The Nutress Unabridged Hair Terms Dictionary is the ultimate hair education resource.  Constantly growing, it contains a combination of medical, cosmetologist and transitioning laymen’s terms.  If you need to know what something hair-related means check here first!

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A-LINE BOB
An A-line Bob is a geometric bob with a straight fringe, so called because of the resemblance to the capital A, with it’s horizontal line, the fringe and its legs the hair passing your ears.

ACID
A liquid, usually corrosive with a pH lower than 7, opposite of an alkali.

ACID BALANCED PERMANENT WAVE
A permanent wave (perm) that has a pH between 7.8 and 8.2. This type of perm processes at room temperature and does not require added heat. An acid balanced perm will process more quickly and produce firmer curls than a true acid wave perm.

ACID MANTLE
The combination of sweat and sebum that provides the skin’s protective coating.

ACID PERM
An acid perm produces permanent hair waves with curls that are actually softer than an alkaline perm. It also has a pH from 6.5 to 8.0.

ACNE KELOIDALIS NUCHAE
A skin condition commonly affecting curly haired Afro-males which presents as itchy follicular papules which enlarge and become keloidal. Common sites include the occiput (the scalp area between the ears). Follicular pustules (folliculitis) may exist. The scars are hairless. The condition may persist for many years.

ACTINIC KERATOSIS
A small rough spot on skin chronically exposed to the sun, occurs most frequently in fair skinned people.

ACTIVATOR
A chemical ingredients that is specifically added to hair bleach to speed up the action of the bleach without unnecessarily damaging the hair. Also referred to as Booster, Bleach Boosters or Bleach Accelerators.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT
The substance which, contained in a product, actually does the main part of the work that the product is used for.

ADRENAL
A gland that affects certain types of hair growth.

AFRO
A rounded, thick, tightly curled hair style.

AHA
See alpha-hydroxy acid.

ALBINISM
A recessive hereditary trait which presents as white hair due to defective melanin production thought to be caused by a mutation within genes. Albinos have no melanin pigment and do not tan. Their skin is otherwise normal. Albinism affects people from all races.

ALKALI
A liquid with a pH higher than 7.  Alkalis are used in depilatory creams that dissolve hair, and galvanic electrolysis produces alkalis which can destroy a hair follicle.

ALKALINE
A substance with a pH greater than 7; non acidic.

ALKALINE PERM
A chemically based permanent waving product that has a pH from 7.5 to 9.5. Stronger than acid perms, alkaline perms are designed to produce tight, firm, springy curls rather than the looser curls produced by acid perms. Typically processes at room temperature.

ALMOND SWEET OIL
Emollient used in lotions and cream, it is known for its mildness.

ALLERGEN

Allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction.

ALLERGY
A bodily reaction to an irritant. Skin allergies can be exacerbated by solutions put on the skin.

ALOE VERA
Known as the “first aid” plan, aloe vera is taken from the inner leaves of the plant. It is a water/gel-like substance that is known for its ability to soothe irritated skin, especially sunburned skin. It is also a soothing anti-inflammatory that can be used in lotions, creams, cleansers and other products. Plant from which aloe gel is extracted. Known for its soothing, gentle properties. Especially good for burns and moisturizing the skin. Promotes healing and cellular renewal.

ALOPECIA
The medical term for baldness. Loss of hair, especially from the head, which either happens naturally or is caused by disease.

ALOPECIA ADNATA
Congenital baldness or baldness at birth.

ALOPECIA ANDROGENETIC
This is the common name for male or female pattern baldness which depends on the genetic predisposition of the hair follicles and the levels of DHT in the body.

ALOPECIA ANDROGENIC
The most typical pattern of balding whereby the balding pattern is controlled by hormones and passed along via heredity.

ALOPECIA AREATA
Alopecia Areata is the medical term for hairloss which occurs in patches on the scalp.  characterized by the sudden falling out of hair in patches. Alopecia areata may occur on the scalp anywhere else on the body.

 ALOPECIA CICATRICIAL
This is baldness due to scarring. The follicles are absent in scar tissue.

ALOPECIA FOLLICULARIS
Hair loss due to inflammation of hair follicles.

ALOPECIA NEUROTICA
Baldness following a nervous disorder or injury to the nervous system.

ALOPECIA REDUCTION
A procedure that involves removal of a strip of balding upper scalp in the crown and vertex areas. The natural flexibility of the scalp is used to stretch the surrounding hairy scalp into place. It can be repeated in certain cases. See also “Scalp Reduction.”

ALOPECIA SENILIS
Alopecia senilis is baldness due to old age.

ALOPECIA TOTALIS
This is the complete loss of scalp hair often combined with the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes.

ALOPECIA UNIVERSALIS
Alopecia Universalis is the term for hair loss which occurs over the entire body.

AMINO ACID
A chemical substance found in plants and animals. The building blocks of hair.

AMINOPHENOLS
Phenol derivatives used in combination with other chemicals in permanent (two step) hair dyes.

AMMONIA
An alkaline ingredient used in some permanent hair color. Ammonia is an ingredient that results in a chemical action that decolorizes the hair. A colorless, pungent gas, NH3, extensively used to manufacture fertilizers and a wide variety of nitrogen-containing organic and inorganic chemicals. This is the first step in the nitrogen cycle. Ammonia is generated by fish urine and by the decay of dead fish and plant material. It is perhaps the deadliest agent to tropical fish. Care must be made to ensure that the ammonia levels stay at zero.

AMMONIUM THIOGLYCOLATE
The primary active ingredient (reducing agent) found in alkaline permanent waves. A common ingredient in chemical depilatories.

AMORTIZATION
The process of converting one enzyme to another.

AMPHOTERIC
A mild nonirritating surfactant (an agent that allows oil to mix with water) often used in shampoos; leaves hair manageable and is gentle enough for chemically treated hair.

ANAGEN
This is the growing phase of the hair cycle which lasts about seven years in a healthy person. The active stage in a hair growth cycle.  ANAGEN CYCLE : The active stage in a hair growth cycle.

ANAGEN EFFLUVIUM
Hairshafts are produced by follicles within the skin in all but few locations viz: palms soles, lips, eyelids, backs of distal phalanges and parts of the external genitalia. Each productive hair follicle provides hairshafts throughout the life of the person. Some follicles may intermittently produce vellus or terminal hairshafts.

ANALGESIC
A substance used to relieve pain.

ANAPHORESIS
The forcing of liquids into skin from the negative to the positive pole. The opposite is cataphoresis.

ANDROGEN
Hormone that causes masculine characteristics and affects hair growth. Higher androgen levels can lead to increased amounts of hair.

ANDROGENS
Androgens are often referred to as male hormones.

ANODE
A positive electrode.

ANTI-ANDROGEN
A drug or product that limited the effects of androgens (male hormones An anti-androgen blocks the effects of androgens, normally by blocking the receptor sites.

ANTI-HUMECTANTS
Any substance that repels moisture. They are used to prevent frizz.

ANTIOXIDANT
Vitamins or substances which impede oxidation or spoilage promoted by oxygen or peroxide. (See Special Information section for further information about the controversy surrounding the anti-aging effects of antioxidants and its ability to fight free-radicals.)

ANTISEPTIC
A chemical agent that prevent the growth of bacteria.

APEX
The highest point on the top of the head.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
A natural solvent in oils and creams. It acidifies products. When used in shampoos and rinses, it separates individual hairs so they can be thoroughly cleansed. Sounds like a great addition to the shampoo of bears, hairy men and Husky dogs.

ARRECTOR PILI MUSCLES
A microscopic band of muscle tissue which connects a hair follicle to the dermis. When stimulated, the arrector pili will contract and cause the hair to become more perpendicular to the skin surface (stand on end). This causes the hairs to stand up and creates goosebumps.

ASYMMETRICAL HAIRCUT
A haircut or style that features proportions that are not equal. This type of haircut is designed to balance facial features or create an interesting style.

ATOPIC DERMATITIS
Also known as eczema.

AUTOCLAVE
A machine used to sterilize medical utensils and some hair removal devices.

AXILLA
The medical term for armpit, a common place for gonadal hair after puberty. Armpit hair is referred to medically as axillary hair.

AZELAIC ACID
Azelaic acid like Retin-A is more commonly used in the treatment of acne and other skin conditions.

B

BACK-BRUSHING

A hair styling technique that involves using a brush to tease the hair to build volume and reduce roller marks during a roller-set comb-out.

BACK-COMBING

Back-combing involves combing small sections of hair from the ends toward the scalp, in a way that will cause shorter hair to mat at the scalp and form a cushion or base. Also called teasing, ratting, matting, or French lacing.

BALANCING SHAMPOO

Balancing Shampoo is a type of shampoo is designed to wash excess oil from the hair and scalp, while preventing the hair from drying out.

BALAYAGE HIGHLIGHTING TECHNIQUE

Balayage is a highlighting technique where lightener (typically powder lightener) is painted directly onto clean, styled hair with a brush.

BARBA

Medical term for beard.

BARBICIDE

Brand name of sanitizer used to disinfect salon implements.

BASE COLOR

Base color is the dominate tone in an existing hair color.

BASE CREAM

Base cream is an oil based cream that is used to protect the skin and scalp during a chemical hair relaxer.

BASE RELAXER

A base relaxer is a type of relaxer that requires base cream to be applied to the entire scalp prior to performing the relaxer service. Not all relaxers are base relaxers.

BASE SECTION

Base section refers to the subsections that hair is divided into for perm wrapping. One perm rod is typically placed on each base section.

BASIC PERM WRAP

Basic Perm Wrap, also known as a nine-section perm wrap. In this type of wrap, all the perm rods within each panel (nine panels total) move in the same direction (typically they are rolled down). All the perm rods are positioned on equal-size bases. Each base section is horizontal and is the same length and width as the perm rod.

BASIC SHADE

A natural or neutral colour.

BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is non-cancerous enlargement of the prostrate gland. The prostate gland swells, which reduces the urine flow and prevents the bladder from emptying.

BETAINE

A natural conditioning substance for example: from molasses or sugar beet.

BHT 

Preservative.

THE BIG CHOP

 

BIRTH CONTROL

Drugs that sometimes cause increased hair growth or loss.

BLACK SKIN

Type VI on the Fitzpatrick scale.

BLACKHEADS

A type of clogged pore in the skin with a visible black plug.

BLANCHING

A whitening of the skin sometimes caused by some types of hair removal. Also called hypopigmentation.

BLEACH

A method used to disguise (not remove) hair by lightening its colour.

BLEND

A modality of electrolysis which uses both thermolysis and galvanic methods.

BLONDE HAIR

It is not as visible, but it’s also harder to treat. Lasers have limited effects on it because of its lack of pigment, and it is difficult to see against the skin.

BLOW-DRY STYLING

Blow-dry styling, often called a blow out, is when the hair is dried and styled in one step. A round brush or vent brush are typically used during blow-dry styling.

BLUNT HAIRCUT

Blunt Haircut is a type of haircut in which all the hair falls to the same length at the perimeter. It is cut with no elevation or over-direction. Also referred to as a one-length, zero-elevation, or no-elevation cut.

BOAR BRISTLE

A bristle commonly used in natural bristle brushes.

BOB

The Bob was the classic look of the 50s and 60s; the style was short and straight but blow-dried and curled under. At it’s worst the style could make you look like a mushroom, but at best with the curl accentuating your cheekbones it created an incredibly sexy look. Bob has become a description of the hair length from ear-length to the shoulder. Now you can get straight bobs, or the ends flicked out or in.

BODY

The volume or springiness of hair.

BONDING

To attach wefted hair to the natural hair with a latex or surgical type adhesive. Bonding

Bonding refers to a technique used to attach hair extensions. Hair wefts or single strands or hair are attached with an adhesive or a glue gun.

BOTANICAL

Refers to a product containing plants or ingredients made from plants.

BRAID

To weave strands of hair together. On the scalp braiding is used to form a base or track to sew on a commercial weft. This is the cornrow technique. Off the scalp braiding is used for traditional braiding styles and various methods adding extensions such as Warlocks.

BRASSY

Refers to unflattering warm tones in hair colour created by chemicals or damage.

BRICKLAY PERM WRAP

Bricklay perm wrap is a type of perm wrap where the base sections are offset from each other row by row, similar to the way bricks are placed on a wall.

BULB

The root of a hair, so named because it’s wider at the base.

BULGE

A point midway up the hair follicle which researchers suspect must be damaged to induce permanent hair removal.

BULK HAIR

Term for loose commercial hair. This hair is used for creating wefts or for services like fusion.

BUTYL, PROPYL, ETHYL, AND METHYL PARABENS

Synthetic preservatives used in non-protein based products.

C

C 12-15 ALCOHOLS BENZOATE 

Emollient and provides a dry, silky feel to skin.

CAJEPUT

Tea tree oil is an extraction from the Melaleuca tree. Tea tree oil should not be confused with tea oil, the sweet seasoning and cooking oil from pressed seeds of the tea plant (drinking tea).

Camellia sinensis or the tea oil plant Camellia oleifera. (Cajeput)

CALCIUM THIOGLYCOLATE

The active dissolving ingredient in many cream depilatories, milder version used for chemical hair straightening treatments.

CANITIES

(The ‘graying of hair’) – a pigment deficiency frequently seen in middle-aged people of either sex. Close examination of graying hair confirms that it is an illusion caused by the presence of white hairs among a percentage of normal dark pigmented hairs.

CAP HIGHLIGHT TECHNIQUE

Cap highlight technique is a lightening technique that involves pulling strands of hair through a perforated cap with a thin plastic or metal hook.

CAPILLARIES

Small blood vessels which connect the arteries and veins that feed the hair, some of which carry nutrients to the hair growth matrix.

CARBOMER

A polymer on the basis of acrylic acid. Provides a thickening, gelling action and consistency regulator for cosmetic products.

CATAGEN

A brief middle stage in the hair growth cycle, between active (anagen) and inactive (telogen) stages.  This is the end of the active growth period, and is marked by changes occurring in the follicle. The resting stage of the hair cycle.

CATIONIC

Possessing a positive electrical charge. Cationic detergents are often used in shampoos because they reduce static electricity and leave the hair manageable.

CATIONIC POLYMER

Positively charges the hair to provide manageability and reduces static.

CETYL ALCOHOL (FATTY ALCOHOL)

A gentle humectant, lather booster, and emulsifier. In hair products, it is used to smooth and soften the hair cuticle.

CHAMOMILE

Used in many products for blonde hair to enhance color.

CHELATING

A deep cleansing process which strips the hair lightly before a chemical service. Also known as clarifying.

CHEMICAL DEPILATORIES

Powder or cream preparations that dissolve hair above the surface of the skin. Some find these products very irritating to the skin.

CHEMICAL HAIR RELAXING

Chemical Hair Relaxing refers to the chemical process of rearranging the basic structure of curly or wavy hair into a straight or less wavy form.

CHEMICAL TEXTURE SERVICE

Chemical texture services are hair services that cause a chemical change that will permanently alter the hair’s natural wave pattern. Also referred to as a perm or relaxer service.

CHIGNON

A chignon is a sophisticated, elegant up style, where long hair is twisted (either in a roll or knot) and pinned from the nape of neck. This style is synonymous with the Hollywood and the Oscars, without a single strand of hair out of place.

CHILLTIP

A patented contact cooling device used in laser hair removal.

CHITOSAN

A natural polymer obtained from sea crustaceans protects the hair.

CILIA

Medical term for eyelashes. Ingrown eyelashes should never be removed except under the supervision of a trained medical specialist.

CLARIFIER

A clarifying shampoo is slightly stronger than everyday shampoos and is designed to remove products, hard water or chlorine residue that have built-up over time. These types of shampoos usually have a higher pH level and therefore should not be used regularly as they may dry out the hair and scalp. Use every 2-4 shampoos or the week before a chemical treatment. Always finish with a conditioner. Clarifying shampoo contains an acidic ingredient that helps cut through product buildup that can flatten and dull hair.

CLIMBAZOLE

Highly effective active anti-dandruff ingredient. Combats bacteria on the scalp.

CLUB HAIR

A non-living hair in the last stages of the hair growth cycle, it is detached from the follicle but has not yet shed.

COARSE

A classification for stronger, thicker types of hair.

COCAMIDE DEA

Either made synthetically or derived from the kernel of the coconut, it gives lather and cleans skin and hair.

COCOA BUTTER

Mainly used as a thickening agent in cosmetics. Well absorbed by the skin and imparts a sheen. Used in many lipsticks, soaps, and emollient creams. An acnegenic substance to some.

COCONUT OIL 

Used as an emollient in soaps and as a shine enhancer in some hair products.

COLLAGEN

A protein that holds all connective tissue together under the skin. Collagen is sometimes damaged by plucking or electrolysis, which can lead to dimpling on the skin. Collagen from a plant is also used to fill in scars and augment lips, often with temporary results.  Collagen and Elastin : These are animal by products used in many products. As human skin ages, our own soluble collagen becomes inflexible and the skin’s connective tissue becomes less moisturized naturally. The use of animal collagen and elastin to replace our own is not possible, although these ingredients have moisturizing properties. Effective in smoothing the hair’s cuticle.

COLOR FILLER

color filler refers to a coloring technique where, typically, a demi-permanent hair color is used before applying permanent hair color in order to achieve even coverage. A filler is also used to replace missing tones when coloring hair several shades darker.

COMEDOGENIC

Causes blackheads (Comedones).

COMEDONES: A medical term for blackheads.

CONCENTRATOR

A concentrator is a blow dryer attachment that directs the air stream to the desired section of the hair with increased intensity.

CONDITIONER

Conditioner refers to conditioning chemical agents that are applied to the hair, typically after shampooing the hair. The purpose of conditioner is to deposit protein and/or moisturizer, to help restore the hair’s strength, to give hair added body, or to protect the hair against possible breakage/damage.  Creamy hair product meant to be used after shampoo. Moisturizes and detangles hair.

CONDITIONING SHAMPOO

Conditioning shampoos are shampoos that are designed to make hair smoother and more shiny, add moisture to the hair, avoid and prevent damage to chemically treated hair, and improve the hair’s overall manageability. Also known as moisturizing shampoo.

CONGENITAL

A condition that is hereditary. Excess hair often runs in the family.

CONTACT COOLING

A method of cooling the epidermis immediately prior to laser irradiation in hopes of reducing or eliminating damage to the skin’s surface.

CONTINUOUS STIMULATION TECHNIQUE

A pain reduction method in which the client is distracted by something during treatment (music, etc).

CONTRIBUTING PIGMENT

Contributing Pigment refers to the pigment or tones that lie under the natural hair color. Contributing pigments are exposed when natural color is lightened (through hair color or highlighting). Contributing pigment should be taken into consideration when a new, artificial, hair color is selected. Also called undertone.

CORNROWS

Cornrows are narrow rows of tight visible braids that lie very close to the scalp. They are created with a three-strand, on-the-scalp braid technique.

CORTEX

The cortex is the main structure of the hair shaft. The cortex determines the color and texture of the hair. The largest section of a single hair, containing the main bulk of the hair.

CORTISONE

An anti-inflammatory sometimes linked to hair growth when taken internally.

COSMETICS

Certain types of cosmetics (especially liquid foundations and powders) can be used to conceal but not remove hair. Some women and men use this method in conjunction with a hair removal method. Some methods of hair removal require you not use cosmetics immediately after in speed skin recovery.

COUTURE CUT

A couture cut is a high-fashion cut, which is totally exclusive and specifically tailored to your lifestyle and wardrobe.

COWASH

Conditioner-only washing.

COWLICK

A cowlick is a section of hair that usually grows in a swirl pattern and causes the hair to stand straight up.

CREAM RINSE

A mixture of wax, thickeners, and a group of chemicals used to coat the hair shaft and detangle after shampooing.

CROP

Originally the word crop as an alternative to haircut, without any specific meaning to the style of the cut. However it has come to be a description of hair that is cut very short with the hair hugging the head.

CROWN

The area in the top/back portion of the head which contains a swirl or spiral pattern of hair growth. Also called the ‘vertex,’ it may be the first area where male pattern baldness is noticed.

CURRENT

The flow of electricity, either alternating (AC like a wall outlet) or direct (DC like a battery).

CURVED FOLLICLES

A relatively rare condition which makes certain hair removal methods more difficult and can lead to ingrown hairs.

CUTANEOUS

Relating to the skin.

CUTICLE

The hard outer protective layer of the hair. Healthy cuticles impart sheen to the hair. The hair cuticles form a protective layer which covers the shaft of hair. If your hair is coloured or bleached they can spread out, split or become bloated due to over processing. Which is why if you do process your hair, you’ve got to take special care and help it’s condition by using products.

CYPROTERONE ACETATE

This drug is normally used to reduce sex drive in men. It is also prescribed to treat hirsuitism and androgenetic alopecia in women.

CYST

A closed sac or capsule usually filled with fluid or semisolid material.

D

DANDRUFF

Flaking scalp due to excessive cell production. Usually caused by sebhorric dermatitis.

DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENTS

Deep conditioning treatments are created from chemical mixtures of concentrated protein and heavy cream base of moisturizers. Deep conditioners are typically applied and left on the hair for 5 – 30 minutes. The use of additional heat through a dryer may be used to help the conditioner penetrate deeper into the hair shaft. A conditioner for hair meant for occasional use. Of greater intensity than ordinary conditioners. Formulas usually contain protein, vitamins, and moisture to help dry, damaged hair Also Called DEEP PENETRATING TREATMENT.

DEMI-PERMANENT COLOR

Demi-permanent hair color is similar to semi-permanent hair color but demi-permanent hair color is typically longer lasting and is formulated to deposit but not lift (lighten) the natural hair color. Also called deposit-only hair color.

DEPILATION

The temporary removal of hair on the surface of the skin. Examples include shaving or the use of depilatory creams.

DEPILATORIES

Substances used to dissolve hair above the skin’s surface.

DEPTH

The darkness or lightness of a colour.

DERMAL PAPILLA

The dermal papilla is situated at the base of the hair follicle. The dermal papilla contains nerves and blood vessels which supply glucose for energy and amino acids to make keratin .A tiny bulge at the root of a hair, believed to be one of the primary targets in permanent hair removal.

DERMAL SHEATH

A lining around a hair.

DERMATITIS

Atopic Dermatitis is also known as Eczema. Contact Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with an irritating substance.

DERMATOLOGIST

A doctor specializing in skin and hair conditions.

DERMIS

The deepest layers of the skin, where blood vessels, lymph channels, nerve endings, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, fat cells, hair follicles and muscles are located. The dermis varies in thickness over different sites of the body.

DEVELOPER

A product which oxidizes artificial color pigment.

DEXAMETHOSONE

A steroid anti-inflammatory which sometimes causes hair growth.

DHT (DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE)

DHT is a male hormone that is suggested to be the main cause for the miniaturisation of the hair follicle and for hair loss. DHT is formed when the male hormone testosterone interacts with the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.

DIABETES

A disease where the body improperly produces insulin, sometimes linked to excess hair growth.

DIAMETER

A measurement across the width of the hair.

DIAZOXIDE

A drug sometimes linked to excess hair growth.

DIAZOLIDNYL 

Preservative.

DIFFUSER

A Diffuser is an adapter you put on the end of your hair dryer; it’s generally circular with a number of pins sticking out from it. The diffuser spreads out the air flow from your hair dryer so you don’t get the full force of the air, meaning a gentler drying process.

DIMETHICONE

Detangling aid which conditions, protects against humidity, adds shine.

DIMETHICONE COPOLYOL

Complex of natural silica, acts as a spreading agent for easy application of product; also functions as a moisturizer.

DIRECT CURRENT

Also called DC, it is a type of electrical energy that travels in one direction. The other type is alternating current (AC). Direct current is used in the Galvanic electrolysis method to cause a chemical reaction in the hair follicle.

DISTORTED HAIR FOLLICLES

A relatively rare condition in which the follicle is not straight. This condition can make waxing and electrolysis more difficult and can lead to ingrown hairs and is very successfully treated using pulsed light.

DMDM HYDANTOIN

Preservative, antimicrobial to fight bacteria.

DONOR AREA

The fringe above the ears and around the back of the head where hair follicles are genetically programmed to remain intact and grow throughout life.

DONOR DOMINANCE

The concept that hair follicles transplanted from the donor area will continue to grow in the recipient area.

DONOR SITE

Site where hair roots are taken from during transplant surgery.

DOUBLE-BLIND

A clinical testing method in which neither patient nor doctor know what medication or procedure is being used.

DOUBLE PROCESS

A color service which requires two steps to complete. First the hair is lightened and second the new color is added.

DREADLOCKS

A hairstyle in which the hair naturally or through manipulation is encouraged to matte and form a cylindrical, rope-like pattern. Dreadlocks may take several months to well over a year to form and are considered a permanent style. In order to remove dreadlocks, one must cut them.

DRY SHAMPOO

Dry shampoo is shampoo that cleans the hair without using soap and water.

DRUG TREATMENT

Excess hair can be increased or decreased by certain drugs. These drugs often affect hormonal levels. Consult a physician if a drug seems to be affecting hair growth.

DUTASTERIDE

A medication under development by Glaxo-Welcome for the treatment of BPH, which is a dual inhibitor of the 5-Alpa Reductase enzymes responsible for converting tostosterone to DHT.

E

ECCRINE GLAND

A medical term for sweat gland. These tiny pores do not contain hair follicles.

EDEMA (OEDEMA)

A medical term for swelling.

EFFICACY

A term meaning how well or effectively a cosmetic device works.

ELASTICITY

The hair’s ability to stretch without breaking and then return to its original shape.

EMOLLIENTS

Ingredients that soften or smooth.

EMPHASIS

Emphasis in hair design is the focal point of the design, or the place where the eye is first directed.

EMULSIFIER

A thickening agent and/or binding agent added to products to change their physical composition (joins two or more ingredients together). For example, it can turn a lotion into a cream.

END PAPERS

End papers are absorbent thin papers that are used when wrapping a perm to control the ends of the hair. Also known as end wraps.

ENDOCRINE SYSTEM

A group of glands which maintain the body’s internal environment through the production of hormones. Imbalances in this system can sometimes lead to increased or decreased hair. Glands in the endocrine system include the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries, and testes.

ENDOTHEMIC PERM

An endothermic perm is a perm solution that is activated by an outside heat source, typically a conventional hood-type hair.

ENZYME

Enzymes are proteins that catalyze (i.e. accelerate) and control the rates of chemical reactions. In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process are called substrates, and the enzyme converts them into different molecules, the products. Almost all processes in a biological cell need enzymes in order to occur at significant rates. Since enzymes are extremely selective for their substrates and speed up only a few reactions from among many possibilities, the set of enzymes made in a cell determines which metabolic pathways occur in that cell.

EPIDERMIS

The thin outer layer of skin, on top of the thicker and deeper dermis.

EPILATION

The removal of hair below the skin’s surface (as opposed to depilation). Epilation methods include plucking, waxing, electrolysis and laser.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFA)

EFA preserve the resilence and flexibility of your hair. It’s common for hair products to contain natural or synethetic EFA’s like cetyl alcohol.

ESSENTIAL OIL

The essence of a plant, removed by compressing, steaming, dissolving or distilling. These oils produce the strongest odors, flavors, or medicinal properties when used in a product.

ESTROGEN

One of a group of hormonal steroid compounds that promote the development of female secondary sex characteristics. A female hormone sometimes linked to increased hair growth.

EXFOLIATION

A process of removing the top dead skin layers to reveal healthier, newer skin underneath.

EXTENSION

Hair extensions are pieces of real or synthetic weaved close to the scalp in order to achieve greater length and/or fullness.

EXTRACT

An herbal concentrate produced by separating the essential or active part of an herb into a solvent material.

EXOTHERMIC PERM

An exothermic perm is a type of perm solution that creates chemical reaction that makes the solution heat up internally, which speeds up the processing time.

EUMELANIN

Eumelanin is the type of melanin (pigment) that gives brown and black color to natural hair color.

F

FASHION SHADE

A basic color with added tone.

FEATHERING

Feathering is a cutting technique hairdressers use to take hard lines out of the hair. By cutting into the hair softer lines are created.

FEMALE PATTERN BALDNESS

A hereditary pattern of baldness found in women typically characterized by a diffuse thinning of hair and/or hair loss at the front portion of the scalp behind the frontal hairline. May or may not include a slight recession or thinning in the temples and only very rarely ends in complete baldness at the top of the scalp. Also called “Female Hereditary Hair Thinning.”

FIBROBLASTS

Cells within the the extracellular matrix that produce new collagen molecules when stimulated.

FINASTERIDE

Finasteride is the generic name of the brand name drug Proscar. A drug that binds with the type 2 5-Alpha Reductase enzyme to reduce the amount of DHT in the prostate and serum. Proscar is manufactured by Merck and is FDA approved for the treatment of benign prostate enlargement. More recently 1mg tablets of finasteride have been marketed under the brand name Propecia as a treatment for hairloss.

FINGER WAVES

Finger waves refer to a type of curl or style that involves shaping and directing the hair into in a pattern of “S”-shaped waves using fingers, combs, and waving lotions or gels.

FINISHING SPRAY

A hairspray with medium hold used on a finished style to maintain its shape and hold.

FLY-AWAY HAIR

Fly-away Hair, is thin hair that is charged by static and is a particular problem with straight looks as the hair just won’t lie properly and can spoil your look. A quick way I’ve found to lessen the problem is to pass a silk scarf over the hair and they’ll all lie flat… magic!

FOIL HIGHLIGHTS

A highlighting technique that involves coloring selected strands of hair by slicing or weaving out sections and lacing them on foil or plastic wrap with lightener or hair color applied to the selected sections. The hair is sealed in the foil or plastic wrap while processing.

FOLLICLE SHEATH

Protects the hair during its growth stage.

FOLLICULAR HAIR TRANSPLANTS

One of the latest technique for conducting hair transplants where surgeons harvest hair from naturally growing sections.  The hair is harvested from a follicle.  A follicle is a tube-like depression in the skin or scalp that contains the hair root. It is a strand of hair and its root which is extracted from the donor area and transplanted to the recipient area during hair restoration surgery.

FOLLICULAR UNIT

Groupings of hair that grow together and share the same blood supply. FOLLICULAR UNIT

A follicular unit is a naturally occurring grouping of one, two, or three (and rarely, four) hair follicles found in the skin. The average follicular unit contains about 2.4 hairs.

FOLLICULAR UNIT EXTRACTION (FUE or FOX)

Follicular Unit Extraction is a method of extracting single follicular units, one at a time, from the donor site by using a tiny punch excision. A punch used to extract single follicular units is typically 1mm diameter or less.

FOLLICULAR UNIT GRAFTS

Hair grafts are units of follicles that have been harvested from the donor area and are ready for transplantation into the recipient area of the scalp. The numbers of hair follicles per graft vary widely depending upon the transplantation technique used. A graft may contain a single hair follicle, a single follicular unit, multiple follicular units, or even 20 or more follicles (as in a large round graft).  A graft consisting of a single follicular unit. In appropriate patients, artistic planning – in addition to the correct angulation, orientation, and positioning of follicular unit grafts – can yield an exceptionally “natural” appearance of the transplanted hair.

FOLLICULAR UNIT MICROGRAFTING

A method by which large numbers of follicular units are harvested from the donor site (usually in a long strip or ellipse) and then microscopically dissected into grafts containing single MICRO GRAFT: A very small hair graft usually consisting of one or two hairs. A graft containing 1 or 2 hairs, obtained from the donor area with a micropunch or sliced off from a round graft (see below). A micrograft is typically placed into holes made in the scalp with a microneedle or punch.

FOLLICULAR UNIT MINIGRAFT

A graft containing 3 or 4 hairs (small minigraft) or 5 or 6 hairs (large minigraft). There are many variations of minigrafts derived from round grafts.  MULTI-UNIT GRAFTS (MUG) Grafts that contain two or more follicular units in a single graft. This term replaces the older “minigraft”. In practice today, MUGs contain 2-6 follicular units per graft. MULTI-UNIT GRAFTING Hair transplantation using multi-unit grafts. In practice, these grafts may be placed into small round holes, slots, or slits. This would always be in combination with the use of FUT in the same procedure.

FOLLICULITIS

A common disorder characterized by inflammation of the hair follicle. Also known as Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB) or Tinea Barbae. Appearance of raised lumps and a rash. Prevalent in Type V and VI males.

FRAGILITAS CRINIUM

Fragilitas Crinium is the technical term for brittle hair.

FRAGRANCE

Any natural or synthetic substance or substances use solely to impart a sweet or pleasant smell (odor) to a cosmetic product.

FRAGRANCE- FREE

Products so labeled may still contain small amounts of fragrances to mask the fatty odor of soap or other unpleasant odors.

FRECKLES

Small clumps of coagulated melanin (freckel, frekle, frekel).

FREEZING SPRAY

A hairspray with the firmest hold used to maintain style of hard to hold hair.

FREE-HAND NOTCHING

In hair cutting, free-hand notching is a cutting technique in which pieces of hair are snipped out at random intervals. Also known as point cutting.

FRINGE

Fringe refers to the triangular section of hair that begins at the high point of the top of the head, and ends at the front corners, above the outer corners of the eyes. Also known as bangs.

FURUNCLE

A furuncle is an acute, localized bacterial infection located in the hair follicle. Also known as a boil.

FUSION

The process of attaching small pieces of human hair with a special adhesive and a thermal gun. This is a hair to hair process, no tracks are required. This method allows for free movement of hair extensions.

G

GEL

(1) Gel is a thick, usually clear or transparent, styling product that comes in a tube or bottle and provides a strong hold. It is typically applied to wet hair.  (2) Jelly like material formed by the coagulation of a liquid. Semi – solid emulsion that liquefies when applied to the skin.

GINKO BILOBA 

Anti-inflammatory agent.

GLAZE

Another name for either a sculpturing lotion or a styling crème.  It tends to add a lot of shine.

A non-ammonia hair color that adds shine to the hair. Can also add tone to the hair or neutralize an unwanted tone.

GLYCERIN

A humectant which absorbs moisture from the air to keep hair moist. It is also used as an emollient, lubricant, emulsifier and diluting agent in cosmetics.

GLYCERYL MONOSTEARATE

Emulsifier; also pearlescent agent.

GLYCERYL MONOTHIOGLYCOLATE

The main active ingredient in true acid and acid-balanced waving lotions.

GRADUAL HAIR COLOR

Gradual Hair Color, also known as metallic hair color, contain metal salts that change natural hair color gradually by progressive buildup and exposure to air, creating a dull, metallic appearance. Many men’s hair colors are metallic/gradual hair colors.

GRADUATED HAIR CUT

Graduated Hair Cut, or graduation, refers to a hair cut with a graduated shape or wedge. This type of haircut results from cutting the hair with tension, low to medium elevation, or over-direction and the final result has a stacked area around the exterior.

GRAFTING

A variety of procedures where hair-bearing skin is removed from the lower scalp at the back of the head-the “donor area”-and transferred to thinning or balding areas. The most popular varieties are micrografting (1-2 hairs) and minigrafting (3-8 hairs). A few surgeons selectively use round grafts which have 10-20- hairs each.  ROUND GRAFT: The first type of graft used in hair transplantation, a round graft has many variations. Harvested with punches of various sizes, a large round graft may contain many hairs (20 or more). The round graft is obtained from the donor site by surgical removal and may be used “as is” or may be sliced into smaller sections for micro-, mini- or slit grafts. HAIR “PLUGS”:  A slang term typically used to describe the large round grafts that were used more commonly years ago.

GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT

Natural oil used as a cosmetic preservative.

GREY HAIR

Hair that has lost its pigment. See white hair.

H

HAIR CLONING

A technique under development which could make an unlimited crop of donor hair available for transplanting.

HAIR ECONOMICS

A theory that states only a limited or decreasing supply of hair exists, but the demand for hair increases as balding patterns develop.

HAIR ELASTICITY

Hair elasticity refers to the ability of a strand of hair to stretch and return to its original length. Hair is said to have good (normal) elasticity if it can stretch up to 50% of its length when wet. The better the elasticity, the stronger the hair.

HAIR EXTENSIONS

Hair Extensions are used to add volume or length to your hair by bonding synthetic or real hair at your roots.

HAIR FLAPS

Techniques to rotate large portions of hair from the sides and back of the scalp to the front and central areas of the head. Most effective when used with a tissue expander. See also “Scalp Rotation Flaps.”

HAIR GROWTH CYCLE

Hair passes through a series of cycles known as Anagen (growing phase), Catagen (resting phase) and Telogen (dormant phase).

HAIR INTEGRATION

A modern term used to describe hair weaving.

HAIR LINE

A hair line refers to the hair that grows along outer most perimeter of your hair including the face, around the ears, and along the neck.

HAIRLINE REFINEMENT

Hair Line Refinement or “Hair Line Correction” refers to the use of a variety of newer, more delicate grafting techniques to alter, camouflage or soften the “pluggy” looking results of older hair transplant techniques.

HAIR TRANSPLANT

A surgical technique that transfers hair follicles from the donor area to the recipient area.

HAIR WAX

Much like a styling pomade, with a firmer viscosity. These products tend to come in either pots or stick delivery systems. Use these products for defining only. Piece out individual curls or wisps of hair. Less is definitely more with wax, which tends to work better on shorter hair.

HAIR WEAVING

A process by which a hair piece is attached to existing hair on the head through braiding or a weaving process.

HAIR WEFT CLIPS

To attach hair wefts by clips. Clips are placed in the hair and snapped close. Wefts are held securely in place.

HARD PRESS

A hard press is a hair straightening technique that removes all of the curl by using a pressing comb twice on each side of the hair shaft.

HEATCLAMPS

A heat gun that is used to seal synthetic hair. Used for creating warlocks and other styles.

HENNA

Derived from the henna plant, a vegetable dye made from its leaves and stems into a powder. Traditionally, it imparts a reddish cast to the hair by coating it. Clear henna enhances shine. Henna cannot be dyed over since it coats the outer hair shaft, affecting the penetration of the chemical colorant.

HIGHLIGHTING SHAMPOO

Highlighting shampoo is a mixture of shampoo and hydrogen peroxide developer. On occasion, hair lightener is also mixed in. It is often used by professional hair stylists when a lighter natural hair color is desired or when a permanent hair color results in a darker shade than desired.

HIGHLIGHTS

Highlighting refers to a hair coloring technique where only some of the hair strands are colored lighter than the natural hair color. This technique is used to add the illusion of sheen and depth. Highlights can contrast strongly with the natural hair color to give a dramatic look, or they can be a subtle difference for a more natural appearance. Highlights the subtle lifting of color in specific sections of hair.

HIRSUTISM

Excessive hair growth, accompanied by enlarged hair follicles and increased pigmentation.

HONEY 

Humectant for skin and hair.

HUMECTANT

An ingredient in skin or hair products that draws moisture from the air to moisturize.

Humectants Any substance that promotes the retention of water. Products that have humectant properties are a must for curly hair.

HUMIDITY

The amount of moisture available in the air.

HYDRATE

To add moisture.

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE

Used to oxidize (expand) artificial color molecules. Can also lighten natural color pigment.

HYDROLYZED KERATIN

Basically corresponds to human hair, contains the “structural protein” of hair, repairs damage – active ingredient ’Liquid hair’. Protein for the hair derived from non-animal sources.

HYDROXYPROPYL GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE

All essential ingredient that helps retain moisture in the hair.

I

INFUSION

Tea made by steeping an herb’s leaves or flowers in hot water.

INSTANT CONDITIONER
INTERLOCKING

A method in which hair is maintained or tightened using a tool.

IONIC

Process where water molecules are broken down by ions into smaller droplets. This then allows the hair to absorb the moisture more easily. Ionic technology usually uses hot ceramic plates to generate the negatively charged ions.

ISOPROPYL LANOLATE

Synthetic moisturizer.

J

JOJOBA OIL

Contains superior properties to keep skin soft. It is beneficial to acne prone skin and dry hair.

JOULE

A unit of energy. Describes energy output for pulsed light based systems.

K

KANEKALON

A trademark for a Japanese-made synthetic fiber which is used extensively in the manufacture of wigs and hairpieces. It’s popularity is due to its ability to retain its shape after washing, and also to the fine texture of the fiber, making it a desirable choice for simulating the texture of human hair. There are different qualities of Kanekalon fiber.

KAOLIN

A white clay used for absorbing impurities.

KERATIN

A fibrous protein found in hair, nails, and skin.

L

LANOLIN

A natural extract of sheep wool used as a moisturizer which is a common cause of allergic reactions, but is rarely used in pure form.

LANUGO HAIRS

(Of the foetus) Are usually shed during the 7th month of foetal life following primary folliculo-genesis (the development of primary hair follicles which usually remain inactive until the neo-natal period).

LAURAMIDE DEA 

Emulsifier and foam booster.

LAURYL DIMONIUM  HYDROXY PROPL HYDROLYZED

A conditioning agent in shampoos, which helps detangle the hair.

LAVENDER EXTRACT

Anti-inflammatory, soothing agent.

LAYERING

Layering is a technique used by hairdressers to change the thickness of the hair, creating either a thinning or thicker appearance. In this way the hair can be given a fuller appearance, more texture and movement.

LEUCOTRICHIA

Refers to a congenital absence of pigment in a lock of hairs which will show as grey/white. Several generations of some families have been known to exhibit this dominant trait.

LIPID LAYER

Lipids are part of the structure of the hair and also form a protective barrier. They are composed of EFA’s amongst other complicated scientific things.

LIPOSOMES

Microscopic sacs manufactured from natural or synthetic fatty substances which include phospholipids (components of cell membranes). When properly mixed with water, phospholipids can “trap” any substance that will dissolve in water or oil. Manufacturers say that liposomes act like a delivery system, depositing product ingredients into the skin. When the liposomes “melt” the ingredients, such as moisturizers, are released.

LIQUID HAIR

Strengthens and rebuilds the structure of the hair.

LUBRICANT

An oil or oil rich crème or lotion designed to lubricate the skin and slow moisture loss.

M

MALE PATTERN BALDNESS

An inherited condition in men which is triggered by the hormone Dihydrotestosterone which causes gradual miniaturization (and eventual loss) of hair follicles. Starting anytime after puberty with a recession of the hairline and thinning of the crown areas, it can eventually lead to complete baldness at the top of the scalp. The areas around the sides and back of the scalp are not typically affected by male pattern baldness.

MATTE

A non – shiny surface that absorbs light; a dead or dull finish.

MEDULLA

The medulla is a central zone of cells usually only present in large thick hairs.

MELANIN

Natural substance that gives color (pigment) to hair and skin.

MICRO LINKING TECHNIQUE

The process of attaching hair wefts without braids. The links are sewn on to the wefted hair. The user’s natural hair is pulled through and locked secure. This system is highly recommended for natural hair that is too fine or soft to hold other weave techniques.

MINOXIDIL

Minoxidil is the generic name of the brand name drug Rogaine. Rogaine is manufactured by Upjohn. Minoxidil is available in the form of a topical lotion with varying strength from 2% to 5%. Minoxidil was the first drug to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia.

MOISTURIZER

An emollient cream used to hydrate the skin.

MONOFILAMENT

Fine, transparent nylon or silk mesh with hairs individually hand-knotted into the mesh. Allows the hair to fall naturally and gives more versatility in styling. Very suitable for persons with extensive hair loss, as the color of the scalp underneath shows through, creating the illusion of hair growing out of your scalp.

MOUSSE

Mousse products are a legacy form the 1980s, the era of big hair. They were developed to create weightless volume. These are products that are liquid in their packaged state and when dispensed, they become foam. They give light to firm style support without weighing the hair down.

MOLDING CREAM

Products are great for adding volume at the hair root, or to define curls. They tend to have a very thick viscosity and offer firm, flexible styling support. The tradeoff for this type of product is you do not get a great deal of shine. Molding cream, if properly applied, can be one of the most versatile products. But use a small amount. You can always add more as needed. They may be too thick for longer hair.

MYRISTATE

Synthetic moisturizer.

N

NATURAL

Ingredients extracted directly from plants, earth minerals, or animal products as opposed to being produced synthetically.

NERVE ENDINGS

Receptors which respond to touch, pain, pressure, heat and cold.

NEUTRALIZE

To cancel or reduce effect.

NORWOOD SCALE

The most commonly used scale for the classification of hair loss.

NUTRIENT

A substance, such as a vitamin, which provides elements for the ongoing functioning of the body’s metabolic processes.

O

OAT-DERIVED POLYSACCHARIDE

Natural complex derived from oats that functions to assist the body’s immune system, to maintain healthy skin.

OAT OIL

Powerful antioxidant and emollient; provides deep antioxidant activity.

OCTOXYNOL-9 

Anti-inflammatory agent.

OLEIC ACID (OLIVE OIL)** 

Oil with acnegenic tendencies.

ORGANIC

Pertaining to carbon – based compounds produced by living plants, animals or by synthetic processes. Referring to substances that are or have been alive, and therefore contain carbon molecules in their chemical structure.

OTC (OVER-THE-COUNTER) DRUGS

Products that intend to treat or prevent disease, or otherwise affect the structure or functions of the human body, are considered drugs. Over-the-counter drugs are drugs that can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription. Examples of products that are over-the-counter drugs are fluoride toothpastes, hormone creams, sunscreen preparations, antiperspirants, and anti-dandruff shampoos.

OUTER ROOT SHEATH

A soft thin layer surrounding the lower two-thirds of a hair.

OVARIES

In women, a major source of female hormones. Certain conditions involving the ovaries can lead to excess hair growth, especially polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

OVERTREATMENT

Overly aggressive treatment to remove hair which leads to temporary or permanent skin damage.

OXIDATION COLOUR

A color which requires oxygen to make it work.

P

P A B A

Esthers found in sunscreen and cosmetic products that can make skin sensitive.

P H: (PH: PERCENTAGE OF HYDROGEN)

Used to measure acidity in cosmetic preparations.

P.V.P

Seals and adds shine. P.V.P/VA : Copolymer Nonionic “film” forming agent.

PALM ROLLING

A technique used to smooth out the shaft of a loc by rolling it, with or without product, between the palms of the hands.

PALMITATE

Synthetic moisturizer.

PANTHENOL

Aids detangling. Provides volume, control and shine.

PANTOTHENIC ACID

Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5 (a B vitamin), is a water-soluble vitamin required to sustain life (essential nutrient). Pantothenic acid is needed to form coenzyme-A (CoA), and is critical in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

PAPILLA

The small area at the base of the hair root which provides nutrients needed for growth.

PATCH TEST

A test performed (usually with a hair dye or other potential allergen) on the skin 24 hours before its use to determine sensitivity.

PERM

Creates curls by restructuring hair molecules with a chemical, or heat treatment and is generally a long-lasting or permanent change to your hair (perm is short for permanent).

PERMANENT

A definition set by the American FDA that most laser and intense light source manufacturers claim to meet for hair removal.

PIGMENT

Color.

POMADE

These are styling gels with either a water-soluable or non-soluable wax base. These products are very thick in viscosity and tend to have the consistency of cold margarine or butter. They can be used for all styles seeking high definition, control and shine. remember that less is more with pomades, and make sure to emulsify the product in the hands before using. Pomades are especially good for African-American hair because they add moisture, control and shine.

PORE

A small opening of the sweat glands of the skin.

POROSITY

Ability to absorb moisture.

PRE-POO

A treatment applied prior to shampooing. It usually consists of oils and/or conditioners applied the night before the shampoo or immediately prior, with a heat source to help penetrate. This is usually performed to help the hair maintain necessary moisture during the drying shampoo process.

PROPECIA

The brand name for finestaride. The only drug approved by the FDA to treat hair loss.

PROTEIN TREATMENT

A treatment used on the hair designed to add strength and elasticity to the hair by adding protein to the cortex.

PSORIASIS

Chronic skin inflammation characterized by frequent episodes of redness, itching and thick, dry scales.

Q

Q-SWITCH

A device that produces short intense bursts of energy from a laser.

R

RECIPIENT AREA

Area where hair loss has occurred and hair follicles will be implanted during a hair transplant procedure. RECIPIENT SITE: The bald or thinning area where hair grafts or plugs a transplanted.

RELAX

To chemically straighten the hair to gently smooth out curl, reduce frizz, or create a straight style.

RELAXER

A chemical process by which the hair is permanently straightened. New-growth areas have to be maintained via ’touch-ups’ to continue the straightened pattern. A relaxer penetrates the cortex and breaking the hairs’ natural chemical bonds which originally caused it to be curly. Once these chemical bonds are broken, they can not be repaired so the hair is unable to return to its natural state.

REMI/REMY HAIR

Refers to human hair (usually Indian in origin) which has been harvested from root to end, with all of the cuticle going in the same direction. It is different from Virgin hair as it may be colored or permed, but has not had the cuticle removed. It is generally soft and silky, and is used in making higher quality wigs, extensions, and hair systems.

RESISTANT

Stops or opposes treatment.

RETIN-A

Retinoic Acid, compound that is often used to improve the appearance and texture of the skin. RETIN-A OR TRETINOIN  is a brand name for a topical gel or cream normally used in the treatment if acne.

ROGAINE/REGAINE

The brand name for minoxidil. A topical hair growth solution for hair loss.

ROUGH BLOW DRY

A Rough Blow Dry is just to remove the moisture from wet hair, i.e. just to dry the hair without styling. To try and style your hair whilst trying to blow it dry from wet can take ages, so rough blow dry your hair and then worry about the style.

S

SAW PALMETTO

Saw Palmetto is a natural herb that has been shown to be an effective anti-androgen.

SCHIZOTRICHIA

Trichoptilosis is the “splitting of hairs at the ends,” according to Dorland’s Pocket Medical Dictionary, 21st edition, 1968. Often referred to as “split ends.” Comes from the Greek root “tricho” meaning hair and “ptilosis” meaning “falling out of the eyelashes.” Also called “schizotrichia.” A split end is when the hair-shaft splits or flays due to excessive heat and misusage. There is no way to repair split ends; when they occur, the hair must be trimmed.

SCLERODERMA

A disease of the skin and connective tissue that can cause hair loss over the affected areas.

SCRUNCH DRY

A technique for drying your hair which creates a style at the same time. Using a diffuser on your hairdryer, put the dryer underneath and literally scrunch your hair with your free hand.

SCULPTURING LOTIONS

A liquid based styling product that is great for taming curly hair. The liquid consistency allows the product to penetrate into the hair. They tend to have light to medium hold and can be used for setting hair, finger waving, braiding, scrunching and plaiting. Many African-American consumers find these products to be a lifesaver for taming flyaways and detangling.

SEALING

Is essentially sealing moisture in the hair, specifically the ends. For sealing to be effective, you must first use a water-based moisturizer (a conditioner or cream that has water as its first ingredient), and then seal with a butter or oil. The molecules in most butters/oils are too large to pass into the hair, so they stick to the outside of the shaft, trapping in the rich goodness of the moisturizer. Reversing those 2 steps will lead to dry hair.

SEBACEOUS

Fatty or greasy, usually referring to the oil-secreting glands of the scalp.  SEBACEOUS GLAND oil producing gland in the dermis.

SEBORRHOEIC DERMATITIS

Seborrhoeic dermatitis has been called a more extensive and severe form of dandruff.

SEBUM

The oily secretion of the sebaceous glands of the scalp, composed of keratin, fat or cellular debris.

SECTIONING

Sectioning your hair allows you to only pay attention to a particular area or panel of hair. You or your hairdresser will do this when blow-drying, cutting or colouring your hair, and will section your hair by taking a panel of hair and pinning or ignoring the rest.

SEMI – PERMANENT

A colour which lasts from 6 – 8 shampoos.

SERUM

Smoothing product to stop hair from frizzing, keeping it smooth and straight. Specifically designed to hair type, use a serum on wet hair before styling, or use in moderation on dry hair to get a smoother look.

SHINE SPRAY

A mica-or silicone-based spray product that adds shine. They tend to have no holding properties. They are best used as the last step. Apply hair spray, all it to dry, then mist on the shine spray. Don’t touch your hair for the rest of the day. For curly heads, look for a silicone-based spray because these aid in frizz control.

SILICONE

Increases wet and dry combability.  Can be water soluble or insoluble.  Know by slang term ‘cone’ because of common endings to most materials in this family –cone, -conol, -col.

SILK PROTEIN

A natural water-soluble source of acid derived from liquid silk; these acids help moisture penetrate the skin (aid in absorption) and aid in skin healing. Used in skin and hair products.

SLIP

Term used to describe how slippery a product is (usually a conditioner or detangler) the more slip it has, the more effectively it will coat the hair to aid in detangling.

SMOOTHING GELS OR BALMS

Clear to translucent gels that come in a variety of viscosities. They tend to have little to no hold, but soften curl, balance moisture level and fight frizz. They can be added while styling to control flyaway and frizz or apply and use with a blow dryer and tension to smooth and straighten the hair. After you wash your hair, the curl will return. Always apply a smoothing balm first to the ends of the hair and work it up the hair shaft to the root. Silicone-based products will straighten hair, add shine and help to block outside humidity.

SOAP

Cleansing agent that is a sodium or potassium salt of animal or vegetable fat.

SOLUBLE

Being able to dissolve into, or being compatible with, another substance.

SOOTHING

Reducing skin discomforts from irritation, blemishes, burning skin, etc.

SPF

An acronym for “Sun Protection Factor” ranging from 2 to 45 with 2 being the least protection and 45 the most. SPF – An acronym for “Sun Protection Factor” ranging from 2 to 45 with 2 being the least protection and 45 the most. See also SUNSCREENS/SUN INDUCED DAMAGE.

SPLIT ENDS

Trichoptilosis is the “splitting of hairs at the ends,” according to Dorland’s Pocket Medical Dictionary, 21st edition, 1968. Comes from the Greek root “tricho” meaning hair and “ptilosis” meaning “falling out of the eyelashes.” Also called “schizotrichia.” A split end is when the hair-shaft splits or flays due to excessive heat and/or mechanical stress. There is no way to repair split ends; when they occur, the hair must be trimmed.

SPRIONOLACTONE

This is a drug normally used to treat high blood pressure, however is also acts as an antiandrogen and is used in the treatment of androgen related disorders such as female pattern baldness and hirsuitism.

SPRITZ

Spritz is a light mist or spray, which when used as verb means to lightly spray your hair. When describing a product it generally means the product will produce a fine mist.

SQUALENE

Shark-liver oil.

STEARIC ACID AND STEARYL ALCOHOL

Used for its emollient properties and as a moisturizing ingredient.

STEAMING

The process by which most synthetic fiber is curled at the factory. The curl pattern in a synthetic wig or hairpiece may be changed by setting it in rollers or clips, and using an ordinary hand-held clothing steamer on them. After steaming the curls, let the fiber get completely cool before removing the pins or rollers.

STRAIGHTENING CREAM

Generally a lighter version of a straightening gel or balm. They are best for straightening fine hair or for providing light frizz control to medium and coarse hair.

STYLING CREAM

A styling cream tends to offer pliable style support. They are opaque to translucent and come in a variety of holds and shine factors. These creams tend to be best for adding definition to curls and texture for shorter styles. Just add a little bit at the fingertips and piece out individual curls. A medium to light hold cream is best for curly hair. these products also are a must for up-do work. Many times, these are two-in-one products that condition as well as style.

SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE

The body’s shock absorber.

SUNBLOCK

Products that reflect all the sun’s rays, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They permit minimal tanning, and are a good choice for those who are sensitive to chemicals.

SUNSCREEN

Products with ingredients that absorb UVA and UVB rays. Find one labeled “broad spectrum” for maximum protection.

SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE

The enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD, EC 1.15.1.1), catalyzes the dismutation of superoxide into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. As such, it is an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen.

SURFACTANTS

Surface active agent that allows oil to mix with water. Used in skincare products like cleansers, wetting agents, emulsifiers, solubizers, conditioning agents and foam stabilizers.

T

THE BIG CHOP

TRANSITIONING

TEA TREE OIL

Tea tree oil is an extraction from the Melaleuca tree. Tea tree oil should not be confused with tea oil, the sweet seasoning and cooking oil from pressed seeds of the tea plant (drinking tea) Camellia sinensis or the tea oil plant Camellia oleifera. (Cajeput)

TELOGEN

The resting phase in the hair cycle.

TELEGEN EFFLUVIUM

Hairshafts are produced by follicles within the skin in all but few locations viz: palms soles, lips, eyelids, backs of distal phalanges and parts of the external genitalia. Each productive hair follicle provides hairshafts throughout the life of the person. Some follicles may intermittently produce vellus or terminal hairshafts.

TEMPLES/TEMPORAL AREA

The two upper outer corners where the forehead meets the hairline. This is usually the first area where male pattern baldness is observed, causing the hairline to recede.

TEMPORAL POINT

The two triangular shaped areas of hair located in the lower outer corners of the forehead, where the temporal hairline meets the sideburns.

TEMPORARY COLOR

A hair color formula that lasts only until hair is shampooed.

TERMINAL HAIRS

Coarse, pigmented or non-pigmented, exist on the scalp and gain length at a rate of 1-2cm per month during a cyclical life of up to 10 years.

TESTOSTERONE

A predominantly male hormone which promotes the development of male characteristics.

TEXTURIZER

A texturizer is a mild relaxing treatment. Instead of causing the hair to be ’bone straight,’ this chemical treatment is left on for a shorter period of time. The idea is to slightly relax the natural curl in African hair so that it’s more manageable and with proper maintenance, one can mimic curly styles.

THERMAL PROCESS

Temporarily straightening the hair with a heated iron.

TONE

Distribution of ashen and warm pigments, visual effect of gold or ash in the hair.

TOPICALLY

Means to apply directly onto the scalp.

TOURMALINE

Tourmaline is a crystal silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. Tourmaline gem stones come in a wide variety of colors. The name comes from the Sinhalese word “turamali” or “toramalli”, which applied to different gemstones found in Sri Lanka. Crystals of tourmaline when heated exhibit electric polarity which in turn helps the ionic effect.

TRACK

Parting or a cornrow that establishes the placement pattern of wefts or strand additions.

TRACTION ALOPECIA

This refers to hair loss which occurs due to traction being placed on hair. Traction alopecia is commonly seen with braids, pony tails and other hairstyles which cause tension on the scalp.

TRANSLUCENT

Allows some light to pass through.

TREATMENT

A treatment is used in between Shampoo and Conditioner to put protein back into the hair. You should leave the treatment in your hair for approximately 5 minutes before using your conditioner. You’ll be able to find a treatment designed for your hair type.

TRICHOPTILOSIS

Trichoptilosis is the “splitting of hairs at the ends,” according to Dorland’s Pocket Medical Dictionary, 21st edition, 1968. Often referred to as “split ends.” Comes from the Greek root “tricho” meaning hair and “ptilosis” meaning “falling out of the eyelashes.” Also called “schizotrichia.” A split end is when the hair-shaft splits or flays due to excessive heat and misusage. There is no way to repair split ends; when they occur, the hair must be trimmed.

TRICHOTILLOMANIA

This form of hair loss is caused by pulling out one’s own hair, usually without realizing it.

TRICLOSAN

Is effective against most bacteria occurring on the skin.

U

UREA 

Preservative.

ULCER

An area of tissue erosion. They are always depressed and are due to irritation. They may become infected and inflamed as they grow.

UV

Ultraviolet radiation. The invisible spectrum of solar radiation. It is divided into three regions with increasing danger to the skin; UV – A, UV – B, and UV – C.

V

VELLUS

The soft downy hair found covering the body.  Soft, non-pigmented and rarely exceed a length of 2 cm due to the short anagen phase of cyclic follicular activity.

VERTEX

The top of the head towards the posterior position, including the area at which the hair grows in a spiral pattern.  VERTEX AREA: The area in the top/back portion of the head which contains a swirl or spiral pattern of hair growth. Also called the ‘crown,’ it may be the first area where male pattern baldness is noticed.

VESICULATION

Blister formation caused by thermal damage.

VITAMIN B5/PANTOTHENIC ACID

Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5 (a B vitamin), is a water-soluble vitamin required to sustain life (essential nutrient). Pantothenic acid is needed to form coenzyme-A (CoA), and is critical in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

VITAMIN E ACETATE

Antioxidant.

VIRGIN HAIR

This term refers to human hair which is still in its original state as harvested from the grower, and which has not been permed, colored, or chemically processed in any way. It is carefully cut from the grower with the cuticle going in the same direction and preserved to maximize its special quality. Harvesting the hair in this manner takes more time, which contributes to the premium price of this hair. Virgin hair can be of any ethnic origin, but the best quality hair used in making wigs today is of Russian, Ukrainian, Belgian, and Turkish origin. This is the most expensive hair of all because it is not as plentiful as lesser quality hair. In spite of the high cost, top-quality Virgin European hair wigs are in high demand by those who wish to wear only the finest.

VITILIGO

Loss of pigment at small or large areas of skin/hairs. This is due to melanin failure caused by damaged melanocytes. This damage or destruction is thought to be associated with an immune system reaction, or genetic defect. The progress of the disease is unpredictable. Approx. 2% of the population is affected.

W

WARM 

Refers to yellow, red or orange based undertones in hair, skin, or makeup.

WATER – RESISTANT

Repels moisture or water; not readily removed with water.

WEAVE

A hair weave is usually a hairpiece with layered gaps made into it. This is then placed on a person’s head and his/her own real hair is weaved into the hairpiece.

WEFT

Wefts are temporary hair extensions which are glued into your hair, an amount of hair or fiber which is doubled over and MACHINE-SEWN along the top to create a long strand of hair. This is the type of hair strand used for hair extensions and weaving.

WHITE HAIR

Having no pigment. Possible causes: Genetic, Vitamin B deficiency, drugs for treatment of arthritis and other health factors.

WIG

The term used to describe any hairpiece with a full cap which covers the hair on the head, or the entire area where hair normally grows, as a substitute for hair. The purpose of a wig is to create your ideal look.

Z

ZINC OXIDE

An oxide of zinc, an astringent.

ZINC STEARATE

Used in powder to improve texture and to lubricate.

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