Let's go to the beginning of when the hair type spectrum was created, in the 1990s a man by the name of Andre Walker aka Oprah Winfreys hair stylist, created a spectrum for hair which goes from listing the hair from type 1 to type 4, and with him creating this chart it has become what seems to be now the number 1 question that majority of African descendant women ask in hair groups or search on google. With finding your hair type on the chart it is believed to allow you to know not just where your hair lands at on the chart, but also allows you to know how to care for your hair. The spectrum has also triggered other emotions which I will get into in a bit, the chart becomes pointless to know because it does not in fact help you know how to care for your hair, nor should be the factor on whether you will embrace your hair. This has caused a lot of confusion for those looking to understanding their hair.
Caring for the Curls/Coils:
For one, your hair pattern will not teach you how to care for your hair, if you are looking to better understand with hair care I highly encourage one to finding their hair porosity, for more info on how to determine your porosity you should read the blog "Finding your Porosity". Depending on where you fall at in the porosity spectrum you will know which products to best use for your hair and this will help with avoiding too many trials and errors in your product choices. Some oils, and herbs work better in low porosity than it would for high porosity and vice versa. If you are looking for great products that will gravitate towards your porosity I recommend checking out the Porosity Collection.
Hair can change, and in various ways (ex. heat, chemicals, etc), so when you are looking for a product based solely on your curl pattern you are setting your hair up for failure. A prime example of this would be what if you purchase a product that is great for type 3 hair, but in actual reality your hair is high porosity because of usage of added chemicals. Now your frustrated because your hair is breaking off and the products you brought are not effectively handling your dry hair. See how counter productive this has become?
Multiple Hair Types:
If you didn't know this, well now you will, majority of those of African descent will have various curly/coily hair types. You can have type 3a in the front and 4a in the back, yet your entire hair is low porosity, what will you do if you searched for products based solely for your hair type? purchase 2 different types of shampoos, conditioners, style your hair with various types of creams? come on now it's just not that deep. Going by your porosity instead will help tremendously.
It's already hard enough being black in Amerikkka, so to have to feel as though your hair doesn't belong due to where you land at on the spectrum of hair type is where we must take a step back and check ourselves. "Respectfully". Being caught up on the hair type makes a person that has kinky hair aka "4C hair type" to view their hair in a negative aspect, many want the looser curl pattern, because that's all that is seen just about every where, the ability to be accepted and not told our hair is unmanageable or unkept when we decide to wear our hair in its natural state. Kinky coily sistas have been shoved to the back burner and viewed negatively not just within other races but also our very own. Not to mention being told by the very man who created the hair type chart as he stated. “I always recommend embracing your natural texture. Kinky hair can have limited styling options; that’s the only hair type I suggest altering with professional relaxing.” My question to his statement is, what exactly is limited to us as kinky hair women? No kinky hair won’t look exactly like someone’s hair who has a looser curl pattern, but it doesn’t mean we can’t have our own styles, or put our own twist to a style and make it ours, and still embrace it.
It’s the exclusion for me! The natural hair movement was started for this reason and since we have strayed from the main purpose of it which was to help those of kinky hair to embrace their natural hair. One should be able to walk proudly with head high and hair kinky and you full of pride. Embrace your crown it is the only crown you can not take off.