There are so many hair terms in the natural hair community. When I first started reading about healthy haircare I came across so many natural hair terms and abbreviations most of which I didn’t know what they meant. Ofcourse I had to do my research and it took a while getting used to them.

I’ve had some persons asking me what’s this and that so I decided put together a list of common abbreviations and terms commonly used in the the natural hair community. This would be helpful for the new natural sister who just started her natural hair journey.

Natural hair abbreviations and what they mean

ACG – Aloe Vera Gel
ACV – Apple Cider Vinegar
AD – Afro Detangler
APL – Armpit Length
ASL – Ammonium lauryl sulfate
AVJ – Aloe vera juice
BAA – Big Ass Afro
BC – Big Chop
BS – Bra Strap
CBC – Collar bone length
CL – Chin length
CO – Coconut Oil
Co – Conditioner only
Cones – Silicones
CW – Co-wash
CWC – Conditioner wash conditioner
DC – Deep condition
DIY – Do it yourself
EL – Ear length
EO – Essential Oil
EVCO – Extra virgin coconut oil
FSG – Flaxseed gel
HIH : Hand In Hair syndrome
HHJ – Happy hair journey
HL- Hip length
HO – Humble opinion
HOTD – Hair of the day
Hair type – A hair type classification system
based on unique curl patterns.
3a – loose curls
3c – Tight curls
4a – loose kinks
4b – Tight kinks
JBCO – Jamaican black castor oil
L4L – Longing 4 length
M – medium texture
MBL – Mid back length
M&S – moisturise and seal
NG – New growth
NL – Neck length
Nappyversary – Anniversary of natural hair
No poo – No shampoo
Prepoo – Any hair treatment before shampoo
PJ – Product junkie
Poo – Shampoo
PS – Protective style
RS – Rod set, Roller set
SAO – Sweet almond oil
SD – Search and destroy
SL – Shoulder length
SLS – Sodium lauryl sulfate
SSK – Single strands knots
TBL – Tail bone length
TL – Terminal length
TWA – Teeny weeny afro
WDT – Weekly deep treatment
W&G – Wash and go
WO – Water only

Natural hair terms and their meaning

BAGGY – A method of sealing in moisture in the hair by covering the hair with plastic caps or shower caps either overnight or for long hours after moisturising and sealing the hair.

BC (Big Chop): Cutting off all of your relaxed hair leaving behind only your natural hair.

Braid out – A protective style in which the hair is braided and left overnight or for some days after which it is unravelled And the curls are worn as a style.

Breakage – Breaking of hair strands midway or completely.

Cones – Surfactants present in hair products that strip hair of it’s natural oil.

Carrier oils – These are base oils used to dilute essential oils examples include coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil etc.

Clarify – To remove buildup in hair using a clarifying products such as a clarifying shampoo or acv.

Clumping – Adhering strands of hair together to form bigger chunkier curls usually achieved using styling gels and butters.

Cuticle – The thinnest outer layer protecting the inner cortex of a hair strand.

Dusting – To trim 1/4 or less of the ends of the hair.

GHE (Greenhouse effect) – This is a method of using the baggy method but with water and leave-in-conditioner and wearing a plastic cap and scarf, so that the body can generate heat to keep the hair moisturized.

Humectant – A product which attracts and retain moisture from air such as glycerin and honey.

Holy grail – Hair products that have been tried and trusted.

Line of demarcation – This is the point where the natural hair and relaxed hair meets as the hair grows.

LOC / LCO – A haircare regimen used to retain moisture for a long time where L – Leave-in-condition or water, O – Oils, C – Butter or cream.

Moisturizer – A water based product Used to make the hair soft and manageable.

No-poo – A method of using only conditioners and not shampoos.

Pre-poo – A method of applying either oils or conditioning the hair before washing with shampoo.

Pineapple – A hair style which involves gathering the hair at the top of the head.
Plop – A method of wrapping wet hair in T-shirt.

Sealing – Applying oils or cream to the hair after moisturising to help retain moisture.

Shedding – This is the falling out of hair strands from the scalp with white bulbs at the root.

Scrunch – Gently squeezing/pushing hair from end to root.

S&D (Search and Destroy) : A method of trimming the hair where you search the hair for split ends, single strand knots, snags and tangles under good lightning and trimming with a hair shear. This is usually done in-between trims to avoid severe damage to the hair.

Slip – The property of a conditioner, moisturizer or shampoo which makes it easy to slide a comb through the hair. The higher the slip, the better it is for detangling the hair.

SLS (Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate) A surfactant present in most shampoos and deep conditioners which causes it to lather. It strips the hair of its natural oils leaving the hair with a squeaky clean feel.

Shrinkage – Shortening of hair length due to its elasticity.

TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) : A really small afro.

W&G (Wash & Go) : A hair style in which the hair is washed and conditioned, a styler is applied and the is left to air dry.


Did I leave out anyone? Please add yours in the comment section.


Nessy ❤