Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What Colours Are You

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Most unwanted hair color disasters are often due to the lack of understanding about the basic hair coloring "laws" and how they apply to coloring hair. I will try not to get too technical, so follow along carefully and re-read any area that you are not sure about until you understand it thoroughly.

Levels - What They Are And How They Impact Hair Color

Levels are the degree of lightness or darkness of a color that is reflected or seen by the eye.
Hair color is assigned a Level number ranging from1 to 10 with 1 being black and 10 lightest blonde.
In other words, black reflects very little light and lightest blonde reflects the greatest amount of light.
A level 10 blonde would be 'two steps lighter' than a level 8 blonde.  This system of levels applies to all colors and almost all brands commonly found.

Permanent Hair Color

Permanent is just what it means. This makes a permanent change in the pigment of the hair shaft.  It does not wash out.
It will fade in time, but cannot be simply removed to "bring back" your natural color.  All hair that has been colored in this way has the natural color pigments irreversibly chemically altered.
It can be removed, leaving the altered hair shaft pigments, which can be "corrective colored" back close to the original color.
This is a job which should be left to the Pros Only.  It can be one visit or many visits to the salon to try to correct a bad color job, it is expensive and is hard on the hair to varying degrees.

How Hair Is Lightened

Since it has been established that the 'new' color is a combination of your old color level and tone (referred to as our 'base' color) and the new color that is deposited into the hair, you must take into account what happens when you lighten or lift the base color to another level and deposit the new pigments into the hair shaft.
When hair is lightened it goes through several stages of lightening from the darkest to the lightest from a base of blue in the case of natural black to pale blonde with the palest of yellow as its base color.
This lightening process fractures the color pigment creating undertones that are unwanted.

Before coloring it's best to practice sectioning off thin parts of hair 1/4 to 1/2 inch in width depending on the density of the hair.
Apply conditioner to your hair a few days before doing the actual coloring to get the hang of handling a hair color applicator bottle.
In the case of thick long hair, get a friend to help.
A clarifying treatment to remove buildup in the hair should always be done before coloring.  Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
On long hair, the ends are always more porous than the rest.   Apply color to the mid lengths from about 1 inch from the scalp and apply the color to the ends as the last step.
Follow this procedure because the scalp will process faster due to the heat of the body and the insulating effect of long hair on the scalp.  Here there is no help like experience.
Even just doing the test strands or working on your friends will teach an amateur colorist a lot if  you will be observant and patient.
Very thick, long hair, may have to be colored in sections, rinsed and the uncolored hair dried to allow color to be applied to the rest.
Be sure not to re-color already colored hair and observe timing exactly.


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