I also site my hair's multiple personalities as further evidence that experimentation can lead you anywhere. When I went natural in 2001 (seemingly alone!), I knew I had coils, but did not know they were curls, or that I could wear them out as curls. I didn't expect much out of my hair, and yet it continued to grow and get thicker and respond to more and more "experiments." I accepted it as it is, and then I learned how to manipulate it. It's about what you have and what IT can do, rather than what you want, and how to force what you have.
Click to make the pictures larger.
annnnnnndddd...... (I can't help it)
This is also why I love/hate hair typing. I suppose I'd say I have 3c-4a hair when it's helpful, but it's sooo arguable depending on what day you catch me. I think we can "push" our hair in either direction with product or styling, or even simply drying it a certain way. I think some women want to be kinkier (no pun) and some want to be curlier. One's self proclaimed hair type is always analyzed based on a presumed proclivity to push.
In my case, I'm light skinned with light eyes, so I have often heard people deny that I could have 4a hair, or that their hair could be anything like mine. I think they assume I'm too mixed or somehow conflicted about my heritage thus have a desire to be "blacker" than I am. I even had someone tell me, more or less to my face, that the only reason I went natural was to prove I was African-American. That person went on to claim that they distrust and automatically dislike lightskinned girls with natural hair.
I LOL now, but it was like 2003- and it hurt my feelings then. As we all know (I hope), texture is not inherently linked to skin or eye color, nor is ethnicity. Generalized hair typing can often be a helpful way t o analyze the effect of a product on a coil pattern, but I believe it also provides a worm hole to rot our gorgeous apple/natural hair culture.
I hope one day we can come up with a less stratified way of describing our textures, where all reference to a 1,2,3,a,b,c hierarchy is removed.
That is all :-)