So you have decided that you want to become natural. You decided that the best start is to look at blogs, vlogs and forums to get some information on how to take care of the new you. One problem: THEY ARE SPEAKING IN CODE!! What is WNG? HIH? BC? APL,BSL,NL? and why is everyone using these acronyms like everyone knows them?
Well I also felt that way when I first started my journey and I learned them all on my own but you are in luck. I have put together a list of common terms that are used in the natural community and the definition. so lets get started.
BC – Big Chop :You cut off any relaxer that you may have. even if you transition for months or just chop off your permed hair 1 month after new growth. its still considered a BC
TWA – Tenny Wenny Afro: Your natural hair when it’s very short
Transitioning: The period of time when you have new growth between your last relaxer
Braid-Out: This is a method of styling when you braid all of your hair in sections to create a curl pattern. you will be able to see the pattern when you un-braid your hair and you will see a crimped style.you can separate the strands further to make your hair have more volume.
Twist – Out:This is method of styling when you twist all of your hair in sections to create a curl pattern. You will be able to see the pattern when you un-twist your hair. you can separate the strands further to make your hair have more volume.
Wash and Go (WnG and W&G) : Simply co-wash your hair, add your styler (in sections for more curl definition) and you can let it air dry or use a diffuser (the name is deceiving you can’t literally wash and go you have to take a few steps to ensure your hair is moisturized)
Co-Wash: Using a conditioner to cleanse the hair instead of shampoo (if you use products that cause build up on your scalp you should use a shampoo to cleanse your scalp)
PJ: Product Junkie. When a person has enough products to style an entire salon full of people and yet they continue to buy new products.
JBCO – Jamaican Black Castor Oil
HIH – Hand in hair syndrome. When you HAVE to touch your hair constantly i.e. making sure the voulume is still there, you want to touch it, making sure the part is gone.( The less you have HIH then your curls will last)
Low Manipulation – You want to chose styles that will allow you to leave it alone. over manipulation can cause your hair to stress and not retain growth. Protective styles are a good way to achieve low manipulation for your hair.
Protective Styles – These styles have low manipulation and protects your ends from damage (twists, flat twists, braids, roll tuck and pin) this also allows you to regularly moisturize your hair
Dusting– trim of 1/4 and inch or less.
CG– Refers to the “Curly Girl” method explained in the book by Lorraine Massey. It is a philosophy for curls that involves, no or low shampoo, cone avoidance, and conditioner washing. These are just a few of the basic ideas.
CBL– Collar Bone Length. If a strand of hair can be stretched out to reach your collar bone it qualifies as CBL.
BSL– Bra Strap Length. If a strand of hair can be stretched out to reach your bra strap, it qualifies as BSL.
APL– Arm Pit Length. If a strand of hair can be stretched out to reach your armpit it qualifies as APL.
MBL– Mid Back Length. If a strand of hair can be stretched out to reach the middle of your back it qualifies as MBL.
NL – Neck Length. If a strand of hair can be stretched out to reach your armpit it qualifies as NL
2nd, 3rd, 4th, day hair– Describes the amount of time your hair has gone since you last styled it. Hair styled today would be considered 2nd day hair tomorrow etc…
Sealing- Sealing moisture in the hair, specifically the ends. So you would wet your hair, then use your leave in conditioner, then SEAL with an oil and lastly use whatever styling product of your choice.
These are just a FEW of the words that are used in the natural hair community. There are MANY more but I hope that this is a great start for you on your new journey