Friday, April 23, 2010

Kinky vs. Curly



Did you know that there's a difference? A lot of brands try to make us naturals feel that there isn't a difference but there is. I've realized this within the first year I was natural. I spent months trying products from Miss. Jessie's, Kinky Curly and Carol's Daughter only to get my feelings hurt.

You see, my hair ain't curly. Ain't nothin' curly about it. I don't have spiral-y tendrils. It doesn't get curlier when it gets wet. It's not wavy. My hair is thick and coarse. Pre-locs, when it got wet, it would shrink up. I have straight up nappy hair. With no shame. When I first started my journey I mistakenly thought that curly and kinky meant the same thing. I thought that products for curly hair would work for my hair texture. That they would loosen up my curl pattern and gave me more of a curl than a kink.

#FAIL

Chime in, my 4a and 4b sistas. Have y'all ever been confused or bamboozled by the term "curly"?

17 comments:

NESSessary said...

hm yeah sorta, if anything I notice that a lot of naturals are obsessed with trying to have that curly texture when they damn well know that their hair is thick and coarse and nappy. I never felt the need to have my hair be what it isn't. That's the only thing that confuses me, is this little obsession with achieving curls or changing one's hair texture to get that look.

Milan said...

Some afro textured hair is curly and some isnt. I'm 4A and my hair is coily which is a type of curl. My strands are fine, not coarse. I call my hair kinky kurly. I don't use many commercial products but the degree of how curly or not curly your hair is usually dictates what products would be best for one.

I see no problem w having a curl obsession as long as its not you "lusting" after a specific pattern other than your own. It's not that serious but it is I suppose.

Narj said...

I know there's a difference.. when you say curls I think Anglo-Saxon people curls. When you say kinky I know you're talking about 4a/b/c hair.

My hair is curly when wet, kinky when dry *shrug* Most of the time I catered to it as if it were kinky because in the end when it was dry that was what it was. I have no problems with curly hair, just the lusting after it like it's the Holy Grail kmt

Bsquared86/Bsquared0408 said...

Labels, labels, labels . . . I hate em, lol. Bump kinky, coily, curly, nappy, coarse, and all those number/letter thingies. . . all I care about is healthy.

Yes, certain textures are better cared for with certain products. But, when we get into this name business . . . folks get touchy and start dividing themselves up &/or become disatisfied w/ what they have.

As far as I'm concerned, naps are curls. I'm looking at your pic and I see curls. And coils. And naps. All the same to me.

-B "just call it all nappy & make everybody happy" Squared

calimama said...

I've also fallen into the trap. I have a combination of different textures. Which has always been agrivating to me until I loc'd. Perms would always do better on one side, curls would always be more defined on one side (right side). Im just glad that being loc'd has set me free of all the products I was trying constantly buying always looking for my magic product that would give me the look that I wasn't going to have.

NESSessary said...

I agree with Bsquared...I never understood the whole number letter combination thingy, so confusing! i never saw the point of labeling my hair or labeling hair in general. as long as my hair is healthy i could care less about the labels or categories.

Trish said...

If it's possible to be a blend between 3c & 4c that's me... But I love my hair texture..

Lipgloss Diva said...

LOL! @Bamboozled...yep and I still am. I try not to listen to labels, letters, numbers or Egyptian hieroglyphics (lol) used to catergorize MY hair. If it works great if not I'm buying a store that takes back products that don't work out. =)

Annette said...

hell to the yes! I also have been bamboozled. But I have to to appreciate my kinks and I always try to remember that I may not have curlz but it's thicker than the girl's hair I am admiring :-D

suga said...

My hair is super naptastic. I did try a few products thinking that my tight coils would loosen up, but of course they didn't. Before I loc'd up, I used a creamy leave in conditioner, the CANTU brand, that would loosen them up and make me seem curly for a few hours, which was cute, but slap in some small two strand twists and I'd get a similar result that would last for 2 days or more.

Ah well. I eventually learned to love and embrace my nappiness. And now with my new locs, the nappier the better :)

naturallykinky said...

Oh my God! I went through the same thing when I first went natural, I have tried every product out there to try to make my hair curly, but nothing worked. I finally came to the conclusion I have nappy hair not curly. My hair is type 4b and I have a lot of shrinkage going on.

ChiChi said...

Yeah. I think it depends though, too. I consider my hair nappy or kinky, but when i put some gel on it, you can see the curl. I often wonder how I would've reacted post-BC if my hair had no curl pattern at all.

I have a friend, too that says she is inspired to go natural because of another friend's hair, which is really loose and curly. I was kinda offended when she said that. Like what's wrong with my hair? LOL I hope she's not too disappointed when she chops of the perm because you can see now her hair is not the same texture. *Shrugs*

Tonda said...

Yes and yes. I too experienced the disappointment when my failed to turn out like "the girl in the youtube videos". The internet is full of naturals that have hair that look nothing like mine and I've yet to see a style (besides locw) on someone with similiar hair like mine.

Blank said...

I have 4a/4b and some other mess and no it dont curl without some assistance with two strand twists. I used to think if I tried certain products I'd get curl definition but I'm too cheap to be a product junkie and I dont wanna pile a bunch of stuff on my head anyway. So now at 7 months natural I just accept my hair for what it is.

I'm a nappy head and proud of it.

P.S. Hi SIS!

Krystle

Anyaposh said...

haha! I say my hair is COILY! no curls reside here.

kayder1996 said...

I think the labeling system (4a, 4b, etc.) is most helpful in discussions betweeen people who have never met but want to share hair advice. It gives people some common ground, like a standard unit of measurement in some ways. It's kind of like being able to say well, this item is 6 inches long and everyone knowing generally how long the object is. I probably bring a different perspective to the kinky vs curly vs nappy conversation than most. I'm a curly haired white lady with two Haitian babies. My own curls are 3a/3b, very thin hair. But my kids are both 4b, with my little boy having locs. I personally spent quite a while trying to find something that would define their curls, and to some degree, prevent shrinkage. But I think I've finally come to terms with what their hair looks like and that they will probably not just naturally have hair that has well defined ringlets that is often what described as curly or kinky. For me, curly was looser, more "white" curls while kinky was tighter and usually biracial or black hair. But the longer I pay attention to hair stuff, the more I realize that those labels like curly and kinky are kind of misnomers and that hair really is a very individual thing. You can't just assume that my black kids have curly or kinky hair because their curls are rarely easily seen.

B said...

kayder---> Quite confusing, isn't it? Thanks a ton for your comment. Before I was natural, I was like you and thought that curly=for hair and kinky=for black hair. Crazy how we try to put something as diverse as hair in a little ole' box. :)