Category Archives: natural hair chart

The Natural Hair Chart Doesn’t Really Work

Andre Walker, the hairstylist to the Queen of TV: Oprah Winfrey, created the hair typing system (AKA the hair typing chart) most Naturalistas use to define their hair type. It breaks the different textures into 4 types (1 through 4) and then breaks those types into 3 additional sub categories (A through C). It’s simple science, right? That always works.

Well, no.

The natural hair chart doesn’t actually work for my natural hair.

The natural hair chart doesn't work for my natural hairI think for a new natural, this chart could be helpful as a starting part to determine which products to use for her hair texture. I realize that there are SO many natural products out there, that it can be a little overwhelming to know where to even start experimenting . However, for a natural that have developed at least a small amount of understanding around the porosity of her hair or have who are just really observant of how different products effect the look of their hair – like ME, this chart really doesn’t help at all.

Most Naturalistas Have at Least Two Different Hair Textures

Most Naturalistas learn very early on that they have at least two different textures of hair on their head, and this chart does not even address this variance. So, you if you rely on the chart you could end up drying out one part of your hair while maintaining a great curl pattern in another. And that’ll never work.

The natural hair chart doesn’t include all the curl patterns or reference porosity

Then, if you check out other naturals the way I do, you have noticed that there are far more than three different sub-categories of curl patterns.  A, B, and C just won’t cut it. So, the natural hair chart is a great starting point to begin understanding the complexity of natural hair, but it just isn’t a reliable tool to base a decision around investing in natural hair products on.

Supposedly knowing your hair type will enable you to choose more suitable products and will help provide you with guidance for how you should care for your hair. OK. Sure. Right.

The most helpful natural hair charts I’ve found

And the term “helpful” Is more of a compliment than my actual opinion on the usefulness of any of these charts.

Hair Typing Chart that shows actual examples of real people with natural hair.

hair typing chart with written illustration of curl patterns
Hair Typing Chart with written illustrations of curl patterns. I’m not sure how you apply the illustration to figure out where your natural hair fits in, but I can appreciate the “artistry.”

Natural Hair Types Chart
Hair Typing Chart that includes color variations. I at least find this one easier to distinguish the three sub-categories of curl patterns.

Natural Hair Curl Codes Picture
Hair Tying Chart that breaks down the categories into Curl Codes.have

 Anyway, if the many hours I have spent grazing over a bunch of different charts was any where near well spent, then I’m a 4A (maybe).  And if you want to use the chart, remember to make sure your hair is clean and moisturized (damp/wet).
But who cares? What I do know is that I have a coarser grade of natural hair and it’s definitely low porosity (which means that my hair doesn’t absorb moisture well) so I have to moisturize it at least twice a day and I need to avoid greasy products like mineral oils or petrolatum because they block moisture from entering my hair shaft . Those are actually the only details that matter to me as I select products and styles for my natural hair.
two hair texturesI want to continue to experiment with hair products, and styles, and techniques and decide on what works best for me. . not what works for all colored girls who have hair that’s like mine. I’m not sure there are enough colored girls with hair that’s exactly like mine who are in the same place in their journey as I am, so this is just an area of my life I’m going to enjoy learning as I go. Oh yeah, here’s my two-textured head of natural hair!

Caring for Coarse Natural Hair

When I was young, the only females that wore their natural hair were either White, Asian, Mexican, mixed, had Indian in their family, or somehow just lucked up with fine, silky, wavy hair. That wasn’t me, and that ain’t me now.

If you’re not sure about whether you have coarse natural  hair, CLICK ON THIS PIC to see everyone’s favorite natural hair chart.

I have coarse natural hair. And if you do, too, then you know that coarse hair requires it’s own special regimen and styles. If you’re not sure about whether or not you have coarse natural hair, see the cropped section of the natural hair chart. And here’s a link to the full natural hair chart. . that I don’t personally use (ha!)

No.  I’m not talking about the regimen my Momma taught me. “Keep your scalp and hair greased, so your hair doesn’t break out. ” And “keep your hair dirty because dirty hair grows faster.”

Momma did what Momma knew. But I’ve spent my adult life getting to know my hair. Now that I know better, I do better. And one of he things I’ve learned about my coarse natural hair is that IT DOES NOT NEED HAIR GREASE. . ever. Neither does my scalp. Please hear me black women. This is a game changer for black women with coarse natural hair.

Never use “grease” in your hair or scalp. Petroleum – the main ingredient in hair grease – makes hair stiff, dry and greasy.

Your hair needs natural oils. Your hair does NOT need hair grease. Try to avoid products with mineral oils and petrolatum. They will dry your hair out and stop moisture from penetrating the hair shaft.  Natural oils like almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil and jojoba oils are much better because they help your hair seal in moisture, yet they are still light enough to allow your hair and scalp to breathe.

And your hair needs a lot of moisture. But don’t shampoo your hair every day. Shampooing your hair strips away the oils. Reserve shampoo for when your hair is filled with dirt and sweat. But you can co-wash it regularly and spritz it with water when it dries out. Use a leave-in conditioner to add manageability and shine.

There are also hair styles that work best for coarse natural hair as well.

If you have shorter hair, try tapered cuts (long at the top and shorter on the sides and in the back). For longer hair, try bangs. They break up the weight of your hair around your face and reveal dimension in your hairstyle.

Just know that coarse natural hair, just like all natural hair is beautiful. YOU are beautiful. You with your coarse hair and beautiful spirit. . Just enjoy this natural hair journey. It’s yet another path to get to know more about YOU.

Love you, Queen!