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, highlydefined finger coils/curls.
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.
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.
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.
Big Chop
Cutting off all relaxed or chemically-treated portions of the hair, leaving only natural-textured new growth.
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.
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.
A method of locking the hair with small braids and maintained by either latching or palm-rolling (twisting).
Using a barrel curling iron or flat iron to add volume and flair to your hair, real or fake.
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.
These are temporary extensions that are usually clipped onto your hair, at the root, to give the illusion of volume and/or length.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Braids, typically done in rows, that lay flat to the scalp. Usually, this is the foundation for a weave.
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.
Deep Conditioning or Deep treatment
A moisturizing, strengthening and/or damagerepair 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.
Removing all tangles, knots, and kinks from your hair.
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.
Trimming of the hair, typically ¼ inch or less. The amount of hair trimmed is usually so small that it appears as dust.
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.
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.
Finger 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 spiralled from root to tip. Tiny styling combs can be used for finger coils. Typically, a gel is applied prior to coiling for longer-lasting hold and shine.
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.
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.
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.
L.O.C./L.C.O. Method
Is an abbreviation for leave in conditioner, oil and cream. What sets the L.O.C./L.C.O. method apart from other methods is the layering of products in a specific order to maximize moisture retention
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.
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.
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.
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.
Natural Hair
Hair whose texture hasn’t been altered by chemical straighteners, including relaxers and texturizers.
Needle and Thread
The U-shaped needle and cotton thread used to secure weaves and extensions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oils, conditioners and other substances applied to the hair prior to shampooing to enhance moisturization and conditioning during cleansing.
Product Junky
A person who buys a lot of different products and brands in the quest of finding the “perfect” ones for her hair.
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.
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.
A temporary color that tints the hair. Benefits can include color, shine, luster and livening up existing color.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Synthetic Hair Wig
Hair covering made up of synthetic man-made fibres which can be used to add volume to the natural hair.
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.)
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.
Touch Up
The process of applying relaxer to the new growth, usually about ½ to 1 inch every 6-8 weeks.
Growing out the relaxed hair to expose the natural 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.
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.
Type 3a: Curly
Curls fit around your pointer and middle finger. Definite “S” pattern. Hair tends to be frizzy. Can have a combination texture.
Type 3b: Curly
Curls fit around your pointer finger. Medium amount of curl. Can have a combined texture.
Type 3c: Curly
Curls fit around your pinkie. Tight curls in corkscrews.
Type 4a: Coily
Corkscrew curls fit around a chopstick. Has a more defined curly pattern.
Type 4b: Coily
Tighter coils similar to a spring in a pen. Less defined curly pattern.
Type 4c: Coily
Tightly coiled, Z-shaped strands with greater density. Almost no defined curl pattern.
Virgin Hair
Hair that has not been chemically processed, colored, bleached, permed, dyed or altered in any way and the cuticles are intact.
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. Finger coils/curls are then defined with gel or 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.
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
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.
They are densely packed natural hair with tightly kinked strands. This hair type is capable of having a distinct curl pattern.