When I started my healthy hair journey (HHJ) and learned there was a system in place that helps you determine what type of hair you have, I would sit for hours with my eyes pasted to the computer screen here, over at BGLH and YouTube just hoping to get it spot on.
I wanted to see who had my type, look at the products they use and perhaps copy their regimen. I would drive myself crazy trying to figure out where on the spectrum I fell.
The thing is, I had gotten it in my head that unless I figured this out from the word go, my journey would be seriously compromised. I’d get so frustrated when I recognized I couldn’t find anyone who I could call my hair twin. Sound familiar?
Perhaps even now there are some of you who have just started your journey and you are going through the same thing.
Can I tell you that I think hair typing is overrated? Consider the following points:
It’s a hierarchical structure
I think many can attest to the fact that they hair typing systems that exist have kinda served as some type of benchmark or grading system wherein superiority is given to certain types over others.
Perhaps the inventors of these systems genuinely wanted to make the categorization easier so that haircare could be more focused based on the characteristics of the type one falls in; however, given the complex nature of our individual reasoning abilities and the concepts that shape each person’s outlook, some have interpreted the system as something based on an hierarchical structure to promote prejudice.
There is no shortage of this representation in the media. In fact, until recently there was hardly ever any representation of girls with kinks and coils, it was mainly black girls that had the loosely curled tresses that were featured since they were considered more aesthetically appealing.
For this reason an undertone of resentment is bred with persons showing contempt for those who they claim are “mixed”. Hence, I think the typing system has been more divisive than helpful in our community.
Hair Can and Does Thrive Regardless of One’s Knowledge of the Hair Type
Being ignorant of your hair type won’t prevent it from growing. The typing system only exists as a guide that may assist you in deciding the type of products would work best for your hair but it is not as though knowing your hair type will boost your results.
I am sure you will find several persons who do not subscribe to the typing system and they have healthy hair. In fact many of them who had length aspirations at the beginning of their journeys have long surpassed what they themselves imagined. The fact is whether you know your hair type or not your hair is still going to grow.
You Don’t Necessarily Need the Hair Typing System to Make Product Choices
While the typing system can help you choose products according to your hair type, in some cases what works for one 4C may not work for another 4C.
It may even be that products made for a 4A may be a mainstay in the arsenal of a 4C so depending on the typing system to decide which product to get doesn’t necessarily benefit everyone, nor does it dictate that you must stick to products specifically for your hair type.
Just think about it, how many Caucasian products have you used simply because you recognized that it works great for textured hair too?