Salon Shoptalk


Salon shoptalk can sometimes sound like a foreign language. A dusting? A lob? A relaxer? With all  the different processes it’s easy to get mixed up. A simple misused phrase can result in a disastrous experience that you have to live with for weeks. That's why it’s important to be able to communicate with your stylist so both of you are on the same page. But when you don't understand the native tongue, getting the hairstyle you desire can be extremely tricky (even if you brought in photos examples!). We broke down the most misunderstood terminology so you can head to the salon feeling confident that your 'do will come out exactly as you envisioned.

Salon Lexicon

1. A Dusting or Trim?

Ever go into the salon and request a slight trim and leave with a shorter crop? That’s because what you probably wanted was a dusting. A dusting is when your stylist only snips the split, ragged ends—usually less than an inch. A trim is when your ends are completely reshaped.

2. Highlights or Lowlights?

Beause highlights and lowlights can be added to your hair both individually and together, it’s important to understand the difference between these similar and complementary techniques. Highlighting is the process of lightening streaks of your hair, usually on the top of your head or around your face. Lowlighting is the process of darkening strands underneath, which creates an emphasis on the lighter strands, and adds texture and warmth to your look.

3. Lob or Bob?

A lob is simply a nickname for a long bob. Shoulder-length or longer, this cut often has a similar shape to the bob—whether it be blunt, diagonal, or choppy. A classic bob, on the other hand, means you want the ends to hit around the chin and jawline. Be sure you are clear about your desired look as the bob comes in a variety of styles.

4. Waves or Curls?

Sometimes even a simple blowout can turn into a nightmare. You ask for Blake Lively's signature mane and end up with Jessica Simpson's debutante ’do. An easy way to make sure you don't end up with oversize ringlets? Don't sit under the dryer. Ask your stylist to create the waves with a curling iron so you can see the size of each coil as it is being created. Plus, it is easier to finger-comb the coils out after they cool, because the shape isn't as set. But always speak up if you feel like things are going in the wrong direction!

5. Relaxer or Perm?

While both relaxers and perms are chemical processes that change the texture of your hair, they produce completely opposite results. While a relaxer smooths and straightens the structure of curly tresses, a perm creates waves or curly texture on sleek strands.