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My blog is dedicated to celebrating Afro hair and the experiences of UK Naturals. Dont be a stranger, spread the word and lets keep Uniting the KinKdom one curl at a time. International visitors are ALWAYS welcome. Enjoy!
Much Love Crystal Afro x
(Natural since Jan 2011) (Contact Me: crystalafro@hotmail.co.uk) View my complete profile

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Hair Types - Type 4

TYPE 4 HAIR

I first came across the term Type 4 to describe Afro hair when I went natural. Some people disapprove of hair typing but I think when explained in simple terms it may have benefits in terms of helping people to recognise and understand their hair.

So what is Type 4:
Well according to most sources, Andre Walker - Oprah's personal Hair Stylist, came up with a Hair Typing System using 4 classification categories.

The Categories range from Type 1 - Straight Hair, to Type 4 - Extremely Curly Hair.
Here's a few examples:

 Type 1
This hair is straight and definitely not like mine. The End!



Type 2
This Hair tends to be more wavy - again definitely not like mine.



Type 3
This hair tends to be more curly with a lot of volume but still not quite like mine.



Type 4
This hair tends to be more coily and very thick, and this is the hair type I identify most closely with.



There are quite a few visual interpretations of this online, which also help explain the categories:

Source: British Curlies


As you may notice from the above diagram, there are Sub-Categories within each hair type, such as 4a, 4b etc, but personally at this point I kinda switch off, because I think it's more important to recognise that no chart will be able to define your hair type exactly.

Hair is very comparable to skin, there are so many shades within one race furthermore, as a person your body displays various skin tones - similarly your hair my display different type properties. My hair at the back, left-side of my head seems to have a tighter curl pattern than the front right, and I know naturals who have no defined curl pattern but I would still describe as being Type 4.

The general idea as I get it is that Type 4 is another term for describing Afro hair.

There are pros & cons that come as a result of categorizations and definitions. Some people use it as a divisive, hierarchy of good hair vs bad hair, which I feel is wrong. Each one of the hair types displayed is GOD given, therefore in my opinion they're all beautiful.
I feel typing is best used as a tool to help people recognise and gain a general understanding of their hair and some of its properties and characteristics. 


Some Descriptions of Type 4 hair:
Coily
Tightly curled
Kinky
soft
Fragile 
zig-zag patterned 
Dense
fine strands
springy coils
Thick
75% Shrinkage

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