There are more than just 2 types of Natural Hair
There are more than just 2 types of Natural Hair by Hanifah Jones
For many Black women, embracing your natural hair may be a difficult transition. Natural hair, in all its beauty, is very diverse and it can be hard to find what works for you. With hair types ranging from bone straight, wavy 2b to kink 4c, the natural hair movement should cater to a diverse audience. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Brands like Shea Moisture are continuously changing the formulas of their products to make them more lightweight and therefore more applicable to those with finer hair and looser curls. The issue goes further than formulas, the lack of diverse representation in the natural community takes a larger toll on consumers.
Ad campaigns for hair products typically feature racially ambiguous or biracial models with finer, curly hair. Judging from these advertisements, it’s almost as if women with kinky hair don’t exist. Where are the hair models with afros?
Before attending college, I didn’t know many girls who wore their hair naturally (with the exception of a few biracial classmates who had extremely loose curls). When I first decided to stop adding heat to my hair, and in need of guidance, I looked to our modern technological holy-grail: YouTube.
My search led me to a whole new natural hair community — natural hair bloggers primarily consisting of women with 3a hair. The same issue with brand representation was present with the YouTube hair community. It only seemed to cater to a certain type of person.
As the years have gone by, I have seen a shift in the community. Type 4 influencers like Naptural85 and Halfrican Beaute are increasing in popularity. However, there continues to be a discrepancy between the different types of influencers. Those with looser curls receive countless more sponsorships than their kinky counterparts. Is this discrimination, or has our society refused to evolve from its preconceived notions of beauty?
As social media continues to grow, platforms allow for more people to share their stories. The app FROtorial allows for users to search for hair tutorials and product reviews based on their hair types. While the natural hair community is not perfect, it is improving. Who knows, maybe one day all hair types will be treated and represented equally.