I saw a video the other day that had me weak. Not because the contents were at all funny; but the implications were. In fact, the video was a more or less standard “let me show you my hair texture video since y’all keep bothering me” by one of the finalists for the International Natural Hair Idol pageant/award, Naptural85. But I literally guffawed when I saw Naptural85’s curls spring and pop with no product or stretching.
Before you call me a hater, I’m not mad at Naptural85’s hair. I’m not at all jealous. I subscribe to Whitney’s channel and I have for a long time. Homegirl got me using Terressentials Mud Wash. I include these caveats because it seems that anytime I talk about the dangers of hair typing or idolizing other people’s hair, people try to say that I’m projecting because I hate my hair. I’m not going to waste time convincing anyone that I love my hair.
Mama Pope knows when nobody has time for that.
What is so
thigh-slapping hilarious fascinating about this video is that it – in less than 5 minutes – shattered the hopes and dreams of many a natural haired woman. I have seen people argue about Whitney’s hair type; on her website, she says her hair is 4a and 4b, but her hair does not fit the prototypes of 4a/4b hair that many hair type charts give. Guess what doe? I believe homegirl. Why? Because anybody can decide what they want their hair type to be. There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s not a science. Not to beat a dead horse, but, I feel like the need remains for that to be said.
So what happens when you hinge your natural hair’s identity on one of the categories in a hair type chart, obsess over the hair of a natural hair vlogger who also places herself in that same category, and then discover what her hair ACTUALLY looks like?
Well, you’re either super happy:
“Oh thank god that’s my hair texture! I’m so glad you uploaded this video as it gives me hope for my hair journey :)”
“Wow your the first natural I’ve seen with my hair texture lol now I know there is light at the end of this tangly curly tunnel”
“You have been my hair crush for a long time. i am always saying i want my hair to be like hers and come to find out it is like yours i just go to learn how to treat and style it a little better and work on retaining the length.”
Or you’re pissed the f off, but masking it with some lols and smiley faces:
“We’re both type 4a, but my hair is A LOT different than yours. It’s all good though. =)”
“Your curl pattern is gorgeous. Im jealous lol”
“Your hair is lovely even in it’s wet state… Alas mine is much less manageable 4c and then some. I have no curl definition wet or dry, but your techniques are still helpful. :-)”
All I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t clutch onto the notions of hair type harder than you do your grandma’s pearls. Likelihood is, they will shatter into a million pieces the second you find out your idol’s hair looks nothing like yours. Herein enters despair, frustration, and dissatisfaction with our own hair; next thing you know you’re adding a light texturized relaxing again. It’s not worth the stress or the head/hairache.