A Natural Hair Guide

A Natural Hair Guide

A guide to natural hair "terminology" and their definitions.

Natural Hair : Hair that is and has not been chemically treated and / or the bonds have not been altered.


Porosity : Determines The hairs ability or inability to absorb and or hold moisture and/or product.


High porosity : Hair that has an open cuticle layer or has gaps and holes which allow moisture to absorb and release very easily and quickly.

Think of an open window which allows the Air conditioned air out of your home.

Normal porosity : Hair that has a slightly raised cuticle which allows the hair to accept and hold moisture. This is the ideal porosity level.

Think of a whirlpool. It allows water to flow in and out while always remaining balanced.

Low porosity : Hair that has a tight cuticle and has a hard time accepting or releasing moisture. If your hair is dry and you have low porosity, it will be hard to moisturize your hair. On the other hand if your hair is moisturized you will not need to worry about having dry hair as your hair will hold the moisture it already has.

Consult with your stylist to determine your hairs porosity level.

Big chop : Cutting your hair to the point that it's all natural. Big chop does not mean that you cut all of your hair off.

Transitioning : The process of growing your hair and trimming a little bit at a time until you are completely natural. This process will go on until your hair is completely natural and can take weeks to years.

Curl patterns :

  • Straight

  • Wavy

  • Curly

  • Coily


Warm water : Opens the cuticle and is used for shampooing.

Cold water : Closes the cuticle and is used for rinsing.

Clarifying shampoo : A shampoo used to thoroughly cleanse and remove unwanted product and impurities from hair and scalp.

Co wash : Using conditioner to cleanse and moisturize the hair.

Detangling : Removing tangles from hair.

Protein: Used to strengthen hair.

Humectant : Used to preserve or lock in moisture.

LCO Method: Liquid, Cream, Oil used in sequential order to moisturize and then seal the cuticle . Used to moisturize and seal in the moisture for high porosity hair.

LOC Method: Liquid, Oil, Cream. Used in sequential order to moisturize, seal, condition and define the hair strand. This method is normally used for low porosity.

Protective style : A Low manipulation style that is used to protect the integrity of the hair and aid in hair growth.

Shedding : Hair that falls from the scalp after its growth cycle is over. This hair will always have a bulb at the end and another hair will grow in its place.

Breakage : Hair that breaks along the hair strand. This is not normal and must be invoked.

Hair loss : Hair that sheds but does not produce a replacement hair.

Fairy knots : Very Small tangles on a single strand of hair that looks like a knot. Fairy knots are visible and can be felt.

Split ends : A single hair strand that is split, usually near the end of the hair strand.

Sealing oil : Oil that is used to seal or lock in moisture. These oils will not penetrate or moisturize the hair.

Herbaceous oil : A blend of oils derived from herbaceous plants.

Penetrating oil : Oils that penetrate and help hair retain moisture. 

Spray bottle : A bottle that sprays water or product onto the hair. Normally used to thoroughly saturate the hair.

Mist bottle : A bottle that sprays a fine mist over the hair. Normally used to lightly moisten the hair.

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