Say What? Natural Hair Lingo Dictionary

Say What?!? Natural Hair Lingo Dictionary

For a  Newb Nappturalista a discussion with a seasoned Nappturalista could leave you just as tangled as a neglected 'fro. Here's a guide to help you "slip" through the lingo with style and ease. This list is continually growing as my journey progresses.

  • ACV - Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Excellent for:
      • Cleansing the hair and scalp
      • Treating dandruff
      • Restoring or leveling off the pH of your hair (it’s pH is very similar to the pH of your natural hair 

  • BAA - Big A$$ Afro
    • Literally what it sounds like
  • Baggy Method/ Bagging - Using a plastic conditioning cap or bag to deep condition using natural body heat.
  • BC - Big Chop
    • The most important, and equally, daunting step to “transitioning” from relaxed hair to natural hair. It is literally the BIG chop! It involves cutting off ALL of your relaxed hair. Some people decide to do a series of BC’s over a period of time, while allowing the hair to continue to grow; others, just literally chop it all off.
  • BSS - Beauty Supply Store
    • This along with your local grocery store and some online vendors will be a lynch-pin in developing your hair care regimen.
  • CC - Creamy Crack
    • Chemical relaxers…once you start it is incredibly hard to quit them and they are creamy in texture…thus the name “creamy crack”
  • CG Method - Curly Girl Method
    • Introduced by Lorraine Massey in her book, Curly Girl: The Handbook , the CG Method is one that champions the use of very little to no shampoo, co-washing, avoiding cones, and finger detangling.
  • Clarifying - Cleansing the hair and scalp to remove any and all buildup from products, sweat, dirt, and anything else that may be weighing down your hair or clogging your scalp.
  • Cones - Silicones
    • Silicones cannot simply be rinsed away with water. Failure to remove cones completely could lead to drying buildup. Dry hair = Brittle Hair. Brittle Hair = Breakage. Just Say NO to Cones!
  • Co-Wash - Washing hair with a moisturizing conditioner instead of shampoo.
  • DC - Deep Conditioning
    • Leaving a conditioning solution on the hair for an extended period of time and rinsing it out after allowing it to set and soak into the hair. Also referred to as a DT or Deep Treatment.
  • Detangle - Removing all tangles, knots, and kinks from your hair.
    • It is particularly important to NEVER detangle hair when dry as the added tension could lead to breakage!
  • Dry Comb - Combing hair while it is dry
  • EO - Essential Oil
  • EVCO- Extra Virgin Cocount Oil
    • Incredible for both hair and skin care. Be sure to purchase 100% coconut oil! A lot of products claim to contain only coconut oil but the ingredients labels may list anything from harmful cones to petroleum!
  • EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • An awesome, awesome, awesome oil! Great oil for both hair and skin care, it can be used as a pre-poo oil, to treat dandruff, and as an excellent deep conditioner!
  • Flex-Set - The setting of hair using flexi - rods
  • Hair Lengths - there are several abbreviations used to mark growth milestones
    • EL - Ear Length
    • CL - Chin Length
    • NL - Neck Length
    • SL - Shoulder Length
    • APL - Arm Pit Length
    • BSL - Bra Strap Length
    • BSB - Below Shoulder Blade
    • MBL - Mid - Back Length
    • HL - Hip Length
    • WSL - Waist Length Hair
  • Hair Type Classification System - System commonly used to describe hair type and curl pattern
    • Developed by Andre Walker, this system classifies hair based upon curl pattern using class types numbered 1 - 4 (straight - kinky) with sub-classes within each class ranging from a (the finer of the classs) to c (the courser of the class)
  • Heat Damage - The irreversible damaging of hair with the use of heat.
    • If you wash or wet your hair and you notice limp pieces of hair that remain straight and fail to revert to your natural curl pattern, then you may have heat damage.
  • HenJay - Henna Junkie
    • Coined by me, I use this term to describe anyone completely in love with henna'ing their tresses.
  • HG - Holy Grail
    • The product or combination of products that work for you and your hair
  • HIH/HIF - Hand In Head/ Hand in ‘Fro Disease
    • I know our natural tresses are amazing and beautiful and when you TWA grows into a BAA, you just want to touch it and play with it, and love it with your hand, but DON’T! Over manipulation can lead to breakage. So try not to over manipulate your hair and this includes when styling!
  • Leave In - Conditioner meant to be left on the hair; no rinse needed. It is used to provide added moisture to your hair.
  • L.O.C. - Moisturing method in which you apply a Liquid, Oil, and then a Cream (or butter) to seal your ends.
  • Nappversary - Your natural anniversary.
    • Celebrate it ladies! It was the day you decided to make a true change in the way you relate to your hair.
  • Natural - Completely free of any and all chemicals.
  • No-Poo - Shampoo free.
  • Pineapple - Curl preservation method for Nappturalista with longer tresses
    • Achieved, simply, by gathering all hair, gently, on the top of the head and securing with a satin scrunchie. Some people sleep on a satin pillowcase and others use a bonnet the keep the hair from drying out.
  • PJ - Product Junkies
    • Products junkies need products to survive. They have an impulse to buy or try as many products as they can.
  • Plopping - Wrapping your freshly washed or co-washed hair in an old t-shirt to gently remove excess water.
  • Poo - Shampoo
  • Pre-Pooing - Conditioning and coating your hair with oils, conditioners, and protectants prior to shampooing your hair.
  • Protective Styling - Styling hair in a manner that protects the hair from breakage and assists in the retention of growth. Styles often include the tucking of ends to protect them and the “hiding” of hair during the winter to protect hair from the harsh weather.
  • Rolls - A style element achieved by rolling the hair.
    • Can be used to emulate the looks of a French Roll. 
  • Shea Butter - A staple within the regimens of many Nappturalistas, shea butter is an incredible butter for, both, hair and skin care.
    • It can be whipped with other oils to create body butters, daily moisturizing creams, and even styling pomade.
  • Sealing - The use of product to lock moisture in place after moisturizing hair.
  • Shrinkage - The tightening and drawing up of curls as hair dries. This can greatly cut down on the amount of visible length.
  • Slip - Term used to assess how well a product allows you to detangle your hair.
  • Stretching - Technique used to combat shrinkage
  • Transition - The period between your final relaxer and the BC.
  • TWA - Teeny Weeny Afro/ Teenie Weenie Afro
  • Twist Out - Popular styling method that can be done dry or wet.
    • Involves the twisting of hair, allowing it to air-dry or set, the careful untwisting, and styling.
  • Wash and Go/ WNG/ WG - Popular styling method
    • Easily achieved by cleansing the hair and then applying a curling product to the detangled sections. The hair is then allowed to air-dry.
  • Water - Nothing grows without water! This is the MOST IMPORTANT product your could ever use on your hair! Don’t skimp on the water. Drink it! Soak your hair in it! Simply LOVE it!

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