Hairstylist Terms For The Confused & Fabulous

You might be looking at these terms thinking, “My hairstylist says these all the time”!  Yes this is the lingo of the hairstylist’s world. I bet you dollars to donuts there are times your hairstylist has said these words and it’s as if she’s speaking French. Well fret no more! Welcome to interpretation!

  • Lift– to lighten the hair, the effect of the hair changing color.

  • Texture– the feel of the hair as in curly or straight. Adding layers or a new feel to the hair.

  • Conditioning Treatment – a powerful conditioner that helps repair the hair. Usually an extra charge but so worth it!

  • Trim– a haircut. Also called “shaping”. Giving your hair style the shape or form it had 6 weeks ago…

  • Baby trim– cutting off a ¼” inch, can’t guarantee this will make your service any cheaper. It’s perfect for those trying to “grow out” their hair.

  • Haircut– cutting off length of the hair.

  • Highlights– adding pieces or stripes of blonde or a lighter color to your hair.

  • Lowlights– adding pieces or stripes of a darker color to your hair.

  • Ombre’/Balyage – very popular color technique where color is applied throughout the ends of your hair usually without foils.

  • Underlying Pigment– Your hair has a natural color in it; it’s deep in the hair follicle under your natural hair color. This can be your colorist’s best friend or their worst enemy. Especially if you have jet black box color hair and want to go light blonde.

  • Tone– the hue of your hair color. There are two main types of tones: Red or Blue. Love chestnut brown? That has a red hue/tone. Love your jet black hair? Notice it has a naturally blue tone. You can usually see your hair’s tone in the sunlight.

  • Toning– Love being beige blonde or platinum? Your hair isn’t going to naturally “lift” (yes you can scroll back up) to those shades. Your stylist has to apply a magical potion to your hair after your highlights. A toner is added to get that shade of blonde you love so much.

  • Style– After your service your stylist will curl, smooth or spike your hair into a style with product and hot tools.

  • Up do– Pinning your hair up or to the side with curls, bobby pins, hair pins and lots of hair spray. Usually for a special occasion such as a prom or a wedding.

  • Down do– creating a style with hot tools worn down or to the side with pins and possible decorations.

Impress your stylist using these terms next time you see them. Hope you enjoy!


Coreene Collins
Professional Hair Stylist & Make Up Artist