As you must know, in every society there must be a common language of communication that members of that society understand and can translate. Well its no different in the black hair society  and to care for your hair you must understand effectively the various terminologies out there concerning your hair! I also will be using these terms quite frequently in their abbreviated form and so you understand what I'm saying, its best I introduce these terms to you right away!

So your hair is relaxed but what is the length of your hair and what is your goal length?

Most Naija babes are at Chin length hair (CL) and with CL hair the most common look is a bob and it will look good if your ends are well trimmed ala Rihanna in the picture below

The next recognized hair length is Neck length (NL) or Shoulder length (SL). This is most Naija babes definition of 'Long hair'! To them, if you can feel your hair on your neck mehn that's long hair!lol! and to be honest if your hair can get to this length without u caring for it then you have the POTENTIAL for long hair!Below is a picture of me at NL/ SL!

 The next Hair Length which most Naija babes have resolved never to reach because of bad hair practices is, Arm Pit length (APL). This is when your hair can comfortably rest on your back up to your arm pit and if you bring your hair forward you can tuck a little of your hair under your arm pit. This is a realistic goal to have and let me tell you when u have hair that is healthy at that length, you don't need to go and buy 12inch or 14inch packs of hair when you have your very own growing from your scalp. As you can see in the picture below, this lady has her hair in a graduated hair cut and most of the ends of her hair are APL!

 Bra Strap Length (BSL) is next and as the name implies, its hair that reaches your bra strap! Its my present goal at the moment as I have already gotten to APL but for my trim which was graduated also and has set me back a few inches! I shall be BSL by December! Say Amen to that!!!! AMEN OHHHH! Below is a picture of a lady with BSL hair;

Now this  next length is for the Naija Babe who wants to look like an Indian babe!! Its the Waist Length ( WL)! Trust me if you have hair at this length in Naija don't be surprised if random people dig their fingers in your hair searching for weave tracks!lol, happens to me at APL!! and please don't be upset if you start hearing rumors that you have a marine spirit!! In all, if its your goal, trust me when I say it is achievable of course not as quickly as it is for you to get that 24inch Indian weave on your head! You'l need time and patience!

Below is Shima, she is African American and as you can see her hair was 'nappy' as a kid just like any kid from African descent, as she grew older in the second picture her hair is basic and should be about SL or APL but then she started her hair journey and aimed for WL hair and viola!! In doubt? visit her website; www.shimahair.com. She claims she used her specially formulated oils and methods to grow her hair from SL to WL in 10months!!! I strongly doubt that part of the gist sha but I do know its her hair for sure!Basic good hair practices and you too could be the next Shima!

This is the first of a series of Hair Terminologies I would like to introduce you all to. Expect more from HAIR LINGUA in the near future.The aim of going through the various hair lengths above is to encourage you to set some goals for your hair. A lot of you expect nothing from your hair when you get a relaxer! No improvement in body, length, shine, texture,  nothing!! and that's like going to Uni and staying in first year for the four year duration of your course!!Point is, your hair strands at your roots are CONSTANTLY growing but for you to move from one length to the other you must retain hair at your ends! The next post will focus on building a regimen that will help do just that so please stay tuned! Hope you enjoyed this post. Drop a comment, ask a question and ill gladly respond!!

Stop by soon,


  1. due to constant braiding i'm kinda losing hair at the front how can i get that back?

  2. Hi Ufuomauk, I have jotted down your question and will answer it along with all other questions I have been asked at the end of the month in our ASK THE EXPERT Segment so please stay tuned and thanks for stopping by :)

  3. In the meantime, a quick tip would be to avoid picking the hair in front when braiding by asking your hair braider to 'brush' the front and at night sleeping with a silk scarf wrapped around your hair edges will protect the front from rubbing against your pillow and falling out.Hope this helps, stay tuned for more tips

  4. I actually ordered shima's oil hmm results pending lol ! Ermm Ufiomauk you know you could also get a special 'silk' pillow too for sleeping and it'll prevent further hair loss if you dont like wrapping your hair. Am on this hair growth movement. Bra length hair at the end of the year.. ermm now all i have to figure out is if I want to transition back to natural? relax the darn hair or basically try the Brazilian blow out hmm decisions decisions lol

  5. hi Small Town girl,I will soon address transitioning to natural hair so please before your go ahead and chop your locks off, read my post!As for the Brazilian blow out, ill say NOOOOO!!Its called 'Brazilian' for a reason, its just too harsh on our type of hair, the results might be great initially but in the long run your hair will start falling out, I happen to know a girl with no hair on her temple becaue of it.

  6. wow dabs this is lovely...i'm looking forward to your posts on transitioning to natural hair..in fact i'm in the process of chopping all my hair off so i can start all over.i've made up my mind about it too.have checked various you tube videos and channels (kimmaytube and rustic beauty) they're all good but so much information everywhere.i think i'll prefer a one stop shop so i'm hoping i can get that from your blog.way to go girl!

  7. awww Thanx Stels Darling!You are in the right place! Im goin to focus on transitioning very soon! Stay tuned xxx

  8. Weldone Dabs, you started this hard work a long time ago and it is still moving on, weldone. I am past APL now my current goal is to be BSL by December 2015, but I will like to trim my hair a little bit around July/August when i am due for my next relaxer so I fear I might not hit my target of BSL this year but I will keep keeping on, I know i will get there someday soon.


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