Hair stylists pay a lot of attention to words. We have to. During our discussion with a client, we listen to the words the client uses to describe what they want AND to what is unsaid. Reading between the lines is critical to a successful appointment. Clients frequently apologize for not having the right “lingo” to describe what they want. Hairdresser lingo? 

In this blog post, I want to have a little fun with the “hairdresser lingo” comments we hear so often. There is not really a secret code to crack, but there are a few terms that we use and prefer to hear. Clients aren’t always familiar with how we use these terms. At times it seems that they are not talking about hair. At Michael Anthony Salon, DC, we like to have some fun with that. Here are three examples of what I mean:

Color or Dye

“I want to dye my hair” is something we commonly hear from our clients. The proper term would be to color my hair. In the world of hairdressing, we are taught that our clothes are dyed, and our hair is colored.

Shampoo or Wash

As professionally trained hair stylists, we do not wash your hair. That too is for clothes or cars. In our salons, you will have a shampoo, which in many cases includes a head and neck massage.

Cut or Chop

What is the preferred term for changing hair length? “Just chop it off” makes many of us cringe. When a client tells me to chop her hair, I have been known to reply, “But I’m not a butcher.” Then we both have a friendly giggle. Stylists practice the art of cutting hair. They consider each client’s hair type and texture as well as face shape in creating an attractive hairstyle. So, if this is “hairdresser lingo,” then I have just shared the code.

Feel free to use these terms when talking with your stylist about your next hair treatment. Seriously, stylists know that the best words are those that clearly describe what their clients are looking for. Sometimes a good laugh can be shared over the “lingo” comments.

Enjoy your hair!!


Michael Anthony Salon DC is considered by many to be the best in the entire DC metro region. We are passionate about doing hair and work with each and every client to create the look that is right for them. Led by Mickey – aka Michael Anthony – each of our stylists is a highly trained professional. Schedule an appointment and find out for yourself!