Common Hair Terms

Posted on 29 June 2015
Author:Emilia Obiekea

Common Terms

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.

Alopecia: Is an autoimmune disorder. It is a disorder where the person’s immune system attacks their hair follicules.

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS): It is a soaping/ lathering agent in shampoo.

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 hair.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): This is rinse used to removing build up and prevents dandruff. ACV also corrects pH balance of the hair, which closes the hairs cuticle. This makes the hair smooth and to have less frizz. Win Win. 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 is a regimen that uses all natural Indian products for hair growth and scalp health.

Balancing Shampoo: Is a cleansing shampoo that cleans the hair and scalp but doesn’t strip it of all of its natural oils.

Big Chop (BC): Cutting off all chemically processed hair.

Bagging: A method used to keep dry hair moisturized. The hair is moisturized then you covered with a shower cap for a few hours up to overnight.

Braid Out: A method of braiding the hair and taking it down for a textured look.

Breakage: When the hair breaks off unnaturally. If the bulb is present at the ends then that is shedding. When the bulb isn’t present or the break is along the shaft then that is breakage. It usually is causes by improper handling of the hair, an unbalanced regimen or the hair is in need of moisture.

BSL: bra strap length hair.

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.

Castor Oil: Has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. This prevents scalp infections which can cause hair loss. It is also a humectant; humectants draw moisture from the air. It contains fatty acids which nourish the hair and prevent dry scalp. Softens hair and moisturizes. It is a very thick oil.

Clarifying: Cleansing method to remove all product buildup and natural oils from the hair and scalp.

Coconut Oil/ Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO): Its molecular structure makes it easier to penetrate the hair shaft. It has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties; rich in vitamins and minerals. Great to prevent hygral fatigue, hair breakage and hair loss. Softens the hair and conditions the scalp. Using it as a pre wash conditioner can get rid of dandruff. Not a protein treatment.

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 buildup 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.

Demarcation Line: The line where the natural hair and previously processed hair meet.

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, aromatic scents that therapeutic benefits. Essential for ones scalp health. They are very strong concentrated oils and should never be used alone. Always should be properly diluted.

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. It’s 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. 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. It’s 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 follicle 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.

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!


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