Are you using basic hair terms correctly? Here are the true definitions of some commonly misused styling words.
Inch: While an inch is a standard unit of measurement, it doesn’t always play out that way in the hair world. If you have curly hair, the inch that your stylish cuts off when your hair is wet can translate to a significantly shorter look once it dries. It’s best to refer to the place on your face or body where you want the ends of your hair to land, instead of the number of inches you want to remove.
Blunt: If you ask for a blunt style, you’re getting zero layers. The hair will be cut straight across, so it has equal weight from top to ends.
Bangs: Anytime you get shorter pieces of hair cut to fall above your eyes, you’re getting bangs. However, it’s not enough to just ask for bangs, because they come in a wide variety of styles, including blunt, side-swept, and more. If you want bangs, make sure you can describe exactly how you’d like them to look.
Layers: “Layers” refers to the shorter levels of hair within your overall cut. It’s a fairly straightforward term, but like bangs, there are many different types of layers. If you go to three stylists and ask them each simply for layers, you’ll get three very different cuts.
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Choose Your Words Carefully
These definitions will help you describe haircuts more accurately. But as someone who hasn’t devoted hundreds of hours to studying hair, you won’t be able to “talk like a hairstylist” when you’re in the stylist’s chair.
To account for this, take care with the descriptions you use, and keep in mind that you might be wrong about the definition of a cut, style, or color.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t familiarize yourself with the industry terms that describe what you want. Just make sure to describe the cut or style in visual terms first carefully, and then ask your stylist what that’s called. This will prevent miscommunications.
Once you ask your stylist to define a term, you’ll know exactly what to ask for next time. However, keep in mind that if you change barbers or stylists, they could have slightly different definitions of the same terms.
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