It’s been a week or two since you’ve made the transition from relaxed to natural hair.
Like most of us, you are probably touching your hair every couple of minutes.
You may feel soft, silky, fluffy, or even wiry strands of hair.
You’ve probably browsed natural centric websites and come across people asking questions about their 3b/c or 4a/b hair, and asked yourself, ‘What is this?’ ‘What does it mean?’
3b 3c 4a and 4b are all part of a number classification system for various hair types.
The Andre Walker System, created by Oprah Winfrey’s hairstylist, has given some naturals (like myself) insight into understanding what type of care their hair needs.
Until recently I was unaware of any other means of formally classifying hair until coming across a YouTube video last week describing the LOIS system.
Unlike the Walker system which defines your natural curl pattern according to its loose or tight texture (bringing into question a new discrimination among ourselves in wanting a looser curl pattern), the LOIS system, developed by ourhair.net, focuses on properties such as sheen vs. shine, and frizz.
Some have argued that LOIS takes more time, and is more confusing than Walker, while others argue that the Walker system focuses on curl texture and not properties.
After discovering the Walker system on www.naturallycurly.com I found that I was better able to care for my 4b type hair, because I knew what my hair needed.
Moisture! Lots of it!
After learning about the LOIS system however, I conducted the LOIS test on myself to find which classification(s) provided better information.
You must follow three steps:
1. Remove a strand of hair most common on your head. (Most of us with kinks, coils, and curls have several different textures, which is why this is required) Your hair must be freshly washed, free of product(s).
2. Run strand under cold water.
3. Lay on paper towel (You can use tissue if you do not have paper towels) to dry.
After completing the 3 steps you need to examine your strand of hair without touching it.
If the hair bends with right angles and little curve, classify as “L”
If the hair rolls up into shape of one or several zeros like a spiral, classify as “O”
If the hair is mostly flat with no distinct curve or bend, classify as “I”
If the hair looks wavy with hills and valleys, classify as “S”
*Please Note: If you cannot predominately see one letter over the others, then combine letters. For example, “LO” or “OS” *
You can also determine the strand size, and texture. This information can be found at www.fromgrandmaskitchen.com.
After testing my hair strand, I determined my hair is “OS” with a cottony texture.
I’d like to know how your results.
Have you tried both systems?
If so, leave a comment and let me know which you prefer and why.