I stumbled upon a black hair site where women were talking about their hair in, what seemed to me, code. First woman was all about her 4A and another was asking for products compatible with 3 C. I was soo confused.
Thanks to search engines I was able to learn that there is an actual natural hair chart. I will not link this foolishness here as I trust that you all know how to use Google/Bing/Ask Jeeves if you care to find it yourself. An entire chart coding the texture of black hair, apparently created about 14 years ago, so that black folk can find products that best suit their hair according to curl patterns.
So it’s a marketing ploy that is assessed on curl pattern? I am all for thinking outside of the box but my hair does not have anything close to what I would describe as a curl pattern. Maybe a kink pattern, definitely more kink and less pattern. For full disclosure my hair is locked and has been for about 10 years. Prior to that there was no curl pattern to speak of and my new growth is the same.
In my quick and decidedly disdainful review of the chart I noticed that of the 7 or so different textures, like 4-5 of them seemed to have bouncy, spiral style curls, all at least shoulder length and straight-out-of-a-magazine-style fresh. The few models with hair that looked something like mine were women with mini afros or neat cornrows, no beauty shots like the other women. hmmmm. Something seems to be missing.
My issue with this is chart and its categories is that it again seems to clearly prefer some textures over the other. This preference seems to be because it’s ‘more manageable’ and ‘easier to grow’ and all kinda other stuff that gives me pause.
Oh, there was talk on having healthy hair as well, complete with recommendations for products. In case you were wondering, the texture that looks like my hair is described as very fragile and wiry. Curly bouncy girl is described as thick and full with lots of body. How can you assess that across the board? I am no hair expert, but healthy hair is a combination of lots of factors and I refuse to believe curl pattern alone holds that much weight.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against hair products. I also do know that black hair comes in probably millions of different textures and variations and that all need to be acknowledged. I also understand and appreciate the natural hair community as a place to learn and share about our hair. However, please miss me with the hair hierarchy, it seems to me to be nothing more than divisive marketing ploy.
I gave up on my search after I got caught up in the web of hair texture charts as it really disturbed me. What started out as a random search for new style inspirations turned into a strange new way for women, black women in particular, to learn how we can fix ourselves.
Alas, tomorrow shall be yet another side ponytail day