Guide for Common Hair colour print

Your Go-To Guide for Common Hair Colour Terms


Want the inside scoop on salon speak? We break it down for you in our haircolour dictionary and teach you what the pros know.

Baliage (n):

The application of highlights by “painting on”

Brassy (adj):

An unflattering result that can happen when hair with red and golden undertonesis chemically lightened, especially when the natural haircolour is darker and issubstantially lightened in one process

Coarse (adj):

Thicker hair strands that appear less smooth

Cool (adj):

Shades that have more blue tones (descriptions: ash, champagne)

Depth (n):

Desired end look, combination of varied tones and shine

Dimension (n):

See Depth (clients use “Depth” more than Dimension)

Elasticity (n):

Property of healthy hair. The strand will yield to gentle pulling.

Fine (adj):

Thinner hair strands that can accept less colour

Glaze (n):

A level 2 (semi-permanent) hair dye that is applied over existing haircolour

Highlight (n, v):

Hair section that is dyed lighter. Can be “subtle,” “piecey,” or “chunky.”

Integrity (n):

The state of being unimpaired, original and pure

Level (n):

The degree of lightness or darkness of a shade.

Line of Demarcation (n):

The point of visible re-growth (synonyms: Root line, Skunk line)

Lowlight (n):

Hair section that is dyed darker

Maintenance (adj):

Euphemism for how often you’re willing or need to recolour

Movement (n):

Illusion when lighter hair stands out, darker hair recedes

Permanent (adj):

Hair colour that lasts until your next visit

Red (adj):

Refers to any shade perceived as red

Resulting colour (n):

The colour of your hair after you have applied a colouring process.

Starting colour (n):

The colour (both level and tone) of your hair before you start a colouring process.If you have coloured hair, it is the colour of your coloured hair (synonym: Currentcolour).

Tone (n):

The “sub colour” of a shade that indicates warmth or coolness. Describes the “finish”of a shade. (descriptions: warm, cool, red, gold, violet, etc.)

Virgin Hair (n):

Hair that has not been coloured or dyed. Can be a whole head of hair or re-growth.

Warm (adj):

Shades that have red or golden tones (descriptions: honey, caramel, bronze, copper,etc)