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The first safe commercial hair color was created in 1909 by French chemist Eugene Schuller, using the chemical paraphenylenediamine. Hair coloring is very popular today, with over 85% of women coloring their hair and a growing percentage of men following suit. How does haircolor work?
Hair is mainly keratin, the same protein found in skin and fingernails. The natural color of hair depends on the ratio and quantities of two other proteins, eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin is responsible for brown to black hair shades while pheomelanin is responsible for golden blond, ginger, and red colors. The absence of either type of melanin produces white/gray hair.
People have been coloring their hair for thousands of years using plants and minerals. Some of these natural agents contain pigments (e.g., henna, black walnut shells) and others contain natural bleaching agents or cause reactions that change the color of hair (e.g., vinegar). Natural pigments generally work by coating the hair shaft with color. Some natural colorants last through several shampoos, but they aren’t necessarily safer or more gentle than modern formulations. It’s difficult to get consistent results using natural colorants, plus some people are allergic to the ingredients.
Temporary Hair Color
Temporary or semi-permanent hair colors may deposit acidic dyes onto the outside of the hair shaft or may consist of small pigment molecules that can slip inside the hair shaft, using a small amount of peroxide or none at all. In some cases, a collection of several colorant molecules enter the hair to form a larger complex inside the hair shaft. Shampooing will eventually dislodge temporary hair color. These products don’t contain ammonia, meaning the hair shaft isn’t opened up during processing and the hair’s natural color is retained once the product washes out.
How Lightening Works
Bleach is used to lighten hair. The bleach reacts with the melanin in hair, removing the color in an irreversible chemical reaction. The bleach oxidizes the melanin molecule. The melanin is still present, but the oxidized molecule is colorless. However, bleached hair tends to have a pale yellow tint. The yellow color is the natural color of keratin, the structural protein in hair. Also, bleach reacts more readily with the dark eumelanin pigment than with the pheomelanin, so some gold or red residual color may remain after lightening. Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most common lightening agents. The peroxide is used in an alkaline solution, which opens the hair shaft to allow the peroxide to react with the melanin.
Permanent Hair Color
The outer layer of the hair shaft, its cuticle, must be opened before permanent color can be deposited into the hair. Once the cuticle is open, the dye reacts with the inner portion of the hair, the cortex, to deposit or remove the color. Most permanent hair colors use a two-step process (usually occurring simultaneously) which first removes the original color of the hair and then deposits a new color. It’s essentially the same process as lightening, except a colorant is then bonded within the hair shaft. Ammonia is the alkaline chemical that opens the cuticle and allows the hair color to penetrate the cortex of the hair. It also acts as a catalyst when the permanent hair color comes together with the peroxide. Peroxide is used as the developer or oxidizing agent. The developer removes pre-existing color. Peroxide breaks chemical bonds in hair, releasing sulfur, which accounts for the characteristic odor of hair color. As the melanin is decolorized, a new permanent color is bonded to the hair cortex. Various types of alcohols and conditioners may also be present in hair color. The conditioners close the cuticle after coloring to seal in and protect the new color.
What is Corrective Hair Color / Color Correction
Many of clients may not be familiar with this exact term, so let’s start by defining what corrective hair color or color correction means. Corrective hair color is a color process that must be performed by a professional hair colorist to correct any and all damage caused by a color service gone wrong.
This could mean something as simple as you wanted to be honey blonde and ended up with platinum blonde hair or something as drastic as a chemical being left on your hair too long and now your hair is breaking off in your hair brush. Another reason you may need corrective color service is if you colored your hair at home and you turned your hair black instead of the warm brown shown on the box.
There are many factors as to why a color service goes wrong. For those of you who do it at home, you may not realize that your hair is porous and will absorb more color than the average person. If your bad hair color was a result of a salon visit, you may have been working with someone inexperienced, which can lead to leaving bleach or color on your hair too long.
Perhaps the most serious situation which can occur with an inexperienced hair colorist is that they fail to recognize that your hair is too damaged to color correctly in the first place and it needs deep conditioning and re-hydration prior to being colored or bleached.
All of these reasons and more are why you should always seek a true hair color experts, like those at Teddy Rose Hair Salon.
If you are coming in for a corrective color service at Teddy Rose Hair Salon, there are a few things that are important to be aware of before coming to the salon. When a client comes to us for corrective color services, she has usually had previous color services performed on her hair which have created an unsatisfactory result. If this is the case for you personally, it is important to realize the effect that these previous services may have had on your hair.
Your hair is in a stressed and weakened condition when you walk through our door. Because of the caution necessary to perform services on fragile hair, it could take several visits to achieve the final result. That is why it is called “corrective hair color / Color correction”.
To set the correct expectations, it is important that you pay attention to the recommendations of your stylist and ask any questions that may arise during your initial consultation.
Please keep in mind that the final result may take several visits to achieve, depending on how damaged or weak your hair is upon your first visit for color correction. This is due to the fact that performing all services necessary to correct the color for the desired result may break or further damage your hair if there is not ample time between processes to allow your hair to strengthen.
Our Professional Hair Color Correction Experts:
- Fix botched home hair color and other color disasters
- Remove unwanted hues
- Help restore your hair’s health, so you can get and keep the color you want
- Make blonde less brassy
- Create subtle tonal shifts
- Lighten or darken your hair or just areas of it, such as ends or roots
- Return your color to its natural shade
Please note that the number of visits cannot always be determined until the process is started.
Additionally, there is not a set price for corrective color. The cost is determined by the amount of work necessary to achieve the desired result. Therefore, no refunds will be given after one salon visit if additional visits are needed to achieve the final desired result for corrective color.
Only after we’ve gathered all the facts do we determine the best action plan for fixing your hair color problem and giving you the hair color you always wanted. It may take more than one appointment or even several weeks, but we’ll get you there. Make a complimentary appointment for your corrective hair color consultation today, and you’ll be on your way.