Baggying – This is when you put a moisturizer into your hair and then cover it with a shower cap (or plastic bag). It’s an easy way to help treat damaged, dry, hair. You can put on your deep conditioner and grab a bag and wait 30 min to 1 hour.
Braid-Out – This is that curly look you get after you take out the braids that you did while you hair was still damp and deep conditioned. After the braids are taken out, a braid out is achieved by letting the hair dry and then separating the curls and styling them. It’s a low-maintenance style that can be worn up to 5 days with little manipulation.
Breakage – These are the hair strands that break off and don’t have the white bulbs. Believe it or not, breakage can be due to excessive conditioning (over-moisturizing). Too much protein can also cause your hair weaken and start breaking.
Carrier oil – This is the base that is used to dilute the more concentrated oils (essential oils). Example, you can have castor oil dilute peppermint oil. These oils work together to seal moisture into your natural hair.
-Examples of carrier oils are olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil….
Clarifying – Clarifying is the process of removing build up from you hair. It unclogs your the hair pores and helps you get a clean surface for hair growth. You can get product build up from using a lot of styling products over time without using a clarifying shampoo. Hair that is not clarified often gives a dull appearance that is also lifeless. To do an at home hair clarification use this simple apple cider rinse:
-1-2 Tbsp apple cider
-1 Cup of water
-2 Tsp of shampoo
-Mix these two ingredients in a plastic bottle or jug and pour into your hair. Give yourself a good scalp massage for 5 minutes then rinse off and apply a leave in conditioner.
Co-washing – This means you substitute your shampoo for conditioner. Your skip the shampoo and use only the conditioner to wash your hair. The co-wash gives you a break by allowing moisture to stay on your hair since there is no shampoo to wash away the natural oils.
Cuticle – The hair cuticle is the structure that acts as armour to the cortex. It works to shield it from chemicals. This is the thinnest layer and if you were to look at a diagram of it, you would see layers of scale-like cells. This structure is transparent.
Deep conditioning – This is a process of using a moisturizing conditioner to add moisture back into your hair. It is recommended you do it once a week at least. The deep conditioner is formulated to give life to dull hair and improve your natural hair’s strength and elasticity. It’s also great for giving you a softer texture that shines. Great for the ladies who have dry, damaged, brittle, chemically relaxed, colored and any other hair damage. Always remember this: more moisture equals less breakage.
Dusting – It’s called dusting since you end up with hair on the floor that looks like small particles of dust. What you are doing when you are dusting is taking a very small trim 1/7th of an inch. Use hair shears since they are sharp and will do the work for you without causing breakage.
Hair Serum – Hair serum will often smooth out the frizz and bring out your natural hair shine. It also acts as a shield to external environmental conditions like sun and wind and protects your hair from your heat styling habits. What is does is form a thin layer that guards your hair strands. Hair serums are perfect for those who: color their hair, experience dryness from using too much heat in their hair routine, those who relax or perm, or those who find that their hair is frizzy or breaks a lot.
Straight hair: 1
Wavy, loose, curls: 2a, 2b, 2c
Coily curls that are often thick : Think Alicia Keys and Tracee Ellis Ross 3a, 3b, 3c
More coily type texture, kinky and most thick: 4b is real thick! Think India Arie and Badu: 4a, 4b
Humectants – These are substances that work to attract the moisture that’s present in the air around you. Some examples are things like honey and glycerine. The higher the humidity, the more humectants work to attract water from the atmosphere into your hair and skin.
Leave-in Conditioner – This is a process of putting in a leave in conditioner after your regular shampoo or conditioner. A good leave in will leave your hair in a more manageable, and soft, state.
Line of Demarcation – This is the spot where relaxed hair and natural hair meet. When you are in the stretching process, be careful of this spot since it’s weaker and prone to breakage.
Low Manipulation – Let your hair stay untouched (well mostly). Great low manipulation styles are things like twist outs, braids, and wash n’ go and braid outs. It means limit your hair handling time. The more your hair is left alone, the better. Constant manipulation (hair dye, braiding, weaving e.t.c) will lead to breakage and shedding. You can choose a hairstyle that doesn’t need too much work to maintain and you’ll be on a much better hair journey.
Moisturizing – This is just the same concept as moisturizing your skin except you are now applying a moisturizing product to your natural hair (and not washing it out). To prevent breakage, and add onto your elasticity, use a cream based or water based moisturizer one to two times a day.
Over-lapping – This means that you apply a relaxer to hair that is already relaxed. You are not applying it to new growth hair but the relaxed part of the hair so the relaxers overlap each other.
Over-processed – This is a result of leaving the relaxer on your head for a longer than recommended time. The results you get: limp hair that is dead straight!
Pre-poo – This is a process where you prep your natural hair prior to shampooing. The pre process involves adding natural oils to your hair or a moisture-rich conditioner. The pre-poo process can be done 30 minutes before you jump into the shower or even the night before your hair wash day. You can rest assured knowing that, during your shampooing or clarifying, the pre-poo will be working to help you retain moisture.
Protective Styling – These means you are wearing styles that are low-tension. Low tension is great in preserving your edges. Protective styles give you coverage from outer elements (e.g wind, sun). These styles can range from twists to wigs to braids. They are also helpful in minimizing daily hairstyle manipulations that may cause hair loss.
Relaxing Bone Straight – Instead of doing a Texlaxer (which in under-processed) a bone straight relaxer will take you all the way to the end. You will be fully straight instead of halfway there (like a texlaxer).
Relaxing Straight- The hair is processed to remove the curls (in order to be more straight) but not bone straight.
Sealing – This is the process of locking in moisture, to your hair, for a longer time. You do this by using moisturizing oils like almond oil, coconut oil, castor oil and olive oil. You apply these oils to the hair shaft and the ends.
Shedding – You hair has a natural shedding schedule so don’t be scared. You know your hair is shedding when you see the white bulbs at the end of the root.
Stretching – For those ladies who relax this is when you stretch the time before your next relaxer. For example, instead of using relaxer every five weeks, you’ll be relaxing every 7 or 11 weeks.
Texlaxed/Relaxurized – Doing a textlaxer means that you go through the relaxer process but not all the way. You stop before all your hair goes dead straight. Most ladies that d o this want body and volume, and thickness, to their hair.
Texlaxing – You are using a texturizer to loosen the curl pattern without going straight. A texturizer is used to make it more manageable.
Texturizing – The curl pattern is made loose without having to fully straighten the hair.
Under-processed – You do this when you want to retain some of your curls and waves during a relaxer. Instead of leaving the relaxer for the recommended time, you rinse it out much earlier. This way the relaxer doesn’t have much time to fully undergo the chemical reaction required to get bone-straight hair.
**When you see the letters that come after the numbers (e.g 4c) this indicates the thickness levels of the hair strand. 4c would be thicker than 4a e.t.c
STRAIGHT HAIR – This type of hair has no curl pattern and it stands in the classification of 1. This is very straight hair. The appearance is usually shiny and sleek since there is no curl pattern to interfere with the light reflections. If you see completely straight hair that lacks this shine, and sheen, it’s because it has experienced some damage (whether environmental or via products).
WAVY HAIR – This type of hair tends to have an “S” curl pattern. Wavy hair stands in the classification of 2. In that classification, you also have variations of the 2: so you have 2A/2B or 2C. If you have 2A hair, you have fine hair. On the other hand 2B is medium and 2C is coarse, thick and frizzier. Type 2 is nice since you have the versatility to experience different hairstyles. You can play with your texture by straightening your hair to curling your hair.
MEDIUM CURLY HAIR – This hair type falls under the classification of 3. It is tighter in its curls, and springy, and has categories 3A/3B and 3C. This hair is springy; if you pull it and let it go, it reverts back to its initial state. If you have 3A hair type, you a curl pattern that is more loose. Meanwhile, 3B has tighter curls while 3C is even more tightly curled with a slight bit of kinky look. There is lots of volume to classification 3 natural hair and so you can experiment with lots of styles. If you have this type of hair, when wet, you will notice shrinkage from all the water absorption. The reason it’s not as shiny as the super straight hair is due to the curls. The curls interfere with light reflection. Due to the many curls, straightening can be a bit daunting. Many ladies prefer to blow dry first then straighten. Careful not to expose to too much heat or else you will get heat damage since the curls need all the moisture they can get.
KINKY COILY HAIR
This hair contains kinkier texture than type 3 and type 2 natural hairs. When you first look at this kinky coily hair you may just see that it’s coarser and thicker. In reality, this hair will usually be fine in nature. If you have 4A type of hair, you probably have that S pattern meanwhile, if you have 4B/C type of hair, you have a zig-zag, wooly wiry, method of curls.
When you have hair that is classified as type 4, you will find that the hair growth process is slower. The reason is due to the fact that your cuticles have less layers that the other hair types. This hair is prone to breakage so be careful in you detangling and combing routine. Hair can break in the brushing process and breakage causes your hair to be shorter.
*Curly hair should not be brushed while dry. It leaves you susceptible to breakage since your locks are not elastic enough when dry). There’s only so far a dry strand can stretch before it snaps! Ouch! Proceed to deep condition and avoid all those tight braids, tight weaves, tight ponies and other styles that increase the tension to your hair.
The curly ladies who have thicker hair would say that it’s stronger hair but in fact, the more the curl pattern the more you need to protect it from breakage. It all has to do with all those curls that make it a challenge for your natural oils (sebum) to get to the whole hair strand. So the more straight haired ladies end up with a problem of
“my hair feels greasy” since the sebum can travel more easily down the shaft. Meanwhile, the curly ones end up with “my hair feels so dry” since the curl pattern makes it quite a trip for the sebum to reach all those zig zags.
So if you have 4c type of hair, you should make that deep conditioner and moisture-rich oils your best friends.
* If you have any more words to add, feel free to leave a comment and we will add it to our list of definitions*