When a group of naturals are together, someone who isn’t natural but who is also familiar with the natural look may just generalize this group of naturals as “girls with natural hair,” and nothing more. All that may be seen are the obvious which is the difference in lengths, as well as the hairstyles and volume.
However, there may also be little to no knowledge that these naturals all have specific curl patterns, lengths and different hair journeys.
In the natural hair community a few years ago, we were introduced to the what was known as the Hair Typing Chart or The Andre Walker System by Andre Walker (Oprah’s hairstylist). This chart became widely popular especially in the natural hair community when it came to putting a name and an understanding to our textures that many of us were getting acquainted to for the first time.
The chart ranges from 1-4 with each having an alphabetical category from A-C.
Type 1-which is the straightest texture and also seen to be the hardest texture to damage however, it isn’t easy to curl.
Type 2-this is the wavy type that is more exposed to getting frizzy because of its wavy nature.
Type 3- This curly type also known as the S or Z type when illustrated, is high in volume and fullness.
Type 4- This is the kinky or coily texture that takes more effort to tame. This type is the most fragile of all the types.
Now, this typing system may have been widely popular in the natural hair and hair community as a whole but it isn’t to say that it was widely accepted. There were oppositions about it as well with some folks thinking it was too general and not accurate for each textured individual. Whatever the case may have been, there is no argument that it was a great stepping stone for giving insight to the growing population of naturals that were trying to figure out what their textures and hair meant.
Though the Hair Typing Chart may have been a technical explanation to hair textures, there is also this underlying or categorizing system that is used for the different types of naturals we see all around us, whether on social media, in person or our fellow natural peers. We sublimely categorize or are even categorized ourselves, based on our lifestyle in regards to our hair.
Here are some examples:
DISCLAIMER–we are not insisting that there is anything wrong with these types of naturals, we are just saying that they do in fact exists.
1-The weave/wig wearing natural-aka-the “I love my Natural Hair, So What if it’s in a Weave?” natural.
This is the natural that people assume doesn’t have any hair underneath because she always seems to cover it with wig and weave style.
Every so often, she switches it up and has her co-workers confused saying “you cut your hair” or in the following 2 weeks “OMG, your hair grows fast, what do you do to it?”
2-The natural that never seems to have an issue with growth-aka- the “I am Fortunate” Natural.
This is the natural that did the big chop about two months ago and is already in stage 4 (see picture below for illustration).
She always gets asked what her secret to the rapid growth is and all she answers is, “I just use shampoo and water…”
3-The natural that buys everything in the store-aka- the “Product Junkie”Natural
This natural never leaves the convenient store without having to purchase at least a few hair products that claim to make the hair grow over night.
Her bathroom cabinet is filled with products dating back from 5 years ago, with some that have never been opened.
4-Lastly we have the natural that refuses to use any hair products that are specifically made for the hair- she rather prefers to mix up a concoction of all the fresh produce in her fridge. We call this natural the “Fruits and Berries” natural.
We all either know, are or have been one of these naturals.
Nonetheless, the moral of this whole story is that our differences are what they are. When it comes to our hair, whether it be from our texture in the Hair Typing Chart, or the particular kind of natural we are based on our lifestyles, our hair differences make us who we are as unique individuals.