Natural Terminology

2nd day hair- hair that looks good, better or at least wearable the 2nd day after styling. In most cases braid outs and twist outs usually look better the 2nd day as opposed to the first.

BAA: Big Ass Afro

Bantu Knots: (Zulu knots) are created when the hair is sectioned off and twisted into knots. The shapes of the sections depend on how the hair is parted, and can easily be made into diamond, triangle or square shapes, but the possibilities are endless.
BC (Big Chop): Cutting off relaxed ends to reveal the natural texture of the hair. This can be done shortly after the last relaxer or years after.

Braid-out: Braid hair in sections, allow the hair to dry either by air drying or sitting under a dryer, taking the braids apart when fully dry,and styling.

BSS: Beauty Supply Store

Co-Wash (Conditioner Wash): Washing hair with conditioner. No shampoo necessary! Just rinse the hair with water and then wash hair with a conditioner. This method is used by many women who find that there hair is prone to being dry.

Curl Pattern: the natural curl or wave your hair takes when growing without manipulation of chemically treated relaxers, dyes or chemically manipulative products. 

DC/DT: Deep Conditioning or Deep Treatment. This is typically done for 20 minutes to overnight, depending on personal preference.  If hair is very dry, this should be done once or twice a week to combat brittle hair.

Dusting:: A slight trim of 1/4 of your hair or less. This is removing the bare split ends and not changing the length of your hair where it is visible.

EO: Essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree oil, rosemary, or lavender

EVCO: Extra virgin coconut oil

EVOO: Extra virgin olive oil can be used as a moisturizer and conditioner

Hair Types: Classification systems for hair based on how the hair looks and feels. 
2A texture: Wavy hair
2B texture: Wavy hair, resistant to styling

3A texture: Loose curls
3B texture: Tight curls
3C texture: Tighter, springier curls, similar to tight spiral curls

4A texture: Loose kinks/coils
4B texture: Tight kinks/coils
Hair Length: Hair lengths usually have abbreviations and if you’re new to the game, they can be very confusing.
  1. EL- Ear Length
  2. NL-Nape Length
  3. SL- Shoulder Length
  4. APL- Arm pit Length (this one had me stumped for a long time as a newbie)
  5. MBL- Mid back Length
  6. WL- Waist Length (this is as far as I’ll go)
Henna: Henna is a plant used to make a mixture that essentially conditions the hair. It is said (I say that because not everyone enjoys the effects of henna) to fortify and condition the hair. Henna also adds a reddish tint to the hair.

HG (Holy Grail): A product or ingredient you can’t live without, or rather your hair can’t live without. 

LC (Little Chop): Cutting off a portion of relaxed ends. This is often done in preperation for the BC.

Leave In: Leave in conditioner. These are usually lighter than a rinse out conditioner and provide added moisture to hair. They are a good idea if you plan to use gels.

Organic (products): Products made with only all natural oils and ingredients that infuse hair with moisturizing oils and nourishing vitamins. True all natural and organic shampoos and conditioners are made from certified ingredients such as organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, essential oils and swelling clay which absorbs dirt, grime, pollution and excess oil without drying out the hair.

Parabens: Are widely used as preservatives in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and foods. They help to inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds. There are some strong opinions that say this type of ingredient in products are no good for the body. Definitely do some research about what parabens are and the effects it may have to your hair and body. 

Pre-Poo: Applying a hair treatment before a shampoo to help combat the moisture stripping effects of most shampoos

Poo: Shampoo

Protective style (PS): A hair style that allows the hair to rest, so to speak, so that it won’t rub against clothes, have the fragile ends exposed, and protect it from over manipulation (which can cause breakage). For me, they also help retain moisture. Protective styles include twists, braids and buns, just to name a few.

Product Junkie (PJ): A person who is always on the prowl for the next best product, constantly changing up the products used. Being a product junkie can become costly.
Regimen: A product/hair routine done continuously to create and maintain your lovely hair

Sealing: Sealing is essentially “sealing” in moisture. Following the application of a moisturizer, moisture is sealed in typically with an oil or serum.

Sebum: An oily secretion manufactured by tiny sebaceous glands near the follicles that keeps your hair lubricated and adds sheen.

Slip: Refers to the slipperiness of hair prior to detangling, which makes the process easier. Products are often spoken of in terms of whether or not they “give the hair slip.”

SLS: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (found in the harsher shampoos) this chemical is one of the main reason that natural girls try to avoid shampoos.

Silicone: Ingredients in hair products (as well as many other products) that keeps moisture from entering the hair shaft. That sounds like a bad effect, but the reason people use it is because by limiting moisture, frizz is kept down. Some people love cones, some people (like me) can’t really tolerate them.  Again, personal preference. Most cones have to be washed out with a sulfate shampoo, which can be drying to hair, especially if done often.

TWA: Teeny Weeny Afro
Twist-Out:  Starts with a two strand twist hair, allow the hair to dry either by air drying or sitting under a dryer, taking the twists apart when fully dry,and styling.  

Wash-n-Go: You simply wash (or co-wash) your hair and apply your favorite gel, curling enhancer, pudding, etc. and go! WASH AND GO! The air will dry the hair as a diffuser.
    Water Soluble Silicone: Silicone that can be removed from the hair without the use of sulfate shampoos.

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