Language of the Hair
Website created by Natasha Patterson. Copyright 2002.
- Nappy- a derogatory term usually used to refer to any hair that is kinky and tightly coiled
- Hot/Straightening Comb- a metal comb used to straighten the hair; this comb is usually heated in an electric warmer or most often on top of a stove
- The Kitchen-this is the part of the hair at the nape of the neck; this part of the hair is usually relaxed the most because of the fast rate at which one experiences new-growth
- Hair Grease- a generic term used for any moisturizing product placed on the hair to make it: shine, lubricate the scalp, or to make straightening the hair with a hot comb easier
- ‘Do- hairstyle; short for hairdo; often comes in various colors such as red, green, and blue
- Relaxer- a chemical that is applied to straighten the hair; often incorrectly referred to as a “perm”
- New Growth- the new hair that has grown; visible at the roots of your hair
- Touch Up- usually applied to the hair in between relaxers to straighten the hair and give it a refreshed look; this touch-up is usually applied to “the kitchen” and the “new growth”
- Texturizer- a relaxer left in the hair for a short period of time, just long enough to loosen the curl pattern
- The Curl- a chemical process which converts “tight, kinky” hair to loosely curled hair; there were several types, ie. Jheri Curl, Carefree Curl
- Dredlocks- according to Tharps and Byrd this is “what happens when hair is left to its own devices; this look can also be achieved by twisting the hair first, and then leaving it alone until the individual strands begin to lock." Once hair is locked, it cannot be unlocked. “Dred” is spelled without an “a” because I don’t feel there is anything ‘dreadful’ about locks. The most famous dredlocks are perhaps those donned by Bob Marley.
- Cornrows- when the hair is sectioned and braided tightly to the scalp; this hairstyle has African origins; cornrows are regularly sported by basketball players Allen Iverson and Latrell Sprewell
- Hard-headed- a term used to describe someone who can withstand the pulling, tugging, and detangling process associated with hair grooming without crying
- Tender-headed- this term is the opposite of hard headed
- Wig- 1) synthetic hair that is usually cut in a style. These were primarily worn by older individuals who were trying to hide
their age or bald spot. Now, anyone that wants versatility sports a wig. 2)a term used to refer to one’s hair (such as “Girl, you need to get your wig done!”
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All information presented on this webpage is for educational purposes only.