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going natural

Natural Hair Care

The Natural Hair “Lingo” Guide For Newborn Naturals

30th March 2015
natural hair words

Okay so you’ve gone natural or are transitioning and after much research you’ve probably come across some forums that left you scratching your head as to what these people were talking about and being faced with all of these new things can make you feel like you’re in your first day of school again. Here are a few words along with definitions and even tutorials on the endless wonder that comes with being natural.

Big Chop– A phrase meaning the removal of relaxed hair by cutting or trimming so that all that is left are natural hair strands. “About to thug it out and go ahead and get my big chop over with.”

Bantu Knot Out– The practice of sectioning off your hair and taking one of those sections and twisting the hair until it spirals around into a resting snake like position.

Bantu Knot Out– A hairstyling method used to stretch the hair creating the appearance of loose waves. Watch a tutorial here.

Co-wash– A hair washing method where the use of shampoo is replaced by a good conditioner to retain more moisture and natural oils in the hair. Here is a good hair/co-washing method for wash day.

Creamy Crack– This phrase is a nickname that refers to relaxers.”I ain’t mad that you went back to the creamy crack.”

Faux Locs- A hairstyle that uses kinky hair to mimmic the appearance of dread locks.

Flat Twist Out– Styling method that entails creating a two strand twist that lays flat to your scalp, this style is great for more defined curls that also give definition at your roots.

Froin– The act of wearing the hair in an afro or afro based hairstyle. “Don’t feel like doing a twist out, guess i’ll be froin today.”

Locs– An abbreviated term for dread locks where the hair is continuously twisted and sealed at the ends with wax. This style is excellent for growing your hair out uninterrupted, however this look is permanent and must be cut off to be changed.

L.O.C Method– This acronym stands for Leave in Conditioner/Liquid, Oil and Cream and is a hair care regimen. This method is used after the hair is freshly washed or dry to retain moisture using the three listed products in the other stated.

Protective Style– This phrase means the practice of styling your hair in very low maintenance styles where your hair is either covered (i.e. weaves wigs) or left alone for long periods of time. “This winter weather is drying out my hair, I really need a protective style to wear.”

Moisture/Moisturise– When this word is used by a natural they usually mean that they’re going to, or need to apply water to their hair. “Does anyone know where my spray bottle is I need to moisturise my hair.”

Sealant– When this word is used it usually means the use of an oil, conditioner or cream that is applied after the moisturisation process to seal in the water. “Make sure that you use olive oil as a sealant after you moisturise.”

Slip-This phrase is in reference to the feel of one’s hair after or during the wash process or while using products. This entails that the hair strands are smooth and together and not frizzy or tangled. “After using that conditioner my hair has a lot of slip.”

Stretched Hair- When this phrase is used it is in reference to using a hairstyling method that greatly loosens the curl pattern creating nearly straightened hair. Bantu knots are usually used for this method. “Instead of using heat to straighten my hair I’ll just stretch it out.”

Three Strand Twist Out A Styling method that entails taking three strands of hair and creating a revers braid like plat. This style is great for looser looking curls. Watch a tutorial here.

Two Strand Twist Out– A styling method that entails the use of two sections of hair that are then taken and twisted around one another (much like platting) until you reach the ends of the hair. This style is very easy and basic for creating springy curls. Watch a tutorial here.

TWA– An acronym which stands for Teenie Weenie Afro. This is the phrase that women usually use when they’ve just had their big chop. “I’m not playing with this TWA today, short hair don’t care!”

Wash and Go– A hairstyling process used to greatly accentuate one’s natural curl pattern. This method is usually done on freshly washed wet hair. Watch a tutorial here.

I used a few sentence examples for the trickier words but overall most of these are pretty straight forward. Hopefully the next time you’re doing some research for your next hairstyle or new hair regimen you’ll feel more in tuned and apart of the natural hair community! If you’ve come across any unlisted words anywhere on the web please just ask!

 

Natural Hair Care

Q&A, Tips & More On How To “Go Natural”

28th March 2015
yolanda-spivey_black-woman-pretends-to-be-white-to-get-job1

If you’ve made it here then you’ve probably made up your mind, or are thinking about stopping the relaxers and going natural. The process of going natural is yours to choose and can be a difficult and confusing time. Here are some helpful tips and answers to most major questions on going natural that will hopefully make the process a lot easier.

After You’ve Stopped Relaxing Your Hair, What’s best?

This is the biggest turning point for a lot of transitioners, most would’ve gone most of their lives with relaxed hair so not knowing what to do is perfectly natural. The best thing to do after you’ve stopped relaxing your hair depends on how much new growth you have. If you have a lot of new growth and your comfortable with short hair then go ahead with your big chop. The big chop is what’s referenced to in natural land as cutting off all of your relaxed hair. If you don’t have much new growth then I suggest wearing braids or sew ins until your hair has grown out a little and can be cut.

Do I Have To Cut Off All of My Relaxed Hair?

Yes, simply because of the fact that once your hair has been touched by harsh chemicals such as those that are found in relaxers it will never be the same. More than likely your natural curl pattern has been stripped and will not match your natural hair in appearance or health and this will cause breakage because you virtually have two very different hair patterns in your head. After you get to know the beauty and luster that your natural hair holds you’ll want to cut those chemically processed strands off anyway.

My Densely Compact Natural Hair Grown Out With Sparse Straight Ends. Not A Good Look!

My Densely Compact Curly Natural Hair Grown Out With Sparse Straight Relaxed Ends. 

Your New Growth Is Your Natural Hair

As your hair grows out and your new growth begins to become more prominent take a moment to appreciate it. The new growth you see is your natural hair that many probably haven’t seen since they were little. Once those relaxed ends are cut you’ll be able to completely see your curl pattern and texture and this will be so exciting, especially after your first styling session.

Hair Styling During the Transition Period

If you’re wanting to wear your own hair during the transitional period then take heed that you might be subjecting yourself to unnecessary breakage. Your roots will be curly and wavy while the rest of your hair will be straight. The point where the new growth meets the chemically treated part of your hair strand is very weak and will more than likely break off (might as well go for the big chop!). Many naturals, as well as this one would suggest braids or a sew in, basically some sort of style where your hair can be left in peace to grow out.

Straightening New Growth To Match Your Relaxed Hair

Your natural hair responds very differently to heat, you will get to know this as you get to know your hair. While this may make your roots blend in a bit better with the rest of your hair for whatever style you’re wanting to wear it is not a good idea. By doing this you’re putting your natural hair at risk in very many ways which could majorly set you back when you’ve finally gone completely natural. Applying heat to your natural hair can permanently strip your curl pattern or change it. A straggly curl strand will stand out in a head full of tighter curls I have mine to prove it! You could also encourage dryness and breakage and during the transition period this could mean breaking off your natural hair that you’re trying to grow out.

Upkeep Of Hair While Transitioning 

The best way to take care of your hair while transitioning is to leave it alone and keep it moisturised! Especially your new growth. At this point it is still okay to grease your scalp.

What Will My Curl Patter Look Like?

Your curl pattern is due to many things such as your family background and genes. Don’t expect you hair to look like that naturalista’s on youtube that you oh so admire. Keep in mind that every curl pattern is beautiful from the loose S curl to the tightest wound coil. Another interesting fact is the curl pattern and texture of your hair will more than likely change as years go by of being natural. The longer you’re natural the more fruitful your hair becomes in sense and once it’s been nurtured enough it will blossom into it’s healthiest form. Also as your hair grows gravity comes into action and will put weight on your curls loosening them up the longer it grows.

Do I Still Have To Use Grease/ Grease My Scalp?

You will be pleased to know that the days of parting your hair in sections and lathering on sludgy grease is over! Your scalp needed to be greased because of the harsh chemicals from the relaxers you were using. Relaxers steal a lot of moisture from your hair and hinder the natural oils secreted from the scalp. Due to your hair being natural those oils will be released and uninterrupted.

Sooooo, Just A Few More Questions About Grease!

You can still use grease on your hair but there are some things to take into account as well as some downsides. Grease is a very effective moisture sealant but it is not a moisturiser, meaning it doesn’t add moisture to the hair it keeps whatever moisture that is already there sealed in. Grease also contains petroleum jelly and mineral oil which is somewhat difficult to remove from the hair and attracts dirt which will lead to you having to use a heavy shampoo to remove it. Doing this will clean your hair but as a natural you don’t want moisturising components to be totally removed in the shower from heavy cleansing this will lead to dryness and breakage. Oil’s do exactly what hair grease does with none of the downsides. Check out my post called 6 Praiseworthy Oil’s For Natural Hair to learn more about moisture sealants and their benefits.

Is Natural Hair Right For You?

Going natural is tough for some everything they’ve ever known about taking care of their hair is no longer applicable this is a new area that you’ll be entering into that will require a lot of work. For many their natural hair was unpleasant to see growing through as they were trying to maintain their relaxed hair which mentally results in many cases thinking that it’s ugly or and undesirable look. After I went natural my eyes were opened to the beauty of my natural hair and it changes a lot of your opinions on what is “normal.” If you’re willing to put in work and learn a lot about your hair then going natural will suit you just fine.

It was nearly four year ago when I decided to go natural, I stopped perming my hair and just wore weaves so that my chemically treated hair could grow out and it was one of the best decisions that i’ve ever made. The growth and beauty that comes with this process is almost spiritual and will change you as an ethnic woman. There is a lot to learn but there is a fabulous natural hair community that is behind you and dying to share information. Be sure to check out my post “6 Praiseworthy Oil’s For Natural Hair”, “Natural Hair Beginner’s Tool Kit, What’s Needed?, and “What All Newborn Naturals NEED To Know. These are all very informative and will truly enrich your journey. If you have more questions PLEASE feel free to ask!