FAQ & Popular Hair Lingo

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Written By: Sunshyne Creator Of Hairlista & Hairlicious Inc.


EL – Ear Length
NL – Neck Length
SL - Shoulder Length
APL – Arm Pit Length
BSL – Bra Strap Length
MBL – Mid back Length
WSL – Waist Length Hair
NG – New Growth
BC – Big Chop
DC – Deep Condition
NTM – Neutrogena Triple Moisture
MNT - Mane N Tail
CW- Conditioner Wash
CWC - Conditioner, Wash, Conditioner
ACV – Apple Cider Vinegar
CON – Creme of Nature
WRTC - White Rain Tropical Coconut conditioner
BSS – Beauty Supply Store
PJ – Product Junkie
Slip – When the comb easily glides through the hair
IMO – In My Opinion
HHG – Happy Hair Growing
BHM – Black Hair Media
LHCF – Long Hair Care Forum
EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
EVCO – Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
JBCO - Jamaican Black Castor Oil
DIY – Do It Yourself
HTH - Hope This Helps
ETA - Edited To Add
TIA - Thanks In Advance
ITA - I Totally Agree
IA - I Agree
SMH - Shakes My Head
SO - Significant Other
DH - Dear Husband
DD - Dear Daughter
BRB - Be Right Back
BTW - By The Way
HE - Herbal Essences
MMF - Mizani Moisturefuse.
MT - Mega Tek
MN - Miconazole Nitrate
EO - Essential Oil
SAA - Silk Amino Acid
S&D - Search & Destory (Method for Triming off Spilt Ends)
FFOTD - Fab Foto Of The Day
LOTD - Look Of The Day
ALS - Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
SLS - Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Cones - Silicones


Prepoo – Preparing your hair prior to shampooing. You do this by adding a moisturizing conditioner or natural oils into the hair . You can do this overnight or 30-40mins before you shampoo. This helps keep the moisture in your hair after you shampoo or clarify. Prepooing helps keep that moisture in.

Cowashing - Washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. This helps to put moisture back in the hair without stripping the hair of its natural oils.

Protective Styling – Wearing your hair up in a style that doesn't put strain on your edges/nape and keeps your ends off of your back & protected from outside elementsi.e Buns, Clips, Pony Tails etc.

Low Manipulation - Leave your hair alone! So barely manipulating your hair. The less manipulation the better which leads to less shedding and breakage which eventually leads to healthier hair. For example, Buns, Wash n Go's, Twistouts, Braids, Braidouts, Afro's etc.

Baggying – Putting on your moisturizer and then applying a plastic bag over the hair to trap the moisture in. You can either baggy your ends with a small sandwhich bag or you can full head baggy with a plastic shower cap. This is very helpful treatment for those with dry damaged hair and dry ends. Check out my post on The Truth About Baggying.

Deep conditioning – Deep conditioning is a nice treat for those with chemical relaxers, colored, dry, brittle, damaged hair. Deep conditioning with a conditioner specifically forumulated for conditions similar to the ones already listed will help revive dull lifeless hair thus giving it more strength, elasticity, moisture, softness, and shine. It is a really good way of replenishing lost moisture leaving it less prone to breakage and unmanagability. It's good to deep condition at least 1x per week.

Moisturizing – Applying a moisture based product to dry hair without washing it out. You can use a water-based or cream based moisturizer 1-2x per day. This helps to prevent breakage and increase elasticity in the hair.

Sealing – Using a natural oil to lock in the moisture after you've moisturized the hair i.e. Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Safflower Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. By using an oil over the moisturizer will allow your hair to stay moisturized longer.

Leave-in Conditioner – A quick way of adding moisture back into the hair after shampooing/conditioning. It helps to detangle the hair leaving it soft and managable. Most leave-ins provide thermal protection for styling afterwards.

Braid-Out – Braiding your hair in sections while hair is still damp after deep conditioning/cowashing. Air dry the braids. Once dry,unravel the braids and style. You can wear this style up to a week without touch ups.

Stretching – Prolonging the time between relaxers. Instead of relaxing at 6 wks, relax every 8, 10, 12 wks.

Humectants – Attract and retain moisture from the air i.e Glycerin, Honey, Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol.

Line of Demarcation - Where the natural hair and relaxed hair meet. This location can be very delicate so be very gentle when stretching.

Hair Type -
2a, 2b, 2c
Loose curls
3a, 3b, 3c
Thicker, coily curls. Alicia Keys and Tracee Ellis Ross fall into this category.
4a, 4b
Kinky, coily hair. 4b is the thickest. Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill fall into this category.

STRAIGHT HAIR – Straight hair is classified as a 1. There is absolutely no curl pattern in the hair. It is completely straight. Straight hair is very sleek and shiny because there is no curl pattern, which allows the light to reflect off of the hair giving it a shiny finish. Some straight hair that appears dull is usually because it is damaged. Proper care is always necessary if you want beautiful healthy hair.

WAVY HAIR – Wavy hair is classified as a 2. Type 2 hair can be categorized as 2A/2B or 2C. Basically, 2A hair is fine, while 2B hair is medium. 2C hair is thick and coarse with a frizzier look. If you have type 2 hair, you have a wide variety of styles available to you. You can straighten the hair for a sleek look, or add tighter curls for a different look. The versatility can make the hairs texture look totally different. This hair type has a natural “S” curl pattern as it hangs.

MEDIUM CURLY HAIR – Type 3 hair has a tighter curl pattern. It can be categorized at 3A/3B and 3C hair. 3A hair types have a looser curl pattern, while type 3B hair has a tighter curl pattern and type 3C hair has a tightly curly look and may look slightly kinky. This type of hair has a lot of body and can be styled in many different styles. When wet, type 3 hair easily absorbs the water and shrinks quite a bit. But it is not as shiny as straight hair because the hair cannot reflect the light as easily. Type 3 hair is very springy. If you pull on it, it bounces back into its original curly state. This type of hair can sometimes be a challenge to straighten, especially 3C hair. However, if you blow-dry and use a hot comb or straightener the hair will have a smoother sleeker finish.

KINKY COILY HAIR – Tightly coiled type 4 hair is a lot kinkier than the type 2 and 3 hair types. Although this hair type is much coarser and appears thicker than other curly hair, it is actually quite fine. Type 4A hair has an “S” pattern to it, while type 4B/C hair is more wiry with a zig-zag pattern. Type 4 hair is hard to grow since it has fewer cuticle layers than the other hair types. Once brushed or combed it’s common for hair to break, leaving it shorter and easily susceptible to damage. (Note: Never brush dry curly hair as this creates frizz and can lead to breakage). An easy way to rid yourself of this damage is through proper conditioning, hot oil treatments and not putting tension on the hair daily with pony tails or styles that pull on the hair and add tension.Type 4 hair is extremely versatile and holds well on it’s own without the aid of styling products. Some common styles of this hair type are curly fro’s, afro puffs, two-strand twists, braids, straightening, cornrows and so much more. (courtesy of BHP mbr leentora)

The letters a, b and c after the number tell you how thick the hair strand is. One would think the thicker the strand the less fragile the hair. But, actually type 4c hair can be the most fragile because of the curl pattern and the dryness of the hair. Type 4c hair needs to be moisturized regularly & treated gently.

The Cuticle - The cuticle is the thinnest layer. It is transparent and consists of overlapping scale-like cells. It protects the cortex from chemicals.

Dusting - A very light trim. Cutting only 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch. Good idea if you don't want a full blown trim.

Texlaxed/Relaxurized - Not letting the relaxer take completely to the point of being bone straight . Basically underprocessed on purpose. Gives your hair some thickness.

Shedding - Strands of hair with white bulbs on the root. Hair goes through a natural shedding period, so if you're taking care of your hair and it suddenly starts shedding a bit, don't be alarmed. If you are worried, try using Garlic. It helps to stop the shedding.

Breakage - Broken pieces of hair without the white bulb. This can be caused by too much moisture or protein. It can also be the cause of poor hair care.

Carrier oil - Known as base oil or vegetable oil, is used to dilute essential oils i.e. Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil etc.

Moisture Based Deep Conditioners - Mizani Moisturefuse, Keracare Humecto, Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner, Keracare Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair, Crème of Nature Nourishing Conditioner, Atone Botanicals Reconstructer, Elasta QP DPR-11, Queen Helene Cholesterol, Herbal Essences Replenishing Conditioner, Jason Sea Kelp, Aubrey Organics Conditioners, Joico Moisture Recovery, Elucence MB Conditioner, Jane Carter Replenishing Conditioner, Phytonectar and jojoba conditioners, Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner, Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Mask, Pantene Relaxed and natural mask, Nexxus Humectress, Hydratherapie by Biolage, Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner, Joico Moisture Intensive Treatment Extra Conditioning Conditioner.

Protein Based Conditioners - Aphogee 2 minute Reconstructer, Aveda Damage Remedy Reconstructor Conditioner, Mane and Tail Original Conditioner, Ors Replenishing Pak, Aubrey Organics GPB, Nexxus Keraphix, Phytospecific Intense Nutrition, Motions CPR, ORS Hair Mayo.

Hair Serum - Hair serum makes the hair shiner and does not allow the hair to entangle. It protects the hair from the damages done by over exposure to sun and hair styling products.

Hair serum forms a thin protective layer on the hair strands. It returns the moisture lost due to exposure to sun, heat generated from the hair styling gadgets. It is primarily used for dry and frizzy hair, which breaks easily, or hairs that have under gone excessive chemical treatments like perming, coloring.

Relaxing Bone Straight - Allowing the relaxer to "relax" the hair to it's fullest potential, making sure the hair strands are as straight as possible.

Relaxing Straight
- Allowing the hair to get straight. But not bone straight.

- Allowing the relaxer to loosen the curl pattern and make it easily managable, not necessarily straight.

- Loosening the curl pattern slightly, with no straightness at all.

- Applying relaxer to already relaxed hair instead of just focusing on the new growth.

- Leaving the relaxer on too long, resulting in a bone straight/limp appearance.

- Waves, curls and kinks are still present in the hair after a relaxer. The relaxer did not process/penetrate the hair enough.

* this list will be updated regularly*

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  1. Great post...I would love for you to post this on K.I.S.S.

  2. Thanks for making this list. Its especially helpful for me as I am not well versed in alot of the acronyms used on hair sites.

  3. Thanks Everyone! I will post it on KISS for you Traycee! No Problem. I will be adding to this list. If you have any suggestions let me know.

    @ Dr. Ali Syed - Yeah it can be confusing at times. Im glad this helps! :-)

  4. This is some great information...really cleared up a lot of my ?'s!

  5. I wish you had done this when I first started my hair journey, but I still appreciate that you did it =)
    Some of those letters just make me cross eyed esp. ETA, keeps making me think of 'estimated time of arrival' and reminds me that a vacation is in order.

    Thanks Sunshyne!

  6. Your welcome Blaquebt & Solomonsydelle!

    I wish I had done it sooner, but I guess it will help those now starting their hair care journey. LOL @ "estimated time of arrival", I thought the sammmmeee thing!! :-)

  7. Hi, can I post this on my blog with a link back showing the credit to you. It's really very helpful.

  8. should you only prepoo before shampooing and conditioning? or also before cowashing?

  9. Hi Jade,

    You can prepoo before shampooing and even before co-washing. Thats what I do. I love to experiment and play around with what works. Try it out.


  10. You are truly a ray of light! Thanks for all of the info, I have hope now.

  11. Thank you Collette. Im glad you appreciate the information :-)

  12. I have a question. Can you use a protein based conditioner rinse it out and then use a moisture based condtioner?

  13. @ Anonymous - Yup, you can use a protein based conditioner for 15mins and then follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner for 15-30mins with heat.

  14. I wish this blog had been around in the '80s when my mother gave up on my hair, and handed it over to me! Many, many painful years of trial, error, and chopping had to follow, before I figured out a few techniques to deal with my hair. I've still got a lot to learn, and appreciate what you're doing! Keep it up :)

  15. This is ya gurl Mssnu from BHP stoppin' by to show some love.

    I hope you have a link to your site on BHP for newbies this is all they need to get started.

    It would make things alot easier for them.

    Take Care

  16. I HAVE BEEN ON TTHE NET FO 3 YEARS AND HAVE ONLY JUST FOUND THIS SITE OUT(it prob wa not on that long i dont know)

    i came across it watching sunshynes hair regime blogs and was inspired by the beauty of her hair
    im a newbie all the way from england and have just started my 'hair jouney'

  17. The Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner has got to be my FAV product in the entire world! I have started spritz twice a day, especially after the gym for extra moisture.

  18. Thanks SO much for posting this list! I'm a new natural and just did my BC 3 weeks ago. I've been scouring through black hair forums and had no idea what some of those acronyms mean. So thankful you posted them all out and clear! I am so subscribing to your blog! :)

  19. this has been very informative !!! thanks much