Hair Typing

So often, I come across forums and blogs where people realize things do not work for themselves that work for others and their defense is that it worked for someone else with 4B hair, but not for their 4B hair.

Now, I make it no secret that I do not believe in the Andre Walker hair typing system. Honestly, it is just junk. Why? First, the Black community has enough stigma’s and schisms that this is just adding too. I go to forums where women with clearly “4Z” hair try to claim they are “3Z”. STOP! Then, women want to make a “3Z” group and omit everyone else from it. So you have better hair than others because you are a 3 and she is a 4. Get over yourself. The saddest part about this system is that Black Women eat this system up for breakfast, lunch and dinner and swear by it. Really? No, Really? I feel sorry for you. Do Better! But I Digress…

I believe highly in the LOIS system because it is more accurate, realistic and doesnt create segregation between people. Your curl is either an L, an O, an I or an S. It is that simple.

*I have O and S curls

There are really 3 types of hair strands: Fine/Thin, Medium and Thick. You can have one type or a combination such as myself. This is more important than any system you can chose to follow. Knowing strand thickness is so important as thickness determines products you can use, should not use, and limit the use of. For example, someone with thin hair may want to avoid hard protein treatments unless severely needed, meanwhile, someone with thick hair can handle more protein effectively. Someone with thin hair can benefit from light protein faster than someone with thick hair. Someone with medium strands can benefit from hard and light protein treatments equally. Thin hair can get weighed down easily, so less is more and certain oils and butters should have limited use. Thick hair wont get weighed down as easily so more is not always too much. Medium strands are always in between. Know your strand type is very important as it is the first step to buying hair products.

*I have thin strands on the hairline, but everyone does so dont worry about that too much. I have mostly medium to thick strands. My hair is brown to brownish-red with my brown strands being really thick and my brownish red strands being mostly medium. I have found that when thick hair gets really damaged, hard protein works well, but once it is healthier again, light protein can be beneficial

Knowing strands are not the same as having thin strands and thick (a lot) of hair. I’ve seen many thin strand ladies with masses of hair and thick strand ladies with normal masses of hair. It is not the same.

*I have a normal head of hair. Sometimes I wish I had more, then I rollerset and stop thinking that.

Next, knowing the curl pattern is important, but without stretching the hair, nothing will ever work.

Moving on, knowing level of dryness is imperative. To say your hair is 4C so this is great for it is not accurate. 4C hair will be drier because of the curl pattern, so hair needs to be stretched but it does not mean only certain products work and it does not guarantee one strand size.

Normally, we have oily, normal and dry. Knowing each will prevent over-moisturizing and under-moisturized hair.  Always buy products based on level of dryness. Some dry products are usually marketed toward damaged hair, as dry hair is more prone to damage. The only thing that needs caution is the type of protein and level of protein that is in the product. Chemically processed hair will benefit from dry products with keratin, but it should be halfway to 3/4 down the list as this is a very heavy protein, whereas vegetable proteins a little higher on the list will not hurt too much. Products that are marketed specifically to damaged hair is not the same as for dry hair and much caution should be used. Some products for dry hair may be too heavy with protein, so normal products of the same brand can be used as if you are already familiar with a brand, than you can be understanding of results versus switching products completely.

*I have really dry hair that benefits from protein weekly and products marketed towards thick and dry hair work. Products for damaged or dry to damaged hair are sometimes too intense for me.

Last, know your level of damage. All hair is damaged. Relaxed/texlaxed and colored hair hair should always be treated as damaged even when its healthy. This way of thinking will prevent setbacks. You do not always have to treat it as damaged, but remembering this goes a long way. Heat damaged hair is just plain damaged. Worse than chemically processed hair as it cannot be saved. Too much manipulation? Damaged. Live in an extreme climate? Damaged. No protective styling? Damaged. Dont touch it? Damaged. Split ends and/or breakage? Damaged. Haha.

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One Day, It Will Happen

Tasia S.

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