Accordian Technique: This involves scrunching wet hair similar to the movement of playing an accordion. It is a wash n’ go styling technique that produces well- formed, highly-defined coils/curls.
Braidlocks: A method of locking the hair with small braids and maintained by either latching or palm-rolling (twisting).
Bumpin’: Using a barrel curling iron or flat iron to add volume and flair to your hair, real or fake.
Banding: This involves the use of hair ties or ponytail holders to gently stretch the hair by holding the curls in an elongated position as they dry. It is done to inhibit hair shrinkage and thereby display more of the hair’s actual length.
Baggy: The practice of covering the hair at night with a plastic shower cap for the purpose of enhancing moisture. This method is thought to help reduce breakage, split ends and dryness.
Braid-n-Curl: A style created by plaiting or braiding the hair while wet, and then curling the ends with rollers or flexi rods. After the hair is dry, the braids and rollers are removed to reveal a wavy and curly hair texture.
Box Braids: When bulk hair is sectioned out and forms a “box” or square-shaped parting for each braid at the root. Though, there may be variations in parting, these are often achieved with synthetic hair additions.
Big Chop: Cutting off all relaxed or chemically-treated portions of the hair, leaving only natural-textured new growth.
Bantu Knots: A style created by parting the hair in to small-to-medium sections, and then twisting the sections in one direction until they wrap into neat knots. Fasten with a hair band at the root.
Crochet Method: It is a way of adding extensions to one’s hair. It is achieved by first cornrowing the hair and then looping the extensions under the cornrows with a crochet needle and secured with a knot of sorts.
Co-wash: The practice of cleansing the hair using an appropriate conditioner in place of a conventional shampoo. Preferred by many naturalistas as the predominant method of cleansing because of its ability to help hair retain moisture.
Clarifying: The process of cleansing and removing a build-up of oils, styling products, tap water minerals and/or medications from the hair. Typically performed with specialty shampoos or baking soda rinses.
Cones/SIlicones: Various types of Silicone are incorporated into many hair care product formulations because of their ability to impart shine, enhance flexibility, reduce frizz, protect hair from heat, form a water-resistant barrier around the hair shaft and seal the cuticle layer.
Closure: A square or rectangular piece that has hair attached to it to give the illusion of natural hair/natural hairline and can be worn with a full weave
Clip-Ins: These are temporary extensions that are usually clipped onto your hair, at the root, to give the illusion of volume and/or length.
Coily: A term used to reference the texture characteristic of natural Type 4 hair, whereby the configuration of the strand resembles a small-diameter ink pen spring. The coil is most evident when the hair is wet and/or defined with a curling custard/ gel. It usually remains evident when the hair is allowed to dry undisturbed from a soaking wet stage.
Cornrows: Braids, typically done in rows, that lay flat to the scalp. Usually, this is the foundation for a weave.
Coils: A hairstyle achieved by taking small sections of wet or very damp hair and twirl the sections around the finger one by one until they are tightly spiraled from root to tip. Tiny styling combs can be used for coils. Typically, a gel is applied prior to coiling for longer-lasting hold and shine.
Dusting: Trimming of the hair, typically ¼ inch or less. The amount of hair trimmed is usually so small that it appears as dust.
Detangling: Removing all tangles, knots, and kinks from your hair.
Deep Conditioning or Deep treatment: A moisturizing, strengthening and/or damage-repair product that is applied right after cleansing, and often allowed to penetrate for 15 – 30 minutes with the use of a mild heat source. Also used to enhance shine and manageability.
Dreadlocks: A hairstyle in which the hair is washed (but not combed) and twisted while wet into tight braids or ringlets hanging down on all sides in the form of ropelike strands.
Essential Oils: Aromatic oils are extracted from flowers, grasses, fruits, leaves, roots, or tree maintaining the odors and tastes of the plants from which they are extracted. Among many applications, they are sometimes used to nourish the hair and scalp.
Edge Control: A unique alcohol free formula that gives the hair superior hold without flaking. It slicks and holds down the edges while adding shine and moisture.
Frohawk: A hairstyle where the sides of an afro are flattened to the scalp, either by smoothing & pinning or by shaving. The center hair is left high and free, in the shape of the distinctive Mohawk.
Flat twists: A simple, low-maintenance style done by divinding the hair into small sections and then, pulling each section, one by one, from the scalp into the twist as you work your way back.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil: The organic version of castor oil, it is loaded with omega fatty acids and has countless healing properties to help regenerate and rejuvenate scalp health.
Leave-In Conditioner: A conditioning product that is to be left on the hair and is not to be rinsed out. It is used to provide hair with added moisture for stronger strands.
Lace Front Unit: This is a wig made of a fine mesh material and gives the illusion of a full head of hair with a natural hair line. It can be secured with straps, and/or adhesives.
Locks/Locs: A hairstyle whereby small sections of hair are twisted and over time, the strands become permanently secured. As locks/locs grow, they can become quite long.
Maintenance: The process of preserving the condition of hair through a generic upkeep i.e. taking care for the hair with or without extensions. The most basic ways to maintain the hair are shampooing, conditioning and trimming.
Nappyversary/Nattyversary: The anniversary of the day one decided to “go natural” and to refrain from applying chemical straighteners (relaxers) to the hair.
No Poo: A non-foaming, non-detergent cleanser, typically a conditioner, used to remove dirt, oils and styling products from the hair and scalp. Used to help hair retain moisture and softness.
Net Weave: This is the same as a full weave but instead a mesh net is placed over the cornrows in order to relieve tension.
Needle and Thread: The U-shaped needle and cotton thread used to secure weaves and extensions.
Nappy Hair: The term “nappy hair” is most often used to define hair that is worn in its natural state. This normally refers to hair that is unaltered by chemical styling processes.
Product Junky: A person who buys a lot of different products and brands in the quest of finding the “perfect” ones for her hair.
Pre-Poo: Oils, conditioners and other substances applied to the hair prior to shampooing to enhance moisturization and conditioning during cleansing.
Plopping: Hair is carefully lowered and loosely wrapped in a clean t-shirt or soft cotton material, while bending from the waist. Performed after cleansing, conditioning and/or applying a liberal amount of styling gel or cream, it helps to absorb excess moisture from the hair. It’s thought to decrease drying time, reduce frizz, and enhance natural curls.
Pineappleing: Pulling hair into one or several pony puffs, (depending on hair length), using a loose bands. The balance of the hair remains free. The puff(s) are positioned at the top or in several areas across the head. This procedure helps preserve the coil/curl definition of the style overnight, and also provides some stretch to the hair. In the morning, the bands are removed and the sections are gently shaken or fluffed.
Protective Styling: A hairstyle that helps protect the ends of hair from dehydration and damage, by eliminating the need for mechanical manipulation, (combing, brushing, picking, etc.) and shielding against environmental exposure, (i.e. sun, heat, cold, wind). Some examples are buns, braids, twists, and ponytails.
Pony Puff: A hairstyle whereby the hair is pulled back at the crown, sides and nape, using headbands, hair pins, scarves, etc. The remaining hair extends freely.
Relaxing: The method of applying a type of lotion or cream to tight curls or very curly hair which makes hair easier to straighten by chemically “relaxing” the natural curls.
Rinse: A temporary color that tints the hair. Benefits can include color, shine, luster and livening up existing color.
Relaxer: A relaxer is a type of lotion or cream generally used by people with tight curls or very curly hair which makes hair easier to straighten by chemically “relaxing” the natural curls. The active agent is usually a strong alkali, although some formulations are based on ammonium thioglycolate instead.
Remy Hair & Non-Remy Hair: Remy is hair collected and sorted from various sources with the root and tip traveling in the same direction to ensure the cuticle does not tangle or matte. It looks more natural due to the tedious process that the hair goes through to get into remy form. It has a smoother, shinier, and healthier appearance than non-remy hair. Non-remy is hair that does not have its roots aligned i.e. roots and tips not traveling in the same direction. It usually has lesser moisture than remy hair.
Roller Set: It is a way to stretch curls and straighten them without resorting to using heat. The hair is simply put into rollers while it’s still wet.
Second Day Hair: The state of one’s hair on the day after it is cleansed, conditioned and styled. For some, it is a less-than-desirable look, often referring to frizz, loss of definition, shine or overall shape. For others, it’s a positive description of hair that is fuller, freer, showing fewer partings, etc.
Shingling: A form of Wash n’ Go styling whereby a styling curl cream or curl gel is liberally applied section-by section to clean, very wet hair. As the styling product is applied to each relatively small section of hair, the section is smoothed between the thumb and forefinger, in a downward motion from root to tip. The smoothing action, in combination with the styling product immediately makes the coil/curl/wave pattern evident. The hair is then either air-dried or dried with the use of a hood dryer. Once dry, the hair can be gently fluffed for style.
Sewn-in Weave: The hair is cornrowed, then synthetic or human hair is sewn onto the cornrows. It is the most common and popular weaving method.
Sealing: Applying a product or single ingredient, such as a natural oil, to the hair to help lock in moisture. Maybe applied along the entire hair strand or just to the ends, following cleansing and/or the application of a cream or conditioner containing water. Sealing is often achieved with the use of natural oils and butters or products formulated with them.
Search And Destroy: Identifying frayed, damaged ends for the purpose of trimming them. Such trimming is thought to optimize hair health, encourage the curls to “pop”, and improve the look and feel of hair.
Synthetic Hair Wig: Hair covering made up of synthetic man-made fibres which can be used to add volume to the natural hair.
Slip in Products: Presence of Behentrimonium Methosulfate (BTMS) in hair product that makes sure that the hair detangle without much hustle. The more slip your conditioner or oil gives to your hair, the easier and less damaging it will be to detangle
Shea Butter: Shea butter is an ingredient which revitalizes hair by adding moisture. Best in it’s pure form, it also can be used as a conditioning agent as well as a pomade for styling.
Type 4c: Kinky (Wiry): Tightly coiled. Almost no defined curl pattern. Typically occurs if one has not tried to define their curls.
Type 4b: Kinky (Wiry): Tightly coiled. Less defined curly pattern. Has more of a “Z”-shaped pattern.
Type 4a: Kinky (Soft): Tightly coiled. Has a more defined curly pattern.
Type 3c: Curly (Corkscrews): Tight curls in corkscrews. The curls can be either kinky, or very tightly curled, with lots and lots of strands densely packed together.
Type 3b: Curly (Tight Curls): Medium amount of curl. Can have a combined texture.
Type 3a: Curly (Loose Curls): Thick & full with lots of body. Definite “S” pattern. Hair tends to be frizzy. Can have a combination texture.
Twist n’ Rip Dreadling: The Twist & Rip method of creating dreadlocks allows for much more control over the quantity and size of the dreads-to-be. It involves first sectioning the hair according to the size and quantity of dreadlocks you want. Then each section is twisted (in whatever way the twist-er is comfortable or familiar) and pulled in opposite directions, pushing the hair up towards the roots creating knots. This process is repeated down the length of the section until a dread is created.
Touch Up: The process of applying relaxer to the new growth, usually about ½ to 1 inch every 6-8 weeks.
Transitioning: Growing out the relaxed hair to expose the natural texture.
Texturize: A chemical treatment used to partially relax or loosen the natural curl pattern of highly textured hair. Provides greater stretch/elongation/length, and helps the hair to trail in a downward direction, (as opposed to an “up on out” direction, like an afro.)
Texturizer: Usually a form of relaxer, just milder in formulation or allowed to process using a different technique or timeframe. Texturizers alter the natural coil/curl pattern permanently.
Two-Strand Twists: A hairstyle technique whereby sections of hair are divided into two smaller sections and then wound around each other. The last half-inch or so of each twist is left loose and twirled around the index finger into a coil. 2-Strand Twists can be worn as a hairstyle in and of itself or the twists can be carefully released when dry (Twist-Out) for a look that’s fuller, yet with a well-defined coily/wavy texture.
Twist-n-Curl: A styling technique whereby wet or damp hair is two-strand twisted and then rolled on rods or rollers. Once dry, the curlers are removed and the hair untwisted.
Virgin: Hair that has not been chemically processed, colored, bleached, permed, dyed or altered in any way and the cuticles are intact.
Wrapping Hair: This is the necessary act of tying hair up, usually at night, with a silk or satin scarf to maintain style and healthy hair.
Wash-n-set: Wrap hair and sit under the dryer for 20 minutes to an hour depending on the length, texture and density of your hair.
Wash-n-Go: A term referring to a relatively quick and easy styling session whereby a defined finished style is achieved without twisting, braiding, knotting, rodding, etc. Hair is first cleansed and conditioned. Coils/curls are then defined with gel or a styling cream and allowed to air dry or dried using a diffuser attachment on a blow dryer set to a low temperature. Maybe abbreviated as WnG or W&G
Yaki Hair: Yaki hair, in contrast, refers to the processed texture in which hair resembled chemically relaxed hair. Yaki hair may be from a synthetic, Remy or non-Remy source. They are of four types – Silky Yaki, Relaxed Yaki, Kinky Yaki and Course Yaki.
Ziggly: They are densely packed natural hair with tightly kinked strands. This hair type is capable of having a distinct curl pattern.