HEY PEOPLE! WELCOME BACK TO OUR 3rd BLOG POST!
So we’re still tackling wash day. We’re putting in the work towards healthy hair, and we know healthy hair promotes inevitable healthy hair growth and retention. Yes!
Now that we infused some good ‘ol moisture and nutrients in our strands and let it marinate for some time using our 10 Easy Prepoo Steps, and applied our 5 easy shampoo steps to cleanse our hair, now we can move forward to conditioning/deep conditioning! But before we condition our hair, let’s talk about our vast beautiful variety of natural and woolly hair textures…
Remember on our last blog, 5 Easy Shampoo steps, I briefly mentioned “Types of Hair”? There are multiple hair typing systems, but we will focus on the most well known and more spoken of system that was created by Andre Walker, Oprah Winfrey’s hair stylist. NaturalWoolly does not endorse or recommend this system, but we do want to simply inform you on some of the natural hair lingo concerning hair typing and texture around this system. Here’s his chart that was later revised by some from the natural hair community:
Mr Walker’s hair chart system can be used for us natural woolly people to help guide us in the proper steps towards managing and maintaining our hair in its respective type, and even where to begin in starting a healthy and effective hair regimen. In this sense, it is a great point of reference. The letters represent the diameter of the hair strand, and the number represents the curl or coil.
Some naturals (Specifically the 4c/3c types) shy away from the chart because they simply cannot find their hair type in it. They could not identify nor relate with the chart. Later it was modified by certain naturals, by adding a C to both the Types 3 & 4, that Mr. Walker left out, yet included the C for Types 1 and 2…
This is the modified chart most naturals know and live by to this day (photo from curlcentric.com):
The 4 types of hair in the system are:
Type 1 – Straight Hair
Type 2 – Wavy Hair
Type 3 – Curly Hair
Type 4 – Kinky Hair
The natural hair community focuses on all types except Type 1, being that it is the straight type of hair. We will also exclude the Type 1 hair for the same reasons, and explore the 3 sub-types, A, B and C for Types 2-4 hair. The larger the type number, the more maintenance is required for the hair. Let’s dig deeper (Picture source from Naturallycurly.com):
- Types 2 and 3
- A – Curl diameter of a sidewalk chalk
- B – Curl diameter of a sharpie
- C – Curl diameter of a pencil
- Type 4
- A – Coil diameter of a needle
- B – Zigzag or S coil pattern
- C – No curl pattern or tight coils like a spring
Some naturals shy away from the chart for the same reason being that they still cannot find their hair type. I have been told that I am a 3C/4A. Another has told me that I am Type 4b. When your hair dries without any product added, you can tell what grade of hair you have. When my hair dries it is kinky for the most part; a combination of 4B/4C, with little to no curl pattern. I have never classified just one hair type, because I have about 3 hair types on my head lol, ranging from all the Type 4 sub types A, B, and C. My temples’ hair texture, I believe, is 4c (4c people don’t come for me please lol… leave a comment below the Youtube hair type video to correct me if I’m not 4c lol). My nape is 4b, and I believe my crown is 4a/4b. I could be all wrong. That’s why I just learn my hair at the end of the day. I learn all of my hair types with joyfulness and gladness. Although type 4 hair is the most high maintenance hair, it also is the most beautiful, diverse and unique. Woolly hair is the most peculiar and delicate head of hair. Those with woolly hair who have left the relaxer industry, understand how much work, care, patience, joy and love it takes to maintain our strands to its fullest potential.
It is most comforting to know and read that according to Daniel 7:9 and Revelation 1-14-15 in the bible, the God of Creation and his son Jesus have the same type of hair; woolly hair, Type 4 hair, alongside the dark melanated skin tone they have in which typically goes hand in hand with beautiful woolly hair.
Those that do not have woolly hair, but have natural hair, ranging from types 1 to 2, most of the time cannot relate with Type 4, and some will refuse to acknowledge “the struggle”, as some of us say, that comes with having Type 4 hair. Some Type 1 and 2 hair are even amazed by how much work we put into it, and realize why we do not wash our hair everyday, and why we wash our hair 2-4 times per month depending on our wash routine and regimen. That is all right. We live and we learn. For those of you who do not have woolly hair, retaining moisture is easier for you than for a type 3 and 4 hair person. You may have a child with woolly hair, maybe because of their parent/genetics, let Naturalwoolly.com help you every step of the way towards maintaining that beautiful head of wool with love and patience. Remember the same Creator that created some of us with Type 4 woolly hair, gave some of us type 1 and 2 natural hair and should still stand proudly as the posture King David had while encouraging himself in a psalm saying “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works: and that my soul knoweth right well.” You betta know it, no matter your hair type! The key is to learn YOUR own hair and embrace the ups and downs; the trials and errors, the joys and pains.
In the summertime sometimes I wash my hair, then quickly message some conditioner, leave it in for a few minutes, apply some butter and oil, shape it a little, and i’m ready to go. And it would look something like one of the Instagram posts that was posted, even though my hair is down my back when stretched I can still achieve a shrunken fro look! Shrinkage is real and is beautiful! Let’s embrace it:
Its beautiful and God’s worthy to be praised for it! I love it in its bare natural state; my TRUE literal wash and go.
Now would I do that style every day? ABSOLUTELY NOT! LOL At least if I can help it. Because I would just be asking for a headache and hair breakage. The tangles that would form during the week would be unimaginable to even the point of having to cut it off due to so many tangles. That’s why we see a lot of naturals stretching their hair most of the time with protective styles such as braids, twists and even blow drying (which I am not an advocate of doing so with heat so much if you can help it…we will speak on that in the future, Lw). The day after taking that above picture, I stretched that bad-boy into some twists to stay ahead of the tangles that were coming for me lol. So for you mothers out there with children with Type 4 hair…please don’t let it look like this all week, because you are just asking for hair trouble. Keep our hair stretched as much as possible for less breakage and easier manageability.
Just as each and every one of us on the planet has a unique fingerprint, we all have a unique grade of hair. This is why we must take the time out to learn it every time when we manage it. Feel your hair, look at your hair, and see how it reacts to the products you use on it. This will give your natural wool the love and tender care it needs. Use the helpful tips we find along the way such as blogs like this and youtube channels, as guides and reference points to customize our very own individualized hair care routine and regimen. Let the hair typing system be a help and guide towards how to take care of your hair. If you don’t want to use it, that is fine too. Before the system was known, we still did all right with our natural wool.
If you find a Youtuber with similar hair texture of yours, it’s wise to follow them instead of a Youtuber with a completely different texture than you are. But remember every product they use may or may not work on your hair, because there is MORE to just the type of curl of our hair in hair typing. Width, porosity, density and elasticity are all factors as well.
Width is how long or short your hair is.
Porosity is how well your hair absorbs moisture, in which you can have low, average or high porosity. High porosity is considered overly porous hair and is the result of over processed or damaged hair.
Density has to do with the number of individual hair strands on each square inch of our scalp. Ever heard someone say “YOU HAVE A LOT OF HAIR”? Probably because you have high density hair; you have a lot of hair! lol That’s a very good thing!
Hair texture in general is the thickness or diameter of our hair strand, which can be classified as coarse, medium or fine.
Elasticity is how well your hair stretches and returns to its original length without breaking. If you stretch your hair while wet it will appear longer. When dry, it is at its normal state. Hair that is stretched while wet, but does not return to its original state has low elasticity, is brittle and can break easily due to over processing or over manipulation.
Coarse hair texture has the largest diameter and has a stronger structure than fine hair, which has the smallest diameter, for the same reason that a thick rope is stronger than a thin rope. This is why coarse hair has longer processing times. For example, if you ever were unfortunately relaxed or dyed your hair, and your stylist or yourself would say something like “it didn’t take well”, indicating that you needed to leave the chemical in your hair longer for it to penetrate and process correctly. If your relaxer or chemical of choice penetrated in no time for it to work, then you may have had medium to fine hair.
Medium hair is considered normal and doesn’t pose too many problems.
Fine hair has the smallest diameter and is more fragile, easier to process, and more susceptible to damage than coarse and medium hair.
All these sub types of hair texture vary from person to person. And our strands can commonly vary in texture from strand to strand or section to section on our scalp. This is why a lot of naturals shy away from the chart because all of these variations from person to person and scalp section to scalp section. And all can change with time and manipulations of the hair in general, because our hair goes through changes in the seasons too. That’s why its an ever learning beautiful hair journey.
At the end of the day, if you don’t remember all these….just learn your hair. Know its likes and dislikes. We cannot stress that enough.
- Activity 1 – How to find your hair curl pattern?
- During wash day, after you shampoo your hair, take one strand of shed or broken hair (don’t worry it will grow back), and place that strand on a white piece of paper or paper towel and let it dry. Once it is dry, look at the curl pattern that developed as the strand shrank. Now compare the strand of hair to the Hair Typing Chart above. If you visibly have multiple hair types, JOIN THE CLUB LOL, do the same thing with each strand section.
- Activity 2 – Is your hair texture coarse, medium or fine?
- Snip one strand from each section of your head (crown, nape, hairline & temple) after shampooing and place it somewhere to dry. Take hold of one strand at a time and slide up and down on the strand with the pads of your thumb and pointer finger. You will see a difference for the different strands or it will all be the same for you.
- Activity 3 – Do you have low or high hair elasticity ?
- Test a few strands of hair that is still connected to your scalp when wet after shampoo, and place the strands in between your thumb and pointer finger and pull down the loose strands as far as you can without hurting yourself, then let it go. If it breaks, you have low elasticity hair which can mean damaged hair. Deep condition your hair weekly or bi-weekly to help repair and fill in your strands. If it does not break, and it returns to its curly form, you have medium to high elasticity, and that’s a good thing; shrinkage is a GREAT sign!.
- Activity 4 – Do you have low or high porosity hair?
- Test a few strands of hair that is still connected to your scalp (or shed hair) when dry after shampoo without products, and place the strands in between your thumb and pointer finger and slide up and down the loose strands. If it feels rough, you have high elasticity hair which can mean damaged hair. Deep condition your hair weekly to help repair and fill in your strands. If it feels smooth you have medium to low porosity hair, which is healthy and average hair.
GREAT WORK! Until next time take good care of yourself, people.
HERE’S THE LINK TO THE VIDEO SHOWING MY BEAUTIFUL WOOLLY, KINKY & CURLY HAIR TEXTURE:
Peace & Blessings,
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