Natural hair terms β€” I feel bilingual!


There are several dictionaries  specifically for natural hair
There are several dictionaries
specifically for natural hair


I can remember when I first went natural three years ago and started watching YouTube. As I listened in excitement to learn how to care for my hair, I could have sworn those girls were talking another language.

To remain engaged, I had to learn how to decipher the natural hair codes. There are so many acronyms used, you can literally get lost if you don’t know the basic terminology. Here is a brief list of basic natural terms used in the natural hair community so you too can become bilingual.

This is not an all-inclusive list, yet it will serve as a Curly Talk 101 foundation. This information is extremely helpful for all who are at the beginning phase of their natural hair journey. Enjoy!

ACV β€” Apple Cider Vinegar has many uses β€” removing build-up on hair, sealing cuticle, making curls pop.

BC β€” Big Chop, the process of having relaxed or chemically treated hair cut off

COWASH β€” using conditioner to wash hair instead of shampoo

CONES β€” silicones, an ingredient found in hair-care products

CG β€” typically refers to the Curly Girl Method, which is basically using natural products, no styling tools, no heat, no silicones, no parabans or products that can dry out the hair.

DT β€” Deep Treatment

DC β€” Deep Conditioner

DUSTING β€” trimming your hair off about 1/4 of an inch or less

EC β€” Essential Oil used to add nutrients into your products to heighten the benefit

EVCO β€” Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, carrier oil that can mix well with essential oils

EVOO β€” Extra Virgin Olive Oil, carrier oil that can mix well with essential oils

HG β€” Holy Grail, your favorite products that you get good results from when using

NO POOΒ β€” no shampoo; this is done by many Curly Girls washing with a conditioner or mixture.

PJ β€” Product Junkie

PROTECTIVE STYLING or PS β€” A protective style is a hairstyle that does not require daily styling. These can be twists, braids, a bun, French roll, bouffant, or any style that protects the ends of the hair.

SEALING β€” the process of sealing moisture into the hair using a carrier oil or hair serum

SLIP β€” products that loosen the curl to allow fingers or tools to glide down the hair when detangling hair after a wash

SLS β€” Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, found in shampoos, creating excessive lather that can dry out the hair

TRANSITIONING β€” a stage where you have two textures; mostly someone who is relaxed and decides to go natural

TWA β€” Teeny Weeny Afro

WASH & GOΒ β€” after washing your hair, adding conditioner and/or gel and/or styling cream and go. Some like hair to air dry and some like to diffuse hair until it’s dry. This method captures your natural curl pattern.

Keep in mind that everybody who is natural is not on a hair-length journey. There are people who are concerned with the health of their hair. I know many sistahs who weekly keep their hair tapered on the sides or have a teeny weeny-shaped afro and so many more styles that don’t think about length, but they do still care for their tresses. However, for all the peeps who are on a hair-length journey, you might appreciate this:

Measuring hair length (milestones)

CBL – collarbone length

APL – armpit length

BSL – bra strap length

MBL – mid-back length

I think it’s more fun than necessary to have the hair language lingo in your vernacular or lexicon. As long as you have a hair regimen that includes keeping your scalp clean, deep conditioning, moisturizing hair, and then sealing the moisture in your hair with oil, butter or cream, you are certainly on your way to healthier hair.

Keep in mind that being pro-natural does not mean you are anti-relaxer. I like mine Fro Real No Lye!


Natural hair coach and enthusiast Kelley Eubanks welcomes reader responses to