The blacker the berry……………..

Hair Terminology

Posted on: September 7, 2008

Many of you have probably wandered  across hair forums and other blogs and seen abbreviations like BC or Pre-poo and many others. I too have seen them and I too have been confused about there meaning.

Thankfully Sunshyne a fellow blogger has taken the time to post what the meanings are as well as some other hair facts. Her blog is called Hairlicious Inc. She has given permission for me to re-post the information here. Thanks girlie 🙂

Acronyms:The Truth About Baggying.

(courtesy of BHP mbr leentora) 


EL – Ear Length
NL – Neck Length
SL – Shoulder Length
APL – Arm Pit Length
BSL – Bra Strap Length
MBL – Mid back Length
WSL – Waist Length Hair
NG – New Growth
BC – Big Chop
DC – Deep Condition
NTM – Neutrogena Triple Moisture
MNT – Mane N Tail
CW– Conditioner Wash
ACV – Apple Cider Vinegar
CON – Creme of Nature
WRTC – White Rain Tropical Coconut conditioner
BSS – Beauty Supply Store
PJ – Product Junkie
Slip – When the comb easily glides through the hair
IMO – In My Opinion
HHG – Happy Hair Growing
BHM – Black Hair Media
LHCF – Long Hair Care Forum
EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
EVCO – Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
JBCO – Jamaican Black Castor Oil
DIY – Do It Yourself
HTH – Hope This Helps
ETA – Edited To Add
TIA – Thanks In Advance
ITA – I Totally Agree
IA – I Agree
SMH – Shakes My Head
SO – Significant Other
DH – Dear Husband
DD – Dear Daughter
BRB – Be Right Back
BTW – By The Way
HE – Herbal Essences
MMF – Mizani Moisturefuse.
MT – Mega Tek
MN – Miconazole Nitrate
EO – Essential Oil
SAA – Silk Amino Acid
S&D – Search & Destory (Method for Triming off Spilt Ends)


Prepoo – Preparing your hair prior to shampooing. You do this by adding a moisturizing conditioner or natural oils into the hair . You can do this overnight or 30-40mins before you shampoo. This helps keep the moisture in your hair after you shampoo or clarify. Prepooing helps keep that moisture in.

Cowashing – Washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. This helps to put moisture back in the hair without stripping the hair of its natural oils.

Protective Styling – Wearing your hair up in a style that doesn’t put strain on your edges/nape and keeps your ends off of your back & protected from outside elementsi.e Buns, Clips, Pony Tails etc.

Low Manipulation – Leave your hair alone! So barely manipulating your hair. The less manipulation the better which leads to less shedding and breakage which eventually leads to healthier hair. For example, Buns, Wash n Go’s, Twistouts, Braids, Braidouts, Afro’s etc.

Baggying – Putting on your moisturizer and then applying a plastic bag over the hair to trap the moisture in. You can either baggy your ends with a small sandwhich bag or you can full head baggy with a plastic shower cap. This is very helpful treatment for those with dry damaged hair and dry ends. Check out my post on

Deep conditioning – Deep conditioning is a nice treat for those with chemical relaxers, colored, dry, brittle, damaged hair. Deep conditioning with a conditioner specifically forumulated for conditions similar to the ones already listed will help revive dull lifeless hair thus giving it more strength, elasticity, moisture, softness, and shine. It is a really good way of replenishing lost moisture leaving it less prone to breakage and unmanagability. It’s good to deep condition at least 1x per week.

Moisturizing – Applying a moisture based product to dry hair without washing it out. You can use a water-based or cream based moisturizer 1-2x per day. This helps to prevent breakage and increase elasticity in the hair.

Sealing – Using a natural oil to lock in the moisture after you’ve moisturized the hair i.e. Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Safflower Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. By using an oil over the moisturizer will allow your hair to stay moisturized longer.

Leave-in Conditioner – A quick way of adding moisture back into the hair after shampooing/conditioning. It helps to detangle the hair leaving it soft and managable. Most leave-ins provide thermal protection for styling afterwards.

Braid-Out – Braiding your hair in sections while hair is still damp after deep conditioning/cowashing. Air dry the braids. Once dry,unravel the braids and style. You can wear this style up to a week without touch ups.

Stretching – Prolonging the time between relaxers. Instead of relaxing at 6 wks, relax every 8, 10, 12 wks.

Humectants – Attract and retain moisture from the air i.e Glycerin, Honey, Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol.

Line of Demarcation – Where the natural hair and relaxed hair meet. This location can be very delicate so be very gentle when stretching.

Hair Type
2a, 2b, 2c
Loose curls
3a, 3b, 3c
Thicker, coily curls. Alicia Keys and Tracee Ellis Ross fall into this category.
4a, 4b
Kinky, coily hair. 4b is the thickest. Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill fall into this category.

STRAIGHT HAIR – 1 Straight hair is classified as a 1. There is absolutely no curl pattern in the hair. It is completely straight. Straight hair is very sleek and shiny because there is no curl pattern, which allows the light to reflect off of the hair giving it a shiny finish. Some straight hair that appears dull is usually because it is damaged. Proper care is always necessary if you want beautiful healthy hair.

WAVY HAIR – 2 Wavy hair is classified as a 2 as seen in these pictures. Type 2 hair can be categorized as 2A/2B or 2C. Basically, 2A hair is fine, while 2B hair is medium. 2C hair is thick and coarse with a frizzier look. If you have type 2 hair, you have a wide variety of styles available to you. You can straighten the hair for a sleek look, or add tighter curls for a different look. The versatility can make the hairs texture look totally different. This hair type has a natural “S” curl pattern as it hangs.

MEDIUM CURLY HAIR – 3 Type 3 hair has a tighter curl pattern. It can be categorized at 3A/3B and 3C hair. 3A hair types have a looser curl pattern, while type 3B hair has a tighter curl pattern and type 3C hair has a tightly curly look and may look slightly kinky. This type of hair has a lot of body and can be styled in many different styles. When wet, type 3 hair easily absorbs the water and shrinks quite a bit. But it is not as shiny as straight hair because the hair cannot reflect the light as easily. Type 3 hair is very springy. If you pull on it, it bounces back into its original curly state. This type of hair can sometimes be a challenge to straighten, especially 3C hair. However, if you blow-dry and use a hot comb or straightener the hair will have a smoother sleeker finish.

KINKY COILY HAIR – 4 Tightly coiled type 4 hair is a lot kinkier than the type 2 and 3 hair types. Although this hair type is much coarser and appears thicker than other curly hair, it is actually quite fine. Type 4A hair has an “S” pattern to it, while type 4B/C hair is more wiry with a zig-zag pattern. These coiled afro pics show the texture of type 4 hair. The picture on the left is more type 4a hair, while the picture on the right is more of a 4b/c hair. Type 4 hair is hard to grow since it has fewer cuticle layers than the other hair types. Once brushed or combed it’s common for hair to break, leaving it shorter and easily susceptible to damage. (Note: Never brush dry curly hair as this creates frizz and can lead to breakage). An easy way to rid yourself of this damage is through proper conditioning, hot oil treatments and not putting tension on the hair daily with pony tails or styles that pull on the hair and add tension.Type 4 hair is extremely versatile and holds well on it’s own without the aid of styling products. Some common styles of this hair type are curly fro’s, afro puffs, two-strand twists, braids, straightening, cornrows and so much more.

The Cuticle – The cuticle is the thinnest layer. It is transparent and consists of overlapping scale-like cells. It protects the cortex from chemicals.

Dusting – A very light trim. Cutting only 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch. Good idea if you don’t want a full blown trim.

Texlaxed/Relaxurized – Not letting the relaxer take completely to the point of being bone straight . Basically underprocessed on purpose. Gives your hair some thickness.

Shedding – Strands of hair with white bulbs on the root. Hair goes through a natural shedding period, so if you’re taking care of your hair and it suddenly starts shedding a bit, don’t be alarmed. If you are worried, try using Garlic. It helps to stop the shedding.

Breakage – Broken pieces of hair with no white bulb. This can be caused by too much moisture or protein. It can also be the cause of poor hair care.


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