Knowing Your Hair Type – Curl Pattern Vs Hair Texture, What’s the Difference

If you care enough to do the research yourself, you will find that the market for this particular niche is very appealing to those who seek to make a profit. Of course, it’s because many of them know that women of color will spend all that we have on our hair. There is nothing wrong with making or spending money, but why spend endless amounts of money on products that are no good for your hair? Just because a product claims to be for natural, kinky, curly, frizzy hair; it may not be for your particular natural, kinky, curly, frizzy hair.

As I would sift through the sea of information on natural hair care, I kept saying to myself that something wasn’t right with all these questions asking: what’s your hair type, what’s your curl pattern? Once I figured out what my hair type/curl pattern (I think?) was, I learned later that my hair had many types and patterns, and they all ranged from a 3a to a 4a–seriously. Then, I would seek products for those types/patterns and would never really get the results I desired. As I searched I still couldn’t figure out what was really wrong. Why wasn’t anything working?! I just knew that there was more to this mystery than curl patterns and hair types.

So, I decided to do a Google search on the difference between curl patterns and hair textures, not types and realized that my thinking was on the right track. The truth is a black woman and a white woman both can have the same curl pattern (e.g. a 3c pattern), but have completely different textures. Now, is this starting to make a little more sense? When I think of textures, I think of how something feels to the touch, to the taste, and even to the sight. Some textures are smooth and silky, while other textures are rigid and rough. Then, there’s this whole thing on porosity. I won’t go into detail about porosity, but just know that if you’re relaxed or dyed your hair (and haven’t chopped it off–sounds so drastic, doesn’t it?) then more than likely the porosity of your hair is high. The porosity of your hair determines how your hair may react to certain products because of its’ ability to absorb or emit any kind of substance

Please educate yourself. It’s not enough to take someone else’s word as bond. It’s OK to take advice from those who are passionate (like myself) about natural hair care, BUT many of us are NOT professionals. We can only stand in support of your decision to go natural and offer you our stories to help you get through your journey. It’s recommended that you seek the advice of a professional and arm yourself with knowledge. Finally, the most important thing you should do before you make any moves (at all) is to know the curl pattern, texture and the porosity of your hair. Based on this information, your own personal research, support from the natural hair care community, and the recommendations of a professional; you are now prepared to take on this journey!

To help you determine your hair properties: curl pattern/hair type, texture, density, and the porosity of your hair, make sure to check out the following link.

Remember some resources may use the words curl types/hair types and textures interchangeably, but texture is something different. It can be a little confusing. That’s why it’s so important to do your own research. Oh, and one last thing. Many sites have many different types of hair type charts. Some have so many sub-categories that you would wonder if they were just made up. I have not found one hair type chart from any site that impressed me enough to give you a clear understanding of what your hair type may be.

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