You may be shelling out serious cash for the most in-demand hairstylist around, but when it gets down to scissor-time, it’s how you communicate that really counts. So if you tend to talk to your stylist with words like “swooshy” and vague hand gestures, you’ve come to the right place. Master these pro hair terms to get a ’do that’ll wow.
Baliage (or Baylage)
Forget foils. To achieve this luxe-looking highlighting technique, colourists paint individual highlights right onto your hair, often following the lines of your natural wave for a sunkissed look.
Beach goddess not your thing? Get a hairdo with some edge by asking for choppy layers. The stylist will often use a razor to give your ends a slightly ragged, badass look. Also a good way to remove some weight if you’ve got too much hair on your hands.
This word has nothing to do with eighth grade math class. Ask for a geometric cut to get a mod-looking, blunt cut (think 60s-style bob). It’s not recommended for curly or ultra-thick locks – you’ll be styling your hair into submission every day, and your ends will probably be too heavy (meaning you could end up with the dreaded pyramid-head).
Ask for a shag and you’ll get a haircut with lots of layers. The popularity of this style hit its peak in the 90s (who could forget the Rachel?), so proceed with caution when using this word. If you want some layers without the obvious lines, ask for “long layers” instead to break up your hair in a more subtle way.
Don’t get bogged down in thinking that you’re not getting your money’s worth if you don’t get a shampoo at the salon (as amazing as that free head massage may feel…). A dry cut can be a great option if you’ve got curls, kinks, or otherwise “difficult” hair – it means that your stylist will be able to see exactly how your hair actually falls when it’s not soaking wet.
The opposite of highlights, in which pieces of hair are dyed slightly darker than the base colour. Believe it or not, low-lights could be a good call even if you love having super-blonde hair. By adding a few strands of darker colour here and there, you’ll break up the big chunk of blonde, giving your hair more natural dimension.
Be sure to use this word if you plan on wearing your bangs to one side, rather than straight down (which is also likely to happen if you part your hair on one side). Sideswept bangs aren’t just “long” bangs – they’re often cut at a slight angle in the direction you intend to wear them, so that they’ll fall more naturally.