The curl type classification was created by Andre Walker, stylist to Oprah Winfrey for over 25 years. This chart helped those with natural hair determine what curl type their hair was and therefore, the best products needed for that curl type. However, the curl type chart’s purpose has unfortunately been lost. There certainly seems to be a preference and even idolisation towards looser curls. This is texture discrimination, and frustratingly, it’s still an issue. There is something so unifying about women coming together and sharing their natural hair journeys, pictures and tips on hair care. However, this is undone by ‘curl envy’ where the perception of those with looser curls have ‘good hair’. Notable bloggers like Jouelzy and Klassy Kinks have shared in the past their frustrations about the lack of clicks/shares on videos that feature bloggers with 4c hair. Another example is the popularity of curl definition videos on Youtube. Is it just another way to style hair or does it suggest that, unconsciously, kinkier hair is not good enough?
In response to the above meme: Tracee Ellis Ross said:
“I don’t want you to want my hair. The reason I don’t want you to want my hair is I’m of the school of love what you got. For me, the reason my hair was such a battle was because I was trying to make it something it wasn’t. I wanted the hair that somebody else had”. She also says: “I love that you love my hair but I only love that you love my hair if it’s an inspiration for you to love your hair.”
Race and Curl Type
Mixed race hair. What is mixed race hair? Considering that women with mixed raced heritage can have any curl pattern, mixed race hair is a puzzling term. Unfortunately, with the desire for a looser curl pattern, there is a [wrong] assumption that somehow someone with such a curl type has a mix in them. This sadly seems to suggest that the looser textured hair that someone has is desirable despite their blackness. Remember, whatever mixed racial makeup someone has isn’t an automatic passage to having a looser curl pattern.
Natural hair is natural hair. We should support and celebrate hair diversity whatever form it is in. There’s only one important curl type that everyone needs to have; H for Healthy!