Old Fashioned Industry Terms


Posted in News on October 15th, 2012 by Reagan



Do you call the person who does your hair a “Hairdresser” or a “Hairstylist”?

My friend Sarah and I used to insist that people called us “hairstylists” or “stylists” back when we were assistants, because hairdresser sounded old fashioned. We would joke that it sounded like we did perms and sat old ladies under dryers all day. Now I kind of like it, for the same reason of it sounding old fashioned. We’re dressing the hair up, making it pretty. It’s kind of cute. Plus this blog is obviously called Hairdresser On Fire, rather than Hairstylist On Fire, but that’s mostly because it’s named after the Morrissey song.

Anyway, I started thinking about old fashioned industry terms recently, and kind of laughed at the ones we don’t use anymore. For instance, it’s called a Hair Salon, instead of a Beauty Parlor. It’s called a blow out, instead of a  curl and set. And when I was little, my mom called conditioner, “cream rinse”.

When I started writing this post I was curious if she still called it that, so I texted her….

What are some others I’m missing? This is fun.

PS I say muh-chew-wer.



28 Responses to “Old Fashioned Industry Terms”

  1. finn Says:

    I’m just impressed that your mom can text!

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  2. Michelle Price Says:

    My mom used to call it cream rinse too. I think maybe she still does.

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  3. Logan Says:

    I have a client that always asks for a tint and frost! The first time I did her hair and put foils in her hair she thought I was some colorist from the future!

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  4. Rae Says:

    Hahaha, too funny! My dad totally calls it cream rinse, at least, he used to, I think he still might. And I said hair dresser until you mentioned not liking it on your blog years ago and I’ve stuck with stylist ever since. :) All that being said, I sometimes refer to myself as a secretary instead of an assistant because I think it’s funny and cute.

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  5. Stephanie Says:

    I actually call him ‘my hair guy or hair god’ depending! My mom calls highlights a ‘frost’ and I always think of my aunts crazy colored hair from the 80s.

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  6. Shannon Says:

    My mom always called it cream rinse too! Probably still does. I’ll have to ask her. PS I say muh-churr.

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  7. Heather M Says:

    I just read a book I really liked, Silver Sparrow, by Tayari Jones, and one of the characters has a beauty shop, called something like Chaurisse’s Pink Fox, and the terms for all the hairdos, so so good. Please note intentional use of beauty shop and hairdo. :-)

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  8. Andrea Says:

    You can’t say pluck you have to say tweeze, you can’t say bangs you have to say fringe, you can’t say dye you have to say color, so many grammar lessons learned in “beauty school” :)

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  9. Kari Says:

    Ever since you mentioned not liking hairdresser, I’ve been making myself say stylist. Now I’m all messed up!

    I say ma-chur.

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  10. Joy Says:

    I’m old enough to remember “beautician.” My mother and her friends used the 40s/50s term “beauty operator!”

    I don’t think “conditioner” came in until the late 70s or 80s. I grew up saying “creme rinse.”

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  11. Karrie Says:

    Um. I still say pocketbook. And my family def says rinse. #country

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  12. Holland Says:

    My mom says that she gets her hair “frosted,” and I say highlights. but maybe her’s is frosted. she still gets them to pull her strands through that plastic cap!

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  13. Grace Says:

    It’s not bleach it’s powder lightener!

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  14. Kristianna Says:

    Did your mom use Vidal Sassoon? I remember that bottle, and it was cream rinse, fo sho’.

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  15. Meagan Says:

    The one that always makes me chuckle is my older clients who still call me their “beauty operator”. I also have an older client who makes me put on fanciful rinse – white mink!!

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  16. Amber Says:

    Operator! No lie my cutest little old grandma called her BFF the hair operator and I died loving it!

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  17. Summer Says:

    Aw, this took me back! My mom was a hairdresser for 40 years, and I remember sitting in her salon and looking at the list of services, including the “curl and set.” :D I also remember her little sign that said, “I’m a beautician, not a magician!” She’s sassy like that.

    Also, your mom’s texts CRACK me up! I see where you get it!

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  18. Mary Says:

    I say ma-too-er only because I think it sounds fancy. I grew up saying ma-chew-wer (I’m in the south). Now I’ve taken to saying coo-pon instead of cue-pon also because I think it sounds fancier! Tee hee.

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  19. whitney mccoy Says:

    My parents called it cream rinse too. My dad actually went to beauty school when he and my mom were first married. He and his buddy were going to open a salon or barber shop or something. He used to cut our hair all the time when I was growing up. I actually never went into a real salon until I was in HS. LOL

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  20. Ryann Says:

    My grandma would call you a “beauty operator” hahaha!!

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  21. Marissa Huntley Says:

    My beloved Grandmother used to wear ‘hair nets” or rather a stylish scarf when going out in windy weather. Grandma was so sassy!

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  22. Courtney Says:

    I was always told that you dress people and style hair. These days with all the things that my clients ask me to put in there hair I feel like a fashion stylist for the hair!!
    Oh the joys of being a hairstylist :) wouldn’t change it for the world.

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  23. Janette Says:

    I love that your mom says ma-too-er! My dad always used to say it like that and I always thought it was so dorky, now it is one of the things I miss most about him! Thanks for putting a smile on my face tonight. :)

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  24. Denise Says:

    Marcel both as a noun and a verb instead of curling iron or wand.

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  25. Hilary Says:

    Hahaha, I’m glad that my mom also call it conditioner instead of cream rinse means she’s not in the old fashion! Me and my girlfriends call it hairstylist, since every month we always go to the hair salon to fix our hair!

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  26. Esther Says:

    We used to call it cream rinse, too.

    When my daughter was very little she used to call conditioner champagne…as in shampoo and shampane! So cute. I was so sad when she stopped saying that!!!

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  27. Kelly Says:

    Hahaha great post, I love the blog! I call them a hairstylist, and also I’ve never even heard of the term cream rinse (maybe just because I’m only 20). If you get a chance, check out my mens hair blog

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  28. aurora Says:

    When I went through school the instructors would come and get us and tell us “your lady’s here!”
    They called all the clients lady’s which I still do but only to other hairdressers because it’s fun to say, never to our clients:)

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