Surfing through the sea of hair color photos, terms and articles on the internet can be a bit overwhelming for many. It is quite common to be confused by terms like "Balayage" and "Ombre". Hairdressers, of course, love to add to the jargon with mash-ups like "Foilyage" and "Bombre", which can often add to the confusion.
What does it all mean?
Here is a key to the colorist's terminology for your next appointment:
This technique has grown in popularity for many reasons:
There was a time when Ombre seemed as though it was going to be a passing fad, but it is here to stay. Ombre can be subtle tones or "high-contrast" like in a darker root to much lighter ends.
Variations: "Bombre" or "Cherry Bombre" is a result that has reds. "Sombre" is a subtle or soft ombre.
Foils are often a favorite for those who like a lot of blonde coverage or who may have a lot of levels to break through. Foils can also be used to encourage lifting (heat techniques) or to simply separate sections for specialized pieces.
Variation: "Babylights" - often executed with balayage or very fine foiled sections, this is a result that is soft and mimics the sun-lightening of summers passed.
First, the hair must be lightened to accommodate the desired color results (unless you're already a light blonde). Contrary to what rumors may be out there, a brunette will not get these vivid results without lightening. Brunettes who do not wish to be completely blonde, but want to play with fashion colors, can consider deeper tones or the "oil slick" trends, but there must be a workable palette underneath. We have to consider contributing pigments and a clean canvas is a customizable one.
Fantasy color is high maintenance hair color. The colors are bright and beautiful but are in the "semi-permanent" realm of color products. That means that it will shampoo out in 8 - 10 shampoos. As they shampoo / fade out, deeper tones will often overpower the lighter ones. Pastel tones have less pigment and shampoo out faster than the deeper jewel tones. Some do last longer, yes, and there are many techniques that we share with our fantasy color clients to accommodate their desire to keep their color longer.
Be prepared to adopt some changes to your routine or be a more frequent client if this is your desire.
Check out our Infographic on Being a Fit for Fashion Colors, here:
Your existing hair's condition, color, and other contributing factors must be considered. Be aware, too, that your hair may not reach levels to achieve the sought-after silvers or pastels. Have realistic expectations or be open to the colorist's experience and education.
Variations: A double process is also what is required to go from blonde back to brunette lest you risk the dreaded "swampy" or "mossy" look after just a couple of shampoos.
Once many months have passed, the hair is now subject to biological influences that we must consider such as various temperature contributions and conditions. This affects how the chemistry processes. Corrective color techniques are also enlisted for those who have damage issues.
Check out our blog about the importance of home care, here:
No matter what you want to achieve, talk to a professional about the goals and the map it takes to get there. If you're ever confused or need clarification, a quality colorist will be glad to go over your concerns with you.
Happy Hair Days and May the Fierce be with You.
other fun reading:
would you wash a designer suit with dish washing liquid?
Of course you wouldn't.
The idea of dousing that blouse in a sink of soap designed to remove food grease from your pots and pans should make you cringe.
So, why are you spending hundreds of dollars and hours in a chair for great color or extension work - and putting $5 shampoo on it at home?
1. Salon products are of higher quality
Of most importance to remember:
Professional products are made with higher quality ingredients at higher concentrations.
Yes, our price range in care products ($22 - $44) is more than the $5 average at a drug store. You're paying for quality care. Less harsh cleansers - plant ingredients - sustainable practices - cruelty and carciongen free... these are the things that matter in hair care and the likelihood of finding that at CVS is slim.
Just as a well-respected foundation at Sephora may be $50 while the drug store can have foundation makeup as low as $5, we too have products that are made with quality ingredients to give you better results.
Stuff from the drug store is inexpensive because it is made inexpensively with cheap, chemically-laden recipes. Recipes filled with sulfates then watered-down to keep it cheap, many ladies find great frustration with these bargains after a short time. Sulfates build up and scalps get confused or irritated.
There are so many issues that stem from home care products...
If you've ever dealt with mixed messages (Dandruff + Oil over-production), color loss, dryness or a dull, lifeless 'do - look into what's in your shower.
Is it worth fighting through 4 different cheap brands over 3 months when you could just get more in the beginning for quality results?
2. salon-purchased is authentic
Big box retailers and online sellers through Ebay or Amazon are often diverting product that can be expired or counterfeit.
As hairdresser Paul H. put it: "Many consumers are lured into buying professional salon and skincare products through unauthorized, online retailers because of attractive price points. Similar to unauthorized diverted products in big box stores, products purchased online carry an added risk to the consumer because packaging/tampering/and product condition cannot be inspected before purchasing. Has the bottle been opened? Is the packaging old, damaged, or counterfeit? Online sources have products that have been passed through uncontrolled distribution channels and may be counterfeit, diluted formulas, old, expired and not safe to use."
"Diverted products are obtained through what's known as the "gray" market.
3. Your stylist knows your hair needs
In the state of Texas (where our salon is) each of us had to first obtain our cosmetology degree before we could be licensed. This education has to be proven to be continued at every license renewal. We are obsessed with how to make your hair at it's happiest - and that includes quality home care that we know is meant for you and your needs.
We know your texture, type, chemical history and more.
We know that the mousse one client uses is not a good idea for another.
If you've ever stood in the care aisle at a local store - and stood before the sea of options - it's a lot to take in and to understand.
We are here to take the guesswork out with quality, education-backed referrals.
There are so many hair types, styles, desired results, and processes out there, how do you know what works for whom? We're trained to know that and we love being able to help you keep your hair happy. We're here to help.
Whether online or in-salon, we are here to provide you with the best answers so that you can enjoy your best hair.
Our most concentrated, natural line of care we offer - ColorProof - is very vocal about what they don't use. We research and review everything that we offer and our lines stand behind their products.
If your first thought when looking at a care and style product has to do with the retail price, you may want to think about the problems you may be dealing with now, and if the trouble is actually worth what you're hair is paying in the long run.
"Everyone is talking of sulfates. what are they and why should we know about them?"
This is a question that we are often asked about. Shopping for your hair care products can seem more confusing than ever before. One shampoo line is advertising bounce and shine. They have a fabulous celebrity telling you how you should have these “pro vitamin” goods to keep your hair looking great.
You also may have also heard that the shampoo you currently use, that has been on the market for many years, may not be all that it is cracked up to be. There are so many types and promised results. Maybe you've just noticed your hair doesn't work with it like it used to or that the "hydrating" is actually drying or the "dandruff control" is making more of it. The labels are often of no help. They can read like stereo instructions, and, what is written in that product list is, usually, more difficult to decipher.
The most common product conversation is over sulfate vs. "sulfate-free".
But what are they and why should you care?
sodium lauryl sulfate
According to the department of Health and Human Services, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) has also been seen as: “Sulfuric acid monododecyl ester sodium salt; Sodium dodecyl sulfate; Dodecyl sulfate, sodium salt; Sodium lauryl sulfate ether; Sodium n-dodecyl sulfate; Sodium Lauryl Sulfate”. It is found in cosmetics and cleaners of many kinds – from your toothpaste and shampoo in the bathroom, to the “scrubbing bubbles” you use to clean it with.
why is it in products?
It may seem quite disturbing to read that your toilet cleaner has the same ingredient as your shampoo. Granted, there are various levels in which these products have them. A look through the Health and Human Services Searchable List index can give you some indication as to what to expect. That is not all of the information, though, and, who has time to look up the website at every turn of the store?
A look at labels and brand websites can help indicate what's going on inside of the bottle:
Reminder: product labels list ingredients from greatest percentage (first listed) to least percentage (last listed) amount inside.
Note: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is listed and you will often also see its cousin - sodium Laureth Sulfate with it.
Don't confuse them as the same even thought Lauryl is used to make Laureth. Laureth is designed to be "less" irritating.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is used in many products for multiple reasons. It is inexpensive, effective and easily used in most anything.
Sulfates are surfactants and, as such, attract the oil and water and emulsify them for easier rinse and disposal. They also keep those water molecules from liking each other too much. Water loves itself and a surfactant will kill that surface tension party quickly.
According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, "among 242 patients suffering from eczematous dermatitis, the percentage of allergic reactions [to SLS] reached 54.6%" and there are studies on how it has affected skin and hair going back decades.
One such study conducted in Montreal in 1977, at the Society of Cosmetic Chemistry, surveyed how Sodium Lauryl Sulfate reacted with skin, hair and the keratin that they are both made of. What they found was that SLS liked to bind "tightly" to the keratin and that a standard washing only removed 30% of the chemical from the hair (Faucher). The study looked over the affects of the chemistry at various diluted levels on untouched hair, bleached hair, and skin cell sections.
Naturally, the bleached hair had the toughest time with sulfates. Hair that has been compromised, and even damaged, will be porous and will - like a sponge - soak up all that it can. Think of the bleach blonde with the green chlorine issue over summer as an example.
The SLS was found not only to be absorbed during the cleansing process but also to be something that builds - cumulatively - over time. In fact, the study found that compromised hair could soak up an "amount to ten times as much" as what would be initially soaked up in the beginning (Faucher).
Over time, this can cause a problem in effectiveness and what it is doing to your own hair and skin saying that the water using SLS can be "quite immobile" from its tight bind on the keratin. Faucher continues that this means SLS is "unlikely to act as a normal solute in such an environment". While the unbleached hair in the study had the advantage of the stronger cuticle layer, the "lag" Faucher noted was only about 15 - 30 minutes before absorption began.
An interesting note is how it was also found that SLS has a "great capacity" for being a catalyst that helps other substances make their way into the skin that can be considered irritants, as well. While the sulfate may not bother you, it may be bringing that friend to the party that you hate.
what does that mean for my hair?
Sulfates can irritate the scalp and hair in many ways.
Maybe it is as simple as feeling more dry. Other times, it may feel heavy from build up. It may also have static or frizz issues. Another issue can be that you feel your scalp is confused or sending you mixed signals. It can feel tight and dry and even get red and irritated while being oily. The great color service you loved could be fading quicker than you'd like. Some products have been known to strip out color even though the bottle says "color safe".
Some of these products, coupled with heat tools, can cause a synthetic hardening around your hair strands and your scalp will want to reject it.
If you are someone with hair that is fragile - such as been chemically treated or you're naturally curly or fine - then sulfates are not helping you in any way. There are countless options out there for quality hair care that can work with many lifestyle needs.
Taking the extra time to care about what you're putting in your hair and on your skin (scalp is skin, too!) will make a difference. Take the time to get to know what is in your bathroom. Look into what you're using - read labels - and remember that your hair needs love, too.
Bhalekar, Mangesh R. "Evaluation of aqueous extract of Soapnut as surfactant in cosmetics." Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 6.4 (2017): 1318-1320.
Den Yi, Ann, et al. "Skin Barrier Impaired? Two'TEWLs' to tell." Cosmetics and Toiletries 132.1 (2017): 42-55.
Faucher, J. A., and E. D. Goddard. "Interaction of keratinous substrates with sodium lauryl sulfate: I. Sorption." J Soc Cosmet Chem 29 (1978): 323-337.
Freeman, Susanne, and Howard Maibach. "Study of irritant contact dermatitis produced by repeat patch test with sodium lauryl sulfate and assessed by visual methods, transepidermal water loss, and laser Doppler velocimetry." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 19.3 (1988): 496-502.
Furmanczyk, Ewa Maria, et al. "Isolation and characterization of Pseudomonas spp. strains that efficiently decompose sodium dodecyl sulfate." Frontiers in Microbiology 8 (2017): 1872.
Horita, Kotomi, et al. "Effects of different base agents on prediction of skin irritation by sodium lauryl sulfate using patch testing and repeated application test." Toxicology 382 (2017): 10-15.
Lee, Cheol Heon, and Howard I. Maibach. "The sodium lauryl sulfate model: an overview." Contact dermatitis 33.1 (1995): 1-7.
Sasseville, Denis. "Alkyl Glucosides: 2017 “allergen of the Year”." Dermatitis 28.4 (2017): 296.
In a recent dermatological study in Africa, nearly 22% of girls between the ages of 17 and 21 years of age were going bald due to repeated, regular tight hairstyles. That same study found 31% of all of the women examined and reviewed had the same issue.
What happens, however, when the need for quick and easy becomes a problem?
the fringe sign
One of the most prevalent characteristics described by dermatologists is what they call: "The Fringe Effect".
Usually witnessed as shortened and more fine ("baby") hair around the hairline. Most see it when it starts affecting around the face and temples - which is why it is named this way.
According to Dr. Crystal Aguh, the contributing factors for experiencing Traction Alopecia are "based on the degree to which follicles are exposed to tension, weight, heat, and hair-altering chemicals."
Dr. Aguh lists high-risk hairstyles as: Braids, Dreadlocks, tight or "ballerina" buns, and tight ponytails.
Environmental or mechanical factors contribute to your hair's ability to handle any hairstyle that has tension. If your hair is chemically processed or over-processed (feels like hay when dry and slimy when wet), then your hair is going to break easily.
Users of hot tools (flat irons, wands, etc) are also weakening their strands. Hair is most fragile when it is wet so special care during that time is also of value.
Another issue is the use of improper or incorrect products. Inexpensive (bargain or drug store) brands are often contributing to your dryness without you realizing it. Don't spend $300 at Sephora on your face then put $5 shampoo on your tresses.
The right care and protection (heat protection, leave in conditioners, etc) DO make a difference. If it can happen to your skin, it can happen to your hair. Protect it.
Poorly installed extensions can cause hair trauma, too, so be sure you're getting the right system for your hair's strength and ability.
what are some solutions?
If your hair length is an issue, there are ways to have low, loose styles that allow for a happy compromise.
Another tip is to reduce the amount of chemical processes you put your hair through. If you've been doing that yourself, a visit to a stylist can help you get a better - safer - routine.
Of course, you have to consider what products are a part of your routine. Do you use quality products? Are you using the right ones for your hair? Do you protect your hair? This matters and a stylist can help.
It is important to remember that this preventable issue can only be helped if caught early and action is taken. Once late traction alopecia (scarring) sets in, the only solution is a hair transplant.
Talk to your hairstylist today about ways that you may be able to help your hair have a better tomorrow.
Aguh, Crystal M.D. All hairstyles are not created equal: What the dermatologist needs to know about black hairstyling practices and the risk of traction alopecia. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) and John’s Hopkins Medical School10/10/2016 (Print)
Christiana Oyinlola Akingbola, Jui Vyas. Traction Alopecia: A neglected entity in 2017. Indian Journal of Dermatology Volume 83, Issue 6: Pages 644-649
Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF, UK (Web)
Gavazzoni Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis. Hair Cosmetics: An Overview. International Journal of Trichology 7.1 (2015): 2–15. PMC. Web. 29 Oct. 2017.
Khumalo NP, Jessop S, Gumedze F, Ehrlich R. Hairdressing is associated with scalp disease in African schoolchildren. Br J Dermatol 2007;157:106-10.
Muñoz Moreno-Arrones, Oscar Vañó-Galván, Sergio. Bitemporal hair loss related to Traction Alopecia. Dermatology, Online Journal, University of California Davis. 01/01/2016 (Web)
We at Fusion Studio Dallas LOVE tape extensions. They are easily applied, lived with, and our clients love them.
There are many great permanent (meaning: you sleep and live with them in your hair because a fusion system was used) extension lines out there and they all have wonderful benefits.
Here are some of the benefits to choosing a tape-in extension system:
"When I first got my tape extensions, I wasn't sure how I'd do with them or if they would be difficult to live with. Now? I can't live without them! I love them so much!" -Fusion client since 2015
At Fusion - we include with the installation -
clarifying, blowout, installation and the required haircut for the best blend and enjoyment.
let's chat about your hair desires at a complimentary consultation:
Please note: All extension clients begin with a consultation
There are several types of damage that can happen to your hair. Chemical (color, misuse or poor execution), Environmental (Sun, weather, pollution, hard water), and Mechanical.
Mechanical damage is all of that stuff that we do to ourselves. It can range from using the wrong brush for our hair to the hair loss from continued friction with the follicles.
If you've sacrificed getting your color on for fear of damage, yet find you're still dealing with it, the problem may be mechanical.
If there is a constant tug on these follicles and bulbs (think of those tight ponies or buns), after constant pulling, the follicles let go of those hairs at the root and quit making more.
Regular follicle damage that affects the bulb / root area can result in permanent hair loss. This is called Traction Alopecia.
"Traction alopecia is a form of acquired hair loss that results from prolonged or repetitive tension on the scalp hair. It was first described in 1907 in subjects from Greenland who had developed hair loss along the hairline due to prolonged wearing of tight ponytails." (The Fringe Sign, clinical findings of traction alopecia)
In a study done at UC Davis in 2011, they had found their average age of someone suffering from Traction Alopecia was only 34 years old (Samaro 2)
Solution: Let the hair down and let the follicles "breathe". Try loose, side braids. Keep the scalp massaged and circulation flowing. Add protection to your routine with a leave-in treatment, too.
"Treatment options for TA vary depending on whether or not longstanding disease has resulted in permanent hair loss. Treatment can be divided into three stages: prevention, early TA, and long-standing TA. Prevention is key in childhood and involves educating parents on the importance of loosening the hairstyle and avoiding tenting, which occurs when the hair is pulled so tightly that the skin of the scalp is raised by the force of the pull.
In early TA in children it is important to loosen the hairstyle, and avoid chemicals or heat because hair loss is reversible at this stage. Brushing the affected area “to stimulate hair growth” should be avoided. In adults with early TA, the hairstyle should also be loosened." (Samaro 4)
It is not only pulling the hair that can do this kind of damage. Sometimes the repeated rubbing of the follicles can result in the same. If you or someone you know has been using the same clip-in extension set - every day - and has found that the hair keeps getting more thin (they're having to backcomb / "tease" more to clip) where they attach the extensions, that person is dealing with mechanical damage and potential hair loss.
Solution: If you or someone you love is experiencing this, consider moving into permanent extensions like a tape extension option.
If the damage is a breakage that is happening in the middle area of the hair, then we ask:
"Are you putting your hair in a ponytail while it is still wet?"
Hair is most fragile when it is wet, so this is something we often see in ladies who put their hair up while it is still wet and in that fragile state. Most especially when this is a regular part of the routine. We understand that we are all pressed for time these days, but be aware that the midshaft breakage is, likely, because of this.
"Even though wet hair can stretch up to 30% of its original length without any harm, irreversible changes occur when it is stretched between 30% and 70%, and at 80% the strand will ultimately break." (Gavazzoni)
Using the right brush for your hair and desired result is important, too. Wide-tooth combs are great for distributing conditioners in and leave-in products. A paddle brush or Wet Brush are wonderful for taking out tangles gently.
When you're wanting that round-brush blowout, be sure that your hair is 80 - 90% dry before bringing in the round brush in. This makes less exhausting work for you and also protects your hair during the blow dry.
A good heat and style protection product will help at this time.
There can be many factors that are causing changes or undesired results with your hair.
If you have specific questions, or you are looking for some ideas on better ways to help you be you, book a complimentary consultation with us.
Gavazzoni Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis. “Hair Cosmetics: An Overview.” International Journal of Trichology 7.1 (2015): 2–15. PMC. Web. 3 Oct. 2017.
Samrao, Aman; Price, Vera H; Zedek, Daniel; & Mirmirani, Paradi. (2011). The “Fringe Sign” - A useful clinical finding in traction alopecia of the marginal hair line. Dermatology Online Journal, 17(11). Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/25m840mz
Özçelik, D. Aesth Plast Surg (2005) 29: 325. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00266-005-0004-5 Extensive Traction Alopecia Attributable to Ponytail Hairstyle and Its Treatment with Hair Transplantation
FUSION Dallas became certified by Hairdreams in the Volume + System. What does that mean for you? This allows us to know offer you multiple options from Hairdreams - a name that means high quality in hair extensions. We have now added to our menu:
Quickkies by Hairdreams - Tape Extensions
Volume + System including: Top Hair, Microlines, Highlines and Custom.
What are these?
Basically, if you can imagine, hair extensions - instead of being placed in straight sections and only from under existing hair - These are done on-the-round.
These are custom measured, colored, and hand made for you. They rest on the head and fused - to cover areas of a thin or balding nature.
The fusing is gentle and the bonds are small.
It's NOT a wig as it is woven through with your own existing hair.
Check out the videos and photos below to see what Hairdreams and 7 Star Quality Hair can do for you.
Nearly 40% of women deal with hair loss. You are not alone.
very appointment is semi-private .
Should you need a private appointment, we can accommodate.
Just give us a call 24/7 (toll free) and our friendly receptionist will gladly take your information.
volume + is made for you
When out and about, and searching for new tweezers, do you get overwhelmed? Are you ever wondering why there are multiple types and shapes and styles?
Much like everything else in our wonderful industry, a lot of toys can also cause a lot of confusion.
Here is the low-down on the main types of tweezers...
The Slant TipThis is the most common style of tweezer tip that you see. It is great with brows because of the ease in which it can grab the hairs. Some prefer it to grab and apply their false lashes, too. This is a great all-purpose style to keep in your kit.
The Flat TipThe Flat Tip is not good for brows as they grab too much at once. Many of us can attest to that mistake in our teens. However, these are great for applying those falsies and other delicate applications as they provide the best control of the lashes.
Claw TipThe arch of the claw will allow you a little more visibility of what you have a grasp of. These are good for tougher areas you may want to tweeze like hairlines or intimates.
The Point TipWhile these may be intimidating - and, should take some practice - they are wonderful at tiny hairs, ingrown hairs, and splinters.
These are also great for adding small stones to nail art or special makeup projects.
When it comes to hair color, almost all of us can talk of mishaps or bathroom experiments but not all of us can talk about "why" things happen the way that they do. It's easy to get confused or intimidated by the many options and horror stories out there.
Here is some info that will, hopefully, help you with decisions past and future.
Types of hair color:
Temporary hair color is something that you use one time. Often they’re in the form of chalks and sprays like the ones you see pop up around Halloween. These coat the hair and shampoo out and have no staying power. The molecules of temporary hair color tend to be large so they cannot enter into the hair.
In fact, there’s no developer to open the cuticle to process with.
These are perfect to try fun colors with while having zero commitment to it.
Example: The new PRAVANA Mood Color is a temporary color
Semi permanent haircolor is what is most often seen as fashion colors. Manic Panic and others like Pravana can give bright tones like purple or green. The trick to that bright result is that the semi-permanent color is put over pre-lightened hair. Blue manic panic won’t look like the canister when put over dark brown hair.
This is high-maintenance hair color.
The pre-lightening does 2 things to help with this. 1) lightens the hair to a level that shows the overlay color; and, 2) opens the cuticle (because of the developer) so that the molecules of the color can be “grabbed” with a bit more efficiency.
Because it begins to shampoo out in just a few shampoos, you’ll often hear of folks with this having to constantly refresh or they mix some of the color in with their conditioner to keep the constant color application. Fashion color clients also will forego shampooing their hair for days at a time to try to keep it vibrant.
Dry shampoo is also a helper with this color commitment.
Demi-permanent hair color lasts 4 - 6 weeks.
It’s often seen as “grey blending” or referred to as a gloss or a toner.
Demi-permanent haircolor uses a low-volume developer to open the cuticle slightly. There’s little to no ammonia in it (some box colors will say “no ammonia” - it’s Demi) and will blend up to 50% of grey hair. This is a great option for men wanting to blend grey hair as opposed to the idea of metallic salts - which we will touch on in a moment. This is also great for adding shine or refreshing a faded color like reds.
These are often seen as “Just for men” or other dyes that progressively darken the hair. These use metallic salts that react with the oxygen in the environment and the keratin in your own hair’s building blocks.
We do not recommend using these.
There are ingredients in many options out there that are banned in other countries because of their link to cancer. Another reason? Because the hair grows darker the more it’s exposed to the oxygen, it can often get too dark. They are often reapplied and it layers (color doesn’t lift color) making it even darker. Have you ever seen a gent have grey roots, salt-and-pepper mids and black ends? That is color layering.
What often happens, then, is the client will see a hairdresser or get bleach, themselves, to lighten that back up. The chemical reaction of the lightener on the metallic salts tends to cause the hair to melt off. It is best to just cut that out of the hair.
Oxidative (Permanent) Hair Color
Permanent hair color is the big daddy of hair color. It lasts 4 - 6 weeks and, as your hair grows out, it causes you to retouch your new growth. The natural hair color is permanently altered through the process. This is the most desired process for grey coverage.
Different types of developer are mixed with the color to make the results happen as desired. The most common developer is 20 volume and also what is most found in box color.
The developer raises the cuticle to allow for us to pull color out or shove color into the cortex (inner part) of the hair. The color molecules swell and lodge into the innermost part of the hair and we then close the cuticle back up in the shampoo / conditioning process to seal the color in.
You can lighten virgin hair with permanent color (no bleach), up to 4 levels, based on the developer that you use.
Color, however, cannot lift previous color. If you get one box and it doesn’t get you as light as you want, a second box won’t do any good.
Also called “enlightener” or “bleach”, progressive lightener removes natural or artificial pigment molecules from the hair. This is used when maximum lift is desired.
Progressive lightener will keep working as long as the lightener and activator are still applied as directed. Whereas color will stop after the desired developer’s time is up, lightener will keep going lighter. That is why you can go too light or can even over-process the hair without knowledge on how it works.
Laws of Color:
Primary and secondary
Red, Yellow and Blue are the three primary colors and the building blocks of hair color. Depending on your natural color, these primary colors are found in different forms or ways.
Depending on the desired result, we have to think about these colors and how they lie in the hair during the lightening or coloring process - how they contribute to the result, etc. These color molecules determine the process and end result. This is also behind the reason why you’re desire to go blonde, then right back to deep brown, eventually becomes “muddy” or “swampy” in tone after some shampoos.
The understanding of color theory will also show how we neutralize undesired tones and how that violet shampoo keeps your blonde or grey from becoming too yellow.
Things that effect the look of the color
Hair Texture / type
Hair texture can change how we see the color. You can have two people with the same color - one with straight hair next to someone with curly hair - and the curly hair looks darker. Why is that? Textured / curly hair absorbs more light so we will see it as darker or deeper than someone with straight hair that reflects light. Conversely, that straight hair can look lighter.
If you’ve ever thought the box would deliver one result but you feel it shows lighter or darker, your texture could be a part of the why that is happening. Often those with curly hair will straighten their hair and feel it looks lighter and vice versa. Straight, smooth hair reflects light.
The texture of the hair also makes a difference on how it takes color or to the lightening process. Fine hair will get hot and pull quick where coarse, thick hair can be hard to lift.
Have you ever been at the salon and love your color but get home and it looks different? Maybe you step outside and it’s great again? The lighting can often fool our eyes.
Here are some examples:
Smokey silver girls - blue is intensified under fluorescent lighting. If you’re silver or platinum, this light may make you feel it’s a bit green. Under warmer (incandescent) light, you’ll often feel it’s more gray than a beautiful silver / blue.
My redheads will seem more brown under fluorescent lighting but more intense under incandescent. If you are a golden tone - like my golden blondes - fluorescent light will make you feel it’s more ash because the gold color gets neutralized. You may feel it’s not as bright. Under a warmer incandescent light, however, that tone will feel more intensified and much like fresh color.
If you are someone with ash tones in their hair (ash blondes, for example), fluorescent light will seem more drab or than they really are or take on a green-like tone. Under incandescent or “hot” light, the bluish tones will be neutralized and often take on a red or gold tone depending on the intensity of the light.
Sometimes this results in you going to your hairstylist saying that the hair isn't what you wanted when, in fact, it's lighting and texture playing tricks on your eyes.
Don’t color your hair when you’re going through an emotional time. It’s a quick way to regret - and time in a stylist’s chair for a color correction.