I wanted to help you guys understand the lingo of a stylist. We use a lot of terms and they can get confusing. This can cause frustration for both the client and the stylist. If you want to be on the same page with your stylist, read through these terms before you go in for your next appointment.

Color Terminology

Level: When a stylist says, “Level 5,” we are referring to the darkness of your color or natural color. Level 1 is black black and Level 12 is pale-white blonde. So, a Level 6 is medium brown.

Lift: This just means to make the hair color lighter. When we are talking about bleach, we say, “lift,” a lot because that’s what bleach does. It lifts the color out of your hair.

Tone: This is the color shade of your hair. It ranges from warm to ash to neutral. Warms are your red tones; ash are your blueish tones; and neutral are your greenish tones. We try to see what tone will look good with your skin tone.

Toner: This is when you want to change the tone of a client’s hair. It’s a mild color that interacts with the tone to alter it. Toner is a stylists best friend, but clients often get scared when we say we are going to go mix up a toner. It doesn’t necessarily mean your hair is orange, but a toner will always help your hair look it’s best. For example, blue counteracts orange, purple counteracts yellow, and green counteracts red.

Base Color: This is the color at your roots.

Ombre: This means the color of your hair changes tone from roots to ends. Typically, the middle to ends of your hair are a lighter color.

Balayage: This is just the art of free-hand painting. It gives your hair a natural, sun-kissed look. You can combine balayage and ombre to get a blonder look.

Brassy: This is when your hair is in the orange-yellow stage of blonde. Stylists typically recommend that you need more tone or more lift.

Developer: This is a product you mix with hair color or lightener (bleach) to activate it. They range from 10 to 50. The higher the number, the stronger it is.

Hairstyle Terminology

Fade Vs. Blend: A fade is like a military haircut — high and tight. You go from a zero (skin) to a little bit longer. When you fade, it is the gradual  effect of doing from short to long. Blending is just when you connect different lengths of hair and there are no longer pieces in between.

Aline: This is when the back of your hair is shorter than the front. So, the area on your neck is shorter than the hair that comes over your ears.

Bob: This is having both one length in the front and back.

Clipper Numbers: The higher the number, the longer the hair is cut. #1 leaves 1/8 of an inch, #2 leaves 1/4 of an inch, and so on. So a #4 leaves 1/2 inch and a #8 leaves one inch.

Taper: This is like a fade, but not so high. It means to fade up but only like a 1/4 of an inch. For instance, we taper layers on a person’s one-length haircut so everything is not all the same length and looks more natural.

I hope these terms help you understand your stylist better. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

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