The Ultimate Curly Girl Glossary

You’re following the Curly Girl Method and you realize that there are hundreds of terms and abbreviations that you don’t understand… SOTC, LOC method, plopping? Yeah, I get it! I’ve been there too… So I thought I’d list here all the terms used by the CG community.

ACV Rinse: a way to clarify your hair using apple cider vinegar. Mix one part Apple Cider Vinegar with four parts of water and spray in your hair before rinsing out. This can help with buildup in your hair.

Build-up: when products, natural oils, and minerals from water build up on your hair over time causing dull, heavy, or frizzy hair

Buff: A little piece of fabric (traditionally used around the neck in winter sports) used to protect curls while sleeping.

Bowl method: style your hair while soaking wet, over a bowl to collect the excess water and product. You scrunch your hair to apply to product and dip it back into the bowl: this technique is the best way to create hydrated, juicy clumps and not waste any product!

Canopy: the top layer of hair

Cast: the hard, stiff feeling curls have from drying with gel and other styling products

CG approved or CG friendly: products that follow the Curly Girl Method rules (meaning: you can use them)

Clipping or root clipping: using clips to lift the roots for more volume. You just clipp your roots up and let your hair dry like this. 

Clarify: A treatment intended to remove build-up of product from your hair. 

Clump: big sections of curls that stick together after the shower.

Co-wash: cleansing your hair using conditioner.

Emollients: hydrophobic oils that act as anti-humectants and seal the hair

Finger-coiling: When your hair is wet and styled with products, wrap individual curls around your fingers in order to train them to be curlier. 

Glycerin: a common humectant used to attract moisture to the hair

Holy grail: a term used for products that always give you great results

Humectant: an ingredient that attracts moisture from the environment.

LOC method: a styling method where you use your leave-in, curl cream, and oil in that order

Low poo: a sulfate-free shampoo

Low porosity (or low po): hair that has a tight cuticle and has difficulty accepting moisture and products

No poo: not using shampoo, co-washing only

Pineapple: The way you put your hair up before sleeping, to avoid ruining your curls overnight. Flip your head over, gather your curls together about three inches back from the hairline, and wrap a satin scrunchie around your hair. 

Praying Hands: A popular technique for applying product. Rub the product between your palms, then run your hair between your hands. This allows for even distribution of product without breaking up your clumps

SOTC: Scrunch Out The Crunch. Once your hair has fully dried with a cast, use your hands or a t-shirt to break up the cast revealing soft defined curls

Squish to Condish (S2C): A method for rinsing out conditioner intended to maximize hydration. Instead of aiming the shower directly at your head, use your cupped hands to gather water and then “squish” the water and conditioner into your curls.

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