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Balayage, glaze and lob: hair jargon you need to understand

April 23, 2015
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Whether you're after balayage or a bouffant look, haircare and styling has never been more confusing. Endless products and must-have oils can sometimes be overwhelming and it can be difficult to establish what's best for your hair.

This can lead to a hair-related disaster, especially if you're in a salon. "Lots of women are going into the salon and being bombarded with buzzwords that they don't understand," reveals Laura Meredith from "And so agree to things without knowing what they are."

We take a look at the most popular hair jargon and reveal what it all means…

Scroll below for the full list

hair care

The amount of hairstyles and products can be overwhelming

Argan oil

Celebrity fans: Kim Kardashian, Eva Mendes, Madonna

Argan oil is great for dry or damaged hair as it not only moisturises, softens and protects your locks without leaving a greasy build-up, but it also helps growth. Be warned – it's a rare oil so it often comes with a hefty price tag.


Celebrity fans: Blake Lively and Victoria Beckham

This new colour treatment uses mild, ammonia-free shades that are applied after highlights for a subtle shine. They come in sheer and colour depending on your look.


Celebrity fans: Rihanna, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Olivia Palermo

Balayage is a sun-kissed natural looking hair colour applied freehand with no foils. It can be totally bespoke as experts can tailor colours and highlights. It's a timeless, low maintenance way of colouring your hair. While it suits most shades and lengths, it's best to avoid if you have cropped hair.


Celebrity fans: Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Paloma Faith, Lana Del Ray

A bouffant is big, voluminous hair that stands out from the head in a rounded shape. This kind of volume works best on unwashed hair and can only be achieved with plenty of backcombing.


Celebrity fans: Kate Hudson, Selena Gomez, Zooey Deschanel

A chignon is a sophisticated and elegant updo, where long hair is twisted in a roll or knot and pinned from the nape of the neck – think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.


Knowing exactly what you want can avoid hair distasters in the salon

Coconut oil

Celebrity fans: Lauren Conrad, Miranda Kerr, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Coconut oil helps reduce protein loss in damaged hair and locks in moisture without the need for petroleum-based ingredients or other chemicals.


Celebrity fans: Taylor Swift, Alexa Chung

A long bob which is extremely versatile to style, and a great way to try out a shorter length for the first time.


Celebrity fans: Jennifer Lawrence, Beyoncé

A wavy bob, conventionally cut to chin length with extra bounce and volume.

Hair cuticles

Hair cuticles form a protective layer that covers the hair, so if your locks get coloured or bleached they can risk splitting or becoming bloated due to over-processing. Special care needs to be taken if you do process your hair – use intensive products to help repair any damage.


Keratin treatments provide semi-permanent hair straightening that can softens curls as opposed to flattening them out completely. The natural volume of the hair is maintained and the end result is much silkier.


Wefts are hair extension alternatives for a fraction of the price. They can be cold bonded with glue, clipped in or sewn in. Often made from real hair, they are easy to style.

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