Hair Care Vocabulary

A collage of the hair care vocabulary icons and words featured on this page.

This hair care vocabulary will be helpful when you go to the drug store or beauty store to buy items to care for your hair. 

To hear the words pronounced in American English, please check out the video below. There is a pause after each item so that you can practice saying the words yourself.


Hear the hair care vocabulary pronounced

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Hair care vocabulary in pictures

Now you can review this hair care vocabulary below.

Illustration of a hair brush


brush:  a tool with small stiff bristles to smooth or groom the hair.

Illustrations of a comb and a wide-tooth comb

comb:  a tool used to groom or straighten the hair. A wide-tooth comb is used to more easily groom curly or wavy hair.

Illustration of a curling iron


curling iron:  an electric tool that has a metal cylinder to curl the hair using heat.

Illustration of a flat iron


flat iron:  an electric tool that straightens the hair by pressing them through two heated ceramic plates.

Illustrations of hair clips

hair clips:  plastic or metal objects that are used to hold hair in place.

Illustration of a pot of hair dye and a brush used to apply hair color.

hair color/dye:  a chemical substance that is used to color (dye) the hair either permanently or to last for several washings of the hair.

Illustration of a container of conditioner.

conditioner:  a creamy liquid substance used to make the hair softer and less dry.

Illustration of a hair dryer


hair dryer:  an electric tool used to dry the hair.

Illustration of hair extensions


hair extensions:  real or synthetic hair that is sewn into existing hair to make it look longer or thicker.

Illustration of a container of hair styling gel

hair styling gel:  a sticky thick liquid substance that is used to style the hair and hold it in place.

Illustration of hair rollers


hair rollers:  round cylinders that are used to make curls or waves in the hair (often using heat).

Illustration of a pair of hair scissors


hair scissors/shears:  a metal tool with two blades to cut the hair.

Illustration of an electric beard and hair trimmer

electric beard and hair trimmer:  an electric tool that closely shaves hair on the face, neck and scalp.

Illustration of a bottle of shampoo


shampoo:  a liquid substance that lathers into bubbles to clean the hair.

Illustration of a water spray bottle


water spray bottle:  a bottle that contains water. It is often used to make the hair wet when a stylist is cutting the hair.

Hair colors and hair styles

Illustrations of four women and four men with different hairstyles and facial hair

Now that we've reviewed some hair care terms it would also be useful to describe some hair styles.

  • hair length:  short hair, medium-length hair, long hair
  • colors:  red (ginger), brown (brunette), auburn, black, blond/blonde, gray
  • texture:  straight, curly, wavy, kinky-curly, frizzy
  • bald = no hair
  • facial hair:  beard, goatee beard (only on the chin), moustache
  • hair styles:  updo (arranging hair up on the head in a style), ponytail, braids, dread locks.

hair care professional (someone who styles an cuts hair):  hairstylist, hair dresser or barber (for men). 

place to have hair styled:  hairdresser's, hair salon, beauty parlor, beauty salon or barber's shop.

As recently as the 1950s it was radical for men to have long hair (remember the Beatles musical group) but these days both men and women wear their hair in a variety of styles, lengths and colors.  Bot men and women color their hair, curl and straighten their hair, wear ponytails, etc.

What is very interesting about hair is that the vast majority (almost all people) want to change the style from their natural hair! And, almost everyone feels a lot better after they have their hair styled by a professional. 


Your turn: Practice this hair care vocabulary

What is your hair like? Do you style and cut your own hair or do you go to a hair stylist? How much does it cost to have a haircut in your country?

To practice, write your answers to the questions on a separate piece of paper. Or practice speaking out loud to yourself or with a speaking partner. These are excellent ways to help remember this vocabulary.


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