It happens so often…you see a photo of a great hair color and you call the salon ready to make an appointment for “color”. When you arrive,  you show your stylist pictures of the celebrities’ hair that you like or the Pinterest images you’ve saved. They explain what that color style is using all these buzzwords that you had no idea were involved.  And BOOM, you are hit with this: “So sorry, there is not enough time blocked for that technique.” Or worse, it’s going to cost beaucoup bucks! If this has happened to you, today’s post will allow you to make sure it doesn’t happen again! The crazy world of hair color terms and techniques can be overwhelming, especially for the layperson. But we’re here to demystify the truth about hair color, starting with a glossary of commonly used words and phrases.

Terms & Techniques

Single Process Color Application

This is a technique where color is brushed on the hair, either all over or just on the areas of regrowth. The look achieved is the same all over and used most often to cover gray. 

Hair Color Tips, Terms, & Techniques from La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans

Shadow Root

With this method, a deeper color is brushed on the roots to create a “shadow,” resulting in roots that are darker than the mid-shafts and ends. It adds dimension and is very on trend at the moment. 


Highlights (brighter pieces) or lowlights (darker pieces) are added with this technique. Foiling can be done completely or partially throughout the hair, or just around the face or on top.


The latest hair trend is not a style; it’s a technique. It involves painting lightener on the hair for a natural highlighted effect that is softly blended. Think beachy blonde!  

Hair Color Tips, Terms, & Techniques from La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans

Teasy Lights

This lesser known method of adding color uses a combination of teasing at the root, weaving, and foiling lighter pieces for a soft blend at the root. 

Hair Color Tips, Terms, & Techniques from La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans


Ombre is often misunderstood for being a technique, when it is actually a style. The root is dark and the hair becomes lighter towards the ends. Many techniques can be used to achieve this look like balayage, teasy lights, and even traditional foiling.


This process uses a clear or darker glaze for shine or toning, as it refines the color of highlights or treats faded ends.

Hair Color Tips, Terms, & Techniques from La Pomponnee Beauty Artisans


Collect Photos

Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, whatever your platform of choice, just find some images of hair color that you like! But more than that, think about why you like them. Is it the dimension? The way the color looks around the face? The roots? The ends? Are there images of hair color that you DON’T like? Collect those too! Determining what about the color appeals to you (or doesn’t appeal to you) will allow you to better explain your desired look to your stylist.

Schedule a Consultation

To ensure you get the result you desire, we REQUIRE color consultations. No worries, they are complimentary.  You and your stylist can review the look you’re trying to achieve, the steps that will get you there, and the estimated timeframe and costs. You’ll be able to ask questions BEFORE it’s too late. Consultations can be done in person or via email.

Be Flexible & Realistic

After seeing and discussing your inspiration with you, your stylist may recommend a different approach. Or he or she may say that look can only be achieved through multiple appointments and will most likely require an investment. Be open minded and trust their expertise. They are not trying to dupe you into unnecessary services. Instead, they are helping you get your desired look with the least amount of damage to your hair, something we’re sure you’ll thank them for later. 

Want even more La Pomponnee?

Join our email list for more beauty tips and exclusive discounts!  You’ll even get a coupon for 20% off a single AVEDA product just for signing up!