Trying to find your 4d (or maybe even higher) curl pattern online? Well guess what, here it is! But what if you really feel like your hair is not on the chart?
You are not alone! Many black women have 4D hair, but aren’t showing it online because it doesn’t look as bouncy or cool as 4a-c.
4D hair is the tightest, coarsest coil that you can’t find on IG
4D hair is not soft to the touch; it can be softer, with the right products, but it doesn’t lend itself to smoothness. 4D hair is the type of hair poets reference whenever they talk about ‘coarse, African’ hair.
Many women with 4D hair are mistaken for people with short hair, because of the extreme shrinkage their hair experiences. However, many times, their hair might be shoulder length or longer. Other blogs describe 4d as having a Z pattern; this is also not true. In fact, 4d has the most coily, spring-like pattern out there. It’s just hard to see until you look strand by strand. It’s also one of the most adaptive patterns, revealing some of the most defined twist outs, thickest blow outs and finest locs when handled properly.
The media does not represent 4D hair. And those with 4D hair will sometimes refer to it as 4C, for lack of an alternative category. However, there is 1 distinction that points out whether someone has 4c or 4d hair: how easy is it to make a bun? The more manipulation or product is needed, the more likely it is 4d hair. The closest representation there is would be actress & model Lupita Nyong’o, but even her hair is closer to 4c.
Perhaps, one day, we might see more 4D celebrities wearing their hair openly, or more people online sharing images of what their hair looks like without manipulation.
But until then, post on IG, Twitter and your own blogs with #4dhair to start a conversation in the natural hair community.
4D hair is beautiful, too. And others won’t love it and shine a light on it until each person owns her hair confidently in its natural state.