The ultimate natural hair dictionary
Conditioner washing, or co-washing, is when you use only conditioner instead of shampoo to clean the hair, meaning you cleanse and condition the hair at the same time. This method of cleansing is recommended for the “naturalistas”, because it helps hair retain moisture.
Shampooing on a weekly basis can strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving the hair dry and susceptible to breakage, meaning that those with dry hair may benefit greatly from co-washing. We recommend that you shampoo-wash your hair at least once a month (every second week if you must) and co-wash your hair on a weekly basis using the Earthy Healthy Hair Conditioner (R150.00). You can co-wash, deep condition (oh yes, you read correctly), detangle (it has amazing slip!) and regular condition after shampoo-washing! All of this can be done in one session.
TWA, or "Teeny Weeny Afro", is usually used to reference the first stage after the big chop. If you have a TWA, you probably feel there aren’t styling options for you because of the awkward length of the hair. If your hair is at this stage, try finger-coiling.
To achieve the perfect finger coil, simply apply the Earthy Moisture Mist (R75.00) and the Earthy Healthy Hair Butter (R180.00), on your entire head and use your fingers to stretch and coil your hair (after washing and conditioning it).
• Low/High-porosity hair
Porosity refers to how much moisture your hair can absorb at any given time.
Low-porosity hair doesn’t absorb moisture easily – no matter how much you moisturise it, the hair still feels dry.
Low-porosity hair is even difficult to moisturise because this hair type has closed cuticles, which makes it very difficult for moisture to penetrate or leave the hair.
High-porosity hair is easily penetrated by products, but quickly loses that moisture. Those with high-porosity hair need to incorporate a leave-in conditioner and a sealant like a butter.
Porosity test: Drop clean a strand of your hair in half a glass of water. If it sinks, your hair is highly porous (high porosity) and if it floats, you have low porosity hair. If it sinks to the middle, you're a balance of the two.
• The LOC method
LOC stands for Leave-In or Liquid, Oil and Cream (butter, in our case). It’s an almost fool-proof method to moisturise and protect natural hair.
Use the Earthy Moisture Mist to hydrate and detangle the hair, the Earthy Healthy Hair Oil to seal in the moisture, and the Earthy Healthy Hair Butter to lock the moisture in to ensure it doesn’t escape the hair shaft.
• Curl/hair type
The hair type system describes the most common black hair textures. Knowing your curl pattern can be useful - many use it to develop and implement a regimens that work for their hair type, especially if you’re new to the natural hair community.
The most common hair texture for black South African women is 4ctype. It’s kinky, tightly coiled and like many of us will attest, can be very fragile.
Try not to obsess about your hair type/curl pattern too much.
• Braid/Twist out
A braid or twist out is a natural hairstyle that stretches the hair without heat. Though there are plenty of natural hairstyles you can try to keep your hair looking great, the perfect twist/braid out is at the top of our list of preferred styles because it’s easy to achieve and maintain and you’re guaranteed to look and feel amazing.