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.

blackbeautynaturalhairchart
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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *