Natural Hair Jargons

During your healthy hair journey, you will come across an array of terms or hair lingo that could be mind boggling at times.  In order to fully understand any advice you may come across on hair sites/blogs, you'll need to understand the jargons first.  Now, let me break it down for you :):

Hair Types

Andre Walker, award-winning stylist on the Oprah Show, developed the hair type classification system below.  This has been modified and made popular by the natural hair community worldwide.  It is by no means the only system of hair classification available. 
  • Type 1 - Straight hair, with no curl at all.
  • Type 2 - Wavy hair.
  • Type 2a - Fine, thin wavy hair.
  • Type 2b - Medium wavy hair, tends to frizz easily.
  • Type 2c - Coarse and thicker wavy hair, frizzes easily too.
  • Type 3 - Curly hair, more of a corkscrew hair pattern.
  • Type 3a - Loose curly hair with a defined S pattern.  Can portray a combination texture. Tends to have more volume and body.
  • Type 3b - Tight curly hair with medium amount of curls. Could have a combination texture.
  • Type 4 - Kinky/Coily hair, zig-zag curl pattern.
  • Type 4a - Tightly coiled with a defined curl pattern, fragile.
  • Tpye 4b - Also tightly coiled, fragile, wiry with a less defined curl pattern.  Has more of a Z curl pattern.
Hair Length 
  • APL - Armpit Length.  Hair when stretched out reaches below the armpit.
  • BSB - Below Shoulder Blade.  Stretched hair reaches below the shoulder blade.
  • BSL - Bra Strap Length.  If pulled hair reaches the back strap of a bra.
  • CBL - Collar Bone Length.  Another form of measuring hair length.  This length reaches the collar bone.
  • CL - Chin Length.  Hair from the front when pulled reaches the chin.
  • EL - Ear Length.  If stretched hair reaches the bottom of earlobe.
  • HL - Hip Length.  If stretched hair touches the hip.  
  • NL - Neck Length.  Length of hair when stretched touches the hip.
  • MBL - Mid Back Length.  If a strand of hair reaches past the bra strap.
  • SL - Shoulder Length.  Stretched to the shoulder is measured as shoulder length.
  • WSL/WL - Waist Length.  Waist length hair when pulled is recorded as WSL.
Washing, and Conditioning
  • ACV - Apple Cider Vinegar.  Usually used for clarifying hair and restoring the pH Balance of hair.
  • AVG - Aloe Vera Gel.  Great for hair and skin.  An alternative to regular hair gels, medium hold.
  • AVJ - Aloe Vera Juice.  Can be used for moisturising hair and also regulating the pH Balance.
  • AO - Aubrey Organics products.
  • AOHSR - Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner/shampoo.
  • Baggy Method - Applying conditioner/moisturiser to hair and covering it with a plastic bag, or shower cap for a long period.  This could be done overnight too.
  • CG - 'Curly Girl' method of not cleansing hair with any sulfate shampoo.  Made popular by Lorraine Massey's book with the same title.  
  • Co-Wash - Shampoo-less method of hair cleansing.  Washing hair with just a conditioner instead of shampoo.
  • Cones - Hair care products that contain a Silicone ingredient.  Some Cones are not water soluble and would need a shampoo to remove.  Build up Silicone in hair can cause dryness and breakage.  Easily identified by their word endings: cone, xane, col, or conol.  
  • DC/DT - Deep Conditioner/Deep conditioning, Deep Treatment.  This type of conditioning uses a moisturising or protein based conditioner with heat for maximum penetration.  A shower cap can be used for an extended period to generate body heat.  
  • Dusting - Trimming about less than a quarter of an inch off your hair.  Hair trimmed in this process is so little it looks like dust on the floor.  Hence, the term.  It's sometimes called a light trim.
  • EO - Essential Oils
  • EVCO - Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • HE - Herbal Essence
  • HEHH - Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner.  This product is desired by most Naturals for detangling purposes as it provides adequate slip.
  • Henna - This is a powder derived from ground Henna plant leaves.  Naturals use Henna for conditioning.  Some may not like the side effect of Henna, which is a red tint to hair after use.
  • HG - Holy Grail.  Products tried/tested and considered to be the 'truth' for your hair.  Your hair simply loves it.  This product might work differently for others.
  • JBCO - Jamaican Black Castor Oil
  • JJBO - Jojoba [pronounced ho-ho-bah] Oil
  • KCCC - Kinky Curly Curling Custard. Curl definition product by Kinky Curly.
  • KCKT - Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in conditioner. 
  • Leave-in - Conditioners that don't require rinsing or washing out.  It's left in the hair after application for extra moisture or strength.
  • No-Poo - No shampooing
  • Oil Rinse - Washing hair from root to tip with a chosen oil before conditioning hair.  This softens and makes detangling easy.
  • ORS - Organic Root Stimulator products
  • Poo - Shampoo
  • Pre-poo - adding conditioner or essential oils to hair prior to shampooing for extra moisture.  This method combats the moisture stripping effect of most shampoos.
  • PJ - Product Junkie.  A person who's constantly buying/trying any hair product on the market.
  • Plopping - Using a t-shirt or paper towel to dry hair, as opposed to a bathroom towel.  This method eliminates frizz.
  • Regimen - Hair routine or the use of specific products over a continuous period to maintain and achieve healthy hair.
  • Sealing - refers to sealing moisture in your hair, especially the ends.  After cleansing and conditioning, it's essential to seal with hair butter or essential oils to lock in the moisture in your hair.
  • Slip - Describes how slippery a product, i.e. conditioner or detangler is.  The more slip a product has aids and speeds the detangling process during washing.  

  • BAA - Big A** Afro
  • Bantu Knots - Creating a spiral curl pattern by twirling strands of hair (it could be done with twists) around itself and tucking it underneath or secured with bobby pin.
  • BNC - Braid and Curl.  Simply braid hair and curl the ends with flexi rods
  • Braid out - Creating a crimped sort of style by leaving braided hair in for some time and unraveling without disturbing the curl pattern formed. 
  • Flexi-rod set - setting/curling hair in flexi rods with/without gel.  Flexi rods are bendy and easy to manipulate to hold hair.  Flexi-rod set help stretch hair.
  • TNC - Twist and Curl.  Similar to BNC, but with two strand twists.
  • TWA - Teeny Weeny Afro.
  • Twist out - unraveling two strand twists to create a curly/curly fro look.
  • Two Strand Twist/Double Strand Twists - Type of hair style with two equally sectioned hair twirled/twisted around each other to the tip of the hair.
  • Wash & Go/WnG/W&G - Co-wash, add a styler (gel, curling custard etc) and allow hair to air dry.  You can also use a hair diffuser to quickly dry and add volume to hair.
  • Big Chop (BC) - When you cut off all your chemically treated hair to embark on a natural hair journey.
  • Breakage - Refers to when hair breaks off without the white bulb attached.  This is usually caused by lack of moisture or roughly handling hair.
  • Frizz - When hair lacks moisture.  Drinking plenty of water helps prevent dehydrated tresses.  
  • Going Natural - A term for growing out chemically straightened (relaxed) hair to reveal natural coils/curls.
  • Hair Cuticle - This is the external structure of hair strands that protect the internal layers of hair known as cortex and medulla.
  • Hair Density -Measurement of hair growing on scalp per square inch.  Density is graded as thin (low density), medium or thick (high density) 
  • Hair Elasticity - The ability of  hair fibres to be stretched out and return to its original state without breaking or snapping.  Healthy black hair tends to be more elastic than Caucasian or Asian hair types.  Elasticity aids combing and brushing without breakage. 
  • Hair Porosity - This describes the ability or inability of hair strands to soak up and retain moisture into the inner layers.  Regular styling manipulation can decrease the tightness of cuticle scales over time. 
  • Hair Sebum - Our hair's (and skin's) natural oil.  Sebum conditions the scalp and creates a barrier to prevent internal moisture loss.  Low production of sebum can cause scalp dryness.  Jojoba oil (similar to sebum) can be used to combat flakiness temporarily.
  • Humectants - These are active ingredients in products that draw moisture from the air into our hair and skin.  The most common and effective humectants found in black hair product is glycerin.
  • Length Check - Checking the length or growth of hair over a period of time.  Hair is stretched out, measured and recorded in the hair lengths mentioned above.
  • Naturalversary - Natural Anniversary.  This is usually the anniversary of the day you decided to refrain from using relaxers or chemically alternating your hair.
  • pH Balance - potenz hydrogen.  Refers to the hydrogen strength of products.  Products that test higher in hydrogen ions is considered Acidic.  If the products tests higher in hydroxide ions; it's considered Alkaline or Basic.  pH should be balanced in products during healthy hair care journey.   
  • Pineappleing - This is a night time style preservation/protection technique used by most Naturals to preserve twist or braid outs, or wash and go.  The hair is gathered in a high, but loose ponytail on top of head.  Cover hair with a satin scarf or sleep on a satin pillowcase.  Just shake the hair out gently in the morning for a well preserved curly look.
  • Protective Styling - This refers to the strategy of  hair protection.  It's not all about hairstyles, but also a regimen committed to habit to reduce stress upon our textured tresses.
  • Protein - Hair is mainly made of keratin protein.  Healthy natural hair fibres are more likely to endure stress on hair than chemically relaxed hair.  This is because the natural hair's strength has not been changed.  A healthy hair care regimen needs to include protein balance.
  • RDB - Refined, Deodorised, and Bleached.  This usually refers to products that have been processed and striped of it's natural goodness.
  • S&D - Search and Destroy.  A term used for searching for split ends, knots etc on hair and trimming with hair scissors.
  • Second Day Hair (2nd Day Hair) - This is hairstyle that has been preserved and protected overnight and still looks presentable as day one of hair do.  
  • Transitioning - The period from when you last had a relaxer to when your natural hair journey began.  

Did I leave out any other relevant term(s)?  Please let me know in the comment box :).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...