As I was doing my research on Natural Hair (yes, capitalized) I came across a lot of terms that I had no idea what they meant!
So I went in search of a Natural Hair dictionary because I’m sure there are plenty other people who are just as confused as myself. This list of couresty of Curly Nikki.
I haven’t gone over the list entirely but I will surely be referring to it as needed.
2nd day hair– Hair that looks good (at least decent) when you wake up the next morning…you don’t have to do much before walking out of the house. Some are lucky enough to get 3rd and 4th day hair!
3abc/4a/4b/4c- A hair type classification system, for further clarification, see THIS LINK
ACV– Apple Cider Vinegar (used to seal cuticle…final rinse) A hair type classification system.
APL– Refers to length– arm pit length.
BAA-Big ass afro
Baggy – After you moisturize your hair at night, you put a shopping bag, plastic cap, shower cap on overnight.
BC – Big Chop – cutting off all your chemically treated hair
BNC- Braid-n-Curl, simply plait or braid the hair and roll the ends on rods or flexis.
BSL– Refers to length– bra strap length.
BSS- Beauty Supply Store
CBL- Refers to length– collar-bone length.
Co-Wash– Using conditioner to wash the hair in place of shampoo
Cones- Are ‘silicones’, or ingredients found in hair care products that are not water-soluble (i.e. you need shampoo to remove). Failure to wash out cones may lead to build-up, which may result in dry hair and breakage (due to suffocation of the strands).
CG– Refers to the “Curly Girl” method explained in the book by Lorraine Massey. It is a philosophy for curls that involves, no or low shampoo, cone avoidance, and conditioner washing…among other things. These are just a few of the basic tenants.
DT or DC– Is a deep treatment or conditioner. A DT is when you leave a moisturizing (or protein based, depending on your needs) conditioner on your hair for an extended period, along with a heat source to aid in penetration.
Dusting– Dusting your hair is a trim of 1/4 and inch or less. This method is also called dusting because even though your hair is being trimmed evenly, it is so little hair,
that it just looks like dust on the floor.
EO– Essential Oil
EVCO– Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (used in conditioning treatments)
EVOO- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (used in conditioning treatments)
HG– Holy Grail (Products that are tried and true)
HIH– Hand in Hair. It’s a disease that causes you to always be manipulating your tresses. [I have HIH!]
MBL- Refers to length– mid back length.
Nappyversary/Nattyversary – The anniversary of the day you became a natural
No-poo- It’s just that- no shampoo. Ladies who follow this routine are CG’ers and don’t use cones or other heavy/oily products that may need shampoo to remove. Instead of pooing, many ladies conditioner wash, or use conditioner in place of shampoo to cleanse the scalp.
Pineappleing– a type of sleeping technique that curlies with long hair use to
preserve/protect curls overnight so that they have great 2nd day hair. You gather all of your hair in a high, but loose
pony tail at the top of your head and go to sleep on a satin
pillowcase. In the morning you take it down and shake it out gently and
all of your curls will have been preserved.
PJ– Product Junky or someone that buys any all hair care products in sight…forever on a mission to find the next best thing.
Plopping- A quick dry method. You use a t-shirt or a curl friendly material (terry cloth towel, paper towel) to dry your hair instead
of rubbing a towel on your hair to dry it. It drastically decreases drying times.
Pre-pooing– A treatment applied prior to shampooing. It usually consists of oils and/or conditioners applied the night before the shampoo or immediately prior, with a heat source to help penetrate. This is usually performed to help the hair maintain necessary moisture during the drying shampoo process.
Sealing- Is essentially sealing moisture in the hair, specifically the ends. For sealing to be effective, you must first use a water-based moisturizer (a conditioner or cream that has water as its first ingredient), and then seal with a butter or oil. The molecules in most butters/oils are too large to pass into the hair, so they stick to the outside of the shaft, trapping in the rich goodness of the moisturizer. Reversing those 2 steps will lead to dry hair. Sealing has saved my hair.
Search and Destroy (S&Ds)- I go on S&Ds once a month. I find good lighting, usually in the bathroom, and examine my ends…whenever I see a split, a crooked end or a single strand knot, I snip it out. I only use hair scissors for this task (purchase from Sally’s or Walmart)m this is key. Buy a decent pair of hair scissors and ONLY USE THEM FOR HAIR TRIMS. Dull scissors will do more damage. Every now and then (when my hair is excessively tangly), I’ll do a Micro Trim, which is snipping off the last 1/4 of an inch of my ends…I do this while my hair is in twists for ease.
Slip– Used to describe how slippery a product is (usually a
conditioner or detangler)… the more slip it has, the more effectively
it will coat the hair to aid in detangling.
SLS- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (found in the harsher shampoos– the main reason that CG’ers avoid poo).
TNC- Twist-n-Curl. This is my signature style. I twist the hair and roll the ends.
Transitioning – This is the period of time since one’s last relaxer.
TWA– Teeny Weeny Afro
Twist Out – Two strand twist the hair, allow to dry either by air drying or sitting under a dryer, take the twists apart, and style.
Wash and Go– Simply co-wash your hair, add a styler (gel, cream) and GO You leave the hair to air dry or dry with a diffuser. Although this style is cute and easy, my ends couldn’t handle it. This is also seen as WnG, and W&G.
- Hair Care Tips for Healthy and Damaged Hair (nlm.nih.gov)
- Happy to be Nappy (grownupforeal.wordpress.com)
- How Often Should You Wash Dry Hair? (quazen.com)