***Here are some definitions and natural hair terms to help you get to know your natural hair. Listen to your hair, learn what your hair likes and what it doesn’t like, what works for one natural might not work for another. Experiment and always try and keep it simple, this will help you on your hair journey***
Aloe Vera Gel: Conditions the hair adding moisture and shine. It is also known for aiding in hair growth for people with hair loss. Aloe gel can replace many gels that have bad ingredients.
Almond Oil: Moisturizes and softens hair. Softens dead skin on the scalp, making the skin easier to remove.
Amla Oil: This is part of the Ayurvedic regimen. The oil comes from the Indian gooseberry and is very nourishing for the hair and scalp. It strengthens the hair, adds shine, and is said to promote hair growth, prevent premature graying, and hair loss.
APL: Arm pit length
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): This is diluted with water and used as a rinse to clarify the hair and scalp, removing build up and preventing dandruff. ACV also corrects pH balance of the hair, which closes the hairs cuticle, making it smooth with less frizz and giving you ultimate shine. For your ACV mix you will need 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 2 cups of water.
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ASL): Found in most shampoos, and is an ingredient to stay away from because it is very drying.
Ayurvedic Regimen: This regimen uses all natural Indian products to grow healthy, thick, long hair. Some of the products include: Amla oil or powder, Henna, Neem, Vatika, Brahmi, Shikakai, Marshmallow root,
BAA: Big A** Afro
Big Chop (BC): When you decide to go natural and cut off all your hair to transition.
Bagging: You can use a shower cap/ plastic cap, or plastic bag to do deep conditioning or deep treatments.
Brazilian Nut Oil: Contains linoleic acid, vitamins A and E which protects the hair and scalp. It also contains protein that prevents hair breakage.
Carrier Oils: These oils are known as base oils and are often used to dilute essential oils(EO). They are thicker fatty oils derived from plants. They have many therapeutic properties and have huge benefits on the hair and scalp. Some carrier oils are, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, castor oil, grape seed oil, sesame oil, and shea butter.
Castor Oil: Has anti-bacterial and anti fungal properties of Ricinoleic Acid, this prevents scalp infections which can cause hair loss. It is also a humectant, humectants draw moisture from the air. Contains fatty acids which nourish the hair and prevent dry scalp. Softens hair and moisturizes. Great for generating new hair growth. Best time to use it is in the winter season or colder weather, because it is the thickest of the oils.
Clarifying: Ensures that you will remove any dirt/oils and product build up from the hair using shampoos or natural products that are said to clarify. FYI, not all shampoos clarify and can put further build up on your hair, so make sure is says “clarifying” on the label.
Coconut Oil: Its molecular structure makes it easier to penetrate the hair shaft. It has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties; rich in vitamins and minerals. Contains protein which prevents hair breakage and loss. Softens the hair and conditions the scalp. Using it as a pre wash conditioner can get rid of dandruff.
Cones: Are silicones, an ingredient in some hair products. This ingredient is not water soluble and leaves a film on the hair strands. When using products with cones one must use shampoo to get rid of the build up it causes.
Co-wash: This is when you use conditioner to wash your hair instead of shampoo.
Deep Condition (DC): Is when you use a leave in conditioner on your hair for a longer period of time, either with heat or no heat. Depending on the conditioner you use, this can aid in adding protein or moisture back into the hair.
Dusting: Slight trimming of the hair. The hair should look like dust falling during the trim.
EO (Essential Oils): These are liquids derived from flowers and parts of many plants. Known for their healing properties and aromatic scents that have therapeutic benefits. Great for maintaining a healthy scalp. Some essential oils for the hair are, tea tree, rosemary, lavender, lemon, ylang ylang, chamomile, myrrh, basil, sage, and peppermint oil. This can be mixed with carrier oils.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): Is ultra hydrating and softens hair. It improves elasticity of the hair preventing breakage
Honey: Is a humectant , which means it draws in moisture from the air. Its a great way to add moisture and shine to your hair.
Jojoba Oil: Non greasy; moisturizing hair oil because the molecules are small enough to penetrate the hair cuticle. This oil is closest to your natural hair oil and closest to sebum produced by the sebaceous gland. Develops new hair cell growth.Uses:treats dandruff, dry scalp, has antibacterial properties, adds shine, prevents split ends, removes sebum and other oil build up.
No-poo: When a person chooses not to use shampoo in their routine.
Oil Rinsing: Is a step that you do in between shampooing and conditioning. You add your favorite oil to wet strands and leave on for about 5 minutes. This step helps to detangle and adds extra moisture to the hair.
Pre-poo: This is done before you shampoo your hair. Oils and/or conditioner are applied to the hair the night before or right before you shampoo. This process helps hair to retain moisture after being shampooed, and also softens and helps detangle the hair.
Regimen: Is a step by step process of what products you use on your hair.
Rosemary Oil: This oil is said to stimulate hair growth. Its great for dry hair and prevents dandruff.
Sealing: The first step is to apply a leave-in conditioner and/or a moisturizing cream; these must contain water as an ingredient for it to work. The last step is applying a bit of oil or shea butter all over, or just on the ends of the hair. This process seals the moisture from the leave-in or cream into your hair strands.
Shea Butter: Comes from the nut of the shea tree, and is rich in vitamins A and E. It restores moisture and prevents weather damage on the hair. It is great in preventing dry scalp and does not clog pores. Shea butter is great for sealing the ends of the hair.
Slip: Refers to the feeling of your hair when conditioner is in it. If your fingers, comb, or brush can slip through your strands with ease, then you have found a winner! If a product gives you great slip, you can get through tangles easier preventing breakage and hair fall.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Found in most shampoos, and is an ingredient to stay away from.
Tea Tree Oil:Unclogs the hair follicles which leads to stimulating hair growth. It can free the scalp of bacteria and fungus.
TWA: Teeny Weeny Afro
Transitioning: Means you have made the choice to transition from relaxed hair to natural hair. You can choose to transition by doing a big chop and cutting off all your hair, or you can gradually cut the perm off.
Twist Out: Is a two strand twist worn loosened out or untwisted. This style manipulates and sets the hair in a certain pattern.
Vatika Oil: Is all natural ingredients made of coconut oil, amla oil, henna, and lemon. The henna coats the hair preventing oxidation; lemon controls sebum flow on the scalp; the amla oil strengthens the hair.
Wash and Go: Is when you wash your hair, apply your products and leave as is letting it dry. No manipulation is used, you just wash and go!
***Moisturized hair is stronger than dry hair, which means its less likely to break, and is key in retaining length.A healthy scalp which is rid of dead skin, product build up, and oils means that the hair follicles are freed and have room to grow.***