Natural Hair Glossary

Natural Hair Glossary

The Natural Hair Glossary is a compilation of terms most commonly used regarding natural hair.
2nd Day Hair
Natural hair that still looks good after wearing the same style for a second day.
3a|3b|3c
Classification numbers for natural hair.  This hair type has a loose curl pattern.
4a|4b|4c
Classification numbers for natural afro textured hair.
ACV | Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar used a final rinse after shampooing the hair, and sometimes used before conditioning to seal the cuticle since the ph (acidity) is close to that of natural hair.
Afro
Naturally curly /kinky hair styled in a round shape or is naturally round in shape when loose.
AO | Aubrey Organics
Hair care product line that contains natural and organic ingredients.
APL | Arm Pit Length
A term used to describe the growth of your hair when It has reached your arm pit.
Argan Oil
A vitamin E rich oil derived from Morroco that contain essential fatty acids and is used to moisturize the hair.  Also known as Moroccan Oil.
BAA | Big Ass Afro
An afro that is very large in size because the naturally curly/kinky hair is very long.
Baggy
A method used to help reduce breakage and dryness by sleeping with a plastic cap on your hair to help keep it moisturized.  This is normally done after some type of moisturizer has been applied to the hair and the ends of the hair sealed with an oil.
Bantu Knot
A style created when the hair is sectioned off and twisted into two strand twists and then twisted around in a circle/knot.
Bantu Knot Out
Styling wet or damp hair into bantu knots, allowing it to dry and unraveling all of them nonce they are dry.
BC | Big Chop
The process of cutting chemically treated (relaxed) hair completely off to leave only afro textured/natural textured  hair.
BKT | Brazilian Keratin Treatment
A hair straightening treatment that lasts temporarily and sometimes includes the use of formaldehyde.
BNC | Braid n Curl
Braiding wet or damp hair and curling the ends with rollers or curling rods.  Once the hair is dry, the rollers and braids are taken out to reveal way hair with curled ends
Braidlocs | Bradelocz |Braidlocks
The process of locking hair (sometimes without doing the big chop) by braiding it into small braids and maintaining it by latching or palm rolling the new growth.
Braid Out
Hairstyle achieved by braiding damp or moist hair and unraveling it once it is dry so the hair to achieve more defined curls/waves.
BSL | Bra Strap Length
A term used to describe the growth of your hair when It has reached the area down your back where your bra strap is located.
BSS | Beauty Supply Store
Buds (Budding)
A term used to describe the beginning stage of locs.
CBL | Collar Bone Length
A term used to describe the growth of your hair when it has reached your collar bone.
Co-wash
Washing hair with conditioner only, in order to keep the hair soft and manageable since washing black hair with shampoo every time can be drying to the hair.
Comb coils
A styling technique created by using a rattail comb to twist small sections of the hair into coils.  This hairstyle is normally worn by women with shorter length natural hair.
Cones (Silicones)
Ingredients in some hair care products that help to condition the hair and give some shine to the hair.
Cornrow
Braiding the hair close to the scalp in a continuous row.
Creamy crack
A phrase used to describe hair relaxers because of the tendency for it to be hard to stop the relaxing process to go natural.
Denman
This company manufactures a hair brush used by a number of women with natural hair.
Detangler
A conditioning product that helps to prevent/comb through tangles.
Detangling
Process of using a detangler or leave in conditioner to comb through the hair with more ease.
DIY | Do It Yourself
DT | Deep Treatment –DC | Deep Conditioning
A moisturizing treatment that uses heat to help penetrate the hair to add moisture to the hair and make the hair soft and more manageable.
Dusting
Trimming very little off of the ends of the hair.  The amount of hair trimmed is minimal and tends to look like dust on the floor once cut off.
EO | Essential Oils
Natural oils (Rosemary, Sweet Orange, Peppermint, Lemon, Avocado oil, etc.) that gives hair shine and promotes healthy hair.
EVCO | Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
A natural conditioner that gives the hair shine and makes it soft.
EVOO | Extra Virgin Olive Oil
An oil used to seal moisture in after applying a conditioner or before a shampoo as a hot oil treatment.
Flat Twist
Twisting the hair flat to the head, similar to braiding, but instead of using three pieces of hair, two pieces (such as in two strand twists) are used and a braiding technique using those two pieces are applied.
Fluff
Finger combing the hair to The process of finger combing the hair to create volume.
FSG | Flax Seed Gel
A flax seed based styling gel that is usually homemade, but some companies such as Aveda, makes a flax seed styling gel.
Henna
A plant used as a hair dye.
HG | Holy Grail
A term used for a product (s) that works extremely well on your hair.
HHJ | Healthy Hair Journey
A term used to describe the road a person takes to attain healthy hair.
HIH | Hand in Hair| HIF| Hand in Fro
A term for playing in your hair/fro.
JBCO | Jamaican Black Castor Oil
A type of castor oil made in Jamaica for use on the hair.
KCCC | Kinky Curly Custard
A styling gel product that contains natural ingredients.
Latch Hooking
A loc maintenance method to “hook” the new growth into the existing locs.
MBL | Mid Back Length
A term used for when the hair grows and reaches the middle of your back in length.
Nappyversary | Nappy Anniversary
The anniversary of the day a when all chemically (relaxed) treated hair is cut off and the hair is worn fully natural.
No-poo
The process of using something other than shampoo to wash your hair.  In most cases, conditioner is used.
ORS | Organic Root Stimulator
A hair care product line with herbal ingredients.
Palm rolling
A method for maintaining traditional locs that involves placing individual locs between the palms and rubbing it back and forth to tighten.
Pineapple-ing
Placing the hair in a high ponytail on top of the head in order to maintain curl or waves for a twist out or other style and taking it down the next morning and fluffing it out.  This is a method for preserving the style to wear it for a second day.
Pixies
Small individual braids (with or without weave) that are also known as box braids.  If weave is used, the ends are sealed with heat and curled.
PJ | Product Junky
A term used to describe a person who buys numerous hair products in search an even better one than they already own or someone who just likes to “collect” and try out new hair products.
Plopping
Drying hair (without manipulating it) by wrapping in a towel or other cotton material as a way to dry the hair quickly and keep curls defined.
Pre-Poo
Saturating the hair with a deep conditioner, damage repair treatment, or oils for longer than 15 minutes before shampooing the hair.
Protective Style
A hairstyle that keeps your ends protected to minimize breakage and split ends.  This also includes refraining from using heat on the hair and avoiding everyday styling, combing, and brushing.  Some examples are twists left in for long stretches of time that are worn tucked in, weaves, wigs, buns, and braided styles.
Regimen
A regimen is your daily or weekly hair styling routine.
S&Ds | Search and Destroy
Checking the hair for knots and split ends and trimming them off.
Sealing
Applying oil or shea butter (or another butter of choice) to the ends of the hair after using a water based moisturizer  to “seal the ends”  and retain moisture
Shingling
Combing gel, conditioner, or a pomade  to spread it from roots to ends, which allows the hair to stretch and define curls.
SL | Sisterlocks
Very small loc (unlike traditional locs) that are created using a specialized tool to lock the hair without gels, pomades, or waxes.
Slip
The feel (how slippery) of a conditioner, detangler, or gel on the hair.
SLS | Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
A chemical used in most shampoos that has a drying effect on the hair.
TNC | Twist n Curl
Two strand twisting dry or wet, or damp hair  and using rollers on the ends of the hair and drying the hair with the use of a hair dryer or allowing it to dry overnight  and once dry, taking out the rollers and unraveling the twists
Transitioning
Process of growing out relaxed hair in order to “transition” the hair to a chemical free (relaxer free) state.
TWA | Teeny Weeny Afro
A small Afro that measures about ½ inch in length. This is the first stage after the doing the big chop.
Twist Out
A hairstyle achieved by two strand twisting the hair (wet or dry) and then unraveling the twist (preferably when dry) for a wavy hair texture.
Two Strand Twist
This hairstyle technique can be achieved by taking a section of hair and separating it into two pieces and twisting them around each other.  Two strand twists can also be called double strand twists or twists.
Virgin Hair
Hair that is natural and has not been chemically processed or altered.
Wet and Go
Wetting or spraying the hair in order to soak it to define the curls and style.
WNG | Wash and Go | WnG | W&G
Method of co-washing the hair, styling it, and letting it air dry.

Author: Nicolle

Nicolle is a hair enthusiast that has always enjoyed reading hair care books and Black hair style magazines and likes to stay informed on the latest fashion trends. She has been natural for several years and loves the versatility of natural hair.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this glossary. Many people write, and put something seemingly simple as an afterthought in their writings, not realizing that not everyone knows the lingo.

    By the way-Carrier oil?

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