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From balayage to ombre, top hair stylist Errol Douglas decodes 'hairdresser speak'

on November 17, 2016

Errol Douglas, London


In an article in the British Evening Standard Errol Douglas gives some tips about different treatments and decodes the terms experts use and that you may be too embarrassed to question.



A gloss treatment can be applied in conjunction with a colour treatment or stand alone between your main colour appointments. It’s perfect for refreshing lifeless hair and can be used as a clear gloss or with colour pigment added, to bring vibrancy to your hair.


A permanent colour most commonly used to cover greys or to change the tone of your hair. Your colourist’s expertise will turn the humble tint into an exceptional colour result.

T section of highlights

For an even more subtle colour or for a quick colour top up before holidays and events, the colour is applied in a T section along the middle parting and crown for a quick colour top-up between main colour appointments

Halo highlights

A highlighting method designed specifically for shorter hair types and is all dependent on the placement of the colour, usually around the front of the face.


Errol Douglas, London


Floating lights

If you have thin hair floating lights are perfect as we place graduated colour away from the roots down the hair shaft, building on the intensity of colour as you move down, providing the illusion of thicker hair.


The opposite of highlights, lowlights introduce a defined darkening of hair by using colours darker than your natural colour.


Unlike traditional highlights which are uniform and defined, balayage is a freehand painting technique used to create a graduated natural looking effect.


The blending of one colour tone to another this style has evolved from strong dyes at the roots to more natural tones at the ends to natural roots to unusual end colours, lavender and peach are current trend examples.


Errol Douglas, London


Dip dye

Bolder than ombre, dip dye is the contrasting line of two shades of colour, darker at the roots and lighter at the ends.

Zig zag balayage

A modern balayage technique created by the Errol Douglas colour team, this unique method involves separating sections of hair in zig zag around the head resulting in a more fluid blend of colour. The smaller the zig zag, the more natural it looks. The larger the zig zag, the chunkier the sections of colour.


If your blonde is brassy, you need to make an appointment.  Brassy is the term used to describe an unflattering yellow tone of blonde.

Warm or cool tones

During your colour consultation your colourist will explore cool and warm tones with you to identify what will create the most flattering look for you. Warm tone examples are shades of orange, red and copper. Cooler tones are violets, ashes and flat blondes.


Errol Douglas, London



Toners are the secret ingredient that allow your colourist to perfectly customise your colour from manipulating the brightness of the blonde to introducing gentle seasonal tones, the recent trend for pastels is an example of the latter

Vegetable (Veg) colour

This is a wash-out semi-permanent colour, free of chemicals, perfect for people who may be allergic to other colourants or combining with other chemical based processes such as relaxers. They are also a great introduction to colour.


Copper can be one of the hardest shades to perfect but the vibrancy of this shade makes it so worthwhile. Place your hair in expert hands if you are drawn to this look.

Golden, ash or creamy blonde

The spectrum of blonde is vast, do not pass go on a blonde decision until you have completed your consultation journey and have discussed all the options with your colourist to allow your blonde to have maximum impact.  For a warmer glow choose golden blonde, for cooler tones ash blonde but ensure you don’t overdo it as too much ash can neutralise the skin too much. Creamy blonde is a middle ground between the two colours and can also be called a ‘clean blonde’.


Discover the full article here: Evening Standard

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