Natural Hair Glossary

Apple Cider Vinegar rinse – Washing hair with vinegar to cleanse, condition, and remove bacteria.

Argan Oil- Oil rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids produced from the kernels of the argan tree grown organically in Morocco. Can be used as a fast absorbing daily moisturizer or to heal and condition cuticles and split ends. Also known as Moroccan Oil.

Baggy Method– Applying a moisturizer to your hair, and then covering your hair with plastic cap to trap in the moisture. This method is used to retain moisture in the hair and is very good for those who have dry, brittle strands.

BC (Big Chop) – Cutting off relaxed and or chemical processed ends to reveal your natural textured hair. This can be done after your last relaxer or whenever you decide to stop transitioning.

Bantu Knot Out- Hairstyle created by sectioning the hair into Bantu Knots on damp wet hair and then after it dries; the knots are taken out to achieve defined curly hair.

Braid Out- Hairstyle achieved by braiding damp hair in cornrows or singles. Once the hair is dried unravel the braids to create a more defined curl pattern.

Breakage – Broken pieces of hair without the white bulb. This can be caused by too much moisture or protein. It can also be the cause of poor hair care.

Carrier Oils- Natural oils known as a base oil or vegetable oil used to dilute essential oils. Carrier Oils include Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, etc…These oils can also be used to seal/trap moisture in the hair.

Clarifying – Clarifying your hair is used to remove product build-up on your hair. Clarifying can remove the chlorine swimmers get on their hair. A simple way to clarify your hair is to use 2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed into 2 cups of warm water, pour it on your hair, wait 2-3mins, rinse and condition.

Co-Washing – Washing your hair with conditioner instead of using shampoo. This method cleanses your hair while helping you to maintain moisture without stripping the hair of its natural oils.

Creamy Crack – A term created by those who have a potential addiction to chemical relaxers.

Deep Conditioning (DC) – Deep Conditioning is typically done for 15- 30 minutes and for some overnight. If your hair is very dry, this can be done once a week to give your hair a boost of moisture. This is especially useful for all naturals who want to prevent breakage often cause by dry, brittle hair.

Detangling– Process in which you use a detangler to soften and smooth the hair for manageability.

DIY– Do It Yourself

Dusting- Evenly trimming 1/4 in of hair or less in which the name derived from the little hairs that looks like dust on the floor.

Essential Oils- Natural oils such as Peppermint Oil, Rosemary Oil, Lavender, etc… Essential oils should be used with carrier oil.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO) – A natural conditioner that promotes hair growth, strong healthy hair, prevents dandruff, and makes the hair shiny and soft.

 Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) – A natural sealant used to seal and lock in the moisture from your moisturizer, while smoothing the hair cuticle and adding shine. Some use this oil for a Pre-Shampoo Treatment (Pre-Poo).

Flat Twist- A two strand twist braiding technique similar to cornrows, by twisting the hair flat to the head.

Hair Lengths– Hair lengths usually have abbreviations like those listed below

  1. EL- Ear Length
  2. NL-Nape Length
  3. SL- Shoulder Length
  4. APL- Arm pit Length (this one had me stumped for a long time as a newbie)
  5. MBL- Mid back Length
  6. WL- Waist Length (this is as far as I’ll go)

Hair Types– Classification systems for hair based on how the hair looks and feels. There are two that are commonly used. Most people use Andre Walker’s system.

  • 3A texture: Loose curls
  • 3B texture: Tight curls
  • 4A texture: Loose kinks/coils
  • 4B texture: Tight kinks/coils

Henna- A natural colorant or hair dye, and strengthener.

Holy Grail– A term used for products that you have tried and works perfect for your hair.

Healthy Hair Journey (HHJ) – Expression used to describe the journey a woman takes to achieve healthy hair.

 Humectants – Attract and retain moisture from the air i.e Glycerin, Honey, Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) – Castor oil that has been manufactured on Jamaica used to strengthen, thicken, increase hair growth.

 Leave-in Conditioner – A quick way of adding moisture back into the hair after shampooing/conditioning. It helps to detangle the hair leaving it soft and manageable. Most leave-ins provide thermal protection for styling afterward.

Moisturizing – Applying a moisture based product to dry hair without washing it out. In order to prevent breakage you can moisturize your hair then seal it with oil to trap moisture in.

Nappyversary– Also known as Nattyversary. This is the Anniversary date of when your hair became fully natural.

Pineappleing- A way of preparing your hair and sleeping to preserve your curls to have 2nd Day Hair. This is achieved by placing your hair in a high loose ponytail on top of the head and sleeping on a satin pillowcase. In the morning the curls are intact just by letting the ponytail down and gently shaking the hair.

Pre-Poo– Coating the hair with a conditioner or oils prior to shampooing in an effort to keep moisture in the hair. This can be done 30-40 minutes before shampooing or overnight.

Protective style (PS) – Any hairstyle which allows your natural hair to rest from over manipulation which sometimes causes breakage.  Wearing your hair in a protective style prevents your ends from being exposed to damaging agents such as clothing, sun, and drying winter weather. The purpose and benefits of this hairstyle is to grow healthier, longer hair and reduce split ends and damage. Protective styles can include anything from sew-ins, wigs, buns, braids, bantu knots, coils, twists etc…

Regimen (aka Reggie)– Your day to day, weekly hair routine done continuously to maintain healthy hair.

Sealing– Method used to “Seal” moisture in the hair. After applying a water based moisturizer, seal the ends of your hair with an oil or butter to trap moisture in the hair. This method is crucial in hair retention.

Slip – When the comb easily glides through the hair

TWA- Teeny Weeny Afro

Transitioning Process in which you stop relaxing your hair in an effort to grow your natural hair while still maintaining the chemically processed ends

Twist Out– A hairstyle achieved by two strand twisting the hair (usually while damp or wet then air drying or use a hair dryer) and then unraveling the twist to reveal a crinkly wavy hair texture.

Two Strand Twist– Also known as double strand twists, twists, or twisties. This hairstyle technique can be performed on dry or wet hair. Take a section of hair and divide into two even pieces and twist each section of hair around the other. You continue until all of your hair is twisted like single braids.

Virgin Hair- Hair that is natural from the roots and have not been chemically processed or altered.

Wet and Go- A hairstyle technique similar to Wash and Go (WNG), but you do not wash your hair. You drench or spray the hair with a leave-in conditioner and water to define the curls and style as desired for a quick hairstyle.

WNG– Wash and Go…Also abbreviated as WnG or W&G. Method of co-washing the hair, adding a styling gel or cream and then go start your day. The hair air drys or you can dry it with a diffuser.

Credit: Source Vissa Studios


  • ACV – Apple Cider Vinegar
  • APL – Arm Pit Length
  • BC – Big Chop
  • BSL – Bra Strap Length
  • BSB – Below Shoulder Blade
  • Cones – Silicones
  • DC – Deep Condition
  • DIY – Do It Yourself
  • EL – Ear Length
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • EVCO – Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • HHG – Happy Hair Growing
  • JBCO – Jamaican Black Castor Oil
  • MBL – Mid Back Length
  • PJ – Product Junkie
  • SL – Shoulder Length
  • WSL – Waist Length Hair

6 responses to “Natural Hair Glossary

  1. HoneyBee

    January 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Hello please can you tell what product to use on thin hair shampoo, and conditioner.

    • naturalhairfanatic

      March 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Shea Moisture has a great line for thin hair. They include biotin in their ingredients

  2. lilmickii

    April 12, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I am SO glad I found this site. I’ve been stretching my relaxers lately.. I’m only one month post. But after caring for my hair the way I’ve been, going natural has been a high consideration. My hair is slightly past BSL already though! Relaxed and healthy (has been most of my life). I’ve been researching for months and I’m inspired by this site. I’m still on the fence, but your information makes me feel more confident about committing to actually going fully natural.

  3. JoAnn

    June 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Can you mix different oils with a bottle of water [i want to use it for a everday moisturizer spritz while im out, doing school, work etc….]


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