The Difference between Gloss and Glaze

Woman with partly gray hair
Photo: Nadino/Shutterstock
Q: I have been single-processing my gray hair for the last ten years. I have been told I am about 40% gray. For the last 3 years or so, my colorist always adds glazing/glossing after the single process treatment and tells me he is sealing the color. Sometimes it is a clear glaze, sometimes it has color. Sometimes I am placed under a heater, sometimes not.
My question is, is this always necessary? I am being charged $35 on top of the $100 for the single process. Years ago, I remember, a rinse was done after the coloring process, which I was not charged for. The salon is a relatively upscale one, but I am being told by my girlfriends that this glaze/gloss is being charged to them at more upscale salons at $50 to $90!
I have been reading that a gloss and a glaze are different things, but the salons don’t tell you this or don’t know. Some of my other girlfriends tell me some salons throw in the glaze/gloss if highlights are done. Why is this not included in the single process service?

A: There is a maxim in “free market” business philosophy that a product or service is worth “whatever people will pay for it”. Salons are – first and foremost – a business and the pricing reflects this maxim, but also reflects the overhead that the salon must contend with in order to provide the facilities and supplies with which to provide customers with services.
Things like rent, salon furnishings, utilities, tools, sundries, marketing costs, retail inventory and salon-used products must all be considered when the pricing for services are set. If your salon is in a more expensive area for real estate, you can almost be guaranteed that the services are going to be more costly than at a salon in a less-expensive location.
Of course, not all pricing is set solely according to cost. Sometimes, hair salons charge based on the reputation their salon has. Many of us have heard the expression “you get what you pay for”, which implies that something with a higher cost must have a greater intrinsic value. Therefore, a haircut that costs $125 is surely better than one that costs only $50, right? (Sometimes, it is, and sometimes the $50 haircut is better than the one for $125.)
Part of your question was "why the gloss or glaze service wasn’t included in the hair color service you paid $100 for" this perhaps explains to you possible reasons. Obviously, from what you say you’ve learned in discussions with friends, some salons in your area do include these types of services in the cost of the color service you receive, while other charge even more for the service separately. Perhaps you should investigate a new salon.
As for the difference between a “gloss” and a “glaze” for the hair: traditionally a “gloss” was generally a clear-coat product that added shine to the hair to make it look healthier. A “glaze” was a product that added shine with a light tint to increase the shine of the hair and to enhance or “adjust” the color of the hair. It would be used to tone-down brassiness or liven up the color if the results weren’t as rich as desired. Both product/services were short lived (typically 1-4 weeks) and were initially used in conjunction with color services of many forms – from single-process color to highlighting.
However, it’s important to note that the hair color industry has been using the terms “gloss” and “glaze” interchangeably for years and often simply add the term “gloss” to dye products because the consumer finds the term appealing when choosing hair color.
See also:
Hair coloring
Toner and glossy-looking hair