If you’ve visited any natural hair blog or heard naturalistas talk about hair, you must have come across some unique words and terms. Confused? This article will help you clarify some natural hair lingo:
Naturalista: A lady (or guy) whose hair is in its natural state.
Natural: Natural hair in this context means hair that has not been altered or damaged from excessive use of heat or application of chemicals (relaxers, texturisers, permanent dyes, etc)
Relaxed: Hair that has been chemically altered (usually straightened) through the application of relaxers.
Texlaxed: Hair that has been chemically altered (usually with loose curls) through the application of texturisers, a milder form of relaxers.
Transitioning: When a person stops applying relaxers/texturisers to their hair, letting their natural hair grow out without cutting off the relaxed hair. Transitioners have natural hair at the roots and relaxed hair at the ends.
Big chop (BC): This could mean a clean shave, or cutting off all your relaxed hair so that only your natural hair is left. Naturalistas often mark the date of their BC, to better observe progress and growth.
TWA: Teeny Weeny Afro. Hair that is too short to be called an afro, but is almost there.
Cowash: Conditioner wash. To wash the hair with water and conditioner only.
Shamwash: To wash the hair with water and shampoo.
ACV: Apple Cider Vinegar. Most popular use is to dilute it with water and rinse hair and scalp with it.
EVOO: Extra-virgin Olive Oil. Usually added to DIY conditioners.
EVCO: Extra-virgin Coconut oil. Usually applied as a pre-poo.
JCBO: Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Usually applied to thinning edges.
AVG: Aloe Vera Gel: Usually used as light, moisturizing gel.
AVJ: Aloe Vera Juice. Most popular use is to add it to a spray bottle and spritz hair with it.
Shrinkage: the curling and coiling of natural hair, making it appear shorter and fuller than it really is.
DIY: Do-it-yourself. Natural hair products and treatments that you make by yourself, usually using basic ingredients and recipes.
LOC: Liquid/leave-in – Oil – Cream. Basic method used by naturalistas to moisturise their hair and seal in the moisture.
Leave-in: Leave-in conditioners are moisturising conditioners that you apply regularly to your hair without washing or rinsing out.
‘Cones: Silicones. Often found in hair ingredients, avoided by some naturals.
Baby hairs: little hairs around the edges, after they’ve been slicked with gel, brush etc
DC: Deep Condition. A product or mixture applied to the hair to infuse moisture and nourishment, then rinsed out after a while.
Pre-poo: a product or mixture applied to the hair before shampooing, to minimise tangles and drying out of the hair.
Low-poo/no-poo: A regime that involves minimal or no use of shampoos in cleansing the hair and scalp.
Baggy/Greenhouse: Keeping the hair moisturised by sleeping with a plastic cap on, after applying water, moisturiser or conditioner to the hair.
Edges: The hairs at the front which form the hairline.
Ends: The hair at the tip of each strand
CG: Curly Girl. A haircare method.
Dusting: Trimming off about ¼ inch of hair
HG: Holy Grail. A product that works amazingly well for your hair, so you consider it a personal favourite.
SLS: Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Sulfate shampoos clarify the hair but also dry it out, so they are generally avoided.
Twist out: A hairstyle achieved by unravelling twisted hair.
Pineapple: Tying long, curly or afro hair up with a scarf.
Did I miss any terms? Drop them in the comments 😀