Glossary of Hair and Beauty Terms

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Absorbent - If hair is absorbent, it takes in liquid by acting like a sponge.
Accelerator - A product that works under the surface of the skin and provides the necessary ingredients for melanin production, which will accelerate the rate at which the skin tans. An accelerator is most effective when used after a shower or at least four hours before tanning.
Acid mantle - The combination of sweat and sebum that provides the skin's protective coating.
Acid Perm - An acid perm produces permanent hair waves with curls that are actually softer than an alkaline perm. It also has a pH from 6.5 to 8.0.
- A substance with a pH greater than 7; non acidic.
- Allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction.
- A form of baldness.
Amino acids - The building blocks of hair.
Aminophenols - Phenol derivatives used in combination with other chemicals in permanent (two-step) hair dyes.
Ammonia - An alkaline ingredient used in some permanent hair color. Ammonia is an ingredient that results in a chemical action that decolorizes the hair.
Amphoteric - A mild nonirritating surfactant (an agent that allows oil to mix with water) often used in shampoos; leaves hair manageable and is gentle enough for chemically treated hair.
Anagen - The active growth of the hair cycle.
Arrector pili muscle - Involuntary muscle attached to the hair follicle and germinative layer of the skin.

Barbicide - Brand name of sanitizer used to disinfect salon implements.
Basic shade - A natural or neutral colour.
Betaine - A natural conditioning substance for example: from molasses or sugar beet.
Boar Bristle - A bristle commonly used in natural bristle brushes.
- The volume or springiness of hair.
Botanical - Refers to a product containing plants or ingredients made from plants.
Brassy - Refers to unflattering warm tones in hair colour created by chemicals or damage.

Carbomer - A polymer on the basis of acrylic acid. Provides a thickening, gelling action and consistency regulator for cosmetic products.
Cationic - Possessing a positive electrical charge. Cationic detergents are often used in shampoos because they reduce static electricity and leave the hair manageable.
Cationic polymer
- Positively charges the hair to provide manageability and reduces static.
Capillaries - Small blood vessels which connect the arteries and veins that feed the hair.
Cetyl Alcohol (fatty alcohol) - A gentle humectant, lather booster, and emulsifier. In hair products, it is used to smooth and soften the hair cuticle.
Chamomile - Used in many products for blonde hair to enhance color.
Chelating - A deep cleansing process which strips the hair lightly before a chemical service. Also known as clarifying.
Chitosan - A natural polymer obtained from sea crustaceans - protects the hair.
Catogen - The resting stage of the hair cycle.
Climbazole - Highly effective active anti-dandruff ingredient. Combats bacteria on the scalp.
Coarse - A classification for stronger, thicker types of hair.
Cocamide DEA - Either made synthetically or derived from the kernel of the coconut, it gives lather and cleans skin and hair.
Cologne - A combination of water containing alcohol and fragrant oils. Not to be confused with a concentrated perfume.
Conditioner -
Creamy hair product meant to be used after shampoo. Moisturizes and detangles hair.
Cortex - The largest section of a single hair, containing the main bulk of the hair.
Cream Rinse - A mixture of wax, thickeners, and a group of chemicals used to coat the hair shaft and detangle after shampooing.
Cuticle - The outer protective layer of the hair. Healthy cuticles impart sheen to the hair.

Dandruff - Flaking scalp due to excessive cell production.
Deep Penetrating Treatment - A conditioner for hair meant for occasional use. Of greater intensity than ordinary conditioners. Formulas usually contain protein, vitamins, and moisture to help dry, damaged hair.
Depilate - Removal of hair on the surface of the skin. Examples include shaving or the use of depilatory creams.
Dermis - The inner layer or main bulk of the skin.
Developer - A product which oxidises artificial colour pigment.
Depth - The darkness or lightness of a colour.
Diameter - A measurement across the width of the hair.
Dimethicone - Detangling aid which conditions, protects against humidity, adds shine.

Elasticity - The hair's ability to stretch without breaking and then return to its original shape.
Epidermis - Top section of the skin.
Emollients - Ingredients that soften or smooth.
Emulsifier - A thickening agent and/or binding agent added to products to change their physical composition (joins two or more ingredients together). For example, it can turn a lotion into a cream.
Essential Oil - The essence of a plant, removed by compressing, steaming, dissolving or distilling. These oils produce the strongest odors, flavors, or medicinal properties when used in a product.
Exfoliating - A process of removing the top dead skin layers to reveal healthier, newer skin underneath.
Extension - Hair extensions are pieces of real or synthetic weaved close to the scalp in order to achieve greater length and/or fullness.
Extract - An herbal concentrate produced by separating the essential or active part of an herb into a solvent material.

Fashion shade - A basic colour with added tone.
Finishing Spray - A hairspray with medium hold used on a finished style to maintain its shape and hold.
Follicle - A pore in the skin from which a hair grows.
Follicle sheath - Protects the hair during its growth stage.
Fragrance - Any natural or synthetic substance or substances use solely to impart a sweet or pleasant smell (odor) to a cosmetic product.
- Products so labeled may still contain small amounts of fragrances to mask the fatty odor of soap or other unpleasant odors. (There is no official governmental definition for this term.)
Freezing Spray - A hairspray with the firmest hold used to maintain style of hard to hold hair.

Gel - Jelly like material formed by the coagulation of a liquid. Semi-solid emulsion that liquefies when applied to the skin.
Glabella - The space/area between the eyebrows.
Glycerin -
A humectant which absorbs moisture from the air to keep hair moist.

Henna - Derived from the henna plant, a vegetable dye made from its leaves and stems into a powder. Traditionally, it imparts a reddish cast to the hair by coating it. Clear henna enhances shine. Henna cannot be dyed over since it coats the outer hair shaft, affecting the penetration of the chemical colorant.
Highlights - The subtle lifting of color in specific sections of hair.
Humectant - An ingredient in skin or hair products that draws moisture from the air to moisturize.
Humidity - The amount of moisture available in the air.
Hydrate - To add moisture to the skin.
Hydrogen peroxide
- Used to oxidise (expand) artificial colour molecules. Can also lighten natural colour pigment.
Hydrolyzed keratin - Basically corresponds to human hair, contains the "structural protein" of hair, repairs damage - active ingredient 'Liquid-hair'.
Hydroxypropyl guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride - All essential ingredient that adds moisture to the hair.

Indentation - A hollow or pocket in the skin.
Infusion - Tea made by steeping an herb's leaves or flowers in hot water.
Isopropyl Lanolate, Myristate, and Palmitate - Synthetic moisturizers.

Keratin - The hair's natural protein.

Jojoba Oil - Contains superior properties to keep skin and hair soft. It is beneficial to dry hair.

Lauryldimonium hydroxypropl hydrolyzed - A conditioning agent in shampoos, which helps detangle the hair.
Liquid hair - Strengthens and rebuilds the structure of the hair.
Lubricant - An oil or oil rich crème or lotion designed to lubricate the skin and slow moisture loss.
- Makes smooth or slippery by using oil to overcome friction.
Luvimer - Flexible resin.

Matte - A non-shiny surface that absorbs light; a dead or dull finish.
- Central core of the hair, not always present.
Melanin - Natural hair colour pigment.
Metabolism - The body transformation of food into energy.
Micro diffuse
- Optimum hold without overload.
Micro fine - Brushes out easily.
Moisturizer - An emollient cream used to hydrate the skin.

Natural - Ingredients extracted directly from plants, earth minerals, or animal products as opposed to being produced synthetically.
Nerve endings - Receptors which respond to touch, pain, pressure, heat and cold.
Neutralise - To cancel or reduce effect.
Nutrient - A substance, such as a vitamin, which provides elements for the ongoing functioning of the body's metabolic processes.

Organic -
Pertaining to carbon-based compounds produced by living plants, animals or by synthetic processes. Referring to substances that are or have been alive, and therefore contain carbon molecules in their chemical structure.
Oxidation colour - A colour which requires oxygen to make it work.

Panthenol - Aids detangling. Provides volume, control and shine.
Papilla - The hair's factory.
Parfum - The most concentrated and most fragrant scent and therefore the most expensive.
Patch Test -
A test performed (usually with a hair dye or other potential allergen) on the skin 24 hours before its use to determine sensitivity.
Permanently - Completely changing the natural colour of the hair.
PH: (pH: percentage of hydrogen) - Used to measure acidity in cosmetic preparations.
- Seals and adds shine.
P.V.P/VA - Copolymer Nonionic "film" forming agent.
Pigment - Colour.
Pore - A small opening of the sweat glands of the skin.
- Ability to absorb moisture.
Protein Treatment - A treatment used on the hair. Designed to add strength and elasticity to the hair by adding protein to the cortex.

Relax - To chemically straighten the hair to gently smooth out curl, reduce frizz, or create a straight style.
- Stops or opposes treatment.

Sebaceous gland - Oil producing gland in the dermis.
Sebum - The oil produced by the sebaceous gland.
Self-tanner - A sun tanning product that contains DHA, which reacts with amino acids in the top layer of skin, causing it to temporarily darken (2-4 days).
Subcutaneous tissue
- The body's shock absorber.
Semi-permanent - A colour which lasts from 6-8 shampoos.
Silicone - Increases wet and dry combability.
Silk Protein - A natural water-soluble source of acid derived from liquid silk; these acids help moisture penetrate the skin (aid in absorption) and aid in skin healing. Used in skin and hair products.
- To become shed or cast off (to separate in the form of dead tissue from living tissue).
Soap - Cleansing agent that is a sodium or potassium salt of animal or vegetable fat.
Soluble - Being able to dissolve into, or being compatible with, another substance.
- Reducing skin discomforts from irritation, blemishes, burning skin, etc.
An acronym for "Sun Protection Factor" ranging from 2 to 45 with 2 being the least protection and 45 the most.
Sunscreen - Products with ingredients that absorb UVA and UVB rays. Find one labeled "broad spectrum" for maximum protection.
Sunblock - Products that reflect all the sun's rays, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They permit minimal tanning, and are a good choice for those who are sensitive to chemicals.
Surfactants - Active agent that allows oil to mix with water. Used in skincare products like cleansers, wetting agents, emulsifiers, solubizers, conditioning agents and foam stabilizers.

Tan - When your skin is damaged by exposure to the UVA and UVB rays of the sun, its reaction is to produce more melanin as an attempt to protect itself against further damage. Melanocytes (produce Melanin) float within the epidermis and don’t migrate to the top. Melanin is a brown colored protein that helps determine the color of our skin. The Melanin that the melanocytes make finds its way into the keratinocytes (the cells containing the keratin) as they make their way up to the surface. The melanocytes produce more melanin when we are exposed to the sun. The result of this is a tan.
- The hair fall stage of the hair cycle.
Temporary Color - A hair color formula that lasts only until you shampoo your hair.
- Distribution of ashen and warm pigments, visual effect of gold or ash in the hair.
Translucent - Allows some light to pass through.
Triclosan - Is effective against most bacteria occurring on the skin.
T-zone - The forehead, nose and chin areas, which tend to be oilier than the cheeks.

UV - Ultraviolet radiation. The invisible spectrum of solar radiation. It is divided into three regions with increasing danger to the skin; UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C.

Water-resistant - Repels moisture or water; not readily removed with water.
Water-soluble - Soluble in water; capable of being dissolved in water, especially if a wetting agent is added, like detergents and soaps.

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