Texture Typing vs. The Hair Narrative: How Do I Identify My Curls?
Hair can be a very personal, sensitive topic, for some women because it is considered a powerful facet of the female identity, and to have a snap judgment about one's hair quality or type can feel just as unjust as being judged for any other superficial reason. No one ever wants to feel limited by stereotypes, and some texture typing systems can be misinterpreted as doing such, which is why people may feel that sense of segregation
Curly hair is like an Impressionistic painting by Degas or Monet; each curl is like an individualist, innovative brushstroke, ultimately culminating in an explosion of beauty. Texture Typing is a foundation, like the basic colors of the rainbow we learn in school. It's the ROY G. BIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet), and while always aware of the foundation, we also learn when these basic colors are combined, they deviate into a variety of shades we only ever actually see labeled in a megapacks of crayons- magenta pink, lime green, navy blue, macaroni and cheese orange, etc., The list of color possibilities is endless. There is always the option to paint exclusively within confines of ROY G. BIV, but to paint like a professional and capture a complete sense of depth and dimension, adequately conveying a thorough, meaningful interpretation of beauty, like Impressionist painters, you have to venture outside the box and mix things up a bit.
It's incredibly rare to find a curly-haired person with a uniform curl pattern or texture all throughout, and one head of hair can have so many textures and curl patterns going on, that it's futile to make diagnostic assumptions based on blanket hair identity labels. Texture Typing has the potential to limit possibilities, rather than expand upon solutions. This is not to discredit the significance of the texture typing practice, because like the ROY G. BIV color spectrum is for painters, texture typing is a good place to start for a foundational understanding of curly hair. However, consistently adhering to rigid generalizations of curl textures and patterns can hinder discovering all potentially effective hair care solutions. For a complete, thorough, multi-dimensional understanding of one's curls, hair has to be addressed on an individual, case-by-case basis.
The New York-based Miss Jessie's hair salon allows us to work directly with many of our customers on a one-on-one basis, candidly observing client responses to our curly hair methodology and philosophies. Miss Jessie's is focused on catering to the individual and their hair's unique quality, and we seem to encounter the most disappointment when a customer comes in with a certain expectation for their texture, only to discover their hair texture qualifies as something different. Therefore, we have found the more sensitive and delicate approach to defining hair textures is to be as descriptive as possible, with a system we refer to as creating Hair Narratives. A Hair Narrative describes the personality of the hair, rather than define the type. While we acknowledge the existence of general categories of curly hair (wavy, curly, tight curly, coily/kinky, and transitioner), we also think they are best utilized as a foundational frame of reference to help determine the best approach for hair care, rather than as hard and fast labels for identifying hair type. We encourage finding a narrative within a head of hair, using as many constructive adjectives as possible, in order to provide a thorough composite of what an individual is really working with. Using a myriad of adjectives and not subscribing to hair-type generalizations, is a more beneficial approach to selecting the right products and style, ultimately yielding the best hair results.
No two textures are ever exactly the same, and each head of hair possesses its own unique personality. The Hair Narrative system translates well to curly hair maintenance because it allows us to focus on the individual - identifying and catering to the specific needs for the plethora of curl patterns coexisting on one person's head. This comprehensive description of all possible hair layers and dimensions to be most effective, because it is a more diagnostic approach. This makes it easier to determine an effective, individualized product solution plan that will illuminate and enhance the beautiful, amazing, and original characteristics of one's curls.