How is it that EVERYBODY is a 4C and yet NOBODY’s hair looks like yours…but you’re a 4C as also!

We can’t all be 4C’s, can we?

Here is a brief rundown on why hair-typing is the worst thing about natural hair. A bit of a hash statement, but think about it, how does knowing your hair type benefit you? How is knowing the number that’s used to classify its appreance going to help how to take care of it?

There are a number of hair typing methods that define natural hair curl pattern, the most common being the Andre Walker method. This system divines hair into numbers (1-4) and then further divides each number category using letters A-C.

Although this method is the system most naturals gravitate to, we have chosen NOT to adopt these categories for the following reasons:

~ it’s limited and too simplistic : this system was developed for and around an American audience who have a limited range of curl patterns. However we have found that South African hair, especially ‘type 4’ hair, cannot be simplified into 3 types (A-B). You will note that he does not have a Type C pattern.

There are other hair typing methods that have noted this and have added more categories,(some going as far as 4H)

~It doesn’t account for Combination texture(more than 2) : Officially it doesn’t consider combination hair. Hair enthusiasts have tired to encompass combination hair types by including more than one sub category per main category i.e. 3a/b would refer to someone who has ‘Type 3 hair, but some areas of their hair having type A curl, and another having type B.

But for some naturals, especially at the beginning of their natural hair journey (or when hair is very short) are unable to differentiate the textures of the new growth.

~ it’s hierarchical : The system appears to be hierarchical. Andre Walker was quoted saying “I always recommend embracing your natural texture. Kinky hair can have limited styling options; that’s the only hair type that I suggest altering with professional relaxing.”

This, as you can imagine caused a stir in the Natural hair community, and was followed up with him ‘clarifying’ his statement.

“So when I say to embrace your natural texture, but consider relaxing kinky hair, am I contradicting myself? I don’t think so! You see, even relaxed hair can still be worn naturally. If you want a natural look, but find that your kinky hair is difficult to manage, breaks too easily, lacks shine and luster, and limits your preferred styling options, I say feel free to consider a mild chemical relaxer, sometimes called a texturizer, that eases your hair to a more manageable texture and allows you to Make Peace With Your Hair.”

Full article here:

A more reasonable and realistic approach that, if we REALLY had to choose would be the: LOIS method.

But again,

what is the use of ‘knowing’ your ‘hair type’. The only effective way to the BEST hair you can have, is listening and responding to what your hair needs are… is it dry, is it brittle, what is the condition of my scalp? All these things and more are the key building blocks to natural hair hair. Because again, we CANNOT ALL be 4C’s!

Lets us know if you need to know what other questions you should be asking to get beautiful HEALTHY hair.

As always

Happy Everything 🙂

Nyaki Tshabangu

An aspiring visionary with an ornate love of natural hair plants, hand luggage traveling, and podcasts

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