Glossary Of Hair Terms

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When your trying to explain what you you’d like to do with your hair, sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to get your ideas across. Here are some of the terms stylist throw around, and what they mean.

Ash- ashy, ash tones, ash colors- “Ash” refers to tones that are cool, like grey, green,. silver, taupe, etc. The opposite of  warm.

Brassy- When the unwanted orange and yellow tones are showing in the hair. The hair needs to be further lightened, or colored darker to correct.

A-line- A shape that is shorter in the back, and longer in the front.

Round- When referring to a hair cut outline, a shape that is shorter in the front and longer in the back.

Bob- A one length shape that does not touch the shoulders. One it hits the body it no longer “bobs”, it’s simply a one length haircut.

Highlights- lighter pieces of hair added to create dimension, either hand painted or applied in foil.

Lowlights- Darker pieces of hair added to create dimension, usually as part of a highlighting service, but sometimes by itself.

Permanent Color- Color that can lighten the natural hair color. Ironically not actually permanent.

Demi-permanent color-Permanent color without ammonia, which therefore cannot lighten, only deposit. Lasts as long as permanent color.

Lightener- The preferred term for bleach.

Double Process Color- The process of lightening hair, and then toning it to the desired shade in a second step.

Single Process Color- All over color, done in one step. may be done with permanent or demi permanent color depending on the desired result.

Pixie Cut- A very short cut, similar length all over, with soft edges for femininity. Popularized in the sixties, and still a hit.

Regrowth- Roots, which should be addressed.

Graduation- When the hair is cut to build weight as it goes up, like a stacked bob or a wedge.

Shag- A very layered cut with a short top and longer sides and back. Like rod Stewart or Barbarella.

Course hair- Hair where each individual hair is thick in diameter. It can be dense or sparse, curly or straight.

Fine Hair- Each individual hair is thin in diameter. Fine hair can be curly or straight, dense or sparse. Curly hair is generally fine.

One length- When all the hair is combed down and cut to the same level, as in a bob.

Texturizing- Cutting shorter lengths into the longer lengths to remove bulk, add texture, or add body to the hair. The techniques vary according to the desired result.

Toner- A sheer color applied to pre-lightened hair to add the desired tone. Sometimes referred to as a gloss or a glaze. Toners are simply demi-permanent colors.

Knowing the terms stylist use can be a big help in making sure you get the look you want. If your unsure about something your stylist or colorist is saying, ask them to explain. They can usually descibe what there talking about in an easy to understand way, or show you picture of an example.