2nd-day hair: A hairstyle that looks good/decent the next day without having to restyle it.

3a/3b/ 3c: A hair classification system created by Andre Walker. These classification numbers symbolize loose curly hair. For more information click here.

4a/4b/4c: A hair classification system created by Andre Walker. These classification numbers symbolize tight kinky curly hair. For more information click here.


ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar): Rinsing hair with apple cider vinegar cleanses, conditions, and removes bacteria to restore the hair’s natural PH (ACV's acidity is close to that of natural hair). It promotes healthy hair growth by tightening and sealing the cuticle.

Afro: A rounded hairstyle with natural coils.

APL (Arm Pit Length): When hair is long enough to reach the armpit.


BAA (Big A%# Afro): A large afro textured hairstyle; it can be blown out, curly, etc.

Baggy: A method used to moisturize hair. After moisturizing and sealing hair at night, put a shower cap on overnight to help hair retain moisture.

BC (Big Chop): Cutting off all chemically treated hair

Blow Out: blow-drying wet hair.

BNC (Braid-n-Curl): Similar to the TNC (Twist-N-Curl), the only difference is that the hair is braided instead of twisted. Then roll the ends on rollers, perm rods, or flexi rods.

Braid out: Similar to the twist out, a braid out consists of individual braids or cornrows that create a wavy pattern after being left in over a period of time.

BSL (Bra Strap Length): When hair is long enough to reach the bra strap

BSS: The Beauty Supply Store


CBL (Collar Bone Length): When hair is long enough to reach the collar bone.

CG (curly girl): A book made by Lorraine Massey that has many tips and tricks that people with natural hair use.

Coily: The hair texture that many African American women possess when they are natural. The hair texture is similar to a spring and is most apparent when the hair is wet.

Comb Coils: A hairstyle achieved by using a rattail comb to create coils on small sections of hair. Starting at the root and turning the hair clockwise until coils are achieved.

Co-Wash: Instead of using shampoo to wash the hair, conditioner is used.

Cornrows: Hair that is braided against the scalp.

Creamy Crack: Perms (relaxers) used to straighten hair every 6-8 weeks.


Denman: A company that creates curl defining brushes that are used by many naturals.

DC or DT (Deep Conditioner/ Treatment): This is using a moisturizing or protein based conditioner is left on the hair for an extended period of time. One can choose to use a heat source such as a heating cap to aid in penetration.

Dusting: Dusting is merely trimming off less than an inch from your ends, much less than a usual trim from a professional.


ECO (ECOstyler Gel): used for different styling techniques.

EO (Essential Oils): Natural oils that are typically obtained by distillation and have the characteristic fragrance of the plant or source from which it is extracted. (For example, rosemary oil)

EVCO: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, which can be used to conditioning the hair.

EVOO: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which can be used to condition the hair and scalp. It has anti-inflammatory properties (soothes irritated scalp), and antioxidant properties (leaves scalp healthy). It locks in moisture and prevents dryness of the scalp.


Flat Twist: Can be a form of protective styling. They're similar to cornrows, except you work with two strands of hair at a time instead of three (as you do with cornrows).

Fluff: Obtaining fullness and volume by finger-combing the hair.

Finger Coils: A hairstyle achieved by using one's fingers to create coils on small sections of hair. Starting at the root and turning the hair clockwise until coils are achieved.


HG (Holy Grail): When a product that you have tried works perfectly for your hair.

HIH (Hand In Hair): When a person constantly plays in their hair. Pulling at it, twisting it, etc. which can cause hair loss.

HHJ (Healthy Hair Journey): This describes the decision to take an active role in growing healthy hair and to stop any practices that may cause damage.


Kinky: Tightly coiled hair texture.


Line of Demarcation: The point where natural and relaxed hair meets. This is where the hair is the weakest and needs extra care.

Lye: A chemical straightening treatment commonly used to relax hair. The active ingredient is sodium hydroxide.


MBL (Mid-back length): When hair is long enough that it reaches the middle of the back.


Natural Hair: Hair that is free from chemicals the hair you were naturally born with.

No-poo: Washing the hair without using shampoo. For example, co-washing is a no-poo method.


Pineapple-ing: A sleeping technique that preserves curls overnight so that amazing 2nd-day hair is possible. The hair is in a loose ponytail at the top of the head and tied with a satin scarf. The next morning take it down and shake it out gently; all of the curls should still be intact.

PJ (Product Junkie): A common habit in the early stages of becoming natural. These people keep buying new hair products to try on their hair hoping to find the ultimate product.

Plopping: A quick dry method. Using a t-shirt to dry the hair instead of using a towel.

Pre-pooing: A method that is done BEFORE shampooing the hair to help aid against a shampoos tendency to strip the hair of its natural oils and moisture. Most people apply an oil of their choice, DIY conditioners, regular conditioners, honey, or even hair masks before shampooing.

Protective Styling: Protecting the hair from over-manipulation, chemical and environmental elements that can damage the hair (hair rubbing against clothing). This comes in the form of different hairstyles that last for a few weeks such as two strand twists, braids, and wigs.


Regimen: Your everyday/weekly hair care routine. This includes styling and maintaining your hair.


Scab hair: The natural hair (new growth) that is impaired from previously using chemical relaxers, which damage the scalp and hair follicles. The hair is damaged so it grows out dry, brittle and wiry. It can take a while for hair to grow normally (3-6 months) and stop producing damaged hair.

Sealing: “Locking in” the hair's moisture. This is done by first using a water-based moisturizer and then sealing in that moisture with a butter or oil (shea butter or coconut oil). The molecules in the butter/oils are too big to pass through the hair shaft so instead, they stick to the outside and trap in the moisture.

Search and Destroy (S&Ds): Looking for split ends or knots and destroying them on sight by cutting them off.

Shealoe: A blend of shea butter and aloe.

Sisterlocks: Tiny and uniform locks that are created using the trademarked locking technique. Due to their thin size, they are extremely versatile and can be styled almost as many ways as loose hair.

Slip: How slippery a product is (usually a conditioner or detangler). The more slip, the more effectively it will coat the hair and help with the detangling process.

SLS: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (found in the harsher shampoos)

Sulfates: A product that can be found in shampoo that strips hair of natural oils and moisture.


TNC (Twist-n-Curl): A hairstyle that is derived from twisting the hair all over and rolling the ends with flexi rods, rollers, or perm rods.

Transitioning: Going from relaxed hair to natural hair. A long transition is letting the natural hair grow out while taking care of the relaxed ends. A short transition consists of cutting off relaxed hair to avoid dealing with 2 textures of hair (natural texture and relaxed texture).

TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro): A small afro that is often worn after doing the 'big chop'.

Twist Out: A hairstyle that is the result of two strand twists (on wet hair) that are taken apart once they are dry.


Wash and Go: After washing and conditioning the hair, add a styler (gel, cream) and GO! The hair can air dry or dry with a diffuser.

#naturalhair #lingo #terminology #terms





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