Sponsors' Links

Hair Coloring > Color Terminology

Below you will find expressions used by professional colorists. Read and remember their meaning - it may help you to communicate with them, it will save your time and energy. You don't want to spend one hour talking to your hair colorist (or hair dresser) and trying to figure out what it is that you want or what he/she is trying to tell you. Have a professional spend time on caring for your hair instead.

ALLERGY - skin sensitivity to chemicals (tints, cosmetics), foods, plants etc. All color clients need to take a patch test 24 hours before any first chemical application (perm or color) to determine if they are allergic to the product.

VIRGIN HAIR - hair that has never been chemically processed (with color or perm).

SENSITIVITY - skin that reacts to specific chemicals will become irritated and red. After the removal of a chemical solution the redness disappears.

PATCH TEST - a skin test that is given to a client in order to find out if he/she may use the product (perm or color) safely.

STRAND TEST- a color test done on a small hair strand to find out how predetermined color mixture will develop on hair and how fast hair will process.

COLLOR FILLER - is certified color, that is added into tints to freshen-up faded previously colored hair, or applied directly to hair prior to coloring to equalize the hair porosity.

POROSITY - the ability of hair to absorb moisture or liquid solutions.

RESISTANT HAIR - hair with a poor porosity.

OXIDATION - a chemical reaction between developer and coloring solutions.

DEVELOPER - hydrogen peroxide.

DEVELOPMENT TIME - the time that is needed to process color fully, evenly and without overprocessing (thus damaging) the hair.

TOUCH-UP (also RETOUCH) - tint application to the new hair growth.

BLENDING - making the hair color uniform throughout the hair during the color processing.

CERTIFIED COLOR - temporary coloring, that lasts from shampoo to shampoo.

SOAP-CAP - a color solution diluted with conditioner, shampoo or water and applied to the hair like a shampoo to even out (or blend in) the color.

SHAMPOO-IN-COLOR - a product sold over the counter, that must be applied according to manufacturer's directions.

TEMPORARY COLOR - color that lasts from shampoo to shampoo.

SEMI-PERMANENT COLOR - color that lasts 4-6 shampoos.

PERMANENT COLOR - color that lasts 4-6 weeks.

TONER - a tint applied to lightened hair producing soft blond silver and pastel colors used in double processing application (hair is first lightened and then toned to a desired shade).

POWDER (PASTE) LIGHTENER (also BLEACH) - a very strong and fast working chemical product used in "off scalp" hair lightening.

OIL LIGHTENER (also BLEACH) - a very fast and strong lightening product used in "on scalp" lightening (double process).

LOW-LIGHTING - the darkening effect on hair accomplished by using tint (and foils or a highlighting cap).

HIGH-LIGHTING - the lightening effect on hair accomplished by using a tint or a lightener (and foils or a highlighting cap).

STREAKING, FROSTING, TIPPING - an other expressions for different highlighting techniques.

TINT BACK - coloring hair to its natural shade.

LIFT - degree of hair lightening by numbers of shades. (If you see written on the box with color solutions that color can be lifted 4 shades it means that hair will be 4 shades lighter).

OVERLAPPING - a condition that is caused in a color touchup session on any part of previously colored hair. Overlapping can cause "a line of demarcation", which is a streak done by overlapping onto previously colored hair.

FOIL - aluminum foil used to hig-hlight or low-light hair.

Other Pages About Color


answers2beauty blog

face shapes
hair care
hair coloring
hair cutting
hair perming

hair loss/cancer


sponsor's page
link to us