Salon Speak: How Do You Describe The Haircut You Want? The Color?

By Petra Guglielmetti, Glamour magazine

Are you good at speaking salon? As in: Are you successful at getting hairstylists to understand the haircut or hair color you're going for?

It took me so long to get good at salon speak. The terms I used to use were just too general--namely "long layers" and "golden-blond highlights". As a result, I usually ended up with layers that were too long, so my hair had little movement and basically looked one-length, and blond highlights that were too blond for my taste. Over time, I started to be way more specific.

Now, I ask not for "long" layers, but for layers that provide lots of swingy movement and let me easily achieve bend and "flip" using a round brush--then I add that none of the layers should be shorter than my shoulders (to avoid frizz/pouf). For my color (when I'm blond--sometimes I go brunette), I request honey-colored highlights instead of golden; I find this better conveys the richer, deeper gold I am going for. But I'll be honest: Sometimes I still manage to miscommunicate and end up with totally not the look I was going for.

Obviously, bringing photos of the haircut or hair color you want to the salon helps infinitely--but let's discuss the part where you describe what you want.

What do you ask for when you go in for a haircut? And what terms do you use when requesting your hair color? Have you found certain descriptions really helpful in getting the results you want?


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Photo Credit: WWD