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Natural Hair Glossary


(Hair) Vitamins

A slue of synthetic or natural protein and vitamin derivatives used to replicate nutrients naturally produced in the body [and hair] to stimulate hair growth and overall health of the hair. Common examples: B-Vitamin Complex; Biotin;Vitamin C & D;Silica

2nd Day Hair

Your hair or hairstyle one day after you have washed and styled it. This is your hair's presentation without a restyle or rewash and proceeds 3rd day hair, 4th day hair, etc.

Bantu knot

The result of twisting one's hair around itself repeatedly until it becomes tight, and then twisting it around itself to form a tight ball that is pinned.

Bantu knot out

A hairstyle that is particularly worn by those who are natural or transitioning that is the result of unraveling bantu knots.

Big chop

The first time you cut your relaxed hair off to begin your natural hair journey

Braid out

A hairstyle that is particularly worn by those who are natural or transitioning that is the result of unraveling braids.

Clarify

A deep hair cleanse of the scalp to unclog  hair follicles from product build-up, dirt and oils.

Coily hair

Term used to describe natural hair that is coarse and very small tight curls that resemble a spring.

Creamy crack

What the chemical process of getting a relaxer is referred to as, exemplifying an addict.

Curl Pattern

The structure of your hair shaft is also known as your curl pattern, and is defined as either wavy, curly, coily or kinky.  Most people have a combination of two or all four. A Curl Pattern Chart breaks down the range of curl patterns generally from 1A = straight through 4C =Kinky

Curly girl method

The natural hair process of washing one's hair soley with conditioner. This process is also known as co-washing and wash and go.

Curly hair

Term that is used to describe natural hair that clearly defines a spiral or very loose coil.

Detangle

The act of removing tangles and knots using a styling tool such as a comb, or one's fingers.

Dreadlocks

Matted coils or ropes of hair, can be formed using various locking techniques and products or not combing the hair.

Dusting

Lightly trimming the ends of your hair to about an 1/4" or less.

Finger detangling

The act of removing knots and tangles from one's hair solely with the fingers, not using any styling tools.

Flat twist out

A hairstyle that is commonly worn by those who are natural or transitioning that is the result of unraveling flat twists.

Flat twists

The result of repeatedly twisting two strands of hair to the scalp while continuing to incorporate more hair into the twists.

Frizz

Undefined curls due to breakage along the hair shaft.

Hair cuticle

The exterior layer of the hair strand that protects the inner hair shaft.

Hair follicle

The tubular sac inside of the scalp in which the sebaceous glands open and hair grows.

Hair shaft

The part of the hair that protrudes out of the scalp.

Holy grail

That one product your hair is very receptive to and you can't live without; it's guaranteed to cater to all or a specific hair need everytime you use it.

Humectants

Products that draw moisture from the air into your hair shaft

Keratin

A strong fibrous protein produced in the cells of your hair follicle that pair with other proteins in the hair to help build the structure and natural curl pattern of your hair.

Kinky hair

Term used to describe Afro-textured natural hair that is coarse, very coily, and has not been chemically altered, particularly by a relaxer.

Kitchen

Term used to describe hair that is unkempt on the back of one's neck.

Moisturizer

A product that is used penetrate the hair cuticle and add moisture, such as water, into the inner part of the hair shaft.

Nappy hair

Term used to describe Afro-textured natural hair that is very coarse and kinky in texture, and has not been chemically altered, particularly by a relaxer. Often referred to as a 4b or 4c hair type.

Natural hair

Hair that is not chemically processed particularly with relaxers, keratin, or perms.

Porosity

Term that is used to describe how one's hair absorbs moisture and assists in helping to find what particular products will work for the hair.

Protective style

A hairstyle that is used to shield one's hair from the possible damage of daily manipulation and weather. It particularly is done to protect the ends of the hair.

Reconstructor

Products or treatments designed to restore vitality, life and luster to severely damaged hair.

Sealing

Using an oil or product to lock in moisture within the hair shaft.  The oil or product is generally applied after the application of a moisturizer.

Sebum

An oily, fatty substance that is secreted by the sebaceous glands contained in the scalp.

Shrinkage

When the true length of your hair appears shorter than it is due to the tightening and "shrinking"  of your curls.

Single strand knot

A knot that is formed with an individual strand of hair.

Sister Locks

Smaller versions of dreadlocks formed by specialized tools and locking grid also known as a precision parting grid.

Split ends

The very ends of the hair that has split into two or more sections due to the lack of moisture and proper care.

Stretching hair

The process of elongating one's natural hair pattern to add length and also decrease the chance of knots and tangles.

Sulfate

sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) also known as sulfate is a harsh detergent that strips hair of its natural oils and leaves the hair dry. SLS is often found in shampoo.

Texture

Generally, hair texture is defined as either coarse, medium or fine. Most people have a combination of two or all three.

Twist out

A hairstyle that is particularly worn by those who are natural or transitioning that is the result of unraveling two strand twists.

Two strand twists

The result of twisting two pieces of hair around each other, resembling a rope pattern.

Wash and go

The natural hair process of washing one's hair only with conditioner, with the option of leaving the conditioner in the hair and then going.

Wet Brush

Hair brush that gently detangles naturally nappy, curly, coily or kinky textured hair without snagging or breaking off the hair.

Three strand twist

The result of twisting three pieces of hair around each other, resembling a rope.