12 Hairdressing terms defined

Want to know what Gigi Hadid, Emma Roberts and Jessica Biel have in common? Beautiful hair colour that’s what! Confused about what an Ecaille is? Never been too sure about how to define that colour you saw last week? Never fear we are here to help you through the minefield of hairstylists terms! We asked Rush’s International Colour Director Chris Williams with art team member and educator Alex Hardy to define some hairdressing terms for us!

Here’s what they had to say!


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Model Gigi Hadid sporting Babylights

These are ultra fine highlights applied delicately to create a subtle effect similar to the colour children have! To achieve the look ask for babylights just a few shades lighter than your natural hair colour. This low maintenance look is easy to maintain and lets you pick a colour that’s not as drastic as Ombré or Highlights, recently spotted on model Gigi Hadid this natural look will keep everyone guessing!
Means to sweep. Freehand lighter pieces are swept through the hair working from mid length to ends. Usually leaving some natural or darker colour in between. This look is usually more subtle than Ombré and suits most hair types. The colour is applied in a triangle method and adds a sun kissed tone to the hair. For long hair, try going a few shades lighter and adding waves for a soft romantic style.
Brown, blonde. This can be highlights, Balayage or ombré but usually refers to a brunette base with caramels working through it. If you’re a brunette and want to try colour for the first time ask for soft warm highlights to add a mulitonal look and break up the block colour. This is perfect for summer!
Red Bronze this can refer to copper red shade or a copper red mixed with a bronze brown. Liven up your overall red colour without adding obvious highlights, perfect for adding shine and definition to the hair.
Ombré comes from the french word meaning shadow or shades and was spotted on Cheryl Versini Fernandez. This is the gradual fade/blend from dark to light down the hair shaft. It usually refers to a global technique but can be used as a partial technique or mixed with other techniques. There is usually no natural colour at the ends and is then blended through to the natural colour at the top. The style suits most hair lengths and any colour so get experimenting!

Jessica Biel showing her Tortoise Shell look off

Ecaille/Tortoise Shell
Is tortoise shell in French. It’s a 3D technique that combines Balayage or highlights with a soft ombré and best suits brunettes with caramel tones.
A partial colour technique where finely woven strands of hair are coloured lighter than the natural colour. These can be natural or for a bold look try chunky highlights on a bold base. Find out more about highlights at Rush Hair.
Highlights that are darker than the natural colour as opposed to lighter than, however often miss used to describe red or copper highlights. Most commonly used for adding a natural tone to break up highlights if you don’t want a heavy/ block colour.
An expression for a global application of a quasi permanent colour. These types of colour contain no ammonia and can not lighten hair. They are conditioning colours designed to fade giving a softer regrowth than a permanent colour and are rich and shiny giving the hair lots of gloss which is where the expression comes from.


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Emma Roberts from American Horror Story showing off her bob

Bob is cut above the shoulders but below the ears. This classic look has been on the scene for years and for the right face shape can bring a sense of class and excitement.For a vintage twist add a fringe to create drama.
From long and bob the Lob is cut just below the shoulders but above or on the collar bone. This has been called the cut that suits everyone, and many celebrities have proved this!
Graduation is when the outline length is shorter than the internal length of the hair cut. It is to build up weight into the haircut. It is best suited for medium to fine hair.

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