Glossary of Terms

Business Terms

Client  A non-professional who has bought Hairstory products directly from a Hairstory Hairdresser and/or online.

Coach  A representative of a specific geographic region responsible for making sure that everybody who sells Hairstory products in that region is successful.

Downstream  The individual(s) who you’ve introduced to Hairstory including Hairstory Hairdressers, Clients, Star Clients and their Friends who generate commissions for you every time they purchase or sell products.

Hairstory Hairdresser  A hairdresser registered to sell Hairstory products who has active Clients buying from them in person and/or online.

Fan Club  A program available to clients registered to receive New Wash in regular shipments timed according to need. The first shipment includes a 20-ounce aluminum bottle (and a 3-ounce travel bottle), and subsequent shipments of a 20-ounce pouch to refill it with.

Friend  A Friend of a Star Client who loves our products and buys them through a Star Client. 

Star Client  A Client who loves our products so much that they’ve decided to sell them to other people they know.

Star Hairdresser  A Hairstory Hairdresser who has referred other hairdressers who are also registered to sell Hairstory products.

Upstream  The individual(s) who may have referred you to Hairstory, including a Coach, a Hairstory Hairdresser or a Star Client who earn commissions every time you purchase or sell products.

Technical Terms

Amphiphilic  A substance that attracts both water and fat.

Fatty Alcohol  Gentle cleansers, emollients, and skin-protectants such as Aloe Vera, Sunflower seed, Jojoba seed, and nut oils (not to be confused with booze or disinfectant).

Glucosides  Cleansing agents derived from sugar claimed to be gentler alternatives to harsh detergent. Don’t be fooled by the sweet name. They still spell a bitter end to healthy hair.

Hydrophilic  A substance that attracts water.

Lipophilic  A substance that attracts fat.

SLS  Short for Sodium Laureth Sulphate, an aggressive detergent commonly used in cleansing products from industrial to personal. It is the enemy of all hair types, and disastrous for scalps.

Creative Terms

Air Dry  The process of letting hair dry at its own pace without the use of a blow dryer.

Androgynous  Neither clearly masculine nor clearly feminine in appearance.

Blow Dry Bar  A pseudo-salon where customers choose styling looks from a menu; an example of enforced conformity and repression rather than celebration of the individual. 

Consultation  An in-depth conversation with a client prior to a hairdressing service to determine style, likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, or traumas to help to customize work to an individual and establish a clear agreement before proceeding. In the case of color services at Hairstory Studio, a potential client may consult Roxie before making a service appointment.  


Bowl  A simple and plain short haircut with a straight fringe in front and the same length all the way around the perimeter, or cut short on the sides or back. Historically, the bowl cut was popular as an easy and relatively neat cut by a non-professional done by putting a cooking pot to the level of the ears, and cutting or shaving all the hair below the rim.

Kamikaze  An intentionally aggressive shearing of hair that tests a hairdresser’s skills of improvisation and problem-solving.

Mullet  Lengths that are shorter in the front sections and longer at the back of the head, inspiring the phrase “Business in the front, party in the back.”  

Pixie  A word banned at Hairstory Studio as overused and reductive that describes a short haircut on a woman, first popularized in the late 1950s when Audrey Hepburn wore one in her debut film Roman Holiday.

Undercut  Buzzed or otherwise extremely short sections at the back and/or sides contrasting with typically much longer, overlaid sections at the top.

Déshabillé  The french name for Undressed, an effortless, modern and chic approach to disheveled texture (with a much more refined effect than its predecessor Surf Spray) that perfectly captures the mood of how women want to look now.

Dressed Up  A light lotion that creates a lot of body quite invisibly, and when blow-dried is reminiscent of the way hair used to be in the Sixties when a set looked great after three or four days of sleeping on it.

Finish  1) Noun: The final process performed in hairstyling that determines the degree of a specific quality such as shine, smoothness, etc. 2) Verb: The quality of a hairstyle, preceded by a modifier such as smooth, matte, shiny, etc.

Fringe  An alternate term for bangs preferred in the UK.


Balm  A moisturizing, nourishing creme perfect for air-drying and particularly great for dry, highly colored, or bleached hair, though it can be used on any type of hair. Most traditional grooming cremes and brilliantines sit on the surface of the hair shaft and add unnecessary weight, but Hair Balm disappears into hair and actually enhances natural texture.

Painting  A color technique evolved from the French color practice, balayage, which literally means “to sweep,” as bleach is “swept” onto hair with a brush for a soft, natural, painterly effect. Developed in France in the 1970s, balayage didn’t fully emerge as a practice in the United States until the 1990s. As the technique gained momentum, it evolved in the hands of New York City stylists like Victoria Hunter, who changed the method of application. “The techniques are ‘cousins’, but how you apply the color differs,” colorist Cat Meyer explains. “Hair painting has more of a seamless effect. You can take it to both extremes, subtle to strong, but it always has a natural and organic feel.” 


Model  A subject of a hair story who is not a professional model, but anyone scouted by us or drawn to our work through social media.

Studio  The space we occupy in Manhattan that serves as company office, design studio, photo studio, product development laboratory, and haven for lost hairdressers.

House of Leonard  The London salon where Michael Gordon worked in the 1960s run by Leonard Lewis whose fame includes Twiggy's career-making crop. (See Hairstory Ed.1: Who is Michael Gordon?.)

Muse  A woman who serves as a source of creative inspiration for an artist.

New Wash  Exactly what it says: The new way to wash hair without detergents, conditioners and masques that employs essential oils to gently cleanse hair.

Purely Perfect  A discontinued brand created by Hairstory that was the test for Hairstory products.

Reference  A photograph, piece of art, or person used to inspire and clarify discussion about the direction of a particular look (see consultation).

René of Mayfair  A chic London salon catering to the wealthy, titled, and always dressed, where Michael Gordon was apprentice and eventually Rene’s assistant in the 1960s. (See Hairstory Ed.1Who is Michael Gordon?.)

Structure  A quality created by styling products with hold to reinforce shape or lift hair from the scalp.


Editorial  A hairdresser who works styling hair for photo shoots for magazines.

Session  Often used interchangeably with “editorial,” a hairdresser who works outside of a salon styling hair for magazines, photo shoots and fashion shows.

Surf Spray  The breakthrough product developed by Michael Gordon at Bumble and bumble, which created the category of salt-based texture sprays. 

Tenth Floor  See Hairstory Studio.


Afro The natural quality of afro-ethnic hair without the use of chemical relaxers or mechanical alteration. 

Natural  The innate quality of hair without the use of products or styling tools, or what hair does on its own after washing and air-drying. 

Second-day  The elusive and ideal quality attained by not washing hair every day, made impossible with shampoo –  but guaranteed every day with New Wash.

Undressed  An effortless, modern and chic approach to disheveled texture (with a much more refined effect than its predecessor Surf Spray) that perfectly captures the mood of how women want to look now.