Transition: The process going from relaxed to natural hair. This is basically growing out your natural texture.
Detangling: The process of removing all knots and tangles within your hair.
3c, 3b, 2a,4b: These are natural hair types from the Andre Walker system. The lower the number, the looser the curl pattern. The subcategories: a, b, c describe the tightness of each curl type, with a being the loosest, and c being tightest.
Protective styling: Styling your hair so that the ends are protected or tucked away. This is beneficial for length retention, because your ends are less susceptible to breakage. Protective styling is popular for the winter months because your ends are safe from the cold air that may dry them out and cause damage. Example: Buns and braids.
Low manipulation styling: No heat, no heat no heat. This type of styling is wise to do because it provides cute styling options and air dried hair, which is always healthier than any direct heat. Examples: twist outs, braid outs, bantu knots.
Sulfates: Usually found in most shampoos, and is actually found in some dish detergents. This is one of the reasons your hair feels “stripped” after washing. No-sulfate shampoos are becoming more popular because they provide the same type of cleansing, without the drying touch.
Cones (silicones): An ingredient found in many conditioners. It’s known to just “sit” on your hair, and block any moisture from entering into your hair shaft. This can create build up quickly, which will soon have to be cleansed. There are many silicone free conditioners, which are seen as more acceptable as leave-ins.
Fairy knots: Natural hair is known to curl up on itself, and this can lead to little knots at the ends of your hair. While it is possible to get a pin needle and try to pick this little one out, many naturals opt to just snip this area off. Not detangling on a regular basis, and split ends can cause these type of tangles.
Big Chop: This phrase is used when you finally cut off all of your relaxed ends. This is the last part of your transition over to being a full naturalist. (hyperlinked to first post of my big chop.)
Line of Demarcation: This is the point on a strand of hair that connects your new growth to your relaxed hair. This area is fragile and should be handled with care because it is prone to break. Gently detangling is a must.