Do People of Color Really Have Different Hair ?

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Apparently, certain people feel that people of color have some sort of anomally type hair.

For instance.. curly hair is supposedly "unique" in some minds and these same minds are of the opinion that 4a hair and down is not curly hair at all but kinky which is supposed to be something different entirely.

And they both need to be taken care of differently BASED on the fact that one is curly and one is kinky.

IE: Mixed race people have "curly hair" and I guess others that are of color but not "mixed per se" have kinky hair.

So I wanted to ask here what people of color think about that..that actually have 4a-4c hair type. I'm asking in this section because it's obvious in the hair sections this is where most of the people in the 3c-4c range congregate the most.

Here's my take: It's Bull. First of all I don't see how on earth 4 category hair isn't curly. It sometimes coils, some have round curls, some have spirals, some have what look like loops. But all of that is still technically a curl..it may not be a defined curl in every case..but a curl no less. The only reason I call it "kinky" because the curls aren't as defined and not because I don't believe it's actually curly hair.

And there IS NO SUCH THING as "mixed race" or "biracial" hair. Hair is just hair mainly made up of the same stuff..keratin. The care of the hair has to do with knowing porosity, texture, and overall density..because hair typing really says nothing about how to care for the hair. It just gives a description on how the hair looks. And it doesn't matter if the curly hair falls into the "curly" description or "kinky" description.

I don't know.. I'd like some input..I mean is that what other people of color believe too around here or am I just wrong ? And if you do feel I am incorrect please tell me why. I'm a big girl.. I can take it.
Yes I agree. There definetly is no such thing as mixed hair. And there is certainly other races in this world besides black that have kinky hair.
And NO you don't have to be mixed to have curly hair, or even straight hair.
There are countries in africa where hair is strictly silky curly 3a 3b and 3c, on a occasions there is someone from the 4s.
I'm not mixed and my hairs curly/kinky.
And a kinky is a curl...just on steroids
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And a kinky is a curl...just on steroids
Originally Posted by princessai16
LoL! What a cute way to put it! I guess I just don't see how a kinky hair isn't "curly". I mean I know people go through these acts about hair types..

And this could be just in my experience..but every single natural haired person in the 4a-4c range that I have seen in real life OR in photos..always have "curls". They just aren't as well definited but if one was to pull out a few strands of their hair..they'd see without a doubt a definite curl pattern there.

Or are there some hair types in the 4a-4c range that have no curl whatsoever ? That's something I didn't think about..but even if they are..still wouldn't the majority of people in the 4 category in general still technically have "curly" hair ?

I've probably confused everyone now...

Last edited by Marah Mizrahi; 07-23-2010 at 11:16 AM.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_do_bla...ave_curly_hair

"Because we do not produce enough moisture in our scalp for our hair to grow straight, unlike other ethnic groups, so we get relaxers and put oil in our hair so that our hair can stay straight and won't break from damage."


This fallacy is corrected further down the page though. I just thought ya'll would get a kick out of this.
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"...rationality is not necessary to sell things.."
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http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_do_bla...ave_curly_hair

"Because we do not produce enough moisture in our scalp for our hair to grow straight, unlike other ethnic groups, so we get relaxers and put oil in our hair so that our hair can stay straight and won't break from damage."


This fallacy is corrected further down the page though. I just thought ya'll would get a kick out of this.
Originally Posted by BekkaPoo

LOL! Well that does go to show there is a lot of ignorance out there about curly hair in general..that's why I appreciate boards like this, people like Tiffany Anderson, and other curly hair experts that have helped tons of people understand the proper care of curly hair even if people don't know exactly WHY their hair is curly.

I'm also glad that a more informed person actually answered the question properly because if that answer would have been left like it was.. I bet plenty of people would have believed it.
Ive seen some folks with a cloud of hair, no kinks , no bends, no curls , no spirals. That person to me is a 4B... aka 4C which is meant for Cloud of Napps .

Ive seen some people with really tiny curls and coils only from close up but from far away looks to be 4B..... I consider that person a 4a.

I think until you get into the cloud type hair 4b then it becomes kinky. Thats my take on hair typing if you go by the Walker system.
no you guys are wrong, we mixed people all have the same hair type. NO ONE unless they too are mixed can understand a mixed persons hair. We mixeds have had enough. We would like our OWN hair care section in the walmarts and kmarts, ONLY for mixed people, because we all have the same hair. YOU WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND OUR HAIR NEVER WE ARE SO UNIQUE WE ARE SO UNIQUE AND DIFFICULT FOR BOTH BLACK AND WHITE PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND!!



Ive seen some folks with a cloud of hair, no kinks , no bends, no curls , no spirals. That person to me is a 4B... aka 4C which is meant for Cloud of Napps .

Ive seen some people with really tiny curls and coils only from close up but from far away looks to be 4B..... I consider that person a 4a.

I think until you get into the cloud type hair 4b then it becomes kinky. Thats my take on hair typing if you go by the Walker system.
Originally Posted by shawnyblazes

Oh.. I thought the cloud of hair was curls too.. like I guess I don't see how it can be a cloud with no curls..cause isn't a cloud of hair basically an afro.. like in the 70's that a lot of people wore ? And their hair was curly wasn't it ?

Not saying you are incorrect..just saying I always thought that was actually curly hair too. Just undefined curls. Cause I didn't think it could get into an afro if it wasn't curly.

Honestly, now that you said that.. I don't know.
no you guys are wrong, we mixed people all have the same hair type. NO ONE unless they too are mixed can understand a mixed persons hair. We mixeds have had enough. We would like our OWN hair care section in the walmarts and kmarts, ONLY for mixed people, because we all have the same hair. YOU WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND OUR HAIR NEVER WE ARE SO UNIQUE WE ARE SO UNIQUE AND DIFFICULT FOR BOTH BLACK AND WHITE PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND!!



Originally Posted by turtles

Now how did I know little Miss Turtles would come in here with something like that.. ROFL!

I gotta laugh...cause that is just how extreme it can get with certain mixed people. Clearly, not all of us though. But I've seen some mixed people act like their curly hair is some special type of hair that people that aren't mixed just can't understand. And I'm like.. "Dude(or Dudette) it's just hair..you ain't special"... ROFL!
Ive seen some folks with a cloud of hair, no kinks , no bends, no curls , no spirals. That person to me is a 4B... aka 4C which is meant for Cloud of Napps .

Ive seen some people with really tiny curls and coils only from close up but from far away looks to be 4B..... I consider that person a 4a.

I think until you get into the cloud type hair 4b then it becomes kinky. Thats my take on hair typing if you go by the Walker system.
Originally Posted by shawnyblazes

Oh.. I thought the cloud of hair was curls too.. like I guess I don't see how it can be a cloud with no curls..cause isn't a cloud of hair basically an afro.. like in the 70's that a lot of people wore ? And their hair was curly wasn't it ?

Not saying you are incorrect..just saying I always thought that was actually curly hair too. Just undefined curls. Cause I didn't think it could get into an afro if it wasn't curly.

Honestly, now that you said that.. I don't know.
Originally Posted by Marah Mizrahi

I can mimic 4b hair when my hair is brushed out, when I pull apart the hair , there isnt a curl , kink or bend anywhere , it looks just like cotton.

well my cousins hair is like that 24-7 , no matter if its wet, with product or without. When wet it looks like a heavy patch of cotton. She has some of the baddest twists, and her styles last longer because her hair is moldable but there isnt a curl , coil, wavy anywhere on her head. Shes never used heat indirect or direct. Shes also Dominican. ( just to bring up the race issue) We bother transitioned at the same time. I'm half Dominican and Jamaican. I'm a 4a. I can mimic her hair but as soon as my hair gets wet it curls back up. It baffled her for awhile because she thought her hair would curl up and my hair wouldnt.
I can mimic 4b hair when my hair is brushed out, when I pull apart the hair , there isnt a curl , kink or bend anywhere , it looks just like cotton.

well my cousins hair is like that 24-7 , no matter if its wet, with product or without. When wet it looks like a heavy patch of cotton. She has some of the baddest twists, and her styles last longer because her hair is moldable but there isnt a curl , coil, wavy anywhere on her head. Shes never used heat indirect or direct. Shes also Dominican. ( just to bring up the race issue) We bother transitioned at the same time. I'm half Dominican and Jamaican. I'm a 4a. I can mimic her hair but as soon as my hair gets wet it curls back up. It baffled her for awhile because she thought her hair would curl up and my hair wouldnt.
Originally Posted by shawnyblazes
Oh okay I see what you are saying. I guess all these years I just thought that sort of hair was curly just undefined curls... I guess I was mistaken.

So basically 4a hair can mimic 4b or 4c hair if brushed out but 4b and 4c can't mimic 4a hair.

In any event.. I'm still of the opinion that not all kinky hair can be labeled "not curly" though. I always just thought a kink was a very small in diameter curl. And that it starts with 4a's because of how small the curls are..

One of my cousin's has some of the smallest circle curls I've ever seen..and when you pull out a strand of his hair and put in in the palm of your hand.. it's an O shaped curl. And it was always understood that his hair is kinky but still curly cause he has curls they are just very little. It's only called kinky cause of how tiny the curls are..
[quote=Marah Mizrahi;1421023]
I can mimic 4b hair when my hair is brushed out, when I pull apart the hair , there isnt a curl , kink or bend anywhere , it looks just like cotton.

well my cousins hair is like that 24-7 , no matter if its wet, with product or without. When wet it looks like a heavy patch of cotton. She has some of the baddest twists, and her styles last longer because her hair is moldable but there isnt a curl , coil, wavy anywhere on her head. Shes never used heat indirect or direct. Shes also Dominican. ( just to bring up the race issue) We bother transitioned at the same time. I'm half Dominican and Jamaican. I'm a 4a. I can mimic her hair but as soon as my hair gets wet it curls back up. It baffled her for awhile because she thought her hair would curl up and my hair wouldnt.
Originally Posted by shawnyblazes
Oh okay I see what you are saying. I guess all these years I just thought that sort of hair was curly just undefined curls... I guess I was mistaken.

So basically 4a hair can mimic 4b or 4c hair if brushed out but 4b and 4c can't mimic 4a hair.

In any event.. I'm still of the opinion that not all kinky hair can be labeled "not curly" though. I always just thought a kink was a very small in diameter curl. And that it starts with 4a's because of how small the curls are..

One of my cousin's has some of the smallest circle curls I've ever seen..and when you pull out a strand of his hair and put in in the palm of your hand.. it's an O shaped curl. And it was always understood that his hair is kinky but still curly cause he has curls they are just very little. It's only called kinky cause of how tiny the curls are..[/quote]


I agree with alla that!
@Marah and Shawny - I'm pickin' up what you're puttin' down! I totally agree. I call hair curly and only refer to kinky hair as hair without a defined curl pattern, BUT, it's still curly hair.

The whole "mixed hair" concept is one based on ignorance, but I don't think we can fully blame people. It's mainly society and the fact that many Black women have relaxers so we don't see their curl patterns as much.

ETA: I forgot to add...I actually wrote an article on the Coil Review about Black women and hair pattern awhile ago, and a few people posted and said that if you have curlier hair that means you have white in you b/c it relaxed the kinks some. I was like uhhh what?

Hopefully as more women go natural , people will begin to understand that you don't have to be mixed to have curly hair!
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@ellle: Boy, some people's perceptions can be really interesting...I mean, how can you say that non-defined hair turns into curls just because you may have a white person in your family (somewhere down the line for non-mixed people)??? If you look at the world, there are a ton of different textures on all different types of people, lol!

Anyway, I think that what I call my hair, only based on Andre's system is mainly 4a. Now, I definitely don't subscribe to this typing system because it does nothing for my hair in terms of hair care. But I do still consider my hair curly, no matter how small the actual curl. Sometimes, it won't want to hold a twist for nothing, lol. So Marah, I agree with you.
My hair has curls in it. Despite that fact, I don't call my hair curly.....because I associate curls with white people (KANYESHRUG you guys!!!!! I'm just trying to be completely honest lol). I know too many black people that call their (curly or non-curly) hair curly in order to seem "less black" for me to feel truly comfortable calling my hair anything other than nappy.

I know many of you ladies feel that's a dirty word, but I grew up in a house where it simply represented the hair that grew out of my head as a little black girl. I'd think it was strange if a white girl with curly hair called her hair straight, just as I do when a black girl with nappy hair calls her hair curly.

The other side of the coin is that most black folks I know don't have any curl pattern at all. Appearance wise their hair is more straight than anything else. It just happens to grow up/out instead of down I feel like a lot of black women that go natural think there's something wrong with their hair when they first start out because they're bombarded with the idea that black hair is curly....when their hair doesn't resemble any curl they've ever seen before.

....Disclaimer: Please don't attack me I don't go around telling people what to name their flipping hair, nor do I go around "correcting" people when they call me curly See? I'm harmless!

Last edited by AmberBrown; 07-23-2010 at 04:16 PM.
My hair has curls in it. Despite that fact, I don't call my hair curly.....because I associate curls with white people (KANYESHRUG you guys!!!!! I'm just trying to be completely honest lol). I know too many black people that call their (curly or non-curly) hair curly in order to seem "less black" for me to feel truly comfortable calling my hair anything other than nappy.

I know many of you ladies feel that's a dirty word, but I grew up in a house where it simply represented the hair that grew out of my head as a little black girl. I'd think it was strange if a white girl with curly hair called her hair straight, just as I do when a black girl with nappy hair calls her hair curly.

The other side of the coin is that most black folks I know don't have any curl pattern at all. Appearance wise their hair is more straight than anything else. It just happens to grow up/out instead of down I feel like a lot of black women that go natural think there's something wrong with hair when they first start out because they're bombarded with the idea that black hair is curly....when their hair doesn't resemble any curl they've ever seen before.

....Disclaimer: Please don't attack me I don't go around telling people what to name their flipping hair, nor do I go around "correcting" people when they call me curly See? I'm harmless!
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
LOL! I don't think anyone will attack you (although I don't agree, kanye shrug!). But you said your opinion in a modest manner, and I'm cool with it.

Quick question out of curiousity - Were you natural as a little girl too? Just wondering...I feel like when I was little my parents called my hair nappy then my mom relaxed it in order to "fix" it, so that's why I don't really like that word. If you used the word nappy and were allowed to keep your hair in its natural state, I understand where you're coming from.
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My hair has curls in it. Despite that fact, I don't call my hair curly.....because I associate curls with white people (KANYESHRUG you guys!!!!! I'm just trying to be completely honest lol). I know too many black people that call their (curly or non-curly) hair curly in order to seem "less black" for me to feel truly comfortable calling my hair anything other than nappy.

I know many of you ladies feel that's a dirty word, but I grew up in a house where it simply represented the hair that grew out of my head as a little black girl. I'd think it was strange if a white girl with curly hair called her hair straight, just as I do when a black girl with nappy hair calls her hair curly.

The other side of the coin is that most black folks I know don't have any curl pattern at all. Appearance wise their hair is more straight than anything else. It just happens to grow up/out instead of down I feel like a lot of black women that go natural think there's something wrong with hair when they first start out because they're bombarded with the idea that black hair is curly....when their hair doesn't resemble any curl they've ever seen before.

....Disclaimer: Please don't attack me I don't go around telling people what to name their flipping hair, nor do I go around "correcting" people when they call me curly See? I'm harmless!
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
LOL! I don't think anyone will attack you (although I don't agree, kanye shrug!). But you said your opinion in a modest manner, and I'm cool with it.

Quick question out of curiousity - Were you natural as a little girl too? Just wondering...I feel like when I was little my parents called my hair nappy then my mom relaxed it in order to "fix" it, so that's why I don't really like that word. If you used the word nappy and were allowed to keep your hair in its natural state, I understand where you're coming from.
Originally Posted by ellepixie
Yep! I've been natural my whole life and my mom called my hair nappy when she thought it was looking good and when she thought it needed to be redone. And I didn't start hot combing until my 8th grade graduation (I had to go to battle for that first press n curl lol I had note cards to help me remember my "well reasoned" arguments) and after that I was lucky to get it done twice a year.
Yeah...i have 4a hair. Some of it curls straight from the root into "O's" (Spiral), some waves then curls into "O's", and then some just don't curl at all, those are my "S's". But my hair is still technically "curly", but people would look at me funny if i called my hair curly. But I have the Curly Girl book and i had brought it to class, and there are 3 curly girls (not including me) who were looking at the book. One of the girls, asked me why I had the book. I wanted to just slap someone. That, to me, was the dumbest thing. Obviously my hair curls, otherwise I would not have the hair that I do. Ignorance sometimes gets on my nerves. Mixed people's hair isn't different at all. A lot of the time it is in fact looser, but sometimes so is "African-American" hair too. Their hair can be 4c and below, just like "African-American" hair can be 4c and below. And 3c hair can be kinky too and you can have not very kinky 4a hair. I've seen it. Just sayin...

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I think my hair likes cones...
My hair has curls in it. Despite that fact, I don't call my hair curly.....because I associate curls with white people (KANYESHRUG you guys!!!!! I'm just trying to be completely honest lol). I know too many black people that call their (curly or non-curly) hair curly in order to seem "less black" for me to feel truly comfortable calling my hair anything other than nappy.

I know many of you ladies feel that's a dirty word, but I grew up in a house where it simply represented the hair that grew out of my head as a little black girl. I'd think it was strange if a white girl with curly hair called her hair straight, just as I do when a black girl with nappy hair calls her hair curly.

The other side of the coin is that most black folks I know don't have any curl pattern at all. Appearance wise their hair is more straight than anything else. It just happens to grow up/out instead of down I feel like a lot of black women that go natural think there's something wrong with hair when they first start out because they're bombarded with the idea that black hair is curly....when their hair doesn't resemble any curl they've ever seen before.

....Disclaimer: Please don't attack me I don't go around telling people what to name their flipping hair, nor do I go around "correcting" people when they call me curly See? I'm harmless!
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
LOL! I don't think anyone will attack you (although I don't agree, kanye shrug!). But you said your opinion in a modest manner, and I'm cool with it.

Quick question out of curiousity - Were you natural as a little girl too? Just wondering...I feel like when I was little my parents called my hair nappy then my mom relaxed it in order to "fix" it, so that's why I don't really like that word. If you used the word nappy and were allowed to keep your hair in its natural state, I understand where you're coming from.
Originally Posted by ellepixie
Yep! I've been natural my whole life and my mom called my hair nappy when she thought it was looking good and when she thought it needed to be redone. And I didn't start hot combing until my 8th grade graduation (I had to go to battle for that first press n curl lol I had note cards to help me remember my "well reasoned" arguments) and after that I was lucky to get it done twice a year.
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
LOL! Yea, that's cool. I feel you.
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I totally agree with Marah! But I do have on question. Why is hair that is medium in strand texture seen as coars in the black community? When I think coarse I think of my sisters boyfriend who is asian, or my mom who has m/c hair as she gets older. When I was little my moms hair was just average "white"(she white) medium. And you know what my hair is a solid medium like my moms was when i was small. But when ever I got my hair relaxed at home or otherwise they treated it like they were relaxing coarse asian hair or something.

I don't really understand it. Can some one explain it? It seems like any hair that isn't fine in texture is considered coarse.
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