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Do you know your hair type?

6 Jan

One of the first steps in hair care is knowing your hair type.  My hair is 4C.  I can hear you asking me what that is.  Well let me explain.  There are generally four different types of hair from type 1 to type 4.  Type 1 is bone straight while type 4 is coily / kinky.  I believe that my hair is the kinkiest there is.

The picture below shows a hair chart that illustrates the different hair types.

Knowing your hair type helps you to know how to take care of your hair and what products are suited to that hair type.    My blog will be dealing mainly with type 3C to 4C hair as that is what I am familiar with.

The image below shows the hair types in pictures.  I hope this gives a better picture of what I am talking about.

The above method of hair typing was started by Andre Walker (Oprah’s hairstylist) and is commonly used on the internet.  I need to add though that although this hair typing aims at simplifying things – there is a large percentage of people with more than one hair type on their heads.  A lot of people have a different texture of hair on their nape or on their temples.

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12 Responses to “Do you know your hair type?”

  1. Brandy 11 February, 2012 at 1:33 am #

    i am just going natural. it has been about 3 months now! my hair type is 3b and 4c. i know that is an odd combo. i have NO idea where to start! can u please help me?

    • Tendayi 12 February, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

      My advice to you is to take care of your hair so that you do not suffer any breakage. With going natural there are 2 options. You can transition – this means that you stop relaxing your hair and slowly trim you hair over time until all the relaxed hair is removed. This can take a year or even more. The second option is called the ‘big chop’. This is when you cut off all the relaxed hair and just remain with the new growth which is natural. It sounds like you are transitioning. Remember to keep your hair well moisturised. When your hair is moisturised it also becomes soft and easier to manage.

  2. bailey wilson 01 April, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    How can you have more than one hair type? Because looking at my hair during the transition, it looks like I have some 3 and some 4.

    • Tendayi 12 April, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

      Hi Bailey
      Yes you can have more than 1 hair type. I have different hair textures on my head. The back is very coarse while the front has looser curls. I think this is the case with most people.

  3. Qami 23 April, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    What’s the best way to keep your hair moisturized? Should I wet it every day with water?

    • Tendayi 23 April, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      Is it convenient for you to wet it each day? For most women this is inconvenient for them. If it works for you then you can wet it every day and then use a moisturiser. I know some women with natural hair who keep a spray bottle in their bags and actually spray the hair during the hair just to keep it moisturised. The one woman works in an air conditioned office and said the air con dried her hair out so she sprays it during the day. Water is great for hair, especially natural hair.

  4. Khumo 18 May, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Hi Tendayi..I have also transitioned, cut my relaxed hair in Dec and now have a full head of 4c type hair..Im finding it very difficult to manage my hair and quickly resorted to braids! I do not know the best hair products to use when my hair is unbraided, between hair food/ hair sprays, moisturisers etc Im completely in the dark.. Im currently using Carrot Oil by ORS. Is this all i should apply or is there a combo you can advise me on?
    PLEASE HELP!

    • Tendayi 18 May, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

      The important thing to remember about natural hair is to keep it moisturised and soft. I do use Carroit Oil by ORS but I dont find it particularly softening. Have you tried the JO’M prducts? You can find them in Clicks. They are specifically made to soften natural hair. Products that contain glycerin as a main ingredient are also softening for natural hair. One such product is Scurl Activator Moisturiser. You can find it in Jumbo and Africa Cash and Carry in Gauteng. You can also mix glycerin, water and a bit of oil and apply that.

      You can also try baggying your hair, even overnight. Moisturise your hair and then wear a shower cap for a few hours or even overnight. When you take off the showercap later your hair will be moisturised and soft.

  5. lolo 23 May, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    My hair type I think is 4a and I use dark and lovely to relax my hair is this product good for my hair pls help I want to grow my hair long

    • Tendayi 24 May, 2012 at 11:20 am #

      Hi Lolo
      Its difficult for me to comment on dark and lovely relaxer because I don’t use it. It really depends on whether it is working well for you or not. You will find that one relaxer workd well for one person but not for another. Its really dependant on how its working for your hair.

  6. hairvalley 24 October, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    Hi Just found your blog. Loving it. But this post hit me straight away, because this week I posted a video on this very issue. I personally don’t believe in the hair typing system. Funny enough we have both used the same chart in one of our examples. I’m of the belief that although the chart may try to simulate curl pattern it does not take texture into consideration or visa versa. Also because there are so many charts this can lead to mis-information. Here is how it applies to my hair: http://valleyfontaine.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/is-the-idea-of-an-afro-hair-type-just-a-gimmick/

    • Tendayi 24 October, 2012 at 7:10 am #

      Thanks Hairvalley
      I agree hair typing can be confusing, especially as I say in the post, when you have all sorts of different textures of hair on your head. I think I am like that – my hair get even curlier / kinkier the closer I get to the nape.

      Also given that there are other typing systems out there too that don’t fall under the type 1 to type 4c range.

      What I feel is that the chart is helpful in the beginning of a hair journey, especially for women have just gone natural after years (or decades) of relaxing their hair. Many women do not even know what their hair texture looks like!

      Its all a matter of opinion really!

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