Hair Color Glossary

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

Photo by Caroline Hwang

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.