Hair Styling Dictionary
Not sure what back-combing means or what a diffuser is used for? This dictionary defines the most-used hair styling vocabulary that will have you feeling knowledgeable the next time you go to the salon.…Read More →
Identifying and understanding your face shape is the first step toward properly
styling your hair. Here are seven face shapes and a quick reference
guide to help make sure your hair suits your face.
Heart: A wide forehead and a narrow, pointed chin.
Correction: Decrease the appearance of forehead width, while increasing the illusion of width on the lower part of the face.
Round: Almost as wide as it is long with no sharp corners.
Correction: Create the illusion of length.
Pear: Wider at the jaw line than at the forehead.
Correction: Create an appearance of width at the forehead.
Oval: Significantly longer than it is wide, and generally considered to be the ideal face shape. The contour and proportions of the oval face form the basis for modifying all other facial types.
Diamond: Narrow forehead and narrow chin. The cheekbones are the widest part of the face.
Correction: Reduce appearance of width across cheekbones.
Square: Straight lines square jaw line, wide face.
Correction: Create illusion of length to offset squareness.
Oblong: Long, narrow shape and hollow cheeks.
Correction: Make the face appear shorter and wider.
» See pictures of the 7 face shapes
Back-combing: All methods of combing small sections of hair back toward the scalp, creating a matting effect and forming a cushion at the base. (Synonyms: teasing, back-brushing, ruffing, matting,
ratting, French lacing, root packing).
Base: The stationary, or non-moving, area of the hair closest to the scalp; the area on which the roller or brush is placed.
Blow dryer: Hand held tool for drying and styling hair.
Blow drying/styling: Technique of styling and drying wet hair using a blow dryer.
Bobby pin: Thin metal or plastic expandable, ridged clips used to hold and secure the hair into a style.
- – Boar-bristle brush: Hairbrush made from boar bristles, available in various diameters. Recommended for straightening hair with a blow dryer; smooths cuticle and brings out natural shine in coarse, curly, or wavy hair. Some vegan alternatives are available.
- – Flat brush: Large, rectangular-shaped hairbrush with level bristles; effective for brushing or styling any hair type.
- – Metal/ thermal brush: Hairbrush made of metal, allowing it to conduct heat and creating more waves in the hair. This brush dries the hair faster than a boar-bristle brush, so it sets the wave before you get all the curl out. Great for creating more body, direction, and fullness in fine to medium hair.
- – Oval cushion brush: Made of boar and/or plastic bristles; great for a minimal wave for delicate hair.
- – Vent brush: Hair brush made of plastic with few bristles or prongs. Great for creating direction at the beginning of a blow dry.
Cool Button: Button on a blow dryer that causes the device to generate only cold air, sealing and setting the shape of the hair while styling
Curl: Hair that’s wrapped around a roller; section of hair taking consecutive circular pattern
Crown: The top of the head
Curling iron: Cylindrical, electric devise of various diameters used to curl the hair.
Density of hair: Number of hairs per square inch
Diffuser: Blow dryer attachment that redirects the air to a soft, steady flow, allowing curls to dry and not move around. Great for maintaining natural waves.
Double press: Technique of passing a hot curling iron through the hair, prior to performing a hard press. (See Hard press, below).
Foam or mousse: Light, airy, whipped product that builds body and volume into the hair.
Gel: Thickening styling additive, usually clear or transparent, used to increase hold.
Hair clip: Used to hold and section hair while styling.
Hair elasticity: The ability of the hair to stretch and return back to its original shape. Each hair has its own limited elasticity level, so it’s necessary to always be mindful of finding the right balance of tension to smooth and straighten hair without breaking it.
Hair pin: Thin, U-shaped wire-like metal or plastic pins generally used to secure hair without flattening it.
Hair spray or finishing spray: Styling product applied in a mist form to hold the style in position. Can be found in aerosol or non-aerosol, in a variety of strengths.
Hard press: Technique that removes 100% of the curl by applying straightening iron twice on each side of the hair.
Line: The direction of hair flow defining a style.
Liquid gel or texturizer: Styling product that is lighter and more liquid than the firm hold gels. Great for quick styling, defining, and molding.
Mid-shaft: The area of the hair between the root and the end.
Nape of the neck: The area directly beneath the back hairline.
No-stem curl: Curl placed directly on its base, creating a tight, long-lasting curl.
Off-base: Position of a curl, roller or brush section to one side or the other that gives minimum volume.
On-base: A curl, roller or brush section placed on the base for maximum volume.
Pomade or wax: Styling product that adds a lot of weight and is mold-able to show real separation of the hair.
Pre-staging: Preparing yourself and all products and tools necessary to style your hair.
Relaxing balm: Product applied to damp hair that helps soothe the cuticle and soften the hair for easier styling.
Revolutions: The number of times the hair goes around a styling device, such as a brush or curling iron.
Rod: The part of the curling iron that you wrap hair around to get curls.
Silicon shiner or spray: Styling product that adds sheen and gloss, and creates more definition.
Spiral curl: Method of curling the hair by winding it on a brush, roller or rod.
Temperature control: The dial or switch on a curling iron or blowing drying that allows varying degrees of heat.
Temples: Ear region to the sides of the eyes.
Thermal waving: Techniques of curling straight hair using a thermal iron.
Up-do: Hairstyle that’s pinned and arranged up and off the shoulders and neck.
Volumizer: Product that helps add density and fullness, especially at the base of the hair.
Wave pattern: The natural direction that hair grows.