Natural Hair Dictionary A-Z
We know better than most, what it can be like trying to navigate your natural hair journey - there's acronyms left right and centre, it pretty much sounds like everyone is speaking a foreign language.
As always, we're here to break down the barriers and make everything more digestible and easier to manage.
See below our list of acronyms/language we think you should know. Let us know if we're missing any, over at @treasuretress.
ACV- Apple Cider Vinegar is a holy grail for our sisters who have product build up and itchy scalps. As an added benefit it lowers the pH levels of your hair and scalp, making your hair easier to detangle, stronger and less prone to breakage. WARNING: Please dilute with water when doing an ACV rinse!
Alopecia- A general term for hair loss that can cover lots of different symptoms such as patches of hair loss, gradual hair thinning and also excessive hair shedding. A common form of alopecia is Traction Alopecia which usually occurs along the hairline in response to very tight hair styling and can become permanent if styling practices don't change.
IG / FB : @fulhamscalphair
Big Chop - Most naturals have had a big chop once in their life. Where one cuts off all the Relaxed/ damaged hair off leaving only the untouched textured growth.
Bantu Knots - a style in which hair is sectioned off in different shapes such as twisted into a knot
Baggy/Bagging - A method to help with moisture retention. Once hair is moisturised, place a plastic or shower cap on your hair overnight. This allows for your hair to retain moisture
Bonnet - If you haven’t got a bonnet, what are you doing? A silk cap that keeps your hair protected overnight by reducing tension, breakage and dryness caused by cotton pillowcases. Bonnets can also be used in the daytime to protect your hair from air pollution and general bad vibes. If you haven’t got one check out https://www.treasuretress.co.uk/shoptress/
Breakage - When your hair becomes brittle, due to being mishandled, and can lead to, but is not limited to, due to lack of moisture/dryness/heat/neglect. You can neglect unhealthy habits but your hair deserves your full attention – so detangle, moisturise and seal those tresses delicately.
Baby Hairs - the wispy, delicate, soft hair alongside your hairline – we’re all kids at heart.
Bald Baddie - this needs no explanation simply take a look at our leading ladies Liv Little, Sanna Lathan, Slick Woods, Darkoo, Felicia Leatherwood - Instagram handles
B.Y.O.B – The signature TT shopping experience - check out our next Pop Up shop to get involved in the fun!
Co-Wash - This is particularly useful for our gym and lazy naturals. A form of washing your hair with conditioner in order to not strip your hair of its natural oils, this can be done daily or every few days.
CreamyCrack - Also known as Relaxer, the killer of natural curls. A white substance that chemically straightens naturally textured curls.
Cornrows/Canerows - a braided style in which hair is braided to flat to the scalp. Also, how are you pronouncing this?
Combing - a form of detangling your hair. Warning: Please use a comb with wide teeth for this – shedding is normal but breakage doesn’t need to be
Curl Sponge – A soft accessory that curls short hair, turning hair from “oh dear” to “well damn”. Please see Tinie Tempah as a reference.
Detangler - an instrument used to separate the knotted ends of one's hair – this can also be coupled with a detangling product to help ease tension
Denman - The Holy grail of brushes – can be used to detangle, slick and catch those flyaways
Dusting - The act of light trimming on your hair.
Deep Conditioning: If you are not deep conditioning then what are you doing? The process of keeping a wash out conditioning product in the hair between 15 minutes - however long. This process helps to restore and retain moisture.
Diffuser - One time for the Wash and Go. A diffuser is an attachment to a blow dryer which can be used to reduce frizz and retain one’s natural wave pattern.
Dry - Hair that has not been moisturised,
Durag - Helps to keep your waves intact and can also be used as a fashion Statement our forever sis Rihanna wore the first drug on the cover of British Vogue.
Definition - a curl, coil or kink that's well behaved. It follows the rules and finishes with perfection
Edges- Time to Slay girl, edges are the hairs that grow on the perimeter of one’s forehead.
Elasticity- when your hair is a blue to stretch and return to its natural state due to having a protein and moisture balance
Flat Twist – the act of crossing two strands of hair, and creating a canerow effect
Fluff- using your fingers to add extra volume and fullness to natural textured hair.
Frizz - It's like marmite; you either love it or hate it. The little flyways that curl up and downs follow in the natural curl texture.
Four/Five Full Sized products- Europe’s First & Largest Natural Hair Product Discovery Box. Yes sis TreasureTress boxes give you full sized products.
Gel- Now sis we know the struggle of finding a hair gel a hair styling product used to set, harden and define naturally textured curls.
Hooded Bonnet dryer is a cap hair dryer attachment that you place over your head that blows hot air onto your hair and can be used for deep conditioning treatments.
Heat Protector - We love the versatility of natural hair but sis please don’t forget to use your heat protectant when blow drying or straightening your hair. Heat Protector is a liquid substance used to protect your hair from damage and breakage brought on by heat styling tools.
Heat damage - Damage created from the over excessive use of heat styling tools in which your natural hair is unable to revert back to its naturally textured pattern.
Inches- Natural hair Envy MEME
JBCO- Jamaican Black Castor oil the natural hair holy grail for edges
Keratin- Keratin is a form of protein absorbed by our hair cuticles and makes your hair less frizzy and easier to style.
Leave in conditioner- a conditioner that you do not need to rinse out as it helps to moisture after washday, this product contains humectants.
L.O.C/ L.C.O-Three easy steps to take your hair’s moisture levels to higher heights, locking in the moisture. Liquid (water or leave in conditioner), Oil, Cream (Butter) or L. C.O Liquid (Water) Conditioner/Cream (Leave in spray or hair milk) Oil
Laid edges- Edges that are slicker than your Uncle’s Jheri Curls in the 80s
Moisture- the presence of water in your hair. Just remember that water is your best moisturiser sis.
Microfiber towel- The only towel catered to absorbing the moisture of our wet natural hair (cheap alternative/hack is an old t-shirt).
Mask- another term for a deep conditioning treatment focused on giving your hair that extra love it deserves.
Mousse- is a liquid styling product, which sets, defines and hardens your hair into a style.
Moisture Overload- when your hair begins to look limp, lifeless, stringy and greasy due to an imbalance of your hair’s protein and moisture levels.
No-poo- is another term used to define various methods of washing your hair without a shampoo.
Nappy- We don't use this term in this day and age sis!
Oil- A substance that is used to reduce frizz, nourish and seal in the moisture. Warning: Please do not apply oil without moisturising your hair with a leave in.
Organic- Products that are free from any synthetic additives
Pineappling- The method in which you prepare your hair for bed by putting your hair up in a loose hairband.
Pre-poo- this is the act of applying a treatment to your hair before shampooing, to help detangle and prepare your hair for the washing process.
Porosity- How well does your hair absorb and retain moisture? There are three different levels of porosity -Low, Medium and High
- Low Porosity (LP) easily retains moisture but struggles to absorb moisture. LP hair takes longer to absorb moisture. Steam and heat help to open the hair pores allowing moisture to enter so make sure you deep condition with heat sis.
- Medium Porosity (MP) absorbs and retains moisture well. We’re jealous of our medium porosity sisters. Your hair is easy to style and holds well.
- High Porosity (HP) struggles to retain moisture but can easily absorb moisture. HP hair should use thicker products like butters and creams to help seal in moisture.
Product Junkie- Someone who obsessively purchases hair care products consistently in search of the next best thing - secretly all TreasureTress subscribers
Protective Styling - Any low manipulative hairstyle that keeps the ends of your hair (The Elders) tucked away.
Parting- The most frustrating part of any hairstyle we all want a clean and fresh part but the time it takes to create our parts we might as well just put our hair in a bun.
Plopping- the method in which you use a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel to dry your hair.
Protein- Our hair is made up of 80% protein which keeps our hair strong and healthy.
Qween- Whatever you want it to be - Tag us in your answers @treasuretress
Retention-Time to combat my hair doesn’t grow myths. Sis your is always growing, unless you have a predetermined medical condition that says otherwise. The real problem is you are not holding on to the ends of your hair.
Routine- Now sis, the initial stages of having a healthy hair journey is to create a series of actions to help keep your hair healthy.
Regrowth- You know when you are ready to take your braids that you just got done 1 week ago because you're claiming you see new hair growth coming from your scalp - it’s that sis lol.
Sealant- Any product that seals and locks in moisture such as oils and butters. Now sis can we stop applying oils before the Leave ins?!
Split ends- Every curly girl's worst nightmare, when your hair strands become dry and brittle your hair strands begin to split. Don’t try to save them sis , just trim it.
Subscriptions- It’s how we started but check out the TTstore we now sell individual boxes, hurry while stocks last https://www.treasuretress.co.uk
Slip- Describes how useful the product is in helping detangle knots. It's in the name.
Sulphates- are chemicals which have the ability to strip your curls of its natural oils, however when used within reason they can be beneficial in clarifying your scalp.
Silicones- Are chemicals that create a protective coating around your hair strands however this prevents moisture and traps in dryness. Alternatively, our straight hair sisters benefit from using silicone based products as it not only protects hair from heat but prevents frizz as it does not allow moisture in.
Shrinkage- When you stretch your hair and it’s 2 inches longer than it looks (sigh). Shrinkage is real girl, don’t let it fool you. Shrinkage = healthy hair.
Sebum- the natural oils that is produced by your scalp.
Silk Press- In simpler terms, it's a non chemical way of straightening your hair.
Serum- Not to be confused with an oil, hair serums are made of silicones and are used as a protective layer over your hair strands smoothing over frizz.
Silk/Satin pillow- We know the struggle sis, sometimes you wake up and your head scarf or bonnet is on the other side of the room, but don’t worry that’s why we have a satin or silk pillowcase because it protects your hair from dryness and you don’t have to worry about it falling off at night.
Shedding-It’s normal for our hair to shed, however excessive hair shedding can occur because of various reasons such as stress, hormones and xerasia, if this is the case we recommend booking to see a trichologist.
Transitioning- The process between growing out afro hair whilst still holding onto your relaxed/ damaged ends.
TWA-Teeny Weeny Afro (insert image)
Twist Out - a hairstyle whereby hair has been two strands twisted and unravelled once dry.
Tension- The amount of pressure applied when manipulating a section, be careful of this sis. Traction alopecia is real (see definition for Alopecia).
TreasureTress - The hunt for quality products is officially over!
Undercut- The hair style consists of short sides and back and a whole lot of hair at the stop like Cassie 2009 Haircut.
Versatility- Natural hair is the definition of Versatility. With Natural hair the styles are endless you can Brenda, LaTisha, Linda, Felicia, Dawn...
Vitamins - Hair vitamins do help to increase the health of hair however, healthy lifestyle is the best answer for healthy hair.
Volume - Natural hair can always be one of two things, either really defined or really big, just choose what you want for your fro is, but as they say The Bigger the Fro The More I know, shout out to Andrea Scott on the book.
Wash & Go- A go to natural hair style in which you add a styler such as a gel or cream to help define those curls and then leave to air dry or use a diffuser.
Wig- a form of protective styling that needs extra security. Secure the Wig sis!!
Waves- a hairstyle in which curls are brushed into a flattened ripple-like pattern that is predominantly worn by King Comb. Don’t get lost in those waves, stay afloat.
Xerasia- Ladies, pronounce this with a Z and YES!! It’s a real word (We needed the X). it's the morbid dryness of the hair. So as you get ready to check in with TreasureTress Travels remember to Moisturise your Tresses.
Youtube - Our go to interactive community for everything natural hair related, where we were introduced to the greats such as Abbiecurls, Nickybnatural, UKAfrolista, Depassions, UKCurlyGirl, Niathelight, CurltureUK and of course TreasureTress
Zig Zag-Remember when we were kids and we used to beg our parents to do a zig zag parting and two puff balls, ahh we miss our childhood days.