BEAUTY TALK: Knowing Your Hair Type


So, what is your hair type? It’s common to assume that every woman will know the answer to this question and be familiar with Andre Walker’s hair type chart. However, for those of you not so informed about it, this article will hopefully enlighten you. We all have different types of hair, because of our different races, genetics or even preference (considering the extensive styling tools and processes available).

Naturally, our race impacts the way our hair looks like and feels. It determines whether hair is straight, wavy, curly or kinky. For instance, we are used to associating straighter or “silkier” textures to that belonging to Caucasian or mixed raced individuals. As ‘nappy hair’ because of its harsher texture and its tightly formed coils are attributed to black people.

Thanks to extensive research to better our understanding of general misconceptions regarding our hair, there are many resources out there with the aim to help us. One of these includes the hair type chart. Some denounce the idea that there is a chart out there, which tells us how our hair look and what works or does not work for it.

Imani Dawson, founder of TribeCalledCurl believes that such a ‘destructive’ idea ignores very important factors, which determine the health of one’s hair, namely: porosity, strand size, and density. On the other hand, Karen Tappin, founder of Karen’s Body Beautiful believes that this chart allows us to be more realistic about our hair.

For instance: type 4 hair will never behave like type 3 hair. The chart can be seen as helpful in terms of increasing our awareness of the look and behaviour of our hair.


After being aware of this, I personally came to understand the abrasive process of treating hair chemically, with the intention to make it look straight (type 1). That is, the curlier/kinkier your hair, the further up the chart it has to “chemically travel” in order to achieve the desired look/texture. Thus, the more susceptible to damage apart from that already caused in the process.

Words: Bianca Gourgel

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