More Than Skin Deep: Trendy names of past and present

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Dear Scott: I saw your Delicious Hair techniques and wondered who comes up with the names of haircuts and techniques?

I am seeing the pixie, bob, shag, ombre and a bunch of other ones. Where do these names come from?

Is there a group of people who sit around a table and come up with them?

Some of the names of cuts have been around for years. Many of the newer descriptive names for cuts and color techniques come from European designers, celebrity stylists or groups of stylists around a table that name collections much in the same way a clothing designer does.

Because of the popularity of these people in the beauty industry, some of the names of things stick.

Communication was the initial motivation behind the naming process. Naming things was intended to help stylists collaborate ideas among themselves and relay them to clients. Creating excitement was the most important reason of all.

Sales and marketing have played an important role in the resurrection of many names from the past, and the current manifestation of multitudes of names for everything. Confusion has become the result.

New names are easy to trace someone’s claiming responsibility for them. Older names such as the pixie can be a little harder, since everyone is dead. The cut’s resemblance to the short hair of a fairy has been dated since the 1950s, although Vidal Sassoon claimed he came up with it in the 1960s.

Wikipedia says that the bob dates back to the 1890s. It gives examples up until a trendsetter in 1915 named Irene Castle unveiled the “Castle Bob.”

Sassoon brought the name back as another of his claims to names when he introduced the version of the cut in geometric designs back in the ’60s. I believe it to be named after Cleopatra’s hairdresser, Bob.

Wikipedia also says the shag was supposedly named by a barber, Paul McGregor. That’s it, no dates or anything about him or Sassoon. Not to be confused with the old-fashioned Farrah Fawcett style, this cut is back in a big way, with many variations available.

Becoming popular in the 1960s, the mullet is in trend too. Short on top and sides, long in the back, modified for the current century. No one is taking credit for the original design concept, not even Sassoon. Personally, I believe this hairstyle should go away forever.

Ombre is an entire look of urban feeling from head to toe. I’m not sure where this name came from. It’s too recent for Sassoon to take credit.

The lob is one of the funnier haircut names trending right now. This is the new name for a bob cut that is shorter in the back and longer in the front. I guess somebody put elongated-bob together into one word. Who it was is a mystery.

I am also guilty of naming my ideas. Delicious Hair is my own invention. It is a combination of techniques utilizing Balayage, foil and stain that creates unusually appetizing color. Now, when you see the name pop up somewhere, you will know its true origin.

SCOTT TERWILLIGER IS AN AIKEN SALON OWNER. HE CAN BE REACHED AT SCOTT.TERWILLIGER@HOTMAIL.COM.


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