Hello #TEAMLOVELY! This is my first time making a serious video that has the bare minimum amount of laughing and fun. The topic of 'hair typing' has been eating away at me because over the years I've watched it become a bigger and bigger issue than it needs to be. Embracing natural hair is something that is supposed to unite and empower us.
One of the most popular hair classification systems that naturals use is the one created by Andre Walker. Walker's hair typing system includes numbers and letters to identify one's hair diameter and curl type.
Hair typing is a wonderful way for me to find and connect with other naturals that have type 4 hair. We can share hair styles as well as our feelings about certain topics that only people with our hair texture would be able to relate to.
4aDaniels has longer hair than me and a looser hair texture than me but my video shows that although we don't have the same hair texture I am still able to do the style. Even though the flat twists don't look IDENTICAL to 4aDaniels flat twists, I am able to achieve the style that works best for my hair type and it still looks just as nice. Representation is very important which is why I put "Type 4 Natural Hair" on my video titles so that people with a similar hair texture will be able to find me. In my Flat Twist Protective Style video I replicate one of 4aDaniel's flat twist hairstyles and through that video, I am able to represent for those that have a hair texture like mine.
It's wonderful that looser hair textures are being represented because there are people in the world that have looser hair textures and need representation from a person with a looser hair texture. At the same time, I want beautiful, kinky, type 4 hair to be represented as well. Instead of sitting here being mad at the lack of exposure that we receive I choose to serve as a piece of representation for those that look like me and I will continue to do that.
Hair typing serves as a guideline for people to learn how to take care of their hair. For example, it's not ideal for someone with type 4 hair to detangle with a rattail comb while a person with type 2 hair can do that.
Many times people will watch my videos and have the idea that because we share the same hair type my hair regimen will work for him or her and that's not the case. Hair care is a learning process and everyone is different. There are so many other factors that go into determining one's actual hair type such as:
-hair texture (thready, wiry, cottony, silky)
-hair pattern (tight, zig zag, loose, straight)
-strand size (fine, thin, thick)
-porosity (dealing with moisture)
2. Separating The Natural Hair Community
People have turned hair typing into a way to separate ourselves yet again. This whole situation reminds me of the light skin versus dark skin argument which is another brainwashing issue I'm not even going to get into.
It divides our community with some tighter hair textures mad at looser textures for having a texture that they have no control over just because it is more accepted in society's standards of beauty. On the other hand, some looser hair textures shame our beautiful kinky hair and try to make it seem less desirable because it isn't as common to see our hair texture in the media.
As naturals, we all have our own struggles it doesn't matter what our hair patterns are. The purpose is for each of us to embrace and love our own hair while encouraging our other natural brothers and sisters to do the same. It's not a competition to see who's hair is better, it's supposed to be a way to lift each other up.
1. Changing The Mindset
The only way to beat the system is if we stop trying to copy it. We need to stop walking around trying to look like the people that society says are beautiful and strive to look like ourselves. We have to set our own unique standards because once we've changed our mentality that's when the system will stop having power over us.
Also, change the way we view certain words like "kinky" and "nappy". If we only use those words to describe a bad hair day then the words will always have a negative meaning. So instead we should change the negative connotation of the words "kinky" and "nappy" by using them in positive ways. For example, "Today I'm wearing my beautiful kinky hair in a puff". It's as simple as that.
What do you think about hair typing? Is it detrimental to the growth of the natural hair community? Does it serve a good purpose?