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Hair Education

Hair Lingo 101: Thirty Must Know Hairstyling Terms!

Learn Hair Lingo

Knowing how to speak the language in any field is a must, and the field of hair is no exception. When it comes to the world of hair, there are a few hairstyling terms that you should be aware of.

It is imperative to be aware of styling terms whether you are a stylist or a customer. It is essential if you are a stylist to know what these terms mean so that you can offer various and specified services to your clients.

If you are a customer being aware of various hairstyling terms can help you communicate with your stylist the exact look that you want. So don’t overlook these terms if you are someone who loves to get your hair done.

You never know when these terms will come in handy.

eye shadow hair color

Hair Extension Terms You Need to Know

We’ve come up with 30 must know hairstyling terms to help you along the way!

Cutting

To make it easier for you we’ve broken down the terms by their specific categories.

There are so many ways to cut your hair. Let’s first start with popular hairstyling terms for cutting hair.

#1 Asymmetrical Cut

A haircut where the hair is not symmetrical, and one side is longer than the other.

#2 Big Chop

The big chop is the haircut that marks the beginning of one’s natural hair journey. All hair that is permed, colored and chemically processed is cut off, and the hair is in its natural state.

The big chop is a big deal for natural hair girls all around the world. Many naturalistas all over the world can remember this big day. They take photos and write down the dates of their big chops to document their natural hair journey.

#3 Fringe (Bangs)

Also known as “bangs,” fringe a haircut where some of the hair lies over your face. Here are some bang styles are worn by your favorite celebrities that you can try!

cut bangs

#4 Graduated Cut

A graduated haircut is one that is a gradual progression of lengths from short to long. It ultimately creates a layered effect.

#5 Layers

Cutting your hair into various lengths to “layer” them and create a voluminous look.

#6 Pixie Cut

A woman’s layered short hairstyle that is cut to create a slightly tousled effect. From Zendaya to Rihanna are some pixie cut styles that we love!

#7 Razor Cut

A hairstyle where a cut is done with a razor to create a tapered effect.

#8 Undercut

A hairstyle you shave off the bottom into a buzz cut and where the top of the hair is long.

zendaya blonde pixie cut

Conditions

There are many hair conditions that you should be aware of when it comes to styling. Here are a few hair conditions that may affect hair growth and need treatment as soon as possible.

#9 Alopecia

This is a medical hair condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles causing them to shed resulting in bald patches on the scalp.

If you are struggling with hair loss we’ve created the following articles to help you take care of this hair condition:

Hair Loss Sucks! Tips on How To Fight It!
How Stress Can Lead to Hair Loss and What to do About It
Hair Growth: Why Isn’t My Natural Hair Growing Faster?
Tips on How to Stop Weave from Shedding

#10 Shedding

When the hair shreds excessively this is considered shedding. Shedding is often caused by damaged hair and can cause hair loss or balding if not treated or taken care of properly.

shocked at shedding

Coloring

There are many different types of coloring techniques. Each coloring technique is used to create different effects when it comes to the contrast and color of your hair. Here are a few standard coloring techniques.

#11 Balayage

A highlighting technique that you do in a way that creates a gradual color effect for a natural look.

#12 Base Color

This is the color you apply before adding any other colors such as highlights to your hair.

#13 Developer

Developer helps open up the hair cuticles to allow hair color to penetrate through for optimal coloring results.

#14 Highlights

Strands of hair that are dyed to make them lighter than the hair’s base color.

#15 Lowlights

Strands of hair that are dyed to make them darker than the hair’s base color.

#16 Ombre

A hair coloring technique where a lighter shade transitions into a darker shade. Ombre is usually darker at the roots and lighter at the ends.

If you want to achieve the ombre look we’ve got you covered. Check out our article “DIY Ombre Hair: My First Time!” to learn how to achieve the ombre look.

ombre beach waves

Styling

With so many different types of hairstyles out there, let’s go over some of the terms you need to know when styling hair.

#17 Braid Pattern

The braid pattern is a foundation created by braiding your hair to prepare your hair for sew-in extensions.

#18 Texturizer

A milder version of a relaxer. Texturizer loosens the natural curl pattern without completely straightening it like a perm.

#19 Touch Up

A touch up is what it says, touching up your hair to make it look brand new again. Do touch ups with hair coloring or perming.

coloring hair

Styles

Now that we’ve covered styling techniques lets go over hairstyles. With so many different types of hairstyles out there, let us go over some hairstyles that you may know by their look but not by their name. Here are some styles that you need to know.

#20 Flat Twists

You start by sectioning hair into various sections, twisting strands of hair, and then twisting two twisted strands around one another. Like braid outs, you can wear flat twists overnight or few hours then unraveled revealing curly hair.

#21 Braid Out

A hairstyle that you take sections of hair to apply product and then began braiding your hair. The braids are worn overnight or few hours and then unraveled to create a curl like a braid pattern within the hair.

#22 Bantu Knots

A hairstyle with coiled, small buns all over the head that look like knots. This style originates from the “Bantu people” of southern and central Africa.

It is a typical hairstyle for many women of African descent and used as low maintenance or curl enhancing style for women with natural hair.

bantu knots

#23 Lob

We are all familiar with the signature bob hairstyle. A lob is a longer version of the bob hairstyle.

#24 TWA

This is an acronym for “teeny weeny afro” which you can use to describe short natural hair.

#25 Virgin Hair

This is hair that is unprocessed, and chemicals weren’t used to treat it.

Here at Private Label Extensions, we offer virgin hair at a wholesale price. Our textures range from straight, kinky curly, natural wavy, loose waves and more!

There are many benefits to wearing virgin hair such as its durability when it comes to styling and coloring. Virgin hair is high-quality hair. It is known to last very long and great for various types of hairstyles.

curly virgin hair

Health & Treatments

Hair treatments are great when it comes to treating various hair conditions or getting your hair to be in a healthier state. Here are some hair treatments that can be used to promote the health of your hair.

#26 Co-Wash

This is a method where you wash your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. This technique is used to retain moisture. Many Naturalista’s co-wash to avoid over drying their hair.

#27 Essential Oils

Natural oils such as castor, argan, carrot, olive oil, etc. that can be used on your hair to promote a healthy scalp and hair growth.

Find out more about how you can use essential oils along with other products to promote healthy hair growth in our article “15 Tips to Maintaining Healthy Hair”.

natural oils

#28 Porosity

The measure of how much moisture can soak into your hair strands. Hair with a high porosity level absorbs moisture easily while hair with a low porosity level does not absorb moisture easily.

Here are some traits of high versus low porosity hair:

High Porosity

  • Hair easily absorbs water
  • Hair drys quickly
  • Requires more products
  • Frizz
  • Hair may often feel and look dry

Low Porosity

  • Hair takes a long time to dry
  • Rather than absorb products build up on hair
  • Natural oils don’t easily penetrate, but they sit on your hair
  • Curls take way longer to thoroughly saturate when wet

#29 Protein Treatment

A protein treatment strengthens your hair. It also adds extra proteins and nutrients to your hair to promote healthy hair. You can get this treatment at a salon, or you can do it yourself at home.

Here are some signs that your hair may be in need of a protein treatment:

  • You have recently colored your hair
  • Hair has lost its moisture
  • Your hair has a high porosity
  • Limp or stringy hair
  • Low elasticity hair
  • Hair feels sticky or gummy

#30 Relaxer

A chemical treatment used to straighten hair. You can also call it a perm, ultimately you must be careful because the term perm is also a chemical treatment that is used to add curls to hair.

healthy hair

Speak Hair Lingo Like a Boss

I hope these definitions were helpful in getting you more familiar with various hair styling terms. Knowing these terms can help make achieving your next hairstyle easier.

Knowledge is always necessary, and not only in what you do but what you say. Next time you’re doing hair or having your hair styled, you can always refer to these terms.

What are some common hair terms that you know of? Share them with us in the comments below.

About Fennella Miller

Fennella Like Whoa is a Sierra Leonean American model, blogger and creative entrepreneur based in Atlanta Georgia. She graduated from Spelman College and currently creates creative digital media content in the areas of fashion and hair. [email protected]

2 thoughts on “Hair Lingo 101: Thirty Must Know Hairstyling Terms!

  1. Melissa Brown says:

    I found this article very helpful and informative since I always wondered what #24 TWA meant. I also had not heard of the #23 Lob which is longer than the Bob. The tips for the protein treatment were helpful, and let you know what your hair may need if it shows any signs on the list. I like to do a Hot oil treatment to my hair it seems to add shine and new life to my hair. I really enjoyed reading this article I learned a lot. Thanks

  2. Shante Robertson says:

    This is a great article! I had no idea there is such thing as a lob or fringe bangs. This is definitely a great resource for anyone wanting key terms. I always knew what a co-wash is, but I didn’t realize until not too long ago that I should be using it and not shampoo. Using a co-wash has really made my hair less dry and flaky.

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