If you’re new in the natural hair community, a few terms used on natural hair blogs, vlogs or pages may confuse you. However, you need not worry because I’m here to help. Here is a list I made of commonly used terms an acronyms.

*ACV: Apple Cider Vinegar. This is used for clarifying (just a fancy name for washing) hair. It also adds shine to the hair.
*BAA: Big ___ afro *covers eyes*. This is the opposite of a TWA. Kinda like what my hair is now.

my baa

*Baggying/Greenhouse Effect Method(GHE): This is a process in which you coat your hair with a leave in conditioner -or even just water- at night and cover with a shower cap or plastic bag overnight so that the heat from your body steams the hair making it super moisturized *yum yum*

the baggy method

*Banding: This is a method of stretching the hair using bands.
*BC: Big Chop. This means to cut off all the relaxed ends of the hair, leaving out only the natural hair.
*Breakage: Breakage occurs when the hair actually breaks off. Causes of breakage could be harsh chemical treatments, mechanical damage( e.g. when combing or brushing, rough handling of the hair), excessive heat treatments (blow drying and straightening-flat ironing), et al. This is what a broken hair looks like

hair breakage

*Carrier oils: These are oils that are used to dilute essential oils. They can also be used on their own. Examples are coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, etc.
*Co-Wash: Washing your hair with rinse out conditioner alone. A lot of people use this method to avoid the stripping effect of shampoos but the method has never worked for me because my hair is really full and thick and never lathers, so I end up wasting conditioner. πŸ˜₯
*Creamy crack: A term used for relaxers.
*DC: Deep Conditoning. A deep conditioner deeply conditions the hair preventing breakage and giving strength to the hair.
*Essential oils: These are concentrated oils that must be diluted with carrier oils before use. Examples are rosemary oil, lavender oil, orange oil, lemon oil, etc.
*EVCO: Extra virgin coconut oil. This is coconut oil that has been minimally processed.
*EVOO: Extra virgin olive oil. This is olive oil that has been minimally processed.
*Humectants: Humectants attract water vapour from the atmosphere into the hair. Common humectants are honey and glycerin. Honey can be used as a pre-poo or conditioning treatment. Glycerin can be added to water in your spray bottle.
*JBCO: This is an acronym for Jamaican Black Castor Oil. This is a special oil that is good for adding thickness and shine to the hair.
*Leave in conditioner: The leave in conditioner works just like regular conditioners. The only difference is that the leave in conditioner is ‘left in’ and not rinsed out.
*LOC: This is a method for moisturizing the hair. LOC stands for liquid, oil and cream. A liquid, preferably water is sprayed on the hair first, an oil is then added to coat the hair strands to prevent moisture from leaving the strands. Lastly, a cream or butter is finally used to finally coat the strands to be double sure that no moisture leaves the hair at all.This is the method I use for my hair.
*LCO: This is an acronym for liquid, cream and oil. It is a moisturizing method like the LOC method. The only difference is that the cream is used before the oil in this case.
*Low manipulation styles: These are hairstyles made with your natural hair that require low manipulation, meaning that you do not have to comb or manipulate your hair for the period that you have the style in. Common low manipulation styles are two strand twists, flat twists, braids, bantu knots.

two strand twists

*Moisturizing: This is the process of adding water(moisture) to your hair.
*Pineappling: This is simply packing your hair up before going to sleep.
*Pre-poo: This is any hair treatment applied before shampooing the hair.
*Protective Style: This is any hair style that hides the natural hair and keeps the ends of the hair covered. Protectives styles can be used to retain the length of the hair, because there will be no combing or manipulation while the protective style is in. Examples include weaves, kinky twists, braids with extensions, crochet braids, etc.

my current PS: kinky twists

**I made this all by myself *happy dance* πŸ™‚

*Sealing: This is the process of locking in added moisture in the hair with a cream or oil.
*Shedding: This is when the hair comes right out of the root. A shed hair can be identified by the presence of a white bulb at the beginning of the strand. It is said that we shed between 100-150 strands of hair a day so fear not when you see the white bulb lol. πŸ™‚

hair shedding

*Shrinkage: My worst enemy 😦

nimi's shrinkage

Enough said. Water is the enemy!!! 😦

*SLS/SLES: Sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate. These are commonly found chemicals in shampoos which are bad for the hair.
*Transitioning: To transition to natural means to hold on to the relaxed ends while yourr natural hair grows out. The relaxed part will eventually break off or have to get trimmed off.
*TWA: Teeny weeny afro. This is when your hair kinda looks like this.

baby nimi's twa

Haha. Ain’t I just cute? πŸ™‚
Or this


Or this


Okay I’m sure you get the point now.

*APL: Arm pit length
*BSL: Bra strap length
*CBL: collar bone length
*MBL: Mid back length
*SL: Shoulder length
*WL: Waist length
*HBL: Hip bone length
*KL: Knee length
*AL: Ankle length

Did I leave any out? Let me know in the comments section.
Thanks for reading!
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And you can follow me on instagram @froqueen_
I love ya :*

Published by Natural Nimi

I am a medical student residing in Lagos, Nigeria. I have worn my hair natural(unpermed) since 2013, and here I share my experiences. I'm not perfect, but I believe that natural is a journey on which we are constantly learning.Β 

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  1. This is actually helpful…..there where so many acronyms I didn’t get….buhh I learnt a new one MHM:Maximum Hydration Method


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