We interrupt the shampoo series to bring you Hair Typing. Next up in the shampoo series was supposed to be 'Shampoo: Choosing for your Hair Type'. How could I possibly give you that information without presenting you with the options?!
There are a number of hair typing classification systems out there. My current position on these hair typing systems is that it is yet another way to label. I often ask myself, 'What is the point when many of us have a variety of curl patterns on one head of hair?'. Some of these systems acknowledge that fact and recommend going with the majority.
In all honesty, hair typing is an excellent way to market products. It's actually GENIUS! Get people to speak your language and then hit them with a product that is considered customized just for their hair type (you know, the one that you created).
Whew! Well, allow me to end that conversation and go in on these systems. Some may be familiar, while others may be new. Some may not even apply to you. My goal is to investigate each of these curl typing systems and provide you with the Pros and Cons from my personal perspective. It will be up to you to embrace or abandon any system. You never know, I may have a change of heart and embrace one.
The 'Curly Girl' way
You know how much I love this book! While small in size, the book is packed with information. One of the most intriguing concepts was Massey's curl classification system. She described it with ease and simplicity. Assuming, you have identified yourself as a Curly Girl, check out how simple her classifications are:
- Wavy: This is the 'S' of curl family. Some waves may be more loose than others.
- Botticelli: These are the more loose curls that vary in size and do not have the 'flyaway' factor of the corkscrew curls. Gravity enables them to lay moreso than fly away.
- Corkscrew: These curls are usually more dry. Remember, the more curl you have the more likely you will experience dry strands. This is due to the fantastic voyage your sebum must take to twist and turn down the hair shaft.
Pros and Cons
I love the simplicity of this system. Massey acknowledges that the corkscrew curls adorned by many African-Americans differ from the general characteristics of a corkscrew curl she provides. For this reason, she has an entire chapter dedicated to African-American hair. Massey also provides general characteristics about each curl type in the areas of density and texture. These characteristics help you identify with a curl type.
Sometimes I wonder about the exceptions to the rule - those that don't fit the general characteristics. Based on these curl type options my guess is that many African-Americans will fall into the category of corkscrew. Then what? In the world of hair, one size may fit many, but not all. This mechanism is dedicated to curls only. Some of the other systems embrace straight hair. I had to make mention of it for a thorough analysis. It is called Curly Girl...LOL!
Simplicity was described as a pro above, however one drawback of simplicity is the inability to compensate for other factors such as the tightness of the curl or texture. While Massey does provide the general texture characteristics of each of the three types, factors such as texture and density are not considered in great detail.
According to Curly Girl, which hair type do you have? Do you identify with any of these curl types? What is your position on hair typing?