Hair Colors and Dyes

Many individuals dye or color their hair for various reasons. It may be to return their grey hair back to its original color, or to change their hair color to one they feel is more fashionable, or it may be that they just feel like a bit of change and wants some highlights to their hair. Although the results of hair color can vary, some are satisfied with the results they get from the coloring treatment while others end up with an unwanted mess atop their heads. Such misfortunes may be avoidable if the person wishing to dye their hair knows and understands some of the basics behind this hair treatment.

Prior to the treatment, the color of the dye and the type of dye to be used must be properly identified. The color of the hair, may it be natural or dyed will appear different under natural and artificial lighting. Often the shade of the hair’s color can differ slightly as a result of the light’s reflection on the hair.

These hair colors can also come in different types. Temporary hair colors do not penetrate the cuticle layer and are often used in special occasions such as parties, Halloweens or cosplays events and due to their unusual shades. These temporary hair color dyes are available as rinses, shampoos, gels, sprays, and foams. Semi-permanent colors are ideal for amateur colorists as it does not last as long as permanent hair colors and can loose its loose from washes, depending on the product used. While permanent hair colors will not wash out, so as the hair grows, both the hair’s natural color and the shade of the hair dye will both be visible. To maintain a uniform color of the tresses, it is recommended that coloring treatments be done on a monthly or six-week basis.

Hair colors have designated levels and these levels are as well important to perfectly achieve the desired hair color. Essential computations are also essential in achieving the desired color and involves careful inspection and comparison of the hair’s natural and the real color versus the desired shade of hair dye. A swatch book or ring is often used in this process to evaluate hair’s natural color and to identify match levels and tones in natural light. For instance, the desired color is Warm Blonde of level 8 and the natural color of the hair is light ash brown of level 6. The target color level is multiplied by 2, using the example: Warm Blonde level 8 x 2 is equivalent to 16. Next step is to subtract the natural color level from the previous computation result: 16 – 6 (Light Ash Brown) equals 10. Therefore the level of color to be used in achieving a warm blond shade from a light ash brown is level 10. If the total number for the level of color is thirteen and above, pre-lightening is necessary prior to the actual hair coloring. This is called double process coloring which must be done by a professional hair stylist.

A strand test and sensitivity is also required especially for first-timers in hair coloring. The sensitivity test may involve applying the prepared dye solution on a certain body part to determine if there will be allergic reactions of the body towards the chemicals present in the hair dye. A strand test is performed to reliably preview the new color on the hair. From this test, adjustments can be made to the hair formula to enhance or reduce undertones. Also, perfectly time the duration by which the color is allowed to stay on the hair before the excess is washed off can also impact on the end result as well.

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