by Tori (pictured above)
My type 4 hair gets tangled and knotted easily. It gets dry and matted. Detangling can take forever. It can look dull and dry even when it is isn’t. Shall I go on? Well I won’t, because this article would end up being way too long.
Like many naturals with type 4 hair, I can easily list a dozen reasons why having type 4 hair can be a pain. Of all the textures on the hair-typing chart, type 4 hair has a reputation for being the most difficult hair type to deal with. And for some, it is probably also the least desired hair type. I can attest to how difficult it can be to deal with type 4 hair, and I could continue listing a million reasons why my type 4 hair is a headache to deal with. However, before I start hating on what God gave me, I have to take a moment to show my hair some love. Below are just a couple reasons why I love my type 4 hair.
Of course almost all natural textures offer versatility, but there’s just something about styling my hair and seeing the intricacy that my texture adds to the styles, that just makes me happy. I can create styles frequently by rolling, pinning, tucking, braiding or twisting, based on my mood and desired look. The coils and puffy nature of type 4 hair enhances the desired effect of my styles.
The “cotton‑y” nature of my type 4 hair allows it to absorb water and products quite easily and frequently. Bertha (my fro) is just plain “thirsty” lol. In this case, being “thirsty” is a good thing. While this may mean more work for me to re-moisturize constantly, I appreciate the fact that my hair is soaking up any nutrients and moisture from products I apply.
Some people don’t like shrinkage, but I actually don’t mind it at all. If detangling shrunken hair was not so time-consuming, I would probably wear my hair in its shrunken afro state all the time, because I just love how it looks. Plus, I like seeing the surprise on peoples’ faces when I stretch my shrunken hair to its actual length. Ha!
You probably just read this list and thought ‚“girl, a couple of those things are exactly what I DON’T like about my type 4 hair.” Honestly, in the beginning of my hair journey, I didn’t like them either. I struggled with accepting some of these qualities of my type 4 hair. However, over time you learn to embrace it and accept it for what it is.
P.S. This article is not meant to be exclusive, but rather a celebration of the hair type that sometimes seem to be resented.
What do you love about having type 4 hair? Show your hair some love.
About Tori: I’m Tori, a Jamaican-born natural currently living in Texas. I was reunited with my natural texture in January 2012 when I big chopped, after transitioning for a year and a half. I am still learning about my natural hair, and hope to share the knowledge and experiences I gain as I continue on my natural hair journey. You can find me on Instagram @bonafidestyle.