Thursday, 3 April 2014

Curly Hair Terminology - A Beginners Guide.

A list of all those 'terms' that I come across to do with curly hair, that may be confusing or unknown to people. I am going to try to keep it to the terms I think are the most helpful to keep it simple :)

2a/2b/2c/3a/3b... - This is a classification system used by many to determine the curl pattern of a persons hair. The system scales upwards with the tightness of curl. So a 2a would have loose waves and a 4c would have very tight, kinky curls.

Sulfates - Sulfates are detergents and it is what is used in shampoo to give hair that overly clean feeling. They are great cleaners and often used because they are very cheap, but they are also what is in household cleaning products and therefor strong. Consequently they will strip you hair of its important natural oils. An example of a common sulfate is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

Silicones/ Cones - Silicones are what is put into hair products to coat and smooth the cuticle of the hair to make the hair less frizzy and smooth. Silicones are not water-soluble and need to be removed by using Sulfates. If they are not removed then they cause build up and leave hair feeling greasy and weighed down. An example of a common silicone is Dimethicone.

No-Poo - Not using Shampoo.

Low-Poo - Using a gentler shampoo free from sulfates.

Pre-Poo - Something applied to the hair before shampooing/low-pooing. Often an oil, like coconut oil, applied hours before to allow time to be absorbed into the hair.

Protein - Protein is basically what our hair is made of. Hair is made of a protein called Keratin and this is what gives our hair strength and structure. Fine hair tends to have less protein making it lighter and less able to hold shape, whilst coarse hair has more making it stiffer and heavier.

Porosity - This is basically how well hair can absorb and contain moisture. It is affected by how tight the cuticle is which allows moisture to pass in and out of your hair. It is predetermined genetically but can also be affected by chemical treatments and heat.

Density - Density is just how code together the hairs on your head are. The easiest way to establish this is just by looking, if you can see your scalp very easily then you probably have low density, if you cannot see it at all through the hair then it is probably high.

Pineappling - A way to protect your curls overnight. This involves putting your hair in a very high up ponytail on the top of your hair. This should help keep your curls intact over night.


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