Any guesses on my natural hair type or texture? I know I have type 4 hair, but honestly I feel like I could claim type 4a, 4b, or 4c depending on what section of my head you are looking at. And I think my hair texture could be wiry, cottony or thready — I’m not really sure. But in the video below is my hair in the first few days and weeks after big chopping. I made sure to include my hair dry with no product as well as damp with product. Take a look and let me know what you think.
I’m also hoping this video will be a point of reference for my hair now to see if it looks the same or different in another 5 months to a year. I’ve read that our natural hair changes in first year of big chopping our relaxed ends. So I’m curious to see if this happens to me. I’m not sure how it would change, but I think it’ll be a nice little experiment.
Natural Hair Types.
I know depending on where you look the definition of natural hair types differ, but I’m going to refer to the Naturally Curly’s website definition. Even though Andre Walker was the originator of the type 1-4 system. It seems that the type 4 section specifically has been significantly modified since he originally introduced it. From what I’ve been able to gather from hair forums and youtube, most people seem to ascribe a version that most closely resembles the Naturally Curly version.
According to Naturally Curly, type 4 Natural Hair is the most fragile hair type with the fewest cuticle layers. It is densely packed with coils that need to be protected from dryness. Naturally Curly describes type 4a hair as being dense and tightly coiled (having the circumference of a crotchet needle) with a visible S pattern. Whereas type 4b hair has a tighter coil than 4a. Type 4b hair has coils that are smaller than the circumference of the spring inside of a pen and creates a Z pattern. Type 4c hair is described in the same way as type 4b, however there is a lot more shrinkage and a lot less definition.
Natural Hair Textures.
Hair texture is based on the shine versus sheen of your hair strands as well as how it reacts to water. I have such a hard time with this one because much like the hair typing it’s all on a sliding scale. But just in case you’re curious here are the different hair textures and their descriptions. This was originally found on a site that is not longer active but you can find a pretty good description with pictures on BHM:
Thready– hair has a low sheen, with a high shine while the hair is being held taught with low frizz. Wets easily but dries quickly.
Wiry – has a sparkly sheen with low shine and low frizz. Water bounces or beads up on the hair strand. Hair never seems to get fully wet.
Cottony – has a low sheen, a high shine if hair is held taut and has high frizz. Absorbs water quickly but does not get thoroughly wet very fast.
Spongy – high sheen, with low shine with a compacted looking frizz. Absorbs water before it gets thoroughly wet.
Silky – low sheen and very high shine with a lot or low frizz. Easily wets in water.
Meet My Natural Hair.
Now that we’ve established a baseline for natural hair types and textures, here’s my natural hair!