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The Salon Professional Academy Blog

Every industry has its slang, jargon, and important terms. The world of hair and beauty is no exception. While you’re at the salon, you might hear a lot of unfamiliar terms thrown around. At The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), St. Louis, we love helping others learn about hair. That’s why we’ve created a guide to hairstylist’s lingo so you can keep up at your next appointment!


Definition: Delicate blonde highlights that mimic the blonde color your hair would naturally turn from being out in the sun.
Example: “I think we should add some babylights to warm up your look!”


Definition: The anger that consumes a hairstylist when a client cuts their own bangs.
Example: “I am so bangry about my client Jessica right now.”


Definition: The color of literally every article of clothing owned by a hairstylist.
Example: “Do you think this black shirt is dark enough?”

Blunt Cut

Definition: A cut where the stylist cuts straight across with scissors. This creates a sharp, clean, chic look.
Example: “Rihanna looks so amazing in that new photoshoot. I love her blunt cut!”

Bobby Pins

Definition: A small tool used to pin hair in place. Often found in boyfriends’ beds, black holes, and basically anywhere you didn’t put them. The enemy of the curly girl.
Example: “I swear I had three bobby pins in my hair this morning, and now I can only find two. . .”

Curly Girl

Definition: A girl with natural twist and twirl to her locks. Comes in several styles and types.
Example: “Sara is a curly girl. I am so jealous.”

Woman with voluminous curly hair in a white shirt against mint background.

Dry Shampoo

Definition: A literal lifesaving product when your hair is dirty or flat. Sprays into the hair like a fine powder mist.
Example: “I can’t remember when I last washed my hair, I think it’s probably 95% dry shampoo today.”


Definition: A permanent, wearable crown. Must be maintained for optimal results.
Example: “I have the greatest hair in all the land!”


Definition: A person who does hair, but also is basically a therapist because they are such good listeners.
Example: “My favorite stylist is the best hairapist.”


Definition: A person who can create hair magic for their clients without waving a wand.
Example: “My stylist is a total hairgician. I am completely transformed!”


Definition: A creative genius that fashions wearable art.
Example: “I really must make an appointment with my hairstylist. I am in desperate need of a trim!”


Definition: Using hair color to lighten specific strands of hair around the head. The four types of highlights are: foil highlights, hair painting, frosting, and chunking.
Example: “I’m so glad chunky highlights aren’t a trend anymore like they were in 2005.”

Woman getting highlights in a salon.


Definition: An ombre done at home with dire consequences that lands the person in the salon spending more money than they ever would have if they had come to the salon in the first place.
Example: “This homebre is going to take hours to fix.”


Definition: A cutting technique that lessens hair’s weight and creates movement.
Example: “Your hair is so thick and long, cutting layers into it would add shape and make it easier to style!”

Messy Bun

Definition: An art. Only the greatest of hairgicians have mastered the messy bun. Usually seen on the day before wash day.
Example: “Messy buns for dayzz.”


Definition: The shading of hair. Usually a dark to light combo.
Example: “I want a chocolate to deep caramel ombre.”

Girl with beautiful dark to light ombre hair wearing sunglasses and red lipstick.

Processing Time

Definition: The amount of time in which a stylist can eat lunch, wax her brows, use the restroom, deposit her check, update her Instagram, save a kitty from a burning house, and be back to the chair in time to rinse.
Example: “I had a really successful processing time. I even had time to paint my nails!”

Rose Gold Hair

Definition: A warm pink/blonde color that has been extremely trendy for the last few years.
Example: “Did you see Emma Roberts’ rose gold hair on the red carpet? That’s the color I want!”


Definition: A trendy haircut where part of the hair is shaved off, usually on the underlayer of hair near the neck or sides of the scalp.
Example: “You could definitely pull off an undercut. You’ve got an edgy look.”

Man with an undercut hairstyle.

Want to Learn to Speak Hair Lingo?

If you’re curious about becoming fluent in the cosmo language, check out our cosmetology program page! We’d be happy to talk to you about scheduling an admissions tour and enrollment steps. Contact us by email or fill out our online form today!