Hair Color Glossary

Learning to speak your colorist's language will help you achieve exactly the look you want.

  • Courtney Dunlop

If it seems as if your colorist is speaking another language, well, she is. Learn to talk the talk with this glossary from Michael Brimhall, a senior colorist at the Warren-Tricomi Salon in New York City.


  • Double Process: Getting a single process (see following page) and highlights on the same day. Or lightening and toning on the same day.
  • Gloss or Glaze: A pigment-laden or clear liquid applied to refine a hair color, especially to fine-tune blond highlights.
  • Lift: A move to a lighter shade on the color-level system used by colorists. One is jet-black, 10 is generally the lightest blond, and all other shades fall in between.
  • Single Process: Allover coloring of the hair, from the roots at the scalp down to the ends, in one step.