Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Girl's Curls

In my browsings of hair blogs and hair products sites I have come across a couple of methods for classifying curl patterns and hair texture. The most popular classification system seems to be Andre Walker's. Apparently Mr. Walker is Oprah's stylist which no doubt helped make his system as well known as it is. Problem is, everywhere I've seen it, it's described slightly differently. There's one modified version of it described here. I used this version to analyze my daughter's hair.

For my little experiment I cut four strand samples from different areas of my girl's head, washed them, and let them dry to examine their texture and curl pattern. Interestingly, the strands were all slightly different. The tightest curl is at the nape of her neck. The finest hair is at the top front of her head - you can see that easily in the photo. Scroll down for the pics and tell me what you think.

Best I can tell, my girl has 3C/4A hair. It is fine and mostly smooth with just the hint of a kink or two when a single strand is run between my thumb and finger. It forms an S pattern with a random angle here and there when stretched, and forms coils or Os when left to curl up. Curls are smaller in diameter than a pencil, but larger than the spring inside a pen. It is not coarse or wiry. It has about 70% shrinkage.

I think knowing the characteristics of my girl's hair is going to help in choosing products and styles for her. It was definitely an interesting experiment.

So, a couple o' things I'm wondering:
1) Why is hair different on various parts of the head and is this true for everyone or just curly hair types?
2) What do people think of hair classification systems?


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