The Curl Lingo You Need To Know

curly hair

If you’re new to your natural curl care journey, we want to welcome you! Learning to embrace and love your natural curls can be a process. In addition to giving up on straightening your curls, you also are learning to care for a whole new type of hair. There is a ton of information out there regarding curl care and it can be hard to figure out where to start. Naturals have a lingo all their own, so here’s our handy guide on what the words are and what they mean.

Protective style: While this is not recommend for fragile or delicate curls, many curlies use protective styling to help protect their strands. This style uses little to no manipulation of your curls to help keep them from damage. Think braids, buns and bantu knots.

Pineapple: This is when you gather your curls on the top of your head for sleeping, to protect them from being crushed while you slumber. It helps maintain moisture and your curl pattern.

Cowash: Many naturals swear by this. This is when you wash your curls with a conditioner or a specifically made cowash product to avoid stripping your delicate strands.

Pre-poo: This is used before washing. You saturate your curls with an oil such as olive or coconut to help preserve their natural moisture during the cleansing process.

LOC method: This method is used to help maintain as much moisture in your curls as possible (sensing a theme here?). It goes: L – leave in (liquid or oil), O (oil), and finishes with C (cream).

Prayer: This is the method of applying product evenly and thoroughly throughout your curls. Placing product in the palm of your hand, work from root to tips in a “prayer” method to cover your curls with product.

Slip: Your curls will have a “slippery” feeling after cleansing and product application, which make them easier to work with. Curls with more slip are less frizzy and smoother.

Sealant: After curls have been cleansed and had product applied, they need to be sealed to keep moisture from escaping. Many curlies do this by using an oil.

Shrinkage: If your curls look like they’re shrinking, it’s because they probably are.

EVOO: This stands for Extra Virgin Olive Oil and is a favorite with curlies everywhere because it’s light enough not to weigh down curls but tough enough to maintain moisture.