Locks in Translation – your hair care glossary

 Hair care glossary

A disappointing cut or colour is often the result of miscommunication between you and your stylist. Here’s how to become fluent in hair-speak:

We’ve all been there. You head along to the hairdresser, full of happy anticipation of a beautiful cut and colour – only to emerge crying two hours later, ruing the day you ever set foot in that salon. What went wrong? Chances are the language the hairdresser used was lost on you and there was a breakdown in communication.

To help we’ve asked Redken team member Zoe Clark from Dry & Tea salon to decipher the daily salon jargon you need to know.

Block Colour
Where the same shade is applied all over your hair.

Meaning ‘long bob’, the style generally sits between the collarbone and the top of your bra strap. It is often a blunter cut with internal texture.

Chemical cut hair
When hair is at the end of its life and is starting to break off. This is usually a result of too many chemical treatments.

A form of softening around the edges of the haircut to create definition.

Graduation of colour
When colour goes from light to dark or dark to light through the hair. Varying shades are seen from the roots through to the ends.

Cool Tone
When the light hits your hair and you don’t see a reflection, this is what’s known as a cool tone. It is generally a flatter colour and comes with blue or violet undertones.

The thickest layer of the hair, it contains the most pigment and it is what gives hair its colour.

Taking ‘an inch’ off
The problem with simply agreeing verbally to ‘take an inch off’ is it all depends how visual you are. Your inch and a stylist’s inch may be quite different so it’s safest to measure exactly how much you want to cut off, to make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to the final result.

Dusting or micro-cut
A good technique for those who are trying to grow their hair and don’t want too much lopped off at each salon visit. Only the very ends are snipped to prolong the health of the hair and to maintain a healthy strand.

This is a technique that creates different lengths in a bid to enhance the movement or body of the hair.

Blunt cut
When the edge of the hair is a sharp line.

These are put on your hair to change your shade, or as part of a treatment process to help lock in your colour.

A raw warm undertone, generally orange. It’s a shade most women who colour their hair try to avoid.

Thinning your hair
Hairdressers will often suggest this for women with thick hair as it will remove the weight to create softer edges.

Toner is applied after colouring hair to either add warmth or neutralise a colour. But it can’t lighten the hair.

A piece of hair (human or synthetic) is sewn, glued or clipped in to the hair to create body and length.

Also called ‘tortoiseshell’ this is a new version of balayage using a dark, rich caramel as well as sunkissed highlights, for a soft, multi-tonal look. Jessica Biel is fan.

To add dimension to the hair by breaking up the structure and adding texture with product. This does not involve cutting.

Warm Tone
This term encompasses any sun-kissed colours from honey through to auburn. It’s the golden shade that comes through when the sun hits your hair.

French for ‘to sweep’ or ‘to paint’, this is a form of colouring where colour is daubed on in pieces to give a natural sunkissed look.

From the Editors at Next