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    18 Words That Mean Something Totally Different When You Have Natural Hair

    The curls have a language all their own.

    1. "Wash Day"

    20th Century Fox Television / Via

    Common meaning: A day for doing laundry.

    Curly meaning: The day you wash your hair, which you plan your whole week around.

    2. "Poo"

    Common meaning: The stinky stuff.

    Curly meaning: A shortened version of "pre-poo," which is a concoction created to strengthen and prepare hair for washing.

    3. "Perm"

    4. "Kinky"

    Paramount Pictures / Via

    Common meaning: Those freaky-deaky things you ONLY do for someone special.

    Curly meaning: A super tight curl pattern.

    5. "Co-wash"


    Common meaning: All-together now, let's take a shower!

    Curly meaning: Washing your hair with two conditioners instead of a shampoo and conditioner.

    6. "Shrinkage"


    Common meaning: An unfortunate thing that happens when a man is chilly.

    Curly meaning: An unfortunate thing that prevents you from ever truly knowing how long your hair is.

    7. "Arm strength"

    Win McNamee/Staff / Getty Images

    Common meaning: Something you get when you DO curls.

    Curly meaning: Something you get because you HAVE curls.

    8. "Pick"

    Paramount Pictures / Via

    Common meaning: To choose something.

    Curly meaning: The wide-toothed comb you use to attempt combing your curls. Then your curls laugh at you for trying, and you decide it's better used as an accessory.

    9. "Treatment"

    Fox / Via

    Common meaning: Therapy for your mind and/or body.

    Curly meaning: Therapy for your hair which indirectly soothes your mind and your body.

    10. "Poof"

    11. "Waves"

    Flickr: 73230975@N03 Creative Commons

    Common meaning: Something you can surf on.

    Curly meaning: Something that your hair does. Sometimes. When it feels like it.

    12. "Stretch"

    NBC / Via

    Common meaning: What you do before and after a workout.

    Curly meaning: The use of braids, twists, rods, etc. to combat shrinkage (see #6).

    13. "Olive Oil"


    Common meaning: A necessary and wonderful cooking oil.

    Curly meaning: A necessary and wonderful hair product for sealing in moisture.

    14. "Steamer" / Via

    Common meaning: A tool for cooking yummy veggies. Or, for you nautical types, a type of boat.

    Curly meaning: A tool that makes hair really happy. And if you can eat steamed veggies while you're steaming that's a win-win.

    15. "Diffuser"

    Common meaning: A smelly good thing that's a perfect housewarming gift.

    Curly meaning: The one thing that turns a blow dryer from an evil frizz monster to helpful hair tool.

    16. "Rod"

    Common meaning: Rod Stewart. (What, there's another use for this word?)

    Curly meaning: Used to set and stretch curly hair and give it some semblance of a uniform look.

    17. "Knot"

    Flickr: 19779889@N00 Creative Commons

    Common meaning: A secure form of tying.

    Curly meaning: Same, except in your hair. And painful. And annoying. And constant.

    18. "Afro"

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