[Several words that are frequently used in the vocabulary of the natural hair movement]


A hairstyle created by combing the hair away from the scalp, allowing the hair to extend out from the head in a large, rounded shape, much like a cloud or ball.

Box Braids

A form of protective styling done through braiding synthetic hair along with real hair. This promotes hair growth and protects hair from breakage and other damaging factors.

Bantu knot

A hairstyle that consists of twisted hair rolled up into small buns. 

Big chop

Cutting one's chemically straightened hair to let it grow in its natural texture


A hairstyle where the hair is braided with extensions or with natural hair.

Braid out

Braids are unraveled.


A style of braiding/plaiting hair into narrow strips to form geometric patterns on the scalp. A form of protective styling.

Creamy crack

Chemical relaxers. The term was coined with the thought that the use of relaxers is addictive for those women who strive for permanently straight hair texture.


A hairstyle achieved by taking small sections of wet or very damp hair and smoothing, while rotating the sections, one by one, from root to tip. Tiny styling combs or a finger are typically used.


The texture characteristic of natural Type 4 hair, whereby the configuration of the strand resembles a small-diameter ink pen spring.


Washing one's hair with conditioner instead of shampoo.


Matted or sculpted ropes of hair.


Hairdressing is similar to the mohawk hairstyle.

Kinky Hair

Tightly curled hair, tightly coiled hair, or hair without defined curls.


The L.O.C. Method or Liquid Oil Cream Method is a guide for how to apply your products to ensure your hair is moisturized and stays moisturized longer. It consists of 3 parts: 1. Hydrating the hair with water (liquid/L). 2 Keeping the liquid on the hair strands - apply an (oil/O). Seal it all in - apply a (cream/C). This can also be made by switching the application order. Then called LCO. 

Protective hairstyle

A hairstyle that protects natural hair from the elements. Includes braids, extensions, wigs, and weaves. Any coiffure configuration that keeps hair ends safely tucked away. These hairdos require very little daily upkeep and help strands stay moisturized.

Senegalese twists

Also known as rope twists where synthetic hair is used and twisted in with the natural hair.


Because natural hair typically has different types of curls and textures, in its natural state it appears shorter than it would be straightened.


Period of time when one is transitioning from straightening their hair with heat/and or chemical products to wearing hair in its natural state.

TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro)

Short Afro haircut. 


Double strands of hair wrapped around each other.

Twist out

A hairstyle where twists are unraveled. 

Wash and go

Wash one's hair and going on about one's day. This means there is no drying or styling involved and the application of products is minimal (usually a moisturizer or anti-frizz serum). The wash and go is also sometimes referred to as the "shake and go" which further emphasizes the lack of actual styling involved. The goal of a wash and go is to define natural curls.

Get your lingo straight – not your hair

Enjoy our short "'frodictionary" from the world of

natural hair!

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