5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

A Glossary of Widespread Hairdressing Terms

Talking to a hairdresser sometimes resembles communication in a foreign language because we hear unknown words, strange names of haircuts, hairstyles, and styles of dyeing. It is very easy to get perplexed among them and make the wrong choice.

5-Minute Crafts prepared a cheat sheet, decoding common hairdressing terms. We will explain the meaning of 20 words that you could hear in beauty salons.

  • Undercut — this is a partial cutting technique where one section of the hair is cut very close to the scalp and the other section is cut to the desired length.
  • Balayage — this is a hair-dyeing technique when the color is applied to some strands from the middle to the tips of the hair. It helps to create a soft contrast between them and the main color, as well as give the hair the effect of sun-bleached strands.
  • Blunt — this is a technique for cutting hair that ends in a sharp, even line.
  • Bob — this is a short cut, where the hair is cut above the shoulders but lower than the ears. This cut has even, prominent lines. It can also have a short length at the back and longer hair in front. The bob cut has many other variations. The most popular ones are blunt bobs with a straight hair cut line or a lob (short for “long bob”), which is a cut where the hair ends a bit lower than the shoulders.
  • Bronde (combination of “brown” and “blonde”— this is a dyeing technique for brown hair when some strands are colored in lighter shades. One or more colors are selected to be lightened, creating smooth and natural overflows.
  • Babylights — this is a hair-dyeing technique where a dye several shades lighter than the natural hair color is used. Only finely-woven strands are dyed — it creates a natural hair color transition like babies have.
  • Rope braid — this is a 2-strand braiding technique where both sections are first twisted in one direction and then spiraled around each other in the opposite direction.
  • Garcon — this is a short female haircut a-la “boy.” In this cut, the hair is removed almost completely and only a little of it is left for volume.
  • Graduation — this is a haircut where each strand is shorter or longer than the previous one. The most popular example of graduation is the cascade.
  • Lob — see bob.
  • Lowlights — this is a technique of partial dyeing when finely-woven strands are dyed in darker shades than the natural hair color.
  • Ombré (French ombré or “shadow” this is a hair-dyeing technique with a gradual transition from dark to light along the entire hair length. Apart from a classical ombré with clear color transitions, there is also a sombré, which is a softer variant with a gradient and smoother color transition without pronounced contrast.
  • Pixie— this is a short haircut with wispy edges that give the cut a feminine look.
  • Ronze (combination of “red” and “bronze”) — this is a red hair-dyeing technique where some strands are highlighted with copper red mixed and bronze brown shades.
  • Fishtail braid — this is a braiding technique where small pieces from the outside of one section cross over to the other side (and are repeated), creating a tightly plaited style.
  • Sombré — see ombré.
  • Flamboyage — this is a mix of ombré and balayage with smooth color transitions and the effect of sun-bleached hair.
  • French braid — this is a 3-strand braiding technique where strands from the left and right sections cross over the center alternately.
  • Highlights — this is a partial color technique where finely woven strands of hair are colored a lighter shade than the natural color. They can be muted and natural or bright and contrasted.
  • Ecaille (Frenchecaille” or “tortoise”) — this is a hair-dyeing technique that combines balayage and highlights with soft ombré. Colors ranging from gold to chocolate create a gradual transition from dark at the roots to light at the ends, and it works best on brunettes with caramel undertones.
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