HAIRTYPING : Beware the Trap
What is it you say? Hairtyping is a trap? But I need to know what “type” my hair is so I can find the right products for me, right?
Well, yes and no and how far are you going to push it? You can analyse every strand on your head and check for a curl. Then you can scour Andre’s system and hope you qualify to be a Type 3 and if not, buy hundreds of $$ worth of product seeking that elusive “curl definition”. You will start comparing your hair to the hair of others and yours will not be as “good a grade” as who you are comparing to, but a “better grade” than that of others. You will scour the internet looking for websites that promise to deliver the texture YOU want and promote re-texturizing, sometimes by using untested, potentially dangerous chemical and vitamin combinations in an effort to achieve what your scalp stubbornly refuses to give you.
The internet is clogged with websites promoting miracle texture-changing devices, gadgets and tonics to fix your “bad grade of hair”. You will see the pictures of the before (with their nappy hair) and the after (with their curly, shiny hair). And these are all ‘regular folk’ just like you! These websites are all primed to sit there and take advantage of your money and your time. When it doesn’t work for you, you will buy something else, then something else, then something else… maybe take some extra-strength pregnancy vitamins (even though you’re not pregnant) or hair-miracle growth pills in an effort to speed up the growth process; and put substances into your body that aren’t meant to be in your system.
Or you can check your hair out in the mirror, wash it, dry it, look at it and understand what you are seeing is what your body has given you, how you have treated it has resulted in its condition – and then decide to work with your unique crown to make it the healthiest it can be.
It’s your choice.
Of course you need to know what you have on your head in order to use the right tools to work with it. Of that there is no doubt. Since you are on Nappturality seeking hair advice, then chances are your hair or the hair you are seeking information on is natural, non-chemically re-texturized, afro-type hair.
Natural afro-hair in general has a natural spring to it, a lift and a density that characterizes its rich texture. In saying that, your hair is unique in its pattern, density, thickness, strand strength. With every twist and curve, your hair defines itself. You may even have multiple textures in your hair. Your own natural, afro—type hair is not like the hair of any other on the planet.
Once you know you have afro-type hair, then you can start working with your crown in a way that enhances what is naturally yours. You can see your hair by looking in the mirror and putting your hands on your tresses. Does your hair feel dry or coarse? Does it feel soft and moisturized? Does it spring back when you push it or does it just hang there, limply with no life at all? Because what you see may not be in the best condition, so it may not reflect itself in its healthiest state.
Focus on using healthy products meant for your hair and healthy styling techniques. It may sound cliché, but in order to have healthy hair on the outside, you must feed your body with healthy food on the inside. In order to have hydrated hair, you must have a hydrated body. Drink plenty of water, limit your sugar intake. Cover your hair when out in full sun for extended periods of time and stay away from petroleum based pomades and greases or too much glycerin. Use rich, natural conditioners and leave ins and be gentle in styling techniques. In basic terms, that is all you need to do to succeed.
Obsessing about your hairtype and comparing yours to others will not make you feel good about your hair. Don’t fall into the trap.
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