Is the idea of an Afro Hair Type just a gimmick?

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16 thoughts on “Is the idea of an Afro Hair Type just a gimmick?

  1. I think hair typing is good because it helps you find the right products especially because there soooo many natural and curly hair products and not all products work for everyone. Some curly hair products are only for people with natural wash and go curly hair and some actually help with braid outs and twist outs for those who want the naturally curly look. The hair typing doesn’t work for me at all because I don’t fit into any of the charts that I’ve seen but it helps people gage their type and the products so I don’t knock it. I do understand where you are coming from because it does do a thing for me either.

    • Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure that it’s helpful at all because there are too many chart. What I might call a 4c may be considered a 4b by others. Even if there was only one chart it’s still not broad enough to encompass all of our hair types.

      • Well well…I disagree partially with you…let’s not forget that the interest for natural hair in the contemporanean african/caribbean societies is still fresh so everything it’s still a bit expérimental. I do agree that this scale is relative and what u call 3C can appear like a 4A to me or “worse” most of the time a woman can have different types of hair (and I am not talking only about the mixed race). But we do need a starting point because what is sure is that we have different types on hair in the big “African Hair” and it s good to start acknowledge that. But you’re right the charts may be need some further attention and research.

      • I think natural hair may be a bit as you say experimental in the USA, but in the UK and former British Caribbean our hair is treated as hair and these breakdowns of hair types are new to us. In the UK and the former British Caribbean children did not systematically have their hair relaxed, it was a decision made when they themselves were old enough to make the decision and more importantly afford it. As a result most of us know what our natural hair looks like and it’s not some kind of revelation.

        In fairness I don’t know how old you are, so maybe this was all before your time, but looking at how complicated natural hair is being purported to be is a marketing mans money dream.

        It saddens me when I read comments from people who think they need special products for their particular hair type, especially when they say they can’t afford it. At the end of the day any one afro hair product or oil can keep our hair in tip top condition. The way I see it is, the real problem is, the desire to manipulate our hair. Many have gone from forcing hair to be straight with a relaxer to now trying to force or sustain a ‘natural’ curl or a wave. Both of which I too have also been guilty of.

  2. Very interesting post. I agree, hair typing hasn’t really assisted me in my natural hair process. I feel as though there are so many ‘subcategories’ within each hair type that makes handling our individual hair very unique. Also I love your accent.

  3. ….you CAN have multiple hair types and textures on the same head of hair. And just to speak on the picture comparison. That’s what my hair looked like in my old pictures, but that was mainly due to it being blown out and/or hot combed. If your hair was manipulated in that picture, then you can’t really expect it to produce the same hair pattern. The only way you’ll really know what type of pattern you have (if that sort of thing even matters to you) is to wash it, condition it, and let it dry on it’s own with no curl-enhancing product and no manipulation of ANY kind (heat/comb/etc)

    But, again, that’s only if you’re into that sort of thing.

    • Interesting points. Some would also say that using a conditioner is not hair in natural state. Many use conditioners to soften and moisturise hair. I use the term manipulate loosely , my hair can ‘create’ a curl as in the video with or without product, but I use the term manipulated because it’s uncombed hair.

      • Really? Because I use conditioners to moisturize and that’s it. I don’t expect anything else from them than moisture. The only type of conditioners I’ve heard people say they use to “manipulate” their hair were things like “hair milk” or “curl milk”. Actual curl enhancing/loosening things.
        All I know is that when I get out of the shower, I wait a little bit before I put my leave-in conditioner in (it doesn’t do much for me when my hair’s still really wet). While it’s drying I /notice/ the different patterns popping up on my head. And it’s not just me. Many women are known to have different patterns in different sections of their hair. Some so different they have to treat certain sections differently than others.

        That’s the beauty of hair, though, isn’t it? The diversity.

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