If you are planning on venturing into the world of Curly Girl Method, you might want to familiarize yourself with terms often used in CGM. These are words or abbreviations that are often used on blogs, articles, posts and news that make writing and reading about CGM simpler.

This CGM Glossary has some of the most common CGM terms that you might encounter when reading about CGM.

  • ACV – apple cider vinegar. This is used for rinses to remove product buildup and promote hair growth.
  • Air Dry – letting your hair dry naturally, without using heat.
  • Big Chop/Chop – cutting or trimming off of the damaged or previously straightened (treated) hair to allow the natural curls to grow and hasten the transition process.
  • Bonnet – a cap used when sleeping to protect the curls. Satin cloth is often used for this due to its smooth texture which prevents frizz and tangles.
  • Bowl Method – applying of treatment or styling products using a bowl.
  • Breakage – breaking of the hair strands caused by damage or dryness. This is often caused by harsh chemical treatments.
  • Brush Styling – styling of hair using a brush. This method helps define curls. The most popular CGM brush is the Denman Brush.
  • Buildup/Build-up – building up of treatment products, styling products, dust, natural oils and minerals from water on the hair shafts and scalp. This needs to be clarified or removed to promote hair health, prevent itching and speed up hair growth.
  • Clarify – using of shampoo to remove product buildup on the hair and scalp. Shampoo used is sulfate-free lowpoo and is often done just once a week.
  • Clipping – clipping of the hair around the roots to add more volume. The roots of the hair are raised using big hair clips to give the hair more volume.
  • Clumps – big sections of hair that stick together that form the curl pattern. Bigger and fatter clumps look healthier and more attractive.
  • Co-wash – using of conditioner in place of shampoo to wash the hair. Conditioner is used like a regular shampoo to remove dirt and oil to prevent drying and excessive cleaning. Also called “no-poo wash”.
  • Cocktail – mixture of different hair products that is applied to the hair.
  • COTC – “clap out the crunch” is the method of clapping the hands on the hair clumps that have dried styling products, such as gels, to soften the curls. This makes stiff curls to soften a bit and look more natural without causing the clumps to break up or make the hair frizzy.
  • Crunch – also called the “cast”. The feeling of hard hair from dried styling products.
  • Day # – this is the number of days the hair had been fully washed. “Day two hair” means that the hair had not been fully washed for two days.
  • Density – the amount of hair one has: low to high.
  • Detangle – removing of the tangles and knots on the hair. This is either done by combing/brushing the hair prior to washing or removing the knots during the conditioning process during “wash days”.
  • Diffuse – drying of hair using a diffuser, an attachment for hair dryer that looks like a bowl with holes. Diffusing usually uses cold to warm air only to avoid heat damage.
  • Finger Coiling – styling of curls using the fingers. This helps define curls and allow the hair to have smaller or bigger clumps, depending on how big the hair sections are divided and coiled.
  • Fluff – using of the fingers to massage or comb the hair to add volume.
  • Holy Grail – products that always give good results. Products often recommended to fellow curlies.
  • Hydrate – moisturizing hair using water.
  • LOC – a styling method of layering leave-in, oil and curl cream in that order.
  • Lowpoo /Low-poo – shampoo with no sulfates. Recommended to be used only once a week during wash days to prevent drying.
  • Pineapple – gathering of the hair on top of the hair on a loose tie to protect the curl pattern. This is often done during activities and when sleeping.
  • Plopping – putting of wet hair on a t-shirt or microfiber towel to dry the hair. The hair is put inside the cloth (no rubbing) to keep the strands from getting damaged and to prevent frizz.
  • Praying Hands – putting of treatment products or styling products on the hair with the palms gliding through the hair to evenly distribute the product on every strand.
  • Raking – applying of hair product using fingers. This method is also used for detangling.
  • Refresh – method of refreshing the hair using a mixture of water and conditioner during non-wash days. This is often done in the mornings to refresh the hair after a night of sleep.
  • S2C/STC– “squish to condish” is squeezing of the wet hair during the conditioning process. This is to help with the absorption of the hair treatment and hydration.
  • Scrunch – squeezing of the hair upwards.
  • SOTC – “scrunch out the crunch” similar to the COTC method but instead of clapping, the hair is scrunched to get rid of the stiff feeling left by the dried styling product.
  • Texture – the thickness of each strand of hair: fine to coarse.
  • Transition – the period between starting the curly girl method until the hair has returned to its natural curls. This period can take from days to weeks and even months, depending on the state of the hair and the intensity and consistency of the CGM process.

These terms were found all around the web. There are a lot more terms that you might want to explore. But, to avoid information overload, it would be ideal to learn a couple terms at a time and simply look up words that you are not familiar with during your CGM journey. This list will keep you from feeling overwhelmed while giving you the basics about the CGM Glossary.

Next up will be a list of basic CGM products that you need to have to start your curly girl method journey. Included will be a list of ingredients that you need to avoid to keep your curls defined and healthy.

Check out this post for a quick introduction to CGM.

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