Monday, June 6, 2011

Lessons Learned 1st Year - There's a Natural Hair Vocabulary?

One of the first things that I quickly learned as I started learning about natural hair care & maintenance was that there is a whole new jargon that exists in the natural hair community.  Here are some fo the vocabulary words/jargon that I learned my first year.

BC - big chop...cutting off all your relaxed hair, regardless of the amount of new growth
Transitioning - growing out your relaxed hair
No poo (co-wash) - the act of washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo.  It is supposed to prevent the stripping of natural oils from the hair
TWA - teeny weeny afro - a relatively compact afro
PJ - product junkie!  Someone who buys every popular product in search of the holy grail product
Moisturizing - the act of adding water to the hair
Sealing - trapping moisture (water) in the hair with oils or a butter like shea or cocoa
Slip - the slipperiness of a conditioner or detangler, the more slip a conditioner has the easier it is to detangle
Humectants - ingredients in hair products that help draw moisture from the air and into the shaft
Baggying - the method of coating the hair with conditioner and leaving it on ideally overnight but it can be left on for several hours
ACV Rinse - Apple Cider Vinegar rinse, used as a final rinse after cleansing the hair to close the cuticles
Essential Oils - Is a liquid that is distilled, usually by water or steam from the roots, leaves, or stems of a plant. They are very concentrated and should not be applied directly to skin.
Carrier Oil - These oils are used to dilute essential oils.  Some examples are olive oil, vitamin E oil or grape seed oils.
Braid out - When the hair is braided into individual plaits and then undone after setting resulting in a crimped effect on the hairTwo Strand Twists - When a section of hair is separated into two equal sections and then "twisted" around each other. 
Twist out - Undoing 2 strand twists for a wavy effect
Shingling - The application of gel or styling product to the hair by taking fingers and raking it through in sections, this helps to define and set your natural curl pattern
Wash & Go - the resulting hairstyle from shingling gel in your hair
Plopping - a technique for drying your hair where you pat your hair with a t-shirt instead of a towel, this reduces frizz
Dusting - trimming less than 1/4 inch of hair usually to remove split ends
Second day hair - a 2nd day hairstyle where the previously achieved pattern (via twist out, braid out or wash and go) remains and looks great with no major manipulation or recreation of the style
Shrinkage - The amount of length that is lost when hair dries in its naturally curly state
Stretched hair - A method of maximizing the hair's length by first setting the hair in twists or braids

This is not an all inclusive list but a few key buzz words that a newbie natural might be unfamiliar with.  Help me out natural veterans....If you can think of some others that I left off, please add them in the comments section.

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