With the advent of the natural hair community came the realization that rather than just the categories “natural hair” and “relaxed hair”, there was much more to be discovered under the natural hair category. While relaxed hair tends to have almost a uniform texture, natural hair could be very curly, very kinky, wavy, slightly straight and much more.
Little wonder that hair typing systems were developed to try and cover these differences in hair textures. The hair typing system that is most popular is Andre Walker’s (Oprah Winfrey’s long-time hair stylist) method which depends on factors such as:
- curl pattern (how tight or loose the curls are)
- texture (coarse, medium, fine)
- the shininess of the hair strand
Andre Walker’s hair typing method is available in his book, Andre Talks Hair. His hair typing system has provided us the oft-spoken about 1a – 4c hair types. It is important to note that, he does not provide any guideline on 3c and 4c hair. It was unofficially added later by others who identified the gap in his hair typing system. Andre Walker’s Hair typing system chart below shows graphical representations of hair types. This helps so that one may determine where one lies within the categories. On the right-hand side of the chart, you will see that certain brands (not all available in Nigeria) are recommended for the each hair type.
It needs to be pointed out that this hair typing method is not the only one available. If you do not find your hair type represented within Mr. Walker’s chart, you can try Fia’s Hair Typing System as it is viewed as an unofficial extension of the Andre Walker’s chart. The last method of note is the LOIS hair typing method. Reading up on these three hair typing systems may give more information on your hair type.
What is the importance of hair typing?
- Hair regimens have been developed for various hair types. While this may not work the same way for everyone with the same hair type, it is a more specific guide than most. For instance, it is a well-known fact that Nigerians typically have types 4a, 4b, and 4c hair. That means that most of our regimens are based on something that works for most of us.
- Some hair product manufacturers make products specifically for a certain hair type.
- For a newbie to the Natural Hair community, this can be a crash course in learning how best to treat your hair.
- For the discerning user, it becomes obvious that one’s hair type may change over a course of time. Or that one does not have the same hair type consistently all over one’s head. 4c, 3a and 4b hair, for instance, may make up a whole head of hair.
- It does not cover all one needs to understand about one’s hair type. For instance, porosity is not discussed.
- It can not be used as a definite guide for individualized hair care. For example, it does not take into consideration the weather condition where one lives. For instance, a person living in Lagos, Nigeria where it is usually quite humid may need different advice from one that lives in Abuja, Nigeria where it is not as humid. As a matter of fact, Abuja can be considered to be much hotter and dryer.
- Some people view hair typing as a political statement. There has been talk about Andre Walker’s hair typing being racially prejudiced because it places kinky hair at the bottom of the scale, making it (in some people’s view) appear to be the worst hair. He has denied this claim.
The last Con here is one of the reasons why a lot of people declare that they are unable to get onboard the hair typing boat.
To end, I would like to point out that Hair Typing is not an isolated thing. Apart from the hair types, skin types also have a scale called the Fitzpatrick scale which is a recognized research tool used by dermatologists looking into human skin pigmentation. Although you may not recognize this skin typing method, it is even the basis of something that a lot of us every day – emojis. Remember that there are now different shades so that racial diversity can be represented? Those shades are based on the Fitzpatrick scale.
Hopefully, after reading this post, you can determine for yourself if Natural Hair Typing is helpful or not.
I have made no secret of the fact that I am a H.U.G.E Mango lover. Probably came from spending Easters in my village (Osumenyi, kwenu!). That is prime Mango season so my siblings, cousins and I would spend hours in and around the massive tree just outside my grandfather’s house. Hours of just picking mangoes and eating mangoes. (more…)
I am feeling pretty proud of myself right now and so decided to write this post real quick. Forgive me if I ramble on a bit.
A few weeks ago, I had to tell myself the truth about my facial skin. It was congested, I had acne and rashes – two things I rarely ever experience. And lastly, my skin was not as bright as it used to be. (more…)
Recently, while doing my Facebook rounds, I came upon a post by an African American who had posted pictures of her newborn being stretched, hung upside down and so on by a Chiropractor. The more I looked at those pictures, the more familiar the technique appeared to me.
- Baby held upside down by her ankles.
- Baby’s head pressed gently in a sort of massaging motion
Guide for choosing safe pots and pans for cooking
Usually, when we shop for pots and pans, we tend to look at two/three major factors.
But these are not the only variables that should concern us. For a few people, the material that the pots and pans are made from also play a role. This is really important. If you have ever shopped for pots and pans, perhaps one of the most confusing things is the sheer varieties of materials available.
Last weekend, the picture below started making its way around social media with a lot of people asking why NAFDAC would permit Garri to be imported into the country.
I have a few things to say:
I know that at this point, we are horrified, especially with the state of the economy, and we are looking for someone to blame but NAFDAC’s job does not involve deciding what to let in and what not to. They regulate Food and Drug Products in terms of their manufacture. They are just to determine whether the companies that are bringing in these products are doing a good job of manufacturing. C’est fini! We need to find another whipping boy to blame for permitting this into the country.
Today, my father turned 80. This in itself is an achievement. The fact that he has remained healthy, able to walk, talk and even exercise, makes it even more so.
I deliberately keep from discussing my family on this blog, but today, I will deviate from the norm because I have an important message to pass across. I will decide if this remains. (more…)
I am beyond proud of all the locally made products that one can get now. For Christmas, I think there is no way we cannot include these products in hampers or stocking or even give them out on their own. I have made an (inexhaustive) list for you!
Naturals in the City, Lagos’ quarterly natural hair meet-up is rolling back around this December! I had so much fun at Naturals in the City 16 in September, it really was my favourite one yet. Naturals in the City 17 is on December 17, the last weekend before Christmas, so let’s top the last experience, shall we? I look forward to hanging with you at our usual joint, Cafe Neo on 6, Agoro Odiyan Street, Victoria Island.
As usual, we will be having impactful talks and practical workshops. The theme for the meet-up is “Head into 2017 Strong!”, because you are so important to us, we want you starting on the right foot in the new year. Prepare to treat yourself, and the ones you love, by shopping from the great brands in our marketplace.
See photos from the last meet-up in this post HERE and more on the official website: nitcnigeria.com.
Have a great week!
Words by TheKinkAndI
One of the inquiries I get most is about making natural skin care products and if I can teach a class. Due to the demand, I created the Emulsion 101 course and have successfully taught 2 classes. One in Abuja and another in Lagos. I have to say, that both times, I met awesome ladies and ended up having more fun than I thought I would!
The class has come round again and will run from Tuesday, 29th November and end on the 3rd of December. We will begin with an online class that will span 3 days – 29th, 30th and 1st. We will then meet face to face to practice all we have learned during the week. (more…)