July 20, 2009

Do You Love Your Curl?

Over the past few months I have been noticing a commonality among some naturals when discussing curl patterns and texture. We are all unique and our hair is no different , some of us have very tight curls which we can refer to as coils, some of us have more of a kink in our hair and some of us have a bigger curl pattern. I have all three kinds throughout my hair and am blessed and content with getting to know my coils, kinks and curls. When I first began to familiarize my self with "hair types" I thought this would be helpful to know what products to use, techniques when styling and tools but as my journey has evolved I have discovered that many of these notions such as "only type 4 hair can do this" are totally incorrect, it is truly an individual journey, I have not met a hair twin as yet and am also very happy with that.

The categorizing of type 3 and type 4 hair is being used by some to divide us, create an ism that is based on hierarchy rather than individuality, this is dangerous. Visiting forums and blogs and seeing people insist on what their hair type is or asking emphatically to be told what type of hair they have is an act that doesn't help the cause but hinders the person's progress toward accepting themselves. Usually the insistence is on the type 3 hair, some want to be told they have type 3 hair as if that will diminish something unsavory they thought about themselves. Statements like "Oh I love your hair its so curly and silky looking, I would go natural if I had your kind of hair" or "I really don't like my hair, its so dry and its not growing. I think I might texturize it for it to be more manageable." Also, their is the opposite side saying "My type 3b and 3c hair is so bulky. Every time I do a wash n' go my friends say they love my curls but I don't see what the fuss is about, sometimes I hate my hair." Why do people covet other peoples curls and the person's hair that is being coveted acts ambiguous instead of telling their friends to love themselves. This may come across as harsh but it needs to stop somehow and sometime, why not now. Good hair is healthy hair, period. Obsessing over growth and curl pattern is ridiculous. You begin to buy into the notions of beauty that you vowed to challenge. A woman is most beautiful when she is comfortable in her own skin. We become caricatures of past stereotypes when we decide to become something we are not, we devalue ourselves and begin to narrow our view of what beauty is. This battle between hair types is historical, fair skinned blacks with "good hair" always got the better jobs, were perceived as more acceptable than their darker counterparts and this persist today. With the development of the natural hair movement fair skinned black women with curly hair are used in commercials to sell hair and skin products. The most popular actors on TV and the movie screen, and the most popular singers in our community are fair skinned, you don't have to look far to see where this is coming from.

I don't want this stumbling block to become an invisible barrier toward progress, I would rather be optimistic and think this is a "growing pain" rather than the development of a whole new way for us to divide our selves at such a pivotal momet in history. We have made so much progress and to let something like hair come in our way is pathetic, hair is hair, and from now on if someone ask me what is my hair type I'll just say its everything - coily, kinky and curly.


Ebony Intuition said...

We all have different hair textures, simple as that.

Sarah Brooke said...

I understand where your comming from, its like we're back tracking on what us natural ladies tried to get away from (ourselves,our own texture & confidence rocking it). I too have gotten caught into thelength and curl pattern self conciousness. I'm sort of still recovering..