Natural Hair Slang & Terminology

Being a natural isn’t hard enough with having to figure out a hair routine, understanding your hair texture, doing research, and so much more. But there’s added pressure to know all the “slang” or terminology that goes along with being a naturalista. There are some words and phrases that are more obvious than others, but there are certain ones where you’re like, wtf?! No worries, we’ve got you girl! Here’s a few naturalista slang words and phrases that will have you hip in no time.

Banding: A styling technique used to prevent hair shrinkage. You gather the hair into one ponytail or several smaller ones, using elastic bands to secure the hair, one after the other, all the way down to the ends, (or near the ends) of the hair. Bands are left in for a period of time or until the hair is dry.

Bantu Knots: A hairstyle created by twisting hair sections in one direction until they wrap into neat knots. The knots are often secured near the scalp with bobby or hair pins.

BC (Big Chop): Cutting off all relaxed portions of the hair, leaving only natural growth.

CG (Curly Girl): CG is an abbreviation for “Curly Girl,” a book written by Lorraine Massey and Michele Bender.

Coily: A term used to describe the texture characteristic of natural Type 4 hair. The coil is most evident when the hair is wet and/or defined with a styling product

Condish: Conditioner

Cowash: The practice of cleansing the hair using conditioner in place of shampoo.

Creamy Crack: A reference to chemical relaxers.

Curlformers: Curlformers are rod-like hair styling tools that help to create gorgeous, glossy curls, without damaging hair or using heat

EVOO: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Flat Twists: A technique where the hair is two-strand twisted flat to the scalp, similar to a cornrow.

Fluff: The use of fingers or a pick to add volume to natural hair.

‘Fro: Afro

Nappyversary: The anniversary of the day one decided to “go natural” and to stop using relaxers in their hair

Pineappleing: Pulling hair into one large puffs, using a hair tie, scrunchie, or other hair accessory. The puff is positioned at the top of the head. Thishelps preserve the coil/curl definition of the style overnight, and also provides some stretch to the hair.

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 hair from dehydration and damage, by eliminating the need for manipulation, (combing, brushing, picking, etc.) and shielding against environmental exposure, (i.e. sun, heat, cold, wind).

Second Day Hair: The state of one’s hair on the day after it is cleansed, conditioned and styled.

Shrinkage: A term used to describe the reduction of the visual length of hair. It is a process that occurs as wet hair dries

Transitioning: This is the process, (also called “the journey” or “going natural”) whereby one’s natural-textured hair is allowed to grow in, while the previously chemically-treated hair is trimmed off in stages.

TWA: Teeny Weeny Afro

Twist Out: A hairstyle created by first two-strand twisting the hair while wet or damp. After the hair is dry, the twists are carefully released and styled.

Virgin Hair: Hair that is natural and has not been chemically processed or altered.

Wash n’ Go: A term referring to a quick and easy styling session whereby a defined finished style is achieved without twisting, braiding, knotting, rodding, etc.

 

 

Photo Source: http://heygorjess.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/curlfest19-e1403584267157.jpg

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Brianna M. Williams

Brianna M. Williams is a student at American University. She is studying Print Journalism, with minors in Graphic Design and Marketing. Brianna is a naturalista who started her natural hair journey about 4 years ago, and doesn’t plan on going back. Dance Moms and E! News are her guilty pleasures. And she loves the feeling and smell of a new magazine, as much as she loves opening a new pair of shoes. Follow her on twitter @BriannaMone. Read her blog: http://briannamone.wordpress.com/

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