Decoding my hair type – TWA

natural hair type

hair typing

I heart my TWA. But that love is sometimes interrupted with scuffles about dryness, knots and split ends, and lack of growth. I’ve been natural for about 10 years and I’ve done the “big chop” several times because (1) I didn’t really take care of my hair during the first seven years, (2) when I did start taking care of it I learned some tough lessons that made me do yet a few more big chops (such as: constant flat ironing w/o protection = damaged hair = big chop).

I’ve written a few blog posts about my natural hair journey and I thought learning about my hair type would help me in taking better care of my hair to keep it healthy and strong.

In my research (Google + YouTube), I learned that:

  • your hair should be in its most natural state for you to get the most accurate result about the type of hair you have. This means you haven’t hot combed, flat ironed, permed, relaxed or straightened your hair. Your hair should be as nappy as God made it.
  • there’re a lot of information and support out there about the best shampoo, conditioner and treatment for different hair type, including hair type quizzes, charts and hair styles.
  • there’re four categories of hair type: 1, 2, 3 and 4 (1 = straight hair > 4 = coil hair)
  • there’re three sub-categories of hair type: a, b and c
  • it’s normal for a person to have multiple hair type categories. For example, a person could have a mix of hair type 2c, 3b and 4b. Some people have even more mixes.
  • MY HAIR TYPE is a mix of 4b and 4c.

According to NaturallyCurly.com:
Type 4b has a “Z” pattern, less of a defined curl pattern. Instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter “Z”. Type 4 hair has a cotton-like feel. The hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled or bent and very, very fragile; you must take great care when working with it. Type 4 hair can range from fine/thin to wiry/coarse with lots and lots of strands densely packed together. Type 4b hair often shrinks up to 75% of the actual hair length.

Type 4c hair is composed of curl patterns that will almost never clump without doing a specific hair style. It can range from fine/thin/super soft to wiry/coarse with lots of densely packed strands. 4c hair has been described as a more “challenging” version of 4b hair. Some say 4c looks identical to 4b except that the curls are so tightly kinked, there is seemingly no definition. 4c hair can shrink more than 75%.

Here are some tips I found on NaturallyCurly.com for my 4b/c.
4b Hair Type:

  • Use a heavy creamy cleanser to keep your coils healthy and moisturized
  • Detangling your Coily Crimpy hair should be an essential part of your hair care routine. Detangle with a conditioner that has lots of slip and your favorite wide-tooth comb
  • Seal in moisture and add shine to your dry fragile Coily Crimpy hair with hair milks and styling butters.Deep condition weekly to ensure strong healthy and hydrated coils. To intensify your deep treatment addheat

4c Hair Type:

  • Limit your cleansing to heavy co-washing conditioners
  • Use products like oils, creams and butters to moisturize and seal your coils
  • Use heavy pudding and creams to help elongate your Coily Ziggly hair. Don’t forget to deep condition every 3 days to ensure healthy strong coils

If you’re a visual/audio person, this YouTube video breaks it down very well and the girl uses drawings and props to explain all the categories.

Do you know your hair type?

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~ by omonaij on September 22, 2013.

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