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A cut above: Make sure you get the right haircut with this hairdresser jargon buster

Have you ever been sat in the salon chair and wondered what your hairdresser just said to you about your hair? Well now’s the time to get to grips, as luxury online hair and beauty retailer Hairtrade.com have decoded some of the most confusing jargon hairdressers use.

On the list are phrases that are often spoken of when having your hair coloured, such as ‘balayage’, ‘oxidation’ and ‘gloss colour’. They’ve also explained exactly what confusing methods of cutting mean, such as a ‘blunt cut’, ‘slicing’, ‘razoring’ and ‘feathering’.

Joanne Dodds, from Hairtrade.com, said: “We’ve all been slightly thrown off at our hairdresser’s choice of words at some point in our lives. As well as trying to think about your style, length and colour, it becomes even more confusing when things like ‘layering’, ‘toners’ and ‘lowlights’ are also being offered to you.

“Our hairdresser jargon buster lays down exactly what’s what in the hairdresser book of phrases, so next time you visit, you should be a little more keyed into knowing just what your hairdressers talking about.”

Layers
Layers help to give your hair density and create movement. If your hair is on the thinner side, sometimes hairdressers will encourage cutting in layers. They are done by having shorter hair at the top and longer layers beneath.

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Oxidation
This is a change in hair colour that’s caused by the air. This can also make bright highlights turn yellow.

Toner
This is a colour that’s applied to your damp hair and left for around 5 minutes. Toners are a great way to cancel out yellow tones after bleach has been applied.

Blunt cut
A blunt cut is done by making each strand of hair fall at the same length. These are also referred to as bob cuts, and are better suited for those with thinner hair as they create the illusion of volume.

Ombré
An ombré effect on hair is achieved by having a darker shade at the roots and lighter hair at the tips. The colours gradually fade into one another. A popular choice of ombré is having brown hair at the roots that gradually fades into blonde.

Highlights and lowlights
A highlight is a streak of colour lighter than your natural shade. A low light is the same but a darker colour. These are applied at the hairdressers through using foils. Only small sections of the hair are highlighted or lowlighted.

Slicing
This is when the hairdresser will glide the scissors and cut through the hair without closing the scissors blades. This method of cutting the hair is done to achieve a feathered finish.

Razoring
Razoring is cutting the hair using scissors. But it is not the same as shaving. Using scissors will produce a blunt, chunkier cut, whereas cutting with razors makes the hair taper to a thinner peak. It creates texture and softness and works well when hair is on the thicker side.

Tones
Your hairs tone is usually the base of your hair colour. Some examples of tones are beige, neutral and ashy. There are a variety of different tones, some being on the warmer side and others being on the cooler side.

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Feathering
This process removes volume, and is usually done when hair is slightly on the thicker side. This allows the ends to be lighter, and flicked out at different angles, rather than one blunt straight shape all round.

Graduation
This is phrase that’s used when the hair is slightly shorter at the back. It’s a type of layering and it usually done when the hair is a pixie cut or bob.

Gloss colour
Gloss colours will add shine to your hair and will last for around six washes. They are usually in a crème consistency and will also had a colouring to your hair.

Balayage
This is a technique that’s a mix between highlighting and ombré hair. It is highlighting the hair so the highlights fade into the base colour. It is very graduated and natural looking.

Thinning
Thinning is usually done with those who have very dense, thick and heavy hair. It is done to get rid of the bulkiness. The process is done on thinning shears to create fine layers in the hair (it is done in a similar method to slicing).

Choppy
This is a type of texture. If you ask for a choppy cut you are asking for short layers that have been blunt cut to create volume.