Welcome to the fantastic and complicated world of curly hair styling. If you’re a pro looking for a refresher or simply want to expand your hair care knowledge…welcome.
We’re decoding ten curly hair jargon terms that will have you oil rinsing, plopping, and finger coiling your way to healthy, defined curls. I guarantee that sentence will make sense in a matter of seconds.
Big chop: As you begin your curly hair journey, cut off all hair (especially damaged, relaxed, or chemically processed hair) to become 100% natural.
Co-wash: Because curly hair should not be shampooed on a daily basis, many people prefer this conditioner-like cleansing solution. In between traditional shampoo days, massage a co-wash through your scalp and ends before rinsing out in the shower to hydrate your hair.
Coiling Around Fingers: When styling, wrap strands around your fingers to form and/or define your curl pattern. This technique also aids in the customization of curl patterns. Wrap strands around smaller fingers to make tighter spirals, or around 2-3 fingers to make larger, looser ringlets.
LOC Method: This abbreviation stands for leave-in conditioner, oil, and cream application in that order. This quick and simple layering method provides maximum hydration and moisture retention for ringlets without leaving a crunchy residue.
Oil Rinsing: The act of applying and rinsing a hair oil in the shower for smoother, shinier hair. In between shampooing and conditioning, massage a nourishing hair oil into your scalp and strands for 5-10 minutes, then cleanse and condition. Many people report that using this method results in frizz-free, moisturized curls.
Pineapple style: A curly hairstyle worn to bed. To prevent ringlets from becoming squished, frizzy, and knotted while sleeping, hair is typically gathered in a loose, high ponytail and secured with a scrunchie.
Plop: A hair drying technique in which washed and styled hair is wrapped in a soft cloth (microfiber towel, old t-shirt, etc.) to absorb excess water, reduce frizz, and define curls as they dry. Lay out your wrap, flip your hair in front of your face, and gently press your curls into your preferred cloth. Allow 15-30 minutes for drying, then air dry or diffuse.
The rake and scrunch method: Is a hair styling technique in which products are applied by finger combing (raking) and gently cupping and squeezing curls upward (scrunching). Rake leave-in products through wet hair to create separation, smoothness, and detangling—a it’s gentler alternative to combing and brushing. Scrunching occurs as a final step after applying cream, mousse, or gel to define and shape voluminous curls.
Root clipping: A drying hack in which you clip your roots to avoid flatness and encourage extra body. First, select the appropriate claw clip for your hair type (smaller clamps for fine to medium hair, and larger clamps for medium to thick hair). Lift and clip sections of your hair where you want more volume and let dry after styling your wet hair.
Slip: A term that refers to the level of wetness in hair when detangling, and it does not only refer to water. Conditioners, oils, and creams aid in the creation of slip, or hair moistness (for lack of a better word), which reduces friction and breakage and allows for seamless finger coiling, brushing, and combing.