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NATURAL HAIR 101 : THE VOCABULARY

Hi naturalistas! :) As we are all aware (or not all aware lol) The natural hair journey has its own vocabulary which more often than not seem confusing to most people. This here serves to enlighten us on the basic terms we would come across as we go on this journey. There are a hundred+ more terms but we would start off with these easy peesy ones & delve into the more complex ones as we go on. Enjoy! & please leave your comments and questions if you're confused about any or everything. Hapy viewing!

2nd Day Hair - Naturally curly hair that stays curly, looks good the next day and does not turn frizzy.

3a|3b|3c
These are three different classifications for loose curly natural hair. This hair system was created by Andre Walker.

4a|4b|4c
These three classifications are for tighter kinky curly natural hair. Also created by Andre Walker.

ACV Rinse | Apple Cider Vinegar
This is used in a diluted form as a final rinse to promote healthy hair by tightening and sealing the cuticles. Typically done after shampooing and before conditioning.

Afro
Hairstyle that is rounded in shape gotten by combing out naturally curly or coiled hair.

APL | Arm Pit Length
Refers to hair growth when the hair reaches your arm pit level.

Bantu Knot
Hairstyle created when the hair is sectioned off neatly into small to medium sections and twisted in one direction until hair twists around itself into a clean knot. It can be worn twisted or the knots untwisted at a later time to unravel deep curls. Also known as Zulu knots.



Bantu Knot Out
Hairstyle with highly defined curly or wavy texture created by untwisting Bantu knots after they are dried.

BC | Big Chop
Completely cutting off all relaxed or chemically treated hair leaving only new hair growth possessing natural texture. (I did this! view previous post) :)

BNC | Braid n Curl
Hairstyle achieved by plaiting or braiding wet/damp/moist hair and curling the ends with rollers or flexi rods. Hair is left to dry, the rods taken out and braids untwisted to reveal deep wavy and curly hair.

Braid Out
A style created by braiding wet/damp/moist hair in cornrows or single braids and left to dry. Braids are untwisted to reveal defined wavy hair.

BSL | Bra Strap Length
Refers to hair growth when the hair reaches where a bra strap is positioned on your back.

CBL | Collar Bone Length
Refers to hair growth when the hair reaches your collar bone.

Co-wash
A method of cleansing your hair with the proper conditioner only in place of shampoos. This type of washing avoids harsh results from frequent washing with shampoos that contain detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, and helps to keep natural hair soft and manageable.

Creamy Crack
A reference to chemical relaxers. The term was coined with the thought that the use of relaxers is addictive for those women who strive for a permanently straight hair texture.

Detangling
Process in which you use a Detangler  like the fingers or a wide tooth comb to soften and smooth the hair for manageability.

DIY | Do It Yourself.
Techniques or a mix of natural ingredients which can be blended and used instead of opting for store bought products.

DT | Deep Treatment
Also known as DC (Deep Conditioning). A treatment to help add moisture back into the hair, by leaving a moisturizing conditioner with a penetrating heat source on your hair for an extended period of time.

Fluff
Finger combing your hair to obtain maximum fullness and volume for your curly hair.

'Fro
An afro.


HHJ | Healthy Hair Journey
Expression used to describe the journey a woman takes to achieve healthy hair.

HIH | Hand in Hair
Also seen as HIF: Hands in Fro. This a slight bad habit to have to manipulate or play in your hair a lot which can lead to breakage or dryness.

MBL | Mid Back Length
A guide to the length of your hair growth in reference to when your hair reaches the middle of your back.

Nappyversary
Also known as Nattyversary. This is the Anniversary date of when your hair became fully natural.

No-poo
A hair regimen of which you do not use shampoos to cleanse your hair. Some use conditioners in place of the shampoo also known as Co-washing.

Pre-Poo
Coating the hair, for about 30 minutes or more, with a mixture of natural oils or a deep conditioner before you shampoo.

PJ (Product Junky)
A person who buys a lot of different products and brands in the quest of finding the "perfect" ones for her hair.

Shrinkage
A term used to describe the reduction of the visual length of hair. It is a process that occurs as wet hair dries and re-coils into its natural texture pattern.


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 direction, (as opposed to an "up on out" direction, like an afro.) Texturizers are usually a form of relaxers, just milder in formulation or allowed to process using a different technique or timeframe. Texturizers alter the natural coil/curl pattern permanently and hair processed with them must be cut off in order to return one's hair to its natural state.

TNC (Twist-n-Curl)
A styling technique whereby wet or damp hair is two-strand twisted and then rolled on rods or rollers. Once dry, the curlers are removed and the hair untwisted.

Transitioning
Process in which you take steps to stop relaxing the hair to grow out your natural hair texture.



TWA | Teeny Weeny Afro
A small Afro about 1/2 – 1 inch of hair in length, typically in reference to the first stage after the Big Chop (BC).


Twist Out
The end style of a two strand twist after it is unraveled.

Two Strand Twist
Also known as double strand twists, twists, or twisties. This hairstyle technique can be performed on dry or wet hair and is gotten by taking a section of hair, dividing into two even pieces and twisting the pieces around the other. Hair texture is curly and as such the pieces cling to each other all the way to the end. The ends are twisted around the index finger to form a coil and hair can be carried as this style in its own or untwisted at a later time to reveal deep wavy or loosely curly hair.



Virgin Hair
Hair that is natural from the roots and has not been chemically treated or altered.

Wet and Go
This is a hairstyle technique similar to Wash and Go (WNG), but hair is not completely drenched in water. It is rather sprayed with a leave-in conditioner and water to define the curls and styled as desired.

WNG | Wash and Go
Also abbreviated as WnG or W&G, this is a quick and easy method of achieving defined finished style without twisting, braiding, using rods, etc. Hair is co-washed, conditioned and a styling gel or cream is added to define the curls and air dried or using a diffuser.

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