Hair Colour 101

Hair Colour Terminology Guide From Gusto Hair Salons, London's West End

Whether you’re new to hair colour or have been getting your hair coloured for years, sometimes it can be hard to keep up with the names of the latest hair colouring techniques & trends. Rest assured, our dedicated team have created a guide to explain all the important hair colouring terms to help you understand and be able to ask for exactly what you want next time you come to our salon!

They promise to speak jargon free and will carefully explain each step of your chosen colour journey. It is recommended that you bring along screenshots of hair colours that you like and even of those that you don't to enable us to get a clear idea of the look you are hoping to achieve. Which hair colouring technique you choose will depend on the look you desire, your budget and how much maintenance you are prepared to keep up with.

Friendly hair colour salons near me


Covent Garden

Oxford Street

Wigmore Street

London West End

Central London

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Top Colouring Techniques

Colour Melt

Varying shades of colour are overlapped from roots to tips to give the appearance that they have been melted into one another.

Root Stretch Balayage

Your natural root colour is ‘stretched’ for a low-maintenance balayage look.


Similar to balayage but more subtle. Very fine highlights are added throughout the hair, often in a lighter shade.


When one hair colour is blended into another from roots to tips. Grows out beautifully without any harsh regrowth lines.

Re-Growth Application/Root Touch Up

When only the new hair colour growth from your scalp is coloured.


Sun-kissed highlights are added throughout your hair, leaving the roots a little darker and closer to your natural shade.


Often added after a hair lightening service to blend and even out unwanted warm or brassy tones or as a colour refresher.

Hair Colour Glosses

Adds a glossy shine to natural & artificial hair colours.

Full Head of Highlights

Full coverage. The whole head is covered. Multiple shades can be added. 

Half Head of Highlights

Multiple shades can be added. Covers the top and sides of your hair.

Three-quarter Head of Highlights

Multiple shades can be added. Covers the top, sides and crown of your hair.


Delicate highlights that are often added around the front hairline to mimic those natural sun-kissed tones children often have.


Bleach is used to lift the hair to a lighter colour. Bleach will strip the natural pigment from hair. If you have dark hair, it is likely to take more than one bleach to get your hair to the blonde colour that you desire. Toners are often needed with bleaching services.

The Money Piece

This is where we add some obvious highlights to frame your face.


A hair colour that sits in between brown and blonde.

Contrast Colours

Varying shades and depths of colour are used to create a more obvious & dramatic contrast of hair colour.

Temporary Hair Colour

A temporary hair dye which will wash out completely over a few shampoos. You can only go darker with temporary hair colour. If you want to lighten your hair, you will need to use a semi-permanent or permanent dye.

Semi-Permanent Hair Colour

Semi-permanent hair colour lasts up to eight weeks and fades out with each wash. 

Permanent Hair Colour

Permanent hair dye deposits the hair colour deeper within each hair strand so your colour will be permanent. As a result, your roots will need re-touching.


Solve Hair Colour Problems

Have you experienced a hair colour disaster at home or elsewhere? Our trained hair colour experts are here to help. Common hair colour issues include unwanted brassy tones, hair colour that has turned out too dark and DIY balayage colour that has not turned out as expected. 

Read more about the colour correction services we provide at our top Central London salons here.

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Best Salon Reviews,  Colour Specialists, London's West End

Read our five star salon reviews below to see why our clients rate us their number one hair salons in Central London.

Salon Review
I had a really great hair cut and highlights/colour at the Oxford Street salon with Melania. She was very attentive, and listened to my requests really well. She gave me a great haircut, highlights and colour and I left the salon very pleased and happy. I will definitely be back!
Salon Review
If you're looking for top-notch hairdressers in Central London, look no further than this salon I was absolutely amazed by the level of service and skill that I received on my recent visit. My hairdresser took the time to understand exactly what I wanted, and she gave me a cut that was exactly what I was hoping for. She even took the time to style my hair so that it looked its best. I left the salon feeling confident and looking great! Gusto Hair Salons is definitely the place to go if you're looking for a top-quality hairdressing experience.

Who Are The Specialist Hairdressers Near Me?

Now you know the lingo, all that’s left to do is to book your hair colour appointment at Gusto!

We aim to ensure that everyone who walks through our doors has a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing experience and leaves our West End salons looking and feeling fabulous. Book in for a complimentary consultation and find out what we're all about!

Book Gusto Soho Hair Salon on 020 7287 0015, Covent Garden Hair Salon on 020 7836 9163, or Oxford Street Hair Salon on 0207 486 5044, or book securely online.