Oprah Winfrey’s Hair Stylist Andre Walker created the original Hair Typing System to help naturalistas better understand our hair texture, take the best care of our hair and choose the right products, and hair type is determined by your natural curl pattern. While preparing for the big chop, the first thing I did was scour the web for posts and tutorials on hair type. This helped me tremendously in figuring out how to take care of my hair straight out of the gate. It’s important to have an idea of your natural hair type to help you to figure out what products may work best for your hair, and for hairstyle inspiration. Please keep in mind though that everyone’s hair is different, and just because you have the same hair type as someone else doesn’t mean that the products that they use will work for you, or that your hair will look the same when you recreate a style. There’s other factors to consider such as density and porosity, which I will not be talking about right now as it’s another post in and of itself.
This is my hair freshly washed, without any products added. From looking at pictures of my hair when I was younger, I assumed that my hair type was 4c, and for the most part I was right. It’s not uncommon to have a mixture of textures throughout your head and this is the case for me. I have looser, clearly defined coils in my kitchen area (nape) which appears to be type 4a, and the rest of my hair is pretty much type 4c, with some patches of 4a mixed in. The crown has the tightest/kinkiest curl pattern and the thickest hair, it’s definitely 4c. When I was relaxed, this was my trouble area and it would always break off. Now that I’m natural I no longer experience any breakage in the crown, but I do notice that it requires more moisture than the rest of my hair.
I have very tiny coils scattered throughout my hair that are visible when you look closely, and they are not uniform. From a distance it just looks like frizz all over…
But if you look very closely you can see them. It’s easier to see the coils once products are applied, and I find that doing the Shingling Method for my Wash n’ Go’s gives my hair the most definition in regard to enhancing my natural curl pattern and separating the coils.
Here I have a slight part in my hair… Below the part, the coils are defined using the shingling method on very small sections, and above the part I allowed my hair to coil on it’s own.
This is how my Wash ‘n Go’s look on a good day (my hair is a little longer now )
When I first did the big chop it was very hard to type my hair as I barely had a visible curl pattern or any definition. This is not uncommon after the doing the big chop as your hair can go into shock. It took a few months to see my natural curl pattern, and as my hair gets longer, it’s easier to see the different textures. Check out this hair type guide on Naturally Curly to get an idea of your hair type.
What’s your hair type? Share in the comments!