What’s pre-poo? Natural hair dictionary

When I started watching YouTube videos and educating myself on how to take better care of my hair, I sometimes had to pause videos, just so I could google what a TWA was or what pre-poo meant. So I’ve listed a few words\abbreviations commonly used in the natural hair community. Hopefully I have not left any of the important ones out as this list is not exhaustive


APL: Arm pit length

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):  Used to rinse to clarify the hair and scalp, removing build up and preventing dandruff.

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ASL): An ingredient found in most shampoos and is very drying!

Big Chop (BC): When you cut off all your ‘relaxed’ hair when deciding to go natural.

Bagging method: Covering your hair with a shower cap\plastic bag after applying a deep conditioner.

Carrier Oils: Base oils that are used to dilute essential oils. They are thicker and usually derived from plants. E.g olive oil, avocado oils

Clarifying: Makes sure you remove all product buildup from hair and scalp. You can make your own or make sure it is written CLARIFYING on the outside. Not all shampoos are clarifying.

Co-wash: Using conditioner instead of shampoo

Deep Condition (DC): Using conditioner for a longer period of time and leaving it in your hair. Can be used with heat or no heat.

Detangling: Removing tangles from your hair.

EO (Essential Oils): Derived from plants\flowers. Have therapeutic benefits and healing properties. E.g peppermint oil, lavender. Usually mixed with carrier oils.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): Improves elasticity and helps stop hair breakage

LOC Method: Liquid, Oil, Cream first step would be to apply liquid to the hair, followed by oil and then cream. This is used to seal in moisture

No-poo: No shampoo is used in hair maintenance routine.

Pre-poo: Oils\conditioner is applied to the hair before you use your shampoo. Great for moisture retention and also easier detangling.

Regimen: Steps used to maintain hair

Shrinkage: The length of your hair when it has not been stretched.

Slip: The feeling you get from your conditioner. If your conditioner has great slip, your knots and tangles will slip nicely and make detangling easier.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Found in most shampoos, and is an ingredient to stay away from.

TWA: Teeny Weeny Afro

Transitioning: The process you go through when you decide to go natural from relaxed hair. You can either transition gradually, wait for a bit of growth and cut off the relaxed hair or do I big chop.

Twist Out: Two strand twists unloosened, the hair can either be unraveled and left as is or you can separate the curls further. The hair has a twisty pattern

Wash and Go: Washing your hair and leaving it as is with no manipulation. Just apply products and you ready to go.

Lots of love


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