Screwy Haired Girl

I've got really screwy hair. LOVE IT.

Type 4 Stereotyping: The Andre Walker System (Part I)

I mentioned the K is for Kinky commenter who showed her frustration at not finding a lot of people online with her type of hair–my type of hair. I was already wondering why Andre Walker is apparently unaware of “type 4d” hair, so I strolled over to his website and, after getting past the slightly amusing photo of him clutching a bunch of Emmy award statues, I browsed his website and found a few troubling things:

  1. The only black people on his site are him and Oprah: All other photos are of straight, white hair. So there are basically no natural black hair images.
  2. There’s only one question on natural hair in his Q&A and this is it:

“RELAXED HAIR TO NATURAL HAIR
Posted on February 4, 2011 Andre

I am transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair. What products are best for me to use?

Andre’s Answer:
The best way to transition from relaxed to natural is to regularly shampoo and condition your hair.  You want to keep the texture of your hair conditioned and pliable so that the relaxed hair does not dry out and become brittle and break.  You can use the Q-Oil everyday when styling to keep the relaxed hair conditioned.”

Hmm. Okay, so washing your hair is all the advice he can give. I’m assuming that’s because his range of products doesn’t really have natural black hair in mind. So why is his hair typing the most popular reference point for those of us with natural hair? Well, he’s on TV :-) It is not my belief that his system was meant for differentiating black hair; rather, his types 1-4a describe mostly non-black hair.

Andre’s type 4 hair was a blanket generalization of our hair which was said to be the “worst” hair out of his category system” – nappturality.com

Another hair typing system, the FIA system, bases its categories on 3 criteria.

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This entry was posted on May 26, 2011 by in Resources and tagged .
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