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Is This New Hair Typing System Better?

Avatar • Oct 28, 2011

Hair typing can be a controversial topic among naturals; some find it useful while others feel it revives the ‘good hair vs bad hair’ debate. But blogger Karsheera Latash of Wild Sunshine Bliss has come up with a new system to classify kinks, coils and curls. I gotta say, even though I’m not a hair typing kind of girl, I love that this is so simple. I could immediately identify my hair pattern (primarily C2 and 3 with a bit of A2). What do you think ladies?

This chart was originally spotted on the Natural Sunshine forum.

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Curly Film Chick
Guest

great visual! I’m not a hair typing person but I can identify with A2

Leah
Guest
Leah

I dunno. While it makes some sense, I don’t feel as though it’s all that different from the other system. Also, depending on how large the image is (or what % I have my zoom set on), the curl size will be different. I’m not a fan.

Angie
Guest

I still say that it doesn’t matter what your curls look like! That will never be a good reliable indicator of how a product will behave on your head.

shellybelly
Guest
shellybelly

Agreed! Texture and porosity are what’s important when learning how to take care of your hair and what products to use. Curl size doesn’t matter.

Doreen
Guest
Doreen

Being a non american, ie a European, we don’t tend to use or have any form of hair typing. We just tend to do what everybody else does, which is to experiment and find out what product suits our hair best. Can someone please tell me, am I missing something?

Lola
Guest
Lola

Does this picture represent the actual size of hair strand? What I mean is that: can i put a strand of my hair on the picture and get an actual hair type? I don’t know if I made some sense.

Elaine
Guest
Elaine

I have some curls on my head that don’t fit into this diagram at all, particular the looser textures that are less elevated s waves, but I know that no system will ever really be able to include every curl, so more power to one that’s less confusing than Andre’s.

helloELO
Guest
helloELO

No. Its worst.

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

I can’t seem to identify my hair with this one. I find the pics and descriptions on this site
http://www.naturallycurly.com/pages/hairtypes/type4
to be accurate for my hair and I also think the illustrations/photos to be much more helpful with identification.

Also to Angie’s comment above- for me it has been the exact opposite. In almost every case, if it says (or has been recommended to me) for type 4b hair, it has worked for me.

Relaxed sista
Guest
Relaxed sista

I don’t like hair typing in general because I feel its inherently racist ( rather intentionally or unintentionally ). In the classic 1a-4c hair typing, the stereotypical Afro American pattern is dead last on the ” hierarchy “. I think simply a S for s curl, C for coil, and Z for zig zag would suffice. Enough with the school grade lettering and number system.

EG
Guest
EG

So you want us to leave what you called school grade lettering and number system in favor of S for s curl, C for coil etc.… which is just another lettering system? S for s curl is just as bad 1 — 4. And what happens if I have Z type pattern? based on the system you posted, i’m dead last on this ‘hierachy’, does that mean that this system is racist too?

Elegance
Guest

If an s, z, c system was used it would not be hierarchical, it would be based objectively on the curl pattern. C would not be better than s or z, it’s just the shape of the curl. It makes perfect sense. s‑curl, z‑curl, c‑curl.

EG
Guest
EG

B.S. the number system is no more a hierarchical system than this s is for system that you posted. It is us that turned the 1 — 4 system into something that is was never meant to be. You can continue to use the s, c, z system if you want (obviously you will), but so far no-one has posted a reason (a good one) why the original 1 — 4 is bad.
I’m type 4 and loving it.

Anonymouse
Guest
Anonymouse

Relax EG! Geez.…

Elegance
Guest

I think it’s okay. I agree with the poster above that using s, c, and z to describe the hair would be even better. That was the problem with the other system. It was hard to know what Type A, B, and C were for afro textured hair.

BeautyIAM
Guest
BeautyIAM

I don’t have a problem with this hair tying system as well as the more notable one. However, I believe the problem comes in how we use it. I don’t use hair typing that much, but when I see others using it, I see it as a small reference into how their hair may look like. What I don’t mind about people typing their hair is that I can kind of understand how it looks like. Then for some reason people started to feel like if you had one hair type, it was “better” than the other one. How mature.… Read more »

EG
Guest
EG

The hair typing system did give new life to the good hair bad hair debate. People who hate african features will always find a reason to mock it. What do you think is going to happen when you stop using type 1 — 4? Do you honestly think that people are going to go, well gee, how do I mock them now? Pulease…they will just go back to ‘nappy, ugly, slave hair etc’ I have type 4 hair and i’m proud of it. Anyone who doesn’t like it can just kiss.…..

df
Guest
df

I don’t even care about hair typing anymore…

mangomadness
Guest
mangomadness

+1

Eboni
Guest
Eboni

+2

JP23
Guest
JP23

Lawd THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I told a new natural my hair is a 4qzfb. Basically I.DONT.CARE.

rrstyles4u
Guest

I think that we should not be so sensitive to hair typing. Like BeautyIam said, it depend on wt it’s is used for. If you’re using it just to compare texture then wts the point. Its simpily a scale of wt texture you have, to know what type of products to use. I usually use my own scale which is.…fine,medium or coarse. Which can go into medium fine or medium coarse combinations. The 1–4 scale is not bad, takes some getting use to, but not bad. You need to know your texture when ppl are refering products. Thats why you… Read more »

June
Guest
June

The problem with your comment is that someone can have a 4c hair texture and have fine strands so a heavier product may not work for them. The tying just relates to curl definition and appearance, it has nothing to do with hair texture (strand size).

You don’t even seem to understand what you are advocating.

shellybelly
Guest
shellybelly

Ditto.

EG
Guest
EG

I disagree. I have all of the 4’s, which makes wash day interesting to say the least. What I have learned is that the heavier products like shea butter work for me, but I have to cut them with aloe vera gel, and I now add glycerin to the concoction as well. This keeps the products from being to heavy for my fine strands, while helping me retain my moisture. So while she may not have aritculated the benefits of hair typing to your liking, I consider myself living proof that hair typing works, it has saved my hair for… Read more »

June
Guest
June

You disagree about what? That hair typing has nothing to do with hair texture (strand size)?

That is fine. You are welcome to your ignorance, but for anyone that wants accurate information, here is some more: http://livecurlylivefree.blogspot.com/2009/01/hair-texture.html

Hyspin
Guest
Hyspin

June I think for styling purpose the typing systems could be helpful if they covered most aspect of texture which they don’t. I think for system to be truely useful they need to cover curl patter, curl diameter, strand thickness and hair density. I would include porosity but I think it will not affect what hair looks like visually but how it will act under different weather conditions and product applications. Hard for me to explain but I equate porosity of the strand to the sensitivity of skin. You can apply makeup properly based the oiliness/dryness of the skin but… Read more »

June
Guest
June

I agree with you. If curl defining is a necessity then the typing system is your friend. But, if a person is concerned about having hair that is healthy, texture and porosity is key. I am so glad I knew nothing about the hair typing system when I went natural. No clue whatsoever. I just don’t get the attention to it or the hang ups about it. It is obviously not science as I have been labeled everything from 3B to 4B depending on if I use a gel or not, how watery or creamy my leave-in was, or if… Read more »

Hyspin
Guest
Hyspin

Agreed.

sandy
Guest
sandy

I like it. But it doesn’t show hair density(thin, thick, medium) Sometimes you can have any type of hair but you need to at least know how many strands on the head and if the apperance and weight is heavy, medium or light(see through). Also typing in and of itself doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is the “intention”. I use typing to get a sense of who has hair like mine so I don’t have to search one million videos, for instance. But I don’t use it to identify who has a particular type of hair, because, I necessarily… Read more »

Jacqui
Guest

Uhmmm hair typing…probably A4 fine/medium strands

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

this is pretty neat, but I don’t know how you tell what the sizes are. I think hair typing can be handy because it helps find people with similar hair. I have fine strands and tight coils and s’s, and so I make sure to take a peek when someone says their hair is 4a because I have a hope of seeing something that will behave like mine. I also peek at other fine haired people with different curl patterns because they might have some advice I can use too. The reason the Andre system is numbered with straight as… Read more »

Cori
Guest
Cori

I like the idea of a hair typing chart. It helps us to understand how to care for our hair. Being only 10 months natural I often refer to the hair chart for product buying, handling and moisture issues. I wish that we could all just take things a little lighter. The chart isn’t telling us what texture is better or worse, its just a guide ladies. We should try not to be so defensive, unless we can offer something better. 🙂

Doreen
Guest
Doreen

Just from the above discussions, I am glad that we don’t hair typing systems.
From the rest of the world

Doreen
Guest
Doreen

If helps individuals to deal with their hair,then all power to your elbow. As an outsider,I am not criticising,just making observations.….….…..

nappy headed black girl
Guest

Goodness, there are so many freakin’ typing systems. It’s like one comes out every few years.

Although many (particularly naturals) have a problem with it, I’m partial to Andre Walker’s original chart.

I don’t and never have used any typing system myself, but his seems to be pretty simple and straightforward.

Hyspin
Guest
Hyspin

Hair typing systems are not useful on product usage. But will definitely help with caring tips and also realistic styling results It easier to get similar results with some with in C2 medium strand if your C2 thin, but not if the person was a B4 medium strand. So as far as maintenance and hair tutorial results it is quite helpful for more realistic expectations. But unfortunately the system due to its hierarchal nature creates a good bad perception from the get go. but what might help is using abstract lets to describe shape and maybe gauges or even roman… Read more »

Hyspin
Guest
Hyspin

Synopsis:
I am just saying I find a usefulness when it comes to styling my hair off of styling tutorial and getting similar or the same results. But as for maintaining your hair or hair care the typing system has no use at all.

I just realize my last paragraph was getting confusing.

Chan
Guest

The difference with this chart is that it provides more visual. With this system I’m a C3.…still the same as the old system which classifies me as a 3C. I typically didn’t believe in ‘hair typing’ myself or others, but I find that knowing your type certainly helps develop individualized hair regimens based on the needs of that hair type.

Doreen
Guest
Doreen

Oh the passion.….…

Freckelz
Guest

great visual yet if i was to try and type my hair it would be hard because my hair is tri textured. the tope is long and wavy, the back left side hass snap back curls and the back right is more puffy kinda thick and puffy

Doreen
Guest
Doreen

The fun continues.….….…I prefer String Theory myself.…..

Cacey
Guest
Cacey

when it becomes accepted, widely, then i’ll cosign on spring theory lol

Cacey
Guest
Cacey

i meant “string”. can’t spell today

Weymouth
Guest

Great site! Stop by sometime. Mike at weymouth hotels

shay
Guest
shay

The visual does make the typing a bit easier though I am still multiple types C3/4 and A3/4… Not sure how that’s useful knowledge for me unless it’s simply being used so that I can describe my hair to other sisters online without having to post a picture.

Vivi
Guest
Vivi

Personally, I love me some hair typing, but I actually only use it for what I believe was its intended purpose: for checking hair visually. If I want to see how a style will look on my hair, it makes the most sense to check out someone whose hair type is similar to mine. I think that whole hype about specific products for a particular hair type is nonsense. Everyone has different hair, regardless of how much it may look like that other person’s. How your hair looks, has nothing to do with how your hair is gonna react to… Read more »

Cacey
Guest
Cacey

cute. this visual is way better. i’m a fine C4, if i’m looking at that correctly. in terms of its usefulness…it’s just like the other system in that regard. not so helpful.

MssTada
Guest

I feel as though I’m a C2 or C3.
I think that this hair typing system is more specific. So I don’t mind it. Actually, it makes sense because I have 3C type hair.

Toni
Guest
Toni

I like it also! It’s so simple! I’ve been having a hard time trying to fix out my hair type and there it is! C2, just like that. To be honest it just made my natural transition easier. Now I can move on to the next step. Becoming a obsessed with which products work best for me. Thanks so much!

Ms Marcy
Guest
Ms Marcy

I am a fan to any type of chart that teaches me how to do me. I guess it is my age, but I don’t care about a hair type that is not my own to care for. For too long, I tried to get natural and unnatural hair styles of others ( whomever those others are). I love the freedom which comes from seeing, listening, and reading about the women who DO have my type of hair, and they ARE working it. The more we love ourselves, the more others will too. People need to see all of our… Read more »

tanyfaye
Guest
tanyfaye

If I had started my journey trying to figure out my hair type from this chart.… I would have had nooo chance lol. Too many diff kinks up in hurrrrr.

Aliyah Morrison
Guest
Aliyah Morrison

If I used this chart I have A1 A2 and C4. My hair is medium texture

Aliyah Morrison
Guest
Aliyah Morrison

I’m a mix of s curl and c coil

mjslyfe
Guest
mjslyfe

Me too Aliyah.

mjslyfe
Guest
mjslyfe

I think hair typing systems can sometimes limit us. I feel this is especially true for naturals with a mixture of textures which includes most people!

~MJ

mjslyfe
Guest
mjslyfe

I really dont like these hair typing systems because they can cause people to loose focus on what going natural is really about. however, they do make things standard when communicating about our hair. They also dont accurately represent women that have various textures on their head. Conflicted!

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