Natural Hair Dictionary
2nd Day Hair: Naturally curly hair that looks good the next day, and it's not frizzy.
3a| 3b| 3c| 4a| 4b| 4c|: Hair type classification system created by Andre Walker. Type 3 hair will range from big, loose, bouncy curls to tight coils. Type 4 hair is kinky, or more tightly coiled, and can be less visible.
APL: Arm Pit Length. Describing the length of a person's hair. If one person can stretch a piece of their hair to their armpit it qualifies.
Accordion Method: A technique that consists of scrunching and squeezing product into the hair to cause waves & body into the hair.
Alopecia: The loss of hair. In some cases, alopecia is due to medical conditions, but it can also result from hairstyles such as tight ponytails or braids, which is known as traction alopecia.
Baggying: A method in which you soak the hair with moisturizer and cover it with a plastic bag, shower cap, Saran Wrap or even a simple plastic shopping bag for several hours.
Big Chop: Removing all relaxed ends of someones hair regardless of amount of new growth.
Breakage: This occurs when part of the hair strand breaks without the entire strand remaining completely intact. This is different from shedding because there is no white bulb at the root of the hair strand.
BSL: Bra-Strap Length. This is another length of someone's hair. When you are able to pull a strand down completely and it touches your bra-strap, it qualifies.
CBL: Collar-bone length. A way to describe the length of someone's hair. If it can be stretched and reaches your collar-bone, it qualifies.
Clarifying: The process of cleansing and removing a build-up of oils, styling products, tap water minerals and/or medications from of the hair. Typically performed with speciality shampoos or baking soda rinses.
Creamy Crack: A reference to chemical relaxers. The term was coined with the thought that the use of relaxers addictive for those women who strive for a permanently straight hair texture.
Co-Wash: A method of cleaning your hair in which you use conditioner instead of shampoo to cleanse one's hair. It is believed that this process does not strip away the oils from the hair and scalp.
Demarcation Line: The place on the hair in which the relaxed hair and natural meet. Breakage is likely to occur because of the delicacy, which requires you to handle your hair with care.
Dusting: Trimming of 1/4 inches of hair or less. The amount is small that it appears to be dust.
EVOO: Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Yes, the cooking oil in your kitchen. Often times used as a natural hair care product for shine and to seal in moisture.
Flat Twists: A technique whereby the hair is two-strand twisted flat to the scalp, in cornrow fashion.
Hair Density: The number of hairs growing on the scalp per sq. inch. Density is qualified as thin (low), medium, or thick (high).
HG (Holy Grail): Products that one has tried, such as our Twist & Loc Soufflé or our Hair Growth oil, that achieve good results with and remains loyal to.
HIH (Hand in Hair): Our CEO has this syndrome! Some call this syndrome a disease, this is a condition whereby one continually touches or manipulates her hair. It can be compulsive and can lead to frizzy hair or breakage.
Locks/Locs: A hairstyle whereby small sections of hair are twisted and over time, the strands become permanently secured. As locs/locks grow, they can become long.
MBL: Mid-Back Length. Reference to hair length. When you are able to stretch a strand to the middle of your back, it qualifies.
Nappyversary/Nattyversary: The anniversary of the day one decided to "go natural" and to refrain from applying chemical straighteners (relaxers) to the hair.
No-Poo: Girl, we are not talking about your sister in curl, lol. This is a non-foaming, non-detergent cleanser, typically a conditioner, used to remove dirt, oils, and styling products from the hair and scalp. Used to help hair retain moisture and softness.
Pineappleing: Pulling hair into one or several pony puffs, (depending on hair length), using covered or ouches bands. The remaining hair hangs free. They are generally positioned at the top of one's hair. When using this technique, it's best to sleep on a satin pillowcase. In the morning, the bands are removed and the sections are gently shaken or fluffed.
PJ (Product Junky): The description of our CEO to a T! This is a person who buys a lot of different products and brands in the quest of finding the perfect ones for her hair, such as our Twist & Loc Soufflé and our Hair Growth Oil.
Plopping: Hair is carefully lowered and loosely wrapped in a clean t-shirt or soft cotton material, while bending from the waist. Performed after cleansing, conditioning and/or applying a liberal amount of styling gel or cream, it helps to absorb excess moisture in the hair. It's thought to decrease drying time, reduce frizz, and enhance natural curls.
Pre-Poo: Oils, conditioners and other substances applied to the hair prior to shampooing to enhance moisturizing and conditioning as the hair is being cleansed.
Protective Styling: A hairstyle that helps protect the ends of hair from dehydration and damage by eliminating the need for mechanical manipulation (combing, brushing, picking, etc.) and shielding against environmental exposure (sun, heat, cold, wind). Ex: buns, braids, twists, ponytails, and various head coverings (scarves, du-rags, head wraps, etc.)
Sealing: Applying a product (we recommend using our Twist & Loc Soufflé) or single ingredient, such as a natural oil (our Hair Growth Oil works wonders) to the hair to lock in moisture. May be applied along the hair shaft or just along the ends, following cleansing and/or the application of a cream or conditioner containing water.
Shingling: A form of a Wash & Go styling whereby a styling curl cream gel is liberally applied section-by-section to clean, drenched hair. As the product is applied to relatively small sections, use your thumb and forefinger to smooth product in a downward motion from root to tip. The hair is either air-dried or dried with a hooded dryer. Once dry, the hair can be fluffed and styled.
Shrinkage: A term used to describe the reduction of the visual length of hair. It is the process of when wet hair starts to dry and coils back into one's natural hair texture and curl pattern.
Slip: A state produced by a product whereby the palms of the hands, the fingers and/or a detangling comb are able to easily and smoothly glide along the hair-shaft, from root to tip.
Stretch: Refers to the inhibition of hair shrinkage which is a characteristic of tightly coils/curly hair. More of one's length of hair is revealed in the finished style. Some products are also thought to minimize shrinkage, thereby helping to stretch the hair.
Texturizer: A chemical treatment used to partially relax or loosen the natural curl pattern of highly textured hair. Provides greater stretch/elongation/length, and helps the hair to trail in a downward motion.
Transitioning: This is the process whereby one's natural-textured hair is allowed to grow in, while the previously chemically-treated hair is trimmed off in stages. The goal is to have a full head of all-natural hair, but to do so without abruptly cutting off all of the processed hair. The strategy for some is to wear textured styles (i.e, rod sets and braids) as the new hair grows in to minimize the hair texture differences, or to wear wigs/weaves for a period of time.
TWA: Teeny Weeny Afro.
Twist Out: A hairstyle created by first two-strand twisting the hair while wet or damp. After the hair is dry, the twists are carefully released and styled.
Two-Strand Twists: A hairstyle technique whereby sections of hair are divided into two smaller sections and then wound around each other. The last half-inch or so of each twist is left loose and twirled around the index finger into a coil. Two-strand Twists can be worn as a hairstyle in and of itself or the twists can be carefully released when dry (Twist-Out) for a look thats fuller, yet with a well-defined coils/wavy texture.
Wash & Go: A term referring to a relatively quick and easy styling session whereby a defined finished style is achieved without twisting, braiding, knotting, rodding, etc. Hair is first cleansed and conditioned. Coils/curls are then defined with gel or a styling cream and allowed to air dry or dried using a diffuser attachment on a blow dryer set to a low temperature.
Which terms did we miss? Let us know by sending an email to