I was inspired to write about this after a post on Klassy Kinks’ Instagram account, showing how very few likes a photo of a 4C hairstyle gets on social media as opposed to a photo of a hairstyle with a looser curl pattern.
This wasn’t my first time seeing someone express dissatisfaction with the natural hair community’s stark preference for looser curls and waves. There’s a debate among kinky haired sistas about how “natural” we really are if we covet hair textures that are not our own. Are we really embracing our kinks and coils if we constantly spend hours trying to wrangle in our true texture and loosen and define our curls?
While it’s perfectly ok to change your outer appearance to whatever makes you comfortable, time and time again it seems that what makes us 4C girls most comfortable involves using tubs of styling gel and spending a good chunk of our day preparing our hair for smooth twist outs and braid outs.
Youtube has revolutionized Black hair care, with naturalistas taking to the platform to share styling tutorials and hair stories. While browsing Youtube for natural hair tutorials it’s clear that 4C naturals, those of us with tight coils and kinks, don’t have much representation. The most popular vloggers have a looser curl pattern, and the ones who don’t have tutorials teaching you have to achieve that spiraled curly look.
In my opinion, there is an obvious preference for a certain texture. And that’s ok, but when a photo of a 4C natural doesn’t get as much love as her 3A counterparts it can leave the rest of us feeling like our curls aren’t good enough.
Luckily the tide is turning, slowly but surely, and 4C textures are being embraced more and more. With stars like Teyonah Parris rocking their kinky coils in all styles and forms, and with coily textured extensions making their way to the market hopefully soon all textures can be celebrated as equally fab!