2 Ways to Find Your Hair Type [History of "Good Hair"]
History of “Good Hair”
As early as the 19th Century the terms “good hair” and “bad hair” have been used to categorize the hair type of black people all over the world. In many communities, the term “good hair” describes the regard towards those of loosely coiled hair. While the term “bad hair” is used to describe the disrelish towards those with tightly coiled hair. This form of hair typing is problematic on many levels and negatively affects the progressive movement of unity and thought in our communities. Nevertheless, understanding your hair type is extremely important. Due to the recent uprising of the natural hair movement more and more people are using an informed approach when categorizing their hair type. As you become more engaged in your hair journey remember, just as the late great Maya Angelou once said, “If you have it growing on your head it’s good hair, but if you have it growing between your toes, it probably isn’t so good.”
Understanding your hair type is extremely important and is imperative in your product selection in order to get the most definition out of your curl pattern.
So, what is your hair type?
How our curl types come to be is determined by the shape of our hair follicles (where your hair grows from out of your scalp). The more oval your follicle is, the curlier your hair will be. Imagine the technique used to curl ribbons. A piece of straight ribbon is tightly held against one side of a metal blade on a pair of scissors then pulled against the blade to produce a curl. Similarly, our oval hair follicles flatten our hair stands on one or both sides as they emerge from the scalp creating a beautiful curl.
There are different ways to classify your hair type. The two that will be discussed in this blog will be. The L.O.I.S System and the Textured Typing System.
At this point, you are probably asking yourself, what is the L.O.I.S System and how does it help classify my hair type? Over the years, several hair-typing systems have been created. The L.O.I.S System considers the actual bends, coils, and kinks of individual hair strands and places them within more focused contexts of strand density and texture for more accurate categorization.
L- If your hair bends into a right angle rather than curl with little to no curve then you are apart of the daughter L family. This hair type is considered the most fragile and has very little curl definition. L-type hair require lots of moisturizing attention.
O- If your hair turns over into a shape of an O several times like a corkscrew you are considered to be apart of the daughter O family. O-type hair is easier to moisturize than L-type hair. The tighter the curl the more it will draw up as they dry.
I- If your hair remains flat with no defined curves curl or bend then you are placed in the I-type family. I-type hair fibers are more break-resistant than the other hair types.
S- If your hair strand has wavy lines throughout your hair then you are apart of the daughter S family. S-type hair is very similar to O-type except that S types are naturally stretched out.
It is important to note that you may have a combination of the L.O.I.S letters, with one type usually being dominant.
The L.O.I.S also classifies your hair texture.
These classifiers assess your hair’s overall shine, sheen, and its feel and response to wetting.
Below you will find the general classifications:
Thready-- Your hair falls within this classification if it has low to moderate natural sheen, with high shine when the hair is braided. Fizziness is low among thready hair types and wets easily, but dries out very quickly. This hair type is considered porous because of its propensity to accept moisture and lose it just as easily. Thus, if proper moisturizing and sealing is applied to thready textured hair it will retain moisture more readily and its sheen/shine can be enhanced with the right products.
Wiry/Coarse-- Your hair is classified as wiry if it possesses a sparkly natural sheen, with little shine and frizz. Your hair falls within this category if water beads up or bounces off wiry hair strands, and it may take time before the strands get fully wet. These hair strands are usually thicker and coarser individually because they tend to have more cuticle layers than other hair textures.
Cottony-- Your hair is Cottony if it has low natural sheen. Cottony hair is more vulnerable to fizziness. It absorbs water quickly, but it takes time to become thoroughly wet.
Spongy-- Your hair is Spongy if your hair has high sheen, low shine, and dense-looking frizz. This hair type tends to absorb water before it gets fully wet.
Silky-- Your hair is Silky if your hair has low sheen and very high shine. Your frizziness varies and wets easily with water. Silky hair is the easiest to moisturize and keep moisturized. Silky hair is usually finer than the other hair types but less thick. Some individuals with this hair texture may experience frizziness.
Number Typing System
The second hair typing system that we will discuss is the Number Typing System℠ which is extremely popular in the natural hair community. This system utilizes numbers and letters to categorize your hair in a more general fashion. In the Number Typing System℠ there are 3 types of curly hair types; type 2,type 3, and type 4. Within each curl type there are 3 different sub-classifications; A,B,C. These subcategories are based off of the width or diameter of your curls. Please keep in mind that the best time to identify your curl pattern is when your hair is at its most natural and healthiest state. Below will discuss type 3 and 4 because these are the hair types most dominant within the black community.
Type 3 hair pattern tends to possess more of a natural buoyant loop, similar to a loose corkscrew pattern. This hair type is prone to frizz easily. Below you will find the subcategories of Type 3 hair.
- 3A- This hair type possesses a radiant shine with a very loose curl pattern. In order to limit frizz it is imperative to refrain from running your hands, comb, brush through your springy sexy curls.
- 3B- With this hair type your hair may be a bit more coarse and tightly coiled than 3A textured hair. To embrace your sexy side with this hair texture use products that is more on the humectant side for it will attract more moisture to its strands without promoting any frizz.
- 3C- This hair type develops a more tight corkscrew pattern and is more densely packed together. Frizz may be more of a hassle with this hair strain, so it is important to stay away from products that are humectant dominant if you live in a humid area, and keep away from products that possess sulfate and/or alcohol.
This hair type possesses a more tightly coiled pattern and has a tendency to be naturally dry, possess more of a spongy feel, and is prone to more shrinkage to(sometimes up to 75% of its true length!).
- 4A-This hair type has a tendency to be fragile, highly porous, and may be very fine and wiry. It has a tendency to hold more moisture in its strands than its 4B or 4C counterparts. The diameter of these tightly coiled curls resembles a crochet needle. To get the maximum definition with a 4A hair type it is imperative to keep your hair strands moisturized and balanced. Styles such as twist outs work well with this hair type as well. Also using a leave in conditioner will help you maintain your curls and make them last much longer.
- 4B- This hair type closely resembles the spring of a pen. Many different styles can be done easily this hair type because it is densely packed and can effortlessly bend into very keen angles like the letter Z. With the right type of hydration the 4B hair type can promote sexy curls without having to do much else. Also using a hand rolling like method with this hair type can prove to be very effective due to the thickness of the hair.
- 4C- This hair type is very identical to 4B as they share a similar Z pattern. The major difference of 4B and 4C hair types is that 4C hair types are more fragile and produce the most amount of shrinkage. 4A texture hair has a tendency Due to how coiled 4C hair can be and the shrinkage in this hair type may be up to 75% more than any other texture!
Caribbean Secrets Products
Caribbean Secrets products are specifically designed to help our customers maximize on their true curl potential. Be sure to try our Creme, fortified with B vitamins and organic ingredients this product is suitable for hair types ranging from 3A-4C.
Stay Sexy... and always remember, "the deeper the secret, the better the beauty."
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