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Everyday is a school day when you've got curls! Some of you may be new to your natural curl  and others will be in the know. Our friends at Schwarzkopf Professional have put together this Curls and Wave Dictionary to help you navigate the world of curls.

Big Chop

The process of cutting off the majority of the hair that is damaged through relaxers or straigthening in order to give room for healthy textured hair to grow naturally.


The cuticle of curly hair has an irregular thickness creating weakness points where it is thinner. The curlier the hair is, the more it is prone to breakage.

Bungee bands

Easy and effective way for tying a braid or a ponytail, without breaking the curls.


Co-washing or 'conditioner washing' is the usage of a conditioner with cleansing properties, instead of using a traditinal shampoo. The absence of strong surfacants enables hair to be cleansed in a gentler and caring way, without stripping natural oils.


Some stying products can leave hair feeling hard and unnatural with a crunchy feeling when dry. Sometimes this can be scrunched out for softer results.


The outer cellular layer of the hair's protecttive shield. Prevents structural damage of the inner hair structure.

Deep Conditioning/Deep Treatment

A heat activated conditioning treatment to add moisture back into the hair.


A blow-dryer attachment used to disperse the airflow without disturbing the curl or wave pattern or causing frizz. On a low heat setting this simulates are drying, locking curls in place and keeping them voluminous and defined.


A cutting technique which involves midly layering the hair, keeping the length, but taking off the damaged hair tips.


Curly hair tends to have more frizz than straight hair because of dehydration in the strands. Frizz occurs when the cuticle layer of the hair is rasied, allowing moisture to pass through and casue the strands to swell.

Hair Pattern

Hair patterns cn ither be loose, medium or tight when describing textured hair.

Hair Texture

Description of straight, wavy, curly or kinky hair.


A protein and major component of skin, hair and nails. when hair is damaged teh levels of keratin tend to lower.

Kinky hair

Kiny hair or the 4C curl type is considered to be the tightest coil type and has a torsion twist whener the hair strands turns completely around itself.


'Low-poo' (low shampoo) describes the method of washing the hair with low-surfactant products that only create a minimal lather due to the absence of stronger surfactants that would strip away hair's natural moisture.


A product that includes humectants and hydrophilic molecules that use hydrogen bonding to attract and hold water molecules helping to hydrate the hair.Moisturizing ingredients are e.g. Panthenol or Glycerin.


The 'No-poo' (no shampoo) mehtod uses no shampoo at all, hair in only treated with warm water.


Hair porosity refers to how well your hair can absorb and retain moisture and is directly linked to the quality of the hair.


Coating the hair, for about 30 minutes or more, with a mixture of oils or a deep treatment before cleansing the hair.

Protective Hair Styling

A hairstyle that prevents hair from being opening exposed to damaging agents such as sun, heat and constant manipluatin. The prupose and benefit of this hairstyle is to grow healthier, longer hair and reduce split ends and damage. Some examples are Buns, Braids, Sew-in Weaves and Wigs.


Styling technique for a more textured look. Gently squeeze the hair upward from ends towards the roots to encourage wave and curl definition and remove product crunch.


Shrinkage is when the hair retracts after washing or being exposed to moisture, therefor its true length is not visible. Hair experiences the most shrinkage when dry.

Silk Pillowcases

Regular cotton pillowcases can pull at your hair and cause frizz, split ends, uneven curling, and more. Silk pillowcases are recommended for textured hair as these are gentler on the delicate hair structure.


Method to relax curly hair permanently.


Detergents made of sulphur-containing mineral salts. The most common are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate.


Process in which steps are taken to stop relaxing the hair and reduce the amount of heat applied in an attempt to allow hair to grow back its natural healthy hair texture.


A waving techique consisting of two strand twisting, usually while hair is still wet or damp, and then air drying or using a diffuser. At the end a loose wavy hair texture is unraveled.

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