I've always been fascinated by the way two countries can speak the same language, yet somehow have different words for the exact same things. You know, like trunk of a car in the U.S. is a "boot" in the U.K., and you'd certainly wonder what on earth was happening if a Brit offered to bring you a "torch" during a power outage in the States.
I remember being in hair school and learning that "bangs" should really be referred to as "fringe" because of the negative connotations associated with the word "bang" across the pond in England. Although, admittedly, I always wondered when on earth I'd ever manage to find a British woman to insult while doing hair in the heartland. Even though I honestly think "fringe" is a better word, I still use the word "bangs" because I'd just rather not have to explain myself.
I honestly had no idea that the differences in American English and British English were as vast as they are until British Hairdresser of the Year (not once, but twice), Mark Hill explained it to me. He opened up a whole new world of British Hairstyling terms by putting together this Beauty Glossary for me to share with you. I was only aware of one in this list, see how many you knew.
You can also check out this British to English Translator for other words that don't make sense if you're traveling abroad.
Shortening hair in the U.S. is determined by inches, in the U.K. it’s requested by grades. Example: “Please shorten my hair by grade one (3mm); grade two (6mm); grade three (9mm); grade four (12mm).”
The area of hair hanging over the forehead that is often cut shorter than the rest of the hair are bangs in the US. As I said earlier, I actually like the term fringe better. I'm not sure where the word bangs came from to begin with, but it really makes no sense.
If you were going make someone, yourself, or something attractive, tidy, or stylish you'd be spiffing them up in the U.K., in the U.S. you're getting gorgeous, beautified, or even "gettin' your hair did."
More About Mark Hill
You can check out all of Mark Hill's fantastic hair products now available at Walgreens.