Figuring out how to navigate through the Natural hair journey has almost everything to do with hair contentment. There is something special you experience in this journey when you can achieve that! Those of us who have tightly coiled, type 4 hair with no distinguishable curl pattern, must go through a lot before we achieve this. A lot has to do with our perspective. Once I started to change my attitude and see the beauty and value in my hair type, Natural hair became a pleasure. It didn't make figuring it out any easier per se, it was that my view of no curl pattern, kinky, type 4 hair became valuable to me. Once I saw the value, the hard work in navigating it became...well...for lack of a better word...fun! Everyday, I get tons of messages from young ladies who have this hair type, desperate to find hair satisfaction. I've done tutorials, how-to videos, interviews, however, I have yet to post why I personally enjoy and value type 4, kinky hair. So here's my personal list. **In no way am I saying this hair type is BETTER than anyone else's. I'm just pointing out the value in a hair type that has been looked down upon for years. So here it is:
1) Versatility - I love my type 4 hair because: It can be straightened, curled, dreaded, braided, twisted, beaded, sister-locked, you name it & type 4 is able to achieve it.
2) Light - I love my type 4 hair because: No matter how much volume it has or how thick it grows, it stays as light as a feather! Since it's so dense and thick, people often ask me "Is that heavy?" Those of us with this hair type realize how amusing that question is! I can't even feel it up there!
3) Unique - I love my type 4 hair because: Waves, looser curls and straight hair is much more commonplace. Type 4, kinky hair is unique. It stands out as different because of it's unique design. Rare things are usually extra valuable. Think of the last time you saw a person with bright red hair enter a room. It stood out (even though it might be looked down upon in some places) There's value in rare and beautiful things.
4) Gravity Defying - I love my type 4 hair because: No other hair type completely defies the laws of gravity! I remember finding my up-growth frustrating! People would ask "How long IS your hair?" That question didn't match my hair type since mine grows in terms of height and not length! Once I embraced this fact, realized how special and unique that is, my hair growing up was no longer frustrating! Now, when people ask me that question, I use the occasion to politely explain the difference.
5) Speaks To People - I love my type 4 hair because: Since this texture is gravity defying, it speaks loudly to people without me having to utter a word. Most people would like to have a voice in this world. It's fascinating how type 4 hair says different things to different people, but it speaks loudly nonetheless.
6) Statement - I love my type 4 hair because: People think you're trying to make a statement by wearing it, as is. I don't think there is any other texture on earth that has caused the controversy a raw type 4 has. People assume you're a more confident (sometimes they think overly confident), self-possessed person, when all you're really doing is being yourself, the way you were born. However, if people attribute natural design to self confidence then I'll take it.
7) Camaraderie - I love my type 4 hair because: There's a certain feeling of understanding it evokes in women with kinky hair. Camaraderie is a term derived from the word "Comrade". This is someone you've shared something with. In this case, those of us with type 4 hair share a similar experience of using products, explaining why their hair is so different, blocking hands from trying to touch it, sleeping at night, these are all very intimate moments in life. As soon as you see a type 4 hair type, you instantly realize this person GETS IT and that feeling is soothing, comforting and welcoming!
8) Predictable - I love my type 4 hair because: After years of learning about your hair, you begin to learn it's patterns, the products it likes (and doesn't like) how it responds to humidity, dry air, how to make it bigger, looser, higher. That predictability helps to manage what was at one time considered (seemingly) difficult to manage hair. I love knowing how to make my hair happy.
9) Conversation piece - I love my type 4 hair because: While most people go about their day to day silently rubbing shoulders with other humans, there's something about type 4 hair that fascinates people. It's like a magnet. All shades, ages and types of humans will have questions about it. How do you get it like that? Why is it so big, so kinky, how do you care for it? They have a cousin, grandchild, daughter, niece, friend, aunt who has kinky hair. It's like a social magnet where people are drawn to it, wanting to know how it's done. Some type 4s find this annoying. I find it enriches my life and opens the door to conversations with people I otherwise wouldn't have the chance to talk to.
10) Makes people smile - I love my type 4 hair because: The world can be a cold and unhappy place. However, there's something about a type 4 Fro that makes people look up and smile. I'm not sure why, but, if something that naturally grows out of my head makes you feel happy then that makes me happy too!
To all my type 4 ladies: If you're having a hard time embracing your kinky hair, please analyze why. Yes, it does take a lot of work taking care of thick, type 4, kinky hair. But please remember this: things that are rare and take special instructions to care for are usually things of value. Analyze your negative feelings about your hair type and it might be your perspective. Adjust that, and you might find the Natural hair journey more enjoyable.
No matter your hair type, please find the value in what you've been blessed with. It's all in the way you see things.
Why do you love YOUR hair type? Please feel free to leave a comment below!