Your Go-To Guide for Common Hair Color Terms
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HAIR COLOR DICTIONARY
Want the inside scoop on salon speak? We break it down for you in our hair color
dictionary and teach you what the pros know.
The application of highlights by “painting on”
An unflattering result that can happen when hair with red and golden undertones
is chemically lightened, especially when the natural hair color is darker and is
substantially lightened in one process
Thicker hair strands that appear less smooth
Shades that have more blue tones (descriptions: ash, champagne)
Desired end look, combination of varied tones and shine
See Depth (clients use “Depth” more than Dimension)
Property of healthy hair. The strand will yield to gentle pulling.
Thinner hair strands that can accept less color
A level 2 (semi-permanent) hair dye that is applied over existing hair color
Highlight (n, v):
Hair section that is dyed lighter. Can be “subtle,” “piecey,” or “chunky.”
The state of being unimpaired, original and pure
The degree of lightness or darkness of a shade.
Line of Demarcation (n):
The point of visible re-growth (synonyms: Root line, Skunk line)
Hair section that is dyed darker
Euphemism for how often you’re willing or need to recolor
Illusion when lighter hair stands out, darker hair recedes
Hair color that lasts until your next visit
Refers to any shade perceived as red
Resulting Color (n):
The color of your hair after you have applied a coloring process.
Starting Color (n):
The color (both level and tone) of your hair before you start a coloring process.
If you have colored hair, it is the color of your colored hair (synonym: Current
The “sub color” 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 colored or dyed. Can be a whole head of hair or re-growth.
Shades that have red or golden tones (descriptions: honey, caramel, bronze, copper,