As a 4b, do you at all feel alienated from the 4as, 3cs, and above?

I love all types of hair. From 1a to 4b(or 4c). 4b hair holds twist so well. Parts of my hair wont hold twist for their life. So i get fed up and end up taking them down. The hair is awesome. NOBODY but us have 4b hair naturally. We're the only ones. I don't have 4b hair, but still. It's pretty amazing to see how small a curl can get.

4a/OS/FN/Spongy
Co-Wash: Vo5 Herbal Escapes Moisturizing Conditioner Free Me Freesia With Aloe Extract & Aussie Moist
Leave In Conditioner: KCKT & seal with shea butter.
Gel/Styler: KCCC or EcoStyler for edges.
I think my hair likes cones...
My focus has always been healthy hair. Period! I've seen nasty ugly heads of bone straight hair. You can tell when someone takes care of their hair and is using the right products for them.

The typing thing doesn't bother me per se. But what really angers me is people who are so closed-minded and only relate to what they have been conditioned to. This is especially revelant to mothers who ruin their daughters' hair with no-lye relaxers, dry ponytails or styles that grease down the hair and keep the hair follicles clogged.

I've been on gossip blogs and whenever they show Angelina Jolie and her Ethiopian daughter you should read the comments from mostly black women about that child's hair. Just because it's not greased down and plastered to the girl's skull. What they fail to understand is that this little girl will have a head of healthy hair when she comes of age and she can decide on her own what to do with her hair. Meanwhile, girls whose mothers torture their hair with chemicals, too-tight braids and grease will see the potential of really good hair go down the drain.

Honestly, do little girls need straight hair? Shouldn't the be playing and doing the things that make for a good childhood? Girls have all of their adult life to wrestle with haircare. When you're a kid, you should be allowed to be a kid and not feel less just because your hair is kinky.
Yep. It seems like every woman on the internet is a 3c/4a. But I also don't always relate to people who claim 4b. 4b is always described as hard, dry, wiry, coarse, thick, and unmanageable even by people who claim to have it. These traits are not unique or specific to 4b.

It irks me when people act like only 4b hair can have those negative characteristics when any hair type can be coarse, wiry, and unmanageable. My 4b is none of those things. My hair is soft and manageable with medium strands and medium thickness. Always has been.

But yea....4b is the red headed step child of the hair typing system. And no matter how much other hair types exclaim about it's beauty they all breath a sigh of relief when they realize their new growth has a S shaped wave or curl pattern.

Last edited by knt1229; 08-10-2010 at 02:58 AM.
Alienated - no. It's not their fault they have that type of hair and wish to share their knowledge with anybody who will listen. And if you don't see enough videos of people who look like you...make some! Often times, these youtube channels are ladies figuring it out for the first time! Yes, even the 3bs don't know what to do at first!

the way i see it, everybody has something the other doesn't. No, my hair won't fall down my shoulders, but a 3b will never know what it's like to have a puff or naturally rock an afro. I have to stretch my hair out SO much to get a ponytail, but someone with ringlets can't hold a two strand twist as long as i can (and without product even!)

It's funny really. I've had black people tell me i don't have "kinky" hair, which is hilarious seeing as both my parents are Kenyan...African, people! THE motherland herself! hahaha. I was absolutely baffled. Not only do i consider myself "black" but also "African". both of which are VERY broad terms, but are still a part of my identity.

Someone will always be envious of someone else. Good thread! 'Preciate the thoughts
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Don't let it get you down... I find it annoying when women complain about their 4b patch too.. i consider myself a 4b even tough i'm not technically a 4b... and i think their are more 4b's on here than you realize some are probably just lurking and some have convinced themselves they are 4a's which is sad... and 4A gets the most traffic out of any hair board i think.. 3c is slow and i rarely go in 3b... 4b+4A seem to have the most interesting discussions

Last edited by ~Curly~; 08-10-2010 at 10:54 AM.
Many of us still subscribe to the good hair/bad hair mentality. Luckily for me I didn't grow up hearing x-hair type is better than y-hair type and when I decided to go natural I had no real intentions to wear "curly" styles because 1. I wanted to wear a fro and 2. I was already familiar with my hair type. 4B hair is a common hair type and we hardly see it in its natural state because it's being relaxed, weaved, straightened or covered up. I also believe 4bs are least likely to go natural and/or get discourage easily.
I always wonder why the 4b thread hardly gets any posts over here??? I know I've posted in the 4a section just because its frequented more often and there's a better likelihood of some feedback.
Originally Posted by dearheart15

Thanks for the great blogs AmberBrown!
Originally Posted by dearheart15
I was wondering the exact same thing. I do love how fast and populated that board is, but it's still a bit fishy how this one is practically a ghost town. We can't be the only 4bs on the whole site...can we?

I agree with the comments above. Most days you see like 3b and up being broadcast as natural hair and good acceptable hair. Before seeing my ng, I thought I was 4b and I would always get SO mad when I would see commercials showing light skinned black women with loose curly hair. Like who the Heck is that supposed to represent? We should be represented by someone in the 4s not by biracial blacks that look more "Acceptable". After finding out my hair had a curls pattern, I liked it. My parents/family still call it nappy. Anything 3c and down is nappy in my family's eyes. And I used to get bashed all the time to the point where my self esteem was at an all time low, and I'm usually 99% of the time optimistic. No matter if your 3c 4a 4b, it's all bad hair in ignorant black folks eyes. And when you have good hair, you also get bashed. So I COMPLETLY understand where you come from.
Originally Posted by princessai16


Spot on about the projection of "acceptable" black people with loose hair. There's nothing wrong with light skin and loose curls at all, but it's kind of disheartening when no one seems to acknowledge that people with tighter curls and darker skin exist.

Also, I can relate with the family not liking your hair thing. My dad always acts disgusted when he sees my natural hair out. While my mom is 100% against relaxers, she still doesn't like hair in its natural state. She even said that when she was pregnant with me, she prayed everyday that I would have "good hair" instead of the 4b curls that I got. She says she didn't pray hard enough. *sigh*

Guess you can't really make anyone happy aside from yourself at the end of the day. Really cheesy, but I'm beginning to believe it's true.

On a side note, what type of hair does your family have? If they have 3c-4b hair as well, then that's pretty hypocritical.
Originally Posted by Indeed
Their hair ranges from 3c-4b. But it wouldn't matter anyways cause it's all bad in their eyes. And also they "Know" that their hair is bad hair, and don't care too. They just don't want it "out" it's either get it straightened or relaxed, if I don't do either they will ask me what am I going to do with my hair...
Medium/thick/thin strands
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deep condish lutrasilk herbal
moisturize with softn nfree milk protein and olive oil[
3c/4a half and half ♥
Love my curls, kinks, coils, napps, corkscrews.
styler is ORS smooth n hold pudding♥
Transitioning ended--> forced into relaxer
If all goes well, will transition in 2012
i agree lots of the natural hair companies lean towards other curl patterns. i've stopped buying products from companies that do that. they want the money but then put 4b's in a closet.
i hate that miss jessie's does that. all there before shots and tutorials are designed to make 4b hair look its worst. its why i have never tried their products (the ingredients dont help either).

to be honest i'm 4-something but not sure, and i don't care. i love my lil fro
Originally Posted by OnyxK.
I definitely agree with you on this. I stuck my nose in the air and deleted Miss Jessie's site from my favorites when I saw what they were doing.

I've noticed the trend we're talking about in this thread too. I'll see someone who is so excited and happy they have curlier hair than they thought.

I am a beauty school drop out and I can say that 4b hair is the best hair to style because it will hold any style you put it into. You can do anything from completely straight to a fro and rock it. My peers skipped over my 3c counterparts when it was time to take exams. They wanted my hair.

I've figured out how to work with my natural 4b hair in a relatively short amount of time. I'm still transitioning but the back of my hair is fully natural because I had a cut that was shorter in the back so that part grew out first. Kimmaytube on youtube had a great conditioner recipe that I use which makes even the bushiest of my ends do what I want it to do.

I love my hair and wouldn't trade it.
When I first came on this board the 4a section was a graveyard. If you start posting in 4b, they will come. It's already happening, just needs to happen more. I'm mostly 4a, but tend to respond to posts in other type forums when it's appropriate.
Originally Posted by Suburbanbushbabe
I definitely agree...we just have to post and respond more here...
Originally Posted by dearheart15
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I registered today just to respond to this thread.

I am not into the hair typing thing but if I had to choose I would say that I am a 4b. However, based on Andre Walker's classification system I would be a 4a. When wet my hair curls up into tiny spirals/ringlets. However, due to the huge amount of shrinkage, it is hard to see the curl definition unless you look closely this is why I would class myself as a 4b.

I have a patch of hair that is at the nape of my head which is a totally different texture to the rest. It does'nt shrink as much as the rest and the curls are a lot more looser. Based on Andre's classification system I would say that the patch is a 3c. That silky patch annoys me immensely.....

When I wear my hair in twists (my favourite hairstyle) the back of my hair often comes undone. The tighter curls hold the twists really well but the looser curls are always slipping out. It's so frustrating.... just yesterday I prayed to God to make that patch like the rest of my hair because it is irritating me so much.

Therefore, I understand when 3c ladies complain about the 4b patch that they have. It is'nt easy to work with two completely different textures. Different hair textures work well with different styles. My 3c patch would work better with wash and go styles, while the rest of my hair works best with twists. So it is really inconvenient to have two very different textures.
4b ladies have it so much easier with the variety of styles. I have 4a hair and getting it into twists can be hard. When I twist, there are spaces in between. 4b hair is so thick and lush and any style can be done. Hence, my staple styles are buns and WnGs. The grass is not always greener on the other side. 4b ladies should be proud and also post on this board alot. That would encourage other 4bs to gather and share their experiences here as well.
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I agree with dearheart and the others about posting in 4a because of the chance of getting a response is greater.

I am 4b also, but thought at one point that I was 4a. It could be that people are 'misdiagnosing' their curls like I did. It was kinda hard to understand the curl thing without seeing an actual head in front of me (pics aren't always easy to see). I'm learning to love the hair that I was created with, regardless of curls or the lack there of. I actually have spirals, but they are soooo tiny, they get lost in manipulation when I'm doing my hair! And as for combating dryness and such, I've done LOTS of reading from a few boards! My friends can't believe how soft and manageable my hair is! Frequent washing/Cowashing, DC,leave-ins and moisturizers are gold!!
Originally Posted by peachfuzzz

I agree with you. I think there are a lot more 4b's out there that are misdiagnosing their curls thinking they are 4a. To this day, I don't what I am. I actually cant tell the difference between 4a/4b. It all seems the same to me. On some days I have no curl, and on other days I have tightly coiled lil springy curls. But for the most part you can't "see" my curls from far away. You would have to be really close up on my hair.

I also think that a lot of 4b's chemically treat and alter their hair to a 4a state and that's also why they are claiming 4a/3c...You all are definitely right about not seeing a lot of 4b's because they are most likely to relax.

I have noticed with my hair, when I first went natural, I didn't have any curl pattern at all. Then as I started DC and Co-washing I had more curls. That's when I was like maybe I am 4a...But still I don't think it's much of a different.

PS-I'm not a big fan of Miss Jessies products anymore either. They are so heavy and just make my hair feel dirty and dry. Not a good combo
4a-4b hair. Not sure yet so I'll just say both!
This is a great post. I always tried to stay away from 'typing' my hair, but when pressed, would say 4a becasue I was told that initially when I went natural by a stylist in a 'natural' salon. Also, I agree with others who say the 4a board gets a lot of traffic and that's where I hang out mostly because I think more people post there and a lot of the tips I get there work for me. However, I was visiting a salon this weekend where I was told I had 4c hair so perhaps there are many people like me who just are defining their hair incorrectly? Or maybe its just futile to define your hair because to someone I'm a 4a and now to someone else I'm a 4c? Who knows...

If anyone is curious, I asked what makes someone a 4c vs 4a vs 4b and was told, "4a's grow down, 4b's grow out, 4c's grow up, it really has nothing to do with curl definition or pattern" The stylist also said most 4's, even though their hair looks curly, are actually sporting more of a zig-zag pattern (I always thought mine was curly but whatever?)...I'm not sure I agree with everything the stylist said but, it was an interesting conversation...
Originally Posted by snowbunny5

You know, I really think I can believe what that stylist said. B/c I notice as I look @ my hair pattern, it's more of a zig zag that does a little spiral curl @ the bottom. So then if I smooth it back with shea moisture lotion, and tie it down, I see little kinky waves. Then I was like "Oh! I'm not a curly. I'm a kinky!" It was like a curl revelation. Not to mention my hair in its natural state does NOT stay down. It stay up!
4a-4b hair. Not sure yet so I'll just say both!
4b ladies have it so much easier with the variety of styles. I have 4a hair and getting it into twists can be hard. When I twist, there are spaces in between. 4b hair is so thick and lush and any style can be done. Hence, my staple styles are buns and WnGs. The grass is not always greener on the other side. 4b ladies should be proud and also post on this board alot. That would encourage other 4bs to gather and share their experiences here as well.
Originally Posted by blessedhime

We all have pro's and con's of our hair. However, 4a's may not be able to twist as well, but their hair will braid alot better. As a 4b my hair hates being braided. It only knots it up. But twists are my best friend.
4a-4b hair. Not sure yet so I'll just say both!
Yep. It seems like every woman on the internet is a 3c/4a. But I also don't always relate to people who claim 4b. 4b is always described as hard, dry, wiry, coarse, thick, and unmanageable even by people who claim to have it. These traits are not unique or specific to 4b.

It irks me when people act like only 4b hair can have those negative characteristics when any hair type can be coarse, wiry, and unmanageable. My 4b is none of those things. My hair is soft and manageable with medium strands and medium thickness. Always has been.

But yea....4b is the red headed step child of the hair typing system. And no matter how much other hair types exclaim about it's beauty they all breath a sigh of relief when they realize their new growth has a S shaped wave or curl pattern.
Originally Posted by knt1229



Preach on sista!
4a-4b hair. Not sure yet so I'll just say both!
I kinda don't dig the whole hair typing system because unfortunately it does divide us a bit even though it isn't meant to. I'm a huge fan of 4b hair. I have very little of it on my head, just two small patches at my hair line, but I think 4b hair holds styles a lot better than any other type (twist outs, braid outs, etc.), and I enjoy the fluffy look of it. I even love the way 4b wash & gos look. I come over to this thread sometimes but there's not a lot of action here. I think we can all learn a lot from each other, and I take advice from any hair type, as long as it's good.
Originally Posted by FoxyCleopatra
totally true...4b hair holds styles..waay better...I'm always really envious..
I don't know how someone can have 4b hair and misdiagnose it. LOL!
I don't know how someone can have 4b hair and misdiagnose it. LOL!
Originally Posted by SakeenaKai
It's easy to mistake 4b for 4a. Like the other poster explained she saw coils in her hair and assumed she was 4a. But her coils can't be seen from a distance which makes her a 4b. The only difference between 4a and 4b is that 4a coils can be seen from a distance. 4b has coils but they are so small it looks like a cottony cloud. But close up you can see the coils.
I don't know how someone can have 4b hair and misdiagnose it. LOL!
Originally Posted by SakeenaKai

I tend to agree. Your hair is what it is, it doesn't really change. And hair type if not what your hair is when it is wet, othewise I'd be a 2.
Great thread...finally got through it all. I do think it is interesting the lack of 4b posters on this board. I don't feel alienated though. Its all pretty funny when you think about the 'typing' of hair. Granted it is helpful when seeking advice/info; I see hair that looks like mine and it just happens to be categorized as 4b. I will hope that the more we post the more robust this board will be!
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