Glossary of Product Terms

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Glossary of Product/Tools Terms

Shampoos - Conditioners - Styling Products -Styling Tools

The main function of a shampoo is to remove the oils secreted by the scalp. It also should easily remove product build up without stripping the hair of its natural oils completely. Here are the many different types and their specific functions:

Baby Shampoo: These products are very gentle and do not contain any harsh chemicals that may irritate the skin and eyes. These shampoos have a pH of 8, same as the eye, and that is why it doesn't sting your eyes.
Violet Shampoo: These shampoos contain pigments to filter out the yellowing in gray and blonde hair. Use one of these to take the "brassiness" out of hair between colourings. They can be drying if they contain lighteners, which most of them do.
Clarifying Shampoo: This is a good product to remove product build up and excess oil. It contains no conditioning agents so condition a little afterwards if you want to get a comb through your hair without damaging it.
Pigment Containing Shampoo: Along the same lines as the Violet Shampoos but for darker hair to enrich the colour or lengthen the colour between salon visits.
Conditioning Shampoo: These products contain added conditioners to simplify the washing / showering process. Great for men and children.
Moisturizing Shampoo: These products contain agents that moisturize rather than stripping.
Dandruff Shampoo: These are coal tar shampoos and medicated products that ease the flaking and itching of this condition.
Volumizing or Body Shampoo: This product contains agents that cause the hair shaft to swell.

The function of a conditioner is to coat the hair shaft to smooth down the damaged hair shaft, provide protection from curling irons and environmental elements. It can tone down frizziness and ease combing wet hair or brushing dry hair. Here are some typical conditioning formulas.

Instant Conditioner: This is really good for normal or slightly damaged hair. It is a light formula that quickly conditions the hair leaving it looking healthy and protected. This is not a good choice for fine hair. It can weigh the shaft down creating flatness and build-up resulting in the need for a clarifying shampoo. Do not over condition.
Finishing Rinse: This product is good for very fine, limp hair. It does not weigh down the hair shaft unnecessarily and doesn't have a high build up rate. Although it will not provide enough conditioning properties for overly damaged or dry hair.
Conditioning Packs/Masques: For excessive damage from over-processing or wind and sun damage, chlorine damage and heating elements. This is a good choice to provide deep conditioning for extremely damaged hair or for an every once in a while pack to treat dry hair. If you're hair is breaking you may need moisture although from too much protein you can have breakage as well. Additionally, too much moisture can make the hair feel soggy and really stretchy. But then again so can damage from harsh chemicals.
Pigment-containing Conditioner: These are additional to the pigment containing shampoos for added depth of color. The formulations for darker hair are better than the ones for lighter shades as the lighter formulation may be drying. Henna conditioners are a good start for deep brown tones whereas walnut is better for darker shades.
Detangler/Leave-in Conditioner: Only use a small amount. It does not irritate the scalp and is gentle enough for a baby. Good for the gym and after swimming.
Reconstructors: Normally contain protein. Hydrolyzed human hair keratin protein is the best source, because it contains all 19 amino acids found in the hair. Human hair keratin protein has a low molecular weight. This enables it to penetrate the hair shaft (the cortex). The main purpose of a reconstructor is to strengthen the hair.
Moisturizers: Are concentrated with humectants. Humectants are compounds that attract and hold moisture into the hair. They may not necessarily contain botanicals or protein (they often do).
Thermal Protectors: safeguard the hair against heat. Using thermal protectors is one of the best things you can do to your hair if you blow dry, use curling irons, or hot rollers. They normally use heat absorbing polymers that distribute the heat, so your hair does not get heat damage (a major cause of hair damage).

Styling Products

For adding shine, manageability or help in holding a style, balms banish frizzies by taming unmanageable curls and fly-aways. Apply to wet hair sparingly, first rubbing balm between your palms, and then fingering it through sections of your hair.

Designed to help you get a comb through either wet or dry hair, detanglers function much like leave-in conditioners. They're great for kids and give you a "no tantrum" approach to children's haircare.

Some gels are thick and heavy, often called "straightening gels." Others are light, almost like a liquid, and act as "smoothing gels" to give shape and shine to all hair types. Gels can create a wet look or give hair structure as it dries. Use on wet hair before styling. Also, apply to the roots of dry hair to add volume.

Aerosol sprays: Fast drying with fine particles that cover a broad area easily.
Pump sprays: These spritz-type sprays are wetter and take longer to dry. Great for holding specific areas.
Freezing sprays: Designed for very firm hold, they "fix" hard-to-hold hair.

Molding mud
Thick and heavy, for body in specific areas of the hair. Use it to create curls, finger waves or spikes. For a "wet look", apply without combing through.

Foamy body-builder that's ideal for adding volume to fine, thin hair. Use sparingly. Apply to one palm and rub hands together. Then apply to the roots of the hair to help lift the strands up and away from the scalp.

Pomades tame curly hair by texturizing, separating and adding shine. Use on any hair type except very fine hair as pomade can weigh it down. To apply, swipe one finger into a pomade, rub it onto palms and fingers, distribute through hair.

Shiners coat the hair shaft with a reflective substance and help to combat the frizzies. Sprays, serums, or light gels, they "calm" the hair and maximize luster. Apply to palms, rub hands together, use fingers to distribute evenly through wet or dry hair.

In either lotion or spray form, volumizers coat each strand to give hair a thicker, fuller look. Great for flat, limp hair. Use on wet hair before blow drying or on dry hair at the roots to freshen and lift your style.

Styling Tools

Brushes do more than style your hair. The best ones stimulate blood circulation in your scalp and transport much needed natural oils from the roots to ends. Poorly made brushes, however, can leave you with a sore scalp, roughed-up cuticles and split ends.
Use a plastic brush with little round balls at the bristle ends. The smoothness of the plastic minimizes breakage and the balls at the end are gentle on your scalp and give you a lot of control. There are several brush shapes:
Half-round brushes: bristles go halfway around the brush. They are basic tools for simple brushing.
Round brushes: bristles go all the way around the brush, and come in many diameters. The narrower ones are good for creating a flip under or out, or building volume. The wide round brushes are best for blow drying curly or wavy hair straight.
Flat or paddle brushes: usually have wire or nylon bristles across a flat rubber base. These are good for brushing out hair that has just been dried straight.

Combs detangle hair. Always use combs on wet hair, as brushing wet hair can cause damage.
Use a wide-toothed comb gently, starting near the ends and combing downwards in short careful strokes. Gradually move up the length of the hair, small sections at a time, gently detangling as you go.

Call them rollers or curlers, here's a quick rundown on the most useful types:

Velcro rollers: Easy to use. No pins are needed to hold them in place. Use to set your hair as you blow it dry, section by section. Or use on dry hair for quick sets.
Hot roller sets: For use on dry hair only. Roller sets have large-sized, medium-sized and small rollers. For lots of body and big natural looking curls, wrap large sections of hair around large rollers. For a tight curl, wrap small sections of hair around the smallest rollers. To lock in the style, let hair and rollers completely cool before removing.
Cushioned rollers: Great to use while sleeping. Wrap wet or dry hair in the curlers. Rollers should be kept in until hair is completely dry.
Steam rollers: Can be used on all types of hair, including synthetic wigs. They are gentle on your hair and can deliver great curl.
Plastic rollers: are great for creating all-over curls on short hair. Wrap wet hair, starting with large rollers in the back, medium-sized rollers on the sides and small rollers on top. For fast drying, sit under a hot dryer.

Blow Dryers
There are two basic types of blow dryers: those with long nozzles and those that look like brushes. A nozzle dryer gives you greater flexibility in styling:

To straighten hair, use dryers with attachments to help you concentrate heat on one area at a time. Use high heat while gently pulling hair straight to create a smooth even finish. Use the coolest setting for 15 to 20 seconds to lock style into dry hair.
To enhance curls, get a diffuser, an attachment that attaches to the dryer nozzle and helps disperse heat evenly across wide sections, while leaving curl formations intact. Try scrunching curls with one hand while directing the diffuser with the other.

Irons can be damaging to hair because of the direct intense heat and the tugging done on each strand. Some irons have a felt layer on the wands for some protection. Use any iron carefully. Contact anywhere on the scalp, hand or elsewhere can cause painful and potentially dangerous burns.

Basic Curling Irons: Used to curl ends under or out, add volume to short hair after it has been blown dry by lifting up from the roots. Always check the direction the clamp is facing when you squeeze it to avoid contact with your neck or cheeks.
Bristled Irons: Great for curling short, layered hair. Add height to the top layers and a smooth bend at the ends. The danger of burns with this iron is less than with other irons.
Corkscrew Irons. Turn straight hair into curls or polish the look of curly hair with a more even, finished look. Protect hair with a smoothing gel. Then curl hair strands around the iron with one hand and release.
Crimping Irons: Create a romantic wavy look on long, straight, one length hair. Work gradually and evenly around your head.

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