Curly Hair Glossary: Remove the Mystery Around Curls and Coils

Curly Hair Glossary: Remove the Mystery Around Curls and Coils

If you have Googled 'curly hair' recently, you will have stumbled upon a mountain of information on how to care for curls, and in a colloquial language you may not understand. We hope this glossary helps you to navigate the unknowns so that you can focus on achieving your perfect Trepadora wash day. 

2nd (3rd, 4th & 5th) Day Curls

This is when your curls still look fresh the next day (or more) after washing. To revive and refresh your style apply the Miracle Maca Moisture Balm onto dry curls. 

Big Chop

When you decide to cut off your chemically relaxed (or significantly heat damaged) hair and decide to go natural. Go girl!


A cast is the hardening of your curls after you have applied a styling gel and left them to dry. When you scrunch out the crunch (see SOTC) when 100% dry, there is no better feeling. 


Clarifying is a deep cleanse of your curls to remove buildup. This can be from products, environmental, chlorine (if you swim) and excess sebum (the natural oils or waxy matter that is produced naturally from your scalp). Gone are the days of applying ACV (apple cider vinegar) to your curls. Use the Gojiberry Mint Reviving Hair Rinse as your regular cleanser or bi-weekly for those who prefer a deeper cleanse less often. 


Clumping happens when the strands of hair gather to form bigger, chunkier curls (see ‘Squish to Condish’ for the technique). 


‘Conditioner washing’ or to co-wash is when you use a conditioner in between the times you clarify your curls. Those who follow the Curly Girl Method (see below) tend to follow this regimen. Our Hibiscus Pink Cleansing Clay-Wash is a perfect alternative to ‘co-washing’. The non-foaming, creamy texture mirrors that of a conditioner but the French pink clay in this product (that purifies the scalp) elevates the co-washing experience into a more superior clay-wash. If we really can’t tempt you over to clay-washing, then try our Coconut Almond Smoothing Conditioner as a co-wash, it has the perfect consistency. 

Curly Girl Method (CG or CGM) 

The Curly Girl Method, was originally created by curly hair expert Lorraine Massey with a book published back in 2001. To follow this routine it requires removing the use of shampoo (or any lathering cleanser), hair dryers or diffusers,  products with harsh sulphates, silicones and brushes. The Trepadora range is CG friendly but we recommend sulphate-free cleansing. Thankfully the curly hair product industry has heard the cries of the past and now formulate and cater for curly hair without the need for this strict and time consuming routine. We recommend trying the Trepadora Curly Method: Starter Guide

Further reading: What is the Curly Girl Method? 

Finger Coiling

Is a styling method that smoothes and wraps sections of hair around the finger to create springier and more ‘uniform’ and clumped curls. Applying a little pump of Papaya Slip Taming Potion to your fingers as you wrap the sections of hair will create a stronger hold and smoother finish.  


Frizz occurs when hair swells due to excess moisture intake from the atmosphere. It raises the hair cuticles which in turn affects your curls’ shape and definition.  

Following a good styling regimen and curl care routine will minimise this common curl concern. 

Hair Type / Curl Type

Hair typing classifies hair texture based on the curl pattern, density, width, and porosity. In its simplest form: Wavy hair is type 2a, 2b and 2c. Curly hair is type 3a 3b and 3c. Coily hair is type 4a, 4b and 4c. 

We have taken a more simplistic approach to hair/curl typing. Trepadora specifies curl type by Wavy, Curly, Tightly Spiralled and Coily. Our products work across all curl types effectively so we recommend taking our quiz and follow the routine based on the results. If you enter your email address, you will then receive curated tips and techniques on the specific characteristics of your curls to refine your routine so there is no need to go down the Google rabbit hole!


This is an ingredient used to promote water retention in your curls by drawing moisture from the air. The result? Soft, bouncy curls that retain their shape and are less likely to break.

Read this article Humectants for curls: When to use them, and when not to for the full low down. 

Leave-In Conditioner

A leave-in conditioner is a lightweight conditioner that moisturises your curls without buildup. It is a conditioner that is typically not rinsed out.

L.O.C Method

LOC, is an acronym that stands for Liquid (or Leave-In), Oil and Cream. It is a three-step method of applying products to curly hair in order to help the hair retain as much moisture as possible, for as long as possible, between washes.

Read this article for the Trepadora L.O.C Method


Is to preserve your curls when you sleep for the second (3rd, 4th and 5th) day.

Pixie Diffusing Method

Before you turn on your diffuser, position yourself to dry the first section, then turn on the diffuser. Focus only on this section for 20 to 30 seconds. Turn off your diffuser before moving to the next section. Repeat on the rest of your curls, drying small sections at a time and turning the heat on and off before and after you've done.

This stop and start technique will reduce the disturbance of your curls and stop the frizz from forming. 


This method includes wrapping wet hair in a curl towel (or a t-shirt) to gently absorb excessive water. Regular cotton bath towels create a LOT of frizz. Read this article and watch the video for the technique. 

Praying Hands Method

Praying Hands is a method for styling. You add product to your palms and then glide your hands over your hair so as to smoothly apply the product onto the curls.


The porosity of your hair is a characteristic that is determined by how quickly moisture and oils are absorbed by your curls. Your curls will fit into one or a combination of three categories - high, medium and low. 

The porosity of your curls are genetic, but can also be affected by environmental factors, heat tools and chemical processes.

Read this article: The Highs and Lows of Porosity  


This includes applying an oil or conditioner prior to shampooing to help curls maintain moisture. 

Read this article for more information: The Benefits of Pre-Shampooing

Protective Style

This is a type of style that does not expose the ends of the hair and is typically left un-manipulated for 2-4 weeks. Protective styling is primarily used to retain length and moisture. Braids and twist outs are popular protective styles. 

Protein Treatment

Protein treatments replace the protein that may have been lost through manipulation, chemical processing or from aging. Trepadora uses hydrolyzed quinoa in our Quinoa Repair Deep Conditioner and the Acai Berry Fix Defining Gel. 

For further information read these articles: 

The Highs and Lows of Porosity 

Conditioning Guide for Lackluster Curls


Raking means to finger comb products directly into your curls with a raking motion.


This is the difference between when your curls are wet and dry. Tighter curl textures will usually experience more shrinkage when dry than looser curls or waves. To elongate curls (lessen the shrinkage) you can manipulate them by twisting or braiding the hair.


Shingling is to apply a concentration of styling product to each strand of hair for maximum definition with a downward smoothing motion. Sometimes done with a fine tooth comb.

Read this article: Shingling Method for Super Curly Hair 

SOTC (Scrunch out the crunch) 

This is to remove the gel cast that forms around your curls in the final styling / drying process. When  your curls are 100% dry then start massaging the scalp with your fingertips to loosen the roots then scrunch through all your curls until they are soft and super defined. 

Read this article for the full Trepadora SOTC method: 

Squish to Condish

The key to this technique is to repeatedly scrunch the conditioner into your clean wet curls then let the water flow across the back of your head and then move away while still scrunching as the water runs through the clumped curls. Scrunch out the excess water and then apply your styling products. 

Read this article: Squish to Condish: How to Achieve Amazing Curl Definition

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