Have you ever gotten a haircut in an English-speaking country? If not, you may not realize how many important phrases and words you need to tell the hairdresser exactly what you want. Of course you can try and mimic, but chances are you will leave the beauty salon disappointed because you didn’t get what you wanted. In this blog post, we will teach you the most important beauty salon vocabulary in English that you need to survive a trip to the salon. 

Beauty parlor or salon? 

You will come across two words that are used for the place where you can get your hair and nails done. The words beauty salon and beauty parlor are both widely used to refer to a place where we can pamper ourselves. Beauty salon is more common, but there’s nothing wrong with beauty parlor. Some people also call it a beauty shop. Let us know in the comment section below how often you visit the beauty salon, we are curious to know! 

beauty salon vocabulary in english

Helpful phrases for your next trip to the salon

Now that you know that you can call the place where we go to get pampered either a beauty salon or a beauty parlor, let’s go over some vocabulary related to this place. First, we will explore some useful phrases. Let’s get started!

6 helpful phrases to schedule a meeting 

Here are some phrases to help you with every step of the way at a beauty salon. The first thing you need to know is to schedule an appointment. These are the phrases you are more likely to hear and say: 

  • Would you like to schedule an appointment? 
  • Do you have any openings today? 
  • When is your next opening? 
  • Is there anyone free who can cut my hair in the next hour/at 4 p.m? 
  • We can see next Thursday at 4 p.m. 
  • Can I make an appointment for a haircut today? 

After scheduling an appointment, you may need to tell your hairdresser what to do. It is important to understand the difference between a haircut and a trim. A haircut involves all the layers of your hair and can really change the way you look. Meanwhile, a trim is a more simple cut. If you ask for a trim, your stylist will only take off the ends of your hair. 

beauty salon vocabulary in english

9 phrases to talk about getting a haircut

Here are some other helpful phrases: 

  • I want something like this (you can say this when showing them a picture of a haircut you like). 
  • I only want a trim. 
  • Just cut the ends, please. 
  • To here/my shoulders/my chin. 

Your hairdresser may also ask you some questions, such as: 

  • Do you want any layers? 
  • Do you want a particular style? 
  • How much do you want taken off? 
  • How short would you like it? 
  • Would you like it blow-dried? 
beauty salon vocabulary in english

Vocabulary: services, tools, and hair colors

Now, let’s learn more about the jobs and services available at the salon. We will also explore some beauty tools and hair colors and shades.

Jobs and services available at a salon 

A beauty salon is made from several different people, not only the hairdresser. Check out the table below to find out more about the other services and professionals you will see at a salon. 

Job What do they offer 
Hairdresser hairstylist Hair-cutting and styling, perms and blowouts 
Colorist Hair coloring or hair dyeing, highlights 
Esthetician Waxing and other forms of hair removal, as well as facials and skin care treatments 
Nail technician Manicures, pedicures, and other nail treatments 
Masseuse Massages 
Makeup artist Make-ups 

Besides these people, a beauty salon also has a receptionist, who takes calls and schedules appointments, a cleaner of some sort, who keeps the place tidy, and an owner/manager.  

If you want to know more about professions, make sure to check our complete blog post about this topic. It’s worth reading!

beauty salon vocabulary in english

Beauty salon tools 

It takes more than a pair of scissors to give you a whole new look. If you want to dye your hair or get some highlights, the colorist will most likely need a stylist apron and a pair of disposable gloves, to protect them from the chemicals.  

For highlights, which means they will change the color of some hair strands, they may need a highlights cap or some aluminum foil to wrap the strand that will be bleached.There are many different techniques when it comes to coloring your hair, so that will depend on your colorist.  

Also, they will need hair dye or color tubesbleaching powder, and a measuring cup to create the color that will be used in your hair. They will also need a dye/color bowl and dye/color brushes

After working on the color of your hair, you will need to get your hair washed and styled. When you go to the washing station, the hairdresser will apply shampoo and conditioner to your hair. They will then need a comb or a brush to detangle the hair. They may use a hair dryer, a curling iron, or a flat iron/straightener to style it. Hair clips are also helpful when styling the hair. 

Hair colors and shades 

Can you tell me right off the bat what is your color? If you said brown, blond, or black, you should know that there’s more to it. Let’s explore hair colors and shades, shall we? Keep reading for some hair vocabulary in English.

Is it blond or blonde?

If your hair is blond (a yellowish or light color), you can say it is the very light blondlight blondmedium blond, or dark blond. There’s also platinum blond, which is a very pale blond. Since we are talking about this color, let’s talk about something real quick. There’s some confusion regarding the word blond: is it blond or blonde, with the “e” at the end? Well, here’s your explanation: 

  • Blond: this word describes hair color. For example: My hair is blond. This can also be used for men who have blond hair, i.e, He is a blond. 
  • Blonde: this word is more controversial. It is used for women who have blond hair, i.e, She is a blonde. We don’t recommend using this spelling variation because it is interpreted as sexist.  

Here is some more information on the confusion between the words blond or blonde.

beauty salon vocabulary in english

Brown and red hair

Now, let’s talk about brown hair. Just like blond hair, there are different shades of brown. You can have light brownmedium brown, or dark brown. It is common to call people with brown hair a brunette. For instance, you can say: 

  • What does her hair look like? Oh, she’s brunette and she has long hair. 

Some people have black hair and some have auburn hair, which means their hair color is something between red and brown. If you look like someone from the Weasley family in Harry Potter, you can say you have red hair or you can say that you are a redhead

  • Rony Weasley is a redhead
  • Everybody in the Weasley family has red hair

Getting a good haircut can make your face look totally different and it can definitely boost your self-esteem. However, getting a bad haircut can make you feel less confident. We hope this blog post helps you communicate better at a beauty salon in English and that your new haircut makes you feel like a million bucks. See you soon!