When you’re new to finding the curly girl method or wavy curly hair communities, you’re likely to come across some terms, abbreviations and acronyms that are pretty confusing. Wavy and curly communities have made up some of our own words and have a bit of “insider” lingo that we are familiar with, but outsiders and newbies aren’t.
I find that sometimes I forget that not everyone knows what these terms, abbreviations and acronyms mean. I’ve been using them for so long now that I forget they aren’t “normal” words. I thought I’d put together a list of terms, abbreviations and acronyms that are unique to the curly girl method and/or wavy curly communities to help newbies gain a deeper understanding of our lingo.
Curly Girl Method Terms & Lingo
2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, etc. These refer to where someone’s hair falls on a curl pattern chart. Straight hair is “type 1”, Wavy is “type 2”, Curly is “type 3” and coily or kinky is “Type 4”. a, b, and c are ranges within those three categories, so 2a is loose waves and 2c is tight waves. Visit my post wavy hair curl pattern chart to learn more and see examples.
90% dry (or other percentages). We use percentages to explain how close to ‘fully dry (aka 100% dry)’ our hair is. I didn’t realize this was part of our lingo until I used it with my boyfriend. He laughed and asked why I didn’t just say that my hair is ‘almost dry’ instead. I realized that I had learned to use percentages because that’s what I saw other wavies and curlies doing in different groups! I don’t really know why we don’t say something like ‘mostly dry’ or ‘super close to dry’ instead of using percentages but…it’s just the norm to use percentages!
Buff. Buffs are similar to hair bonnets, but instead of being a closed cap they’re more like a long sleeve. This means if you have longer hair, you can have the ends of your hair stick out of the buff rather than have them folded into a cap. Some just find them more comfortable than bonnets.
Canopy. The canopy of your hair is basically the exterior layer of your hair. The part of your hair that you can touch using a flat hand, or that sun can reflect off of.