it.
But for me, it was an epic failure lol.
Now, I probably didn’t have all of the right products (I prefer not to use gel on my hair), and I also hadn’t mastered the technique. It also would not have been as bad if I didn’t give up lol. It was just taking way too long and the section I had completed didn’t look different enough than the other sections I hadn’t yet gotten to. Because my curls are so tightly coiled, it was really difficult to see definition. I didn’t think it was worth the time about halfway through, so I quit. #shame
That’s when it dawned on me that although it is great to learn from women of all textures and coils, it is very important to understand what your hair type needs and how your hair will respond to certain styling techniques. This is when I watched more tutorials from ooop95, jerseystylezz and latifatumi. I learned that a wash and go on our texture of hair looks more like an afro no matter what you do, lol (unless you use more gel-like products). I also learned that maybe I should let my hair air dry a bit before putting all of my leave-in product in, so it can absorb more.
Not only is it helpful to see how they care for their similarly textured hair, but it is also encouraging to see their length journey. There are a lot of discouraged 4c’s out there who don’t think they can retain length. Well, it’s possible!
Now all of this isn’t to encourage comparing yourself to other girls’ curls (although, I know a lot of that happens subconsciously). Many have said it, and I agree, that you need to learn to love your own hair. But I think it’s wise to have a group with a similar texture that you can learn from (almost like hair mentors :)). Expanding to girls with different textures is fine too, but in my opinion, it’s more beneficial once you know the basics of how of your responds.
Just sharing my thoughts as I continue this journey 🙂
- What’s Your Hair Type? (ebonytresses.wordpress.com)
- I “Big” Chopped!! (curlstories.wordpress.com)
- A Sippi Girl’s Journey to Natural Hair (truthseeker411.com)