We love systems don’t we? Systems often take complex ideas or processes and simplify them for people to use and get a desired result. The great thing about systems is their simplicity; however this can also be a weakness. In life things are rarely simple. They are rarely straightforward and often contain complexities that cannot be systematically addressed.
There have been several attempts to systematically type hair and texture into easy-to-use-and-understand categories. While they are meant to give a general idea of how to classify hair I find that for some naturals they are used as gospel. Some systems may do more harm than good by typing hair as “good” and “bad”. Now I know what the common mantras are – healthy hair is good hair, all curly hair is good hair, etc. However not everyone really believes or accepts that. I’ve written about this in a previous post, but it can take a while for someone to really come to terms with their hair types and texture and truly love being natural and love their hair.
I was consulting a woman last week and had my hair in a twist out. My hair is extremely thick and kinky curly, while hers is fine with a wavy curl pattern. She was admiring my hair and stated that she wished her hair were like mine. I thought the same thing about hers due to the ability of her hair to be styled quickly and easily. Since my hair tangles very easily and is so thick my cleansing regimen is pretty extensive. Additionally, I rarely wear my hair in wash n’ go styles anymore because of this. Furthermore regarding many hair-typing systems all kinky, curly and coily hair tends to be lumped into one big category with a few variations. So, how useful is that? Considering everyone’s hair is slightly different and people can even have different textures and types of hair emerging from their scalp, categorizing hair is a difficult proposition at best. So should we do away with hair-typing and classification systems? Not necessarily. Where I find hair typing most useful is in assisting with product choice.