16 Must Know Curly Girl Method Terms – Rues Hair

16 Must Know Curly Girl Method Terms

Have you ever sat there reading a bomb article about how to get the best results after refreshing your third day hair, when you stumble across a buttload of terms and acronyms?

No sweat, it's definitely overwhelming.

The whole curly girl method process is just overwhelming from the start. You have to first determine what your hair type is.


Then, figure out your hair's porosity.


Then, research what products will be most welcomed and pelased by your hair. Which involves reading a bunch of random ingredients. 

Then research, research, research. 

Well, it's absolutely a ride for sure. And yes you might get a bit lost in your journey.

Here are the most common Curly Girl Method (CGM) terms and their definitions:


Apple cider vinegar. Using ACV as a rinse helps to remove minor buildup and stimulates hair growth. You can use ACV as a rinse after washing your hair, rinsing with water, then pouring the ACV solution to your hair. Tilt your head back, and pour down while gently massaging your scalp. Rinse again with water. Condition your hair right afterward.


Clarifying your hair is using a shampoo to get rid of build up and residue without stripping of natural hair oils. There are clarifying shampoos that do this without damaging your hair with harsh sulfates. These products can include alternatives to sulfates. Clarifying is done at most once a week.


Clumping is the tendency of hair strands to cling to one another, thus "clumping" together to form a curl pattern. You might prefer your hair to clump more because it makes your curls look "fatter" (this is a rare case where we want something on our bodies to look fatter). Your fatter curls will most likely look more healthy as a result.


Clipping is the action of using little small clips to the roots of your hair strands to give it more volume once it dries. Usually, the best way to achieve this is to use gel at the roots, diffuse, and fluff your hair at the roots once it's fully dry.


A co-wash is a product that is either advertised to be a co-wash, or just plain old conditioner. Using conditioner or product marketed to be a cowash as a shampoo/cleanser is basically what co-washing is. You can use any ol' conditioner (including the super cheap ones) that do not have silicones in them. Super easy!


Crunch refers to the actual sound your hair makes after you put product in it, and it gives your hair a hard cast. When you try scrunching out the crunch (SOTC), it makes a "crunch" sound. The actual dryness and hardness of your hair after using gel or mousse is called crunch.


The number of days that you haven't had a full hair wash is how you would describe as "Day two hair" for example. Some curly girls try to go as far as a few days before having a full hair wash. However, you can refresh your hair in between your washes to prolong the life of your curl definition. 


This stands for jamaican black castor oil. JBCO is best applied with a carrier oil like coconut, or sweet almond oil since it can be a tad thick. The best uses for JBCO is to spread it all over your scalp after your last wash, and leave it in for two weeks until your next wash. Your scalp might break out in pimples, but it is only temporary and it definitely gets better! 


Low poo shampoo or cleansers are hair cleansers that have low suds and is milder than traditional shampoo. These include hair creams that are meant to help you just physically scrub away sebum and dirt from your scalp. You can find more watery low poo cleansers at some drugstores and online stores as well.


If you want to preserve your curls, or simply just protect your hair you put it in a pineapple! What this means is, gathering your hair on top of your head in a loose hair tie. This method is perfect before you sleep, after you shower and define your curls, or really anytime you don't want to leave your hair down.


Plopping your hair usually means placing curls into a cotton t-shirt, microfiber towel, or silk bonnet. The purpose is to preserve curls and absorb excess moisture before regular styling routine. Plopping your hair typically helps with less damage as well. Sleeping at night while plopping your hair is a great way to prevent the damage caused by friction of your hair rubbing against your pillow.


When you're putting product in your hair, and you want to be precise about it, you use praying hands. It is the hand position similar to when you pray; hair is typically in between hands while going down the hair with product. 


Pre-pooing is moisturising your hair before you do a full wash in the shower. You can either use a rich leave in conditioner,  an oil treatment using coconut oil for example for your pre-wash, or put a homemade avocado and honey mask (or even mayo) all over your hair. 


Refreshing your curls is done by spraying a water concoction (or even just water) to your dry hair. It's almost best to just use water, since it's free and easily accessible for the most part. When you want to save on time, and don't feel like doing a full wash, refreshing your hair can be a really nice way to revive your curls.


You've probably heard of "scrunching" your hair before. Essentially, it's what you do when you want perfect waves or curl. You do this by squeezing wet or dry hair using your hands upward toward your scalp. You can use either a styling product, or just scrunch in the shower with conditioner.


After you scrunch your hair with gel or mousse, it dries and leaves a cast. That cast is what makes your hair hard. In order to make the hardness of your hair go away, you scrunch out the crunch so that your hair is more touchable.


You've finally mastered these definitions, and hopefully wont be that confused when you're reading a super insightful article about curly hair. 

If you want to learn more terms, check out this PDF!

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