The Top Hair Salon Terms Revealed

15 December 2022
 Categories: , Blog

What are the top hair salon terms you need to know? Even though you're not a professional, you still need to learn some of the lingo. If you don't know balayage from bangs, take a look at the most common salon vocab that can help you to select the right services.

Hair Color Terms

Color is a top hair salon service. But there isn't just one type of dye that colorists use or that clients want. If you're new to hair color services, some of the top terms you may need to know include:

  • Balayage. This type of highlighting method is a free-hand or hand-painted technique. Instead of foils, the colorist will paint the lighter hue directly onto your tresses. This creates a natural, sun-kissed look.

  • Highlights. More specifically, foiled highlights. This traditional technique includes the use of foil wraps and heat to highlight strands of the hair. 

  • Ombre. An ombre color starts with dark roots and progresses to lighter tips. This standout type of color is dramatic and vibrant and won't make it necessary to constantly touch up your roots.

  • Semi-permanent color. As the name implies, semi-permanent color won't last past a few shampoos. The specific number of washes or days/weeks the color lasts for depends on the product and your hair. 

Along with these techniques, hair color terms you may hear in a salon include lowlights, babylights, contouring, and bleaching. If the colorist suggests a method that you're not familiar with or uses color words you don't recognize, ask for an explanation and to see real-life examples (such as photos) before you agree to a service.

Hair Texture Terms

Is your hair curly? Wavy? Straight? Do you want to go from coils to loose locks? From the types of hair textures to the processes that change them, you may need to know these terms:

  • Curl pattern. The curl pattern or curl type describes the texture of the hair and ranges from 1 (straight, no curl) to 4 (spring coils). Each type (1 through 4) also includes subtypes A through C.

  • Keratin straightener. This type of treatment straightens curly hair and can reduce frizz. These semi-permanent products add shine and smooth your strands. Keratin treatments require the use of chemical straighteners. 

  • Thermal reconditioning. Also known as Japanese straightening, this lengthy relaxing process requires the use of chemical products and heat to achieve smooth, sleek results.

While straightening treatments are popular hair salon services, these aren't the only ways to change the texture of your hair. If you have type 1 hair and want luxe curly locks, an old-school perm (with a modern method twist) can add textures that range from waves to coils.

Contact a hair salon to learn more.