Hair Care Terminology can be a bit confusing at times. There are so many abbreviations and terms to understand. We want your hair care learning experience to be a simplified as possible, so you can be successful on your journey to healthy hair.




This is why we created the Hair Care Dictionary for our Alikay Naturals Customers. This list is constantly updating. We hope you find this to be helpful




1 – 10


1, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4c -hair types


2nd Day Hair - Hair that looks good enough the day after styling that it can just be misted with water or have a little product added try to revive and refresh its style.




ACV - Apple Cider Vinegar
APL - arm pit length
AVG -  Aloe vera Gel






BC- Big Chop the process of cutting hair to go natural usually all at once, some ppl do small ones


BSS - Beauty Supply Store


Banding- stretch hair NO HEAT
BA - Big afro
BSL -  bra strap length
BTW - By the way.


Braid Out- when you take out your braids, it creatures a full, crimped hairstyle.


Baggying – Process of giving your hair an extended moisture/ condition treatment by putting hair in plastic baggie in disguising it, great technique for hair ends moisturized.


Buds (Budding)- First stage in locking. Small, young sections that will eventually grow out and mature as actual dreadlocks 






C - Coarse texture
Canopy - the top layer of hair, which is exposed to the elements the most, and is prone to frizzing
Clarify - remove build-up from the hair via ACV, lemon juice, or shampooing
Clumping - strands of hair clumping together to form bigger, chunkier curls
CO - conditioner or “conditioner=only” as in not using shampoo
Co-wash – Means washing with conditioner. Hair is not meant to be "squeaky clean", especially highly textured hair since it is usually inherently dry. Squeaky clean means that all the natural oils have been stripped of hair, which causes hair to be brittle dry and unmanageable. Best is CoWash Me Cleansing Conditioner
Condish - conditioner
Crunch - the hard, crunchy feeling left by some gels when they dry, which can sometimes be scrunched out.


Coils-common hairstyle for short and medium length hair that looks like tiny, sectioned curls


Cones = silicones: class of chemical ingredients that is found in many commercial conditioners for the hair; use of a detergent shampoo is usually needed to remove them from the hair




DT - deep (conditioning) treatment


DC- Deep Condition


Dusting - cutting approximately 1/8 - 1/12 inch, search and destroy method. a trim to be 1-2 inch








Elasticity- Showcases how the hair that can stretch out and return to its regular shape without breaking.


EOs -essential oils
EVOO - extra virgin olive oil


EL- Ear Length






Freeform Fro- Afro with no style or changes made to it, so washing and not detangling combing or altering the shape


f - fine texture










HHG - Happy Hair Growing
HG - “Holy Grail”
HO - Humble opinion
HTH - Hope that helps


Hair Porosity- Your hair can soak up moisture or not. The more porous, the quicker the water will be absorbed


Henna- Henna is a plant used to make a mixture that essentially conditions the hair. Henna can also add a reddish tint to your hair






i, ii, iii - Fia’s hair-typing system descriptors for volume












Locs- Hair is not detangled or combed and it causes the strands to bond and form into locs.






MBL –Mid Back Length


m - medium texture






NL-Nape Length


Nappyversary/Naturalversary- It the anniversary of the day you became a natural.










Pre Poo- Pre shampoo , this mean covering ur hair with something to protect it from being stripped by shampoo such as EVOO. Great when you only have shampoo with sulfates available


Protective Hairstyles- Styles that require low to no manipulation and protect the ends of the hair. Protective hairstyles are like twists, coils and braids.


PHHB - Pantyhose head band
pineapple - gathering hair gently on top of head with a scrunchie to preserve curls for 2nd day hair


Pixiecurl diffuser method - leaving diffuser OFF, using the bowl to scrunch hair up to root, turn ON for 30 seconds-1 minute, turn OFF, and then repeat on next section of hair. Minimizes frizz and reduces the amount of disturbance on the rest of your hair while diffusing.


PJ - Product Junkie (addicted to trying the next new, possibly better hair product)


plop - method of wrapping wet hair in t-shirt / microfiber towel


Plop/plunk - Method for putting your wet hair into a towel to encourage curls
‘poo - shampoo
Pre-poo - applying conditioner or oil to the hair before shampooing to reduce tangling and post-shampoo dryness
PVP - A polymer found in most gels








‘quats - polyquaternium polymers found in styling products








Regimen- It is a routine done continuously to maintain your hair








Shingling – Means separating your hair into sections and raking product through with fingers or Denman brush to fully saturate hair , used often in curl defining process
SAO - Sweet almond oil


Slip - When the comb glides through the hair (tangle free)


Scrunch - encourage curl or apply product by gently squeezing/pushing hair upward from end toward root.


Shrinkage - shortening of length due to curl tightness
SL - shoulder length
SLS - Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (surfactant found in most shampoos that dry hair)

Scab Hair- Natural hair grows into a different texture than normal, usually hair that is your first set of new growth after relaxer and is usually dry and brittle






Transitioning-It is a period of time since your last use of a chemical relaxer.


Transitioner – A person who has stopped getting relaxers and is in process of going natural
TR - Thermal reconditioning
TTO - tea tree oil
TWA - Teeny weeny afro


TNC- Twist N’ Curl – When you two strand twist your hair and use rollers to give a different style.


Twist Out-When you two strand twist your hair, then take them out to create a fuller look.








Understory - hair under the top exposed layer








Wash and Go- Wash hair, apply product and go no big style etc , may define curls but its simple


WL- Waist Length








See a hair care term that’s missing? Let us know and we will get it added. Send to  Subject: Dictionary Term to Add










Disclaimer*Terms added above are compilation of terms on our site, other sites and blogs* Please do not copy from our site without permission or siting us as a source