I'll start off by saying that I have no ill feelings toward being a 4b. I like my hair. However, I just feel kind of...isolated when it comes to other natural ladies.

On almost every natural hair website, it seems like there are almost no 4bs whatsoever. The ladies with long hair in their fotkis never have the same hair texture that I do. Plus, sometimes, some 3c ladies will complain about that "rough", 4b coily patch in the middle of their heads and say how they can never keep it moisturized and soft. Well, how do they think it is for someone with hair like that all over their head? It's really not that bad, but they make it out to be like it's the end of the world.

So, this leaves me to the question...where are all the 4bs? I find it hard to believe that 90% of black women only have 4a or 3c hair. Could it be that the 4bs are just the least prone to go natural?
Originally Posted by Indeed
Just the other day, after I cleansed my hair, I was looking at my hair and wondering if I had my curl type wrong. There very small sections of my hair when wet with no product (mostly in the crown or very near the crown) that have bigger, looser s-shaped curls that are about pencil-sized. I assumed that those were 3c curls. The rest of my head has a mixture of s-shaped and o-shaped curls that are pen spring or coffee stirrer size. My hair is also super dense (thick) with medium-sized strands. My teensy-tiny curls are easily "undefined" (for lack of a better term) even when wet with gel in them so my hair can easily look like a cloud of dense 4b hair on any given day.

Which made me begin to wonder if what I have is 4b hair and I have just been placing it in the wrong category all this time. The small sections of my hair with pencil-sized curls might actually be the 4a hair that I think I have on the majority of my head instead of 3c like I've been thinking.

My understanding of the difference between 4a hair and 4b hair is that 4a hair has visible curls and even if they are very tiny curls, curls are present. 4b hair, on the other hand, does not curl or have a curl pattern to speak of. Is this correct?

If I turn out to have 4b hair and not 4a as I originally thought, I would still frequent any board that could give me good, reliable information on how to care for my hair. Right now I am just as likely to visit the 2 board as I am the 4b board and respond if I feel I have something to say or add or have a question.

To be honest with you, I'm about to go the way of many and just forget about the whole hair typing thing. It's really confusing and the things that have helped me learn what my hair likes and dislikes have more to do with understanding its porosity and density more so than the size of its curl...

Originally Posted by belwill

To my understanding, 4a hair is hair that has a curl pattern that can be seen from far away. 4b hair can still have lots of curls or z patterns, but it appears as a soft, fluffy cloud. I looked at your fotki and it kind of looks to be like you have 4b hair..

You know what...this hair typing thing is super confusing. I'm probably gonna be like you and others and just ditch it.

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...
Originally Posted by snowbunny5

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

Lmao, you can't even count on hair stylists to tell you. I'm with you on the curl thing...my hair does not zig zag at all and forms a perfect "o" ever time if you pluck my hair. Hair typing is such a disaster...