Hair glossary

Hair Gloss-ary

We know how confusing the world of hair can be. There is a lot of speciality jargon, and new colouring techniques seem to spring up from out of nowhere. Have you ever looked at the back of your shampoo bottle and thought you had been transported back to a chemistry lesson? Well, you’re not the only one. We hope our hair glossary will give you more confidence when shopping for hair products and have you feeling like a pro in no time.

Argan Oil

Argan oil comes from the argan trees native to Morocco. It is made from the kernels that grow on the trees. This plant oil is brilliant for your hair as it protects, brightens, nourishes, and strengthens your locks. Argan oil is also rich in Vitamin E. It is a natural and powerful antioxidant that helps fight against ageing and free radicals.

Our Oro Therapy collection contains argan oil.


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Ammonia is an alkaline chemical and is an ingredient that is used in many hair dyes. It is used in hair dyes to open the hair’s cuticle so that the new colour can be deposited into the hair’s cortex. 

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a plant that is grown in tropical environments. It is filled with lots of vitamin and minerals, so it has many advantages for your hair. One of its main benefits is encouraging healthy hair growth. It is because it contains proteolytic enzymes which help to repair dead skin cells on the scalp. Therefore, improving the overall condition of your scalp. After all, a healthy scalp means healthy hair.


Balayage is a popular hair colouring technique. It involves painting freehand highlights onto the hair. This hair service is perfect for those who like a low maintenance hair colour.

Baobab Seed Oil

Baobab seed oil comes from the baobab trees which are in Madagascar, mainland Africa and Australia. The oil is derived from the seeds of the fruits that grow on the tree. It is highly moisturising for your hair.

Baobab seed oil is found in our No Yellow Vegan Shampoo and Mask.

Beta Carotene

Beta Carotene becomes converted into Vitamin A, which is necessary for hair cell growth. Deficiency in Vitamin A is what causes dry, dull and lifeless hair. It can also contribute to a dry scalp which can flake off into dandruff.


Babylights are achieved by highlighting extremely fine sections of the hair. It gives the impression that the hair is naturally sunkissed and is a subtle colouring technique.


The cuticle is the protective covering for your hair shaft.


A consultation should take place before you attend your appointment with your hairdresser. It allows you to discuss with them what results you wish to achieve from your appointment. You can even show them images of similar styles to what you wish your hair to be like. During the consultation, your hairdresser will examine your hair to check its condition. They will also tell you if the result you wish to achieve can be done in one sitting, or whether it will take more than one appointment.

Colour Correction 

A colour correction is a technical service you can book at most hair salons. It involves the hairstylist using bleach, colour or toner to improve your current hair colour. Some corrections may involve all three.


The cortex is the thickest layer in your hair shaft. The pigment within the cortex determines the natural colour of your hair. Permanent changes are made in the cortex during colour services. 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a plant oil. It comes from the meat of a coconut which is also known as the kernel. It is pressed from the white lining of the inside of a coconut. It has many benefits for your hair, such as encouraging healthy hair growth, taming frizz and moisturising your strands.

The Fanola No Orange Shampoo and Mask both contain coconut oil.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter comes from the beans of the cacao plant. Cocoa butter has a lot of similar benefits to coconut oil.


Elasticity is the prime indicator of your hairs condition. Your hair’s elasticity is affected by chemicals, excessive heat, exposure to the sun and other things. It refers to the hair’s ability to return to its normal length after being stretched when wet. The healthier the hair is, the better the ability to return to its normal length after stretching. 


Highlights in the hair are usually created with foils. But the traditional method for highlighting the hair was by using a cap with tiny holes in it. Highlighting the hair involves taking specific strands and painting them with a lighter colour or bleach.

Hair integrity

If your hairstylist talks about the ‘integrity of your hair,’ they are referring to the overall health of your locks. It includes your hair’s current condition and how strong it is. During technical services, your hairdresser will always avoid compromising the integrity of your hair.


Your hair is made of a protein called keratin. You can also get hair care products that contain keratin which regenerates dull and weak hair structures. Keratin treatments are available at some hair salons, it straightens and smoothes your locks.

Linseed Oil

Linseed oil comes from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant. Linseed oil is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids which promotes healthy hair growth.

Linseed Oil is included in our After Colour Care range.


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Lowlights are used in colour services to add dimension to your colour and make the lighter parts of your hair stand out. They are the same technique as highlights but rather than using a lighter colour than your base colour your hairstylist will use a darker colour.

Milk Protein

Milk protein is great for your hair as it is nutrient-rich due to its amino acid content. It is a key ingredient to look for if you have damaged hair as it increases hydration and elasticity.

Our Nutricare Nourishing range contains milk protein.

Money Piece

The money piece, also known as face-framing highlights is a colouring technique used to accentuate your face shape and features. You can either opt for a statement look with chunky sections of highlighted hair at the front or something more subtle.


Porosity refers to how much moisture your hair can absorb and can hold.


A perm is a technical service that most salons will offer, where they will apply a perm solution to your hair for it to go wavy or curly.


You will find paraben amongst the list of ingredients in a lot of your hair, makeup and beauty products. It is because it is an antimicrobial preservative which prevents bacteria from affecting your favourite products.

Piroctone Olamine

Piroctone Olamine is used to fight fungal infections. It is an ingredient which is commonly found in anti-dandruff shampoo.

The Fanola Purity Anti-Dandruff Shampoo contains piroctone olamine.


Sebum is a natural oil you will find on your scalp and strands. It is produced by your sebaceous glands on your scalp. Sebum is essential for healthy hair as it travels down your strands and acts as a natural moisturiser. Sometimes your sebaceous glands can be over productive, which can lead to oily hair and sometimes dandruff. The amount you produce can change depending on a variety of factors, one being your hormones. 

Strand Test

A strand test usually takes place during your consultation. It involves your hairdresser taking a small section of your hair and colouring it to see how it processes. It also allows them to test the porosity of your hair.

Shea Butter

Shea butter comes from the nut of the Africa shea tree. Shea butter is highly moisturising and soothes irritated scalps.

Silk Protein

Silk protein comes from the cocoon of a silkworm. It helps to strengthen the hair and make it more resistant to breakage by filling in the gaps between the hair cuticles.

Silk proteins are included in our Curly Shine products.


Most shampoos contain sulphates, and there are different kinds of them. Their job is to help your shampoo develop into a lather when you work it into your scalp. Sulphates attract dirt and oil commonly found in your strands and leave your hair feeling clean.


Silicones are commonly found in styling products and conditioners. It is because they help to smooth out any frizz and make hair look glossy.

Toning Shampoo

If you’re a blondie then toning shampoo is probably already your best friend. However, if you’re new to the concept of toning shampoo, don’t worry. Toning shampoo contains colour-depositing pigments which neutralise unwanted tones from your hair. There are different toning shampoos on the market which have alternative pigments. The most common ones are purple toning shampoo and blue toning shampoo.


Toners are part of the hair colouring process and provide you with your finished colour. They contain colour depositing pigments to adjust the tone of the hair. A toner is used to emphasize certain tones and eliminate unwanted ones.

If you think of any more words you would like us to add to our hair glossary then please drop us a comment below!


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