Rapunzel the Future of Hair | Natural Hair Dictionary

Natural Hair Dictionary

31 Jan 2013, by Rasheda in Uncategorized

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How many times have you heard the acronyms “TWA,” “BSL,” “APL” or “ACV?” Do you know what they mean? If you’re totally confused, do NOT worry, because we’re here to help with some of the natural hair lingo that you may be hearing in the natural hair communities.

3A/3b/3C/4A/4B/4C = These represent the Hair Type Classification System created by hairstylist Andre Walker. Type 3 hair is curly with a visible curl pattern. Type 3 curls can range from big, loose, bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews. Type 4 is kinky, or very tightly curled, with a less visible curl pattern. Type 4 curls can range from tight zigzag curls to extremely tight coils

2nd, 3rd, 4th, Day Hair = A phrase used to describe the number of days since you last styled your hair. Hair styled today would be considered 2nd day hair tomorrow

ACV = Apple Cider Vinegar: This is used by some to restore the natural pH to the hair, clean and condition

ALS = Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate. These are the lathering agents in shampoo that can be drying and may contribute to hair damage and hair loss. This is why some companies are now touting sulfate-free on product labels

APL = Arm Pit Length: refers to hair that reaches the armpit

BC= Big Chop: Refers to the cutting off of relaxed hair, with the result of only natural hair being present on the scalp

Braid Out = A styling technique where the hair is braided to get create curl definition. The hair is then unbraided resulting in a full, crimped hairstyle

BSL= Bra Strap Length: refers to hair that reaches the bra strap position on a female’s back

Buds (Budding)= First stage in locking. Small, young sections that will eventually grow out and mature as actual dreadlocks

Cones = Silicones: class of chemical ingredients that is found in many commercial conditioners for the hair; use of a detergent shampoo is usually needed to remove them from the hair

Co-wash = Washing the hair with conditioner, instead of shampoo; Is done most times to replace shampoos that include harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate

Creamy crack = A not so affectionate term used to refer to permanent hair relaxers; nickname was given by those who found it hard to stop getting relaxers before they transitioned to natural hair

DT or DC = Deep Treatment or Deep Conditioner. A DT is when you leave a moisturizing (or protein based, depending on your needs) conditioner on your hair for an extended period of time, along with a heat source to aid in penetration

EO = Essential Oils: refers to a large group of naturally occurring oils (For example: lemon oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, lavender oil etc.)

EVOO= Extra virgin olive oil

Humectants = Ingredients in hair products that help draw moisture from the air and into the hair shaft. The hair can become dry if the air is dry as well, so usage of humectants is recommended when there is moisture is in the air

No-poo = Washing method that does not involve the use of shampoo; co-washing is a type of no-poo method

Pineappling = A bedtime hair sleeping technique that curlies with long hair use to preserve and protect curls overnight so that they have great 2nd day hair. You gather all of your hair in a high, but loose ponytail at the top of your head and go to sleep on a satin pillowcase. In the morning you take it down and shake it out gently and all of your curls will have been preserved

Pre-Poo = Covering the hair with a deep conditioner or mixture of oils for 30 min. or more BEFORE shampooing the hair

Transition = Refers to the transition from relaxed to natural hair

TWA= Teeny Weeny Afro: Natural hair that is very close to the scalp; most times is the result of a Big Chop after a short transitioning stage