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Know Your Haircoloring Products

Aug 21, 2007
There are many ways to color hair and many products that are used for coloring. Here are some of the most common products and how to use them.

The most widely used products fall into two classifications -- permanent haircolorings and temporary haircolorings. It is essential that the professional tinter understand how the products in each group work.

Permanent Haircolorings

Permanent colorings remain in the hair until they are removed by chemical means or until the hair grows out. The coloring cannot be washed out with soap and water. Permanent colorings are used to cover gray hair, to give decided changes in haircolor, or to brighten or deepen an already existing shade.

There are two types of permanent haircolorings -- those that penetrate in the hair shaft and the coating tints which develop on the cuticle.

The Penetrating Tints

Almost all permanent haircoloring is done with oxidation or penetrating tints. These tints penetrate through the cuticle layer of the hair into the cortex and are there oxidized or developed by the peroxide to insoluble pigments deposited on the same place where the natural pigments occur. The distribution of the produced pigments inside the hair shaft in the same pattern as the natural pigment creates a natural-looking shade.

The tinting action of the permanent haircoloring stops as soon as the hair is rinsed and excess coloring is washed away so that the hair does not darken after the application.

All oxidation or penetrating tints require a patch test to be given 24 hours before each application.

Henna Compound Dyes

The henna compound dyes are mixtures of metallic salts with organic intermediates such as pyrogallol. The colors achieved with these compounds are more natural looking than those obtained with the metal salts alone, but no lightening of the hair is possible and they fade easily. They are discolored by cold wave permanents, and hair treated with these compounds cannot be bleached or dyed until the metallic salts have been removed.

Temporary Haircolorings

Temporary colorings deposit color on the outside of the hair shaft. They are generally removed by washing with soap and water, but some of the temporary types are resistant to one or two shampoos.

Temporary haircolorings are used to darken or to add highlights to normal hair, to impart color to gray hair and to eliminate yellowish shades from white and gray hair.

There are three kinds of temporary haircolorings:

1. Rinses

For women who want only to highlight the color of their hair or add beauty to gray hair, rinses are the most satisfactory answer. Concentrated rinses like the Clairol Come Alive series, while they wash out with soap and water, remain color true from shampoo to shampoo.

The Come Alive series consists of Come Alive Gray, Come Alive Red, Come Alive Brown and Come Alive Blonde. They highlight mousy hair, and Come Alive Gray makes gray hair look more beautiful without unnatural blue and purple tones. The Come Alive rinses condition as well as color the hair. These rinses are easily and quickly applied and are valuable as an introduction to hair coloring.

2. Highlighting Shampoos

Some shampoos combine the action of a rinse with that of a shampoo to give highlights and slight color tones to hair. These shampoos generally contain certified colors.

Other highlighting shampoos do not contain coloring matter, but do contain a bleaching agent to achieve this effect. Their action is due to solid peroxide compounds present in a soap or detergent base.

3. Powders, Crayons, Mascaras, and Haircolor Cremes

Powders are practically extinct today with the exception of the metallic powders which have returned to fashion for use in applying temporary hair streaks.

Hair crayons are used to retouch newly grown gray hair in between tint treatments so that it blends with the tinted hair. The results are not comparable to regular retouching.

Mascaras are used for coloring eyelashes and eyebrows.
Hair color cremes have their greatest use as a theatrical makeup. Because of their greasy base and tendency to rub off easily, they are rarely used for general purposes.

These are some of the main haircoloring products, and they will all deliver a great new look to the hairdressing client.
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