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 Balayage. Where do these names come from? Is there a group of people that sit around a table and come up with them?

Answer: 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 individuals 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 between themselves and relay them to their clients.

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

New names are easy to trace someone’s claiming responsibility for them. Older names like The Pixie can be a little harder, since everyone is dead. The cuts resemblance to the short hair of a fairy has been dated since the ’50s. Vidal Sassoon claimed he came up with it in the ’60s.

Wikipedia says The Bob dates back to the 1890s. It gives examples up until a trendsetter in 1915 named Irene Caste unveiled the “Castle Bob.” Sassoon brought the name back as another of his claim to names when he introduced his version of the cut in geometric designs back in the ’60s.

If you look online, you will find the Mullet is in trend, too. Short on top and sides, long in the back, modified for the current century.

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 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.

Email Scott Terwilliger at for questions and comments.