I’m not too big in hair typing… because honestly I’m not really good at it… nor do I fully understand it. Basically I just can’t tell the difference between the letters so I dont. I do however know that in the broadest sense of the hair typing world that I do have type 4 hair. Type four hair is very coily and is densely packed together. It is also the hair type that is the most sensitive to manipulation because of the fewer cuticle layers. And that folks… is the extent of what I know about knowledge/science that comes along with the hair typing system.
What I do know is that there is “texture discrimination” that is rampant in the natural hair community and has rubbed some naturalistas the wrong way. We’ve all (well I guess I’ll just speak for myself) have been in the place in our journey where we were a bit envious (curly envy is depressing) of the next naturalista’s curl pattern. It happens… we’re human and you move on from it. The issue comes in when you can’t move on from it, or external issues prevent you from moving on from it. Dwelling on the curl pattern of another woman can be detrimental to your own successful hair journey. You are supposed to be in love with your hair journey (the good, the bad, the tangled, and the beautiful pieces)! Every part of your hair journey isn’t going to be easy or amazing but you should love that you are on the journey.
I love the hair on my head. I love everything it does and everything it doesn’t do. It adds character to who I am, while always being a great conversation starter. This doesn’t mean I can’t love other hair textures, and admire the beauty in other women’s curl patterns. Because in fact I do… I greatly enjoyy all textures and hair types, which is why our Instagram is chalk filled with diverse women to the brim. From locs, to twists, to afros, to twist outs I love it all.
After several conversations, and seeing so many saddening posts, I decided I wanted to share why I loved my type four hair and open it up to you ladies to add to the list! It didn’t take me long to love the hair on my head and I hope this list encourages, reinforces, and helps you love the hair on your head too!
5 Reasons I Love My Type Four Natural Hair
1. Textured : My head has about 75 million textures on it! Ha! Okay maybe not literally 75 million… but a good amount of different textures are absolutely present. I used to hate that! It used to drive me crazy that I could never do the coveted “Wash And Go” which was the style I thought you had to do with great ease as a naturalista. Thats why you stopped getting perms right? To wear your hair in its natural state? Then why oh why couldn’t I wash and GO!! Three years later I still can’t wash and go… & who cares! All of the textures on my head are categorized as type four and they play oh so nice together in twist outs, braid outs, flexi rod sets, perm rod sets… (you get where I’m going here)! These textures all come together in their glory and give me the definition and bounce that makes the style look incredible and get loads of attention & compliments!
2. Versatile: Because of the shrinkage, and the density I can morph into different styles with ease. I can’t tell you how much confusion my hair causes at work and I love it! Again… at first was annoying explaining … “No no I didn’t cut my hair, 75 % of my hair just shrinks up from time to time no biggie!” Better yet seeing their eyes when I come in the next day with a giant picked out afro, and they ask me if its a wig or a weave… ! CLASSIC! Type four hair morphs into what ever you want it to without ever missing a beat! And the best part you don’t need to worry about little stray pieces flying out or not sticking in its greased slicked down state. It’s rare for type four hair to behave in a “flat” manner… so the wilder the better! I love it!
3. Powerful Statement/ Conversation Starter : No I don’t mean I’m making a huge “back to afro centric heritage statement”. I am a teacher, and I must admit I was a bit nervous going natural during a school year. I was even more frightened to big chop in the middle of the school year as well. Now… parents and students come up to me all the the time to discuss going natural and being so happy to see teachers that look like them and helping them over come their fear of going natural as well. So many of my students are natural, and have beautiful type four hair. It makes me happy to see them rocking it in their puffs, twists, afros…etc. Thats the best statement I could ever hope to make. Represenation does matter and for them to look forward to having my class, or discussing products/hair care (after class of course) is always a pleasure.
4. Unique: My hair isn’t like anyone else’s and thats what I love about it. I don’t take reviews to heart, I don’t follow align the trends I see what works best and I rock it like only I can. My hair is just that… mine and it doesnt matter if my curls hang or fly to the sky because they are an expression/part of my style. Thats what we forget some times as naturalistas. We get lost and caught up in the community of it, that we think everything must be uniform! But we became naturalistas to break the uniformity of it all.
5. Stands on its own two feet: My hair standsssssss without any help from me and I love that! What I love most about being natural is the volume of it. Yes length is always nice, but I’ve had the length all my life when I was relaxed… it didn’t make me “standout”, and I didn’t feel like I stood out. With my type four hair whether I have definition or not, picking the roots sends my hair flying to the sky and I love it. Type four hair grows up and out without much manipulation or hoopla and that is a blessing!
What are some of the reasons you love your type four hair? Share them below I can’t wait to see your list!
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.