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The Basic Theory Of Hair Coloring

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The Basic Theory Of Hair Coloring

Postby chris the limey » 15 Jul 2007 10:23 pm

All artificial colours are based on one, or more, of the three primary colours: red, blue and yellow. These form the basis of the colour circle. The other colours on the circle are produced when the primary colours are mixed together.



Examples: yellow+ blue = green, blue+red = purple, etc. Opposite colours on the circle neutralize each other, e.g. blue neutralizes orange and green neutralizes red.


A blue based shade should not be applied to hair with yellow tones as it could result in a greenish cast. This is because green is positioned between blue and yellow on the colour circle. The same happens if a red shade is applied to hair with yellow tones. Result? An orange cast.



The problem for the colourist is that the dye-stuffs have a varying behaviour pattern:



1. Development Time. Some colours develop quicker than others. The potential development rate of the colours (from the quickest) is as follows:
Red
Orange
Yellow
Purple
Blue
Green
If a tint (which comprises a mixture of these colours) is under-developed there is a possibility of an irregular result. But, if the hair is given a full development time under normal conditions it will not over-develop. It is when the conditions vary, or the selection is incorrect, that the desired result will not be achieved.



2. Tenacity is the ability of the colours to grip and retain within the hair structure. It is interesting to note that, in order of tenacity, the colours are as follows: Green Purple Yellow-Blue Orange Red
Almost a reversal of the development rate! The texture of the hair must therefore be carefully considered before colouring. The finer textures take more readily—the coarser textures resist penetration.

It is important for the student colourist to learn the manufacturers\' shade charts and understand the difference between shades and tones.




Tones determine the colour of hair. A tone is a variation of a shade, e.g. Dark Blonde, Dark Ash Blonde and Dark Reddish Blonde.



Shades determine the depth of colour. The ten shades are: blue-black, black, dark brown, mid brown, light brown, dark blonde, mid blonde, light blonde, very light blonde and white.



Another point, on which I feel particularly strongly, is that you should have a basic knowledge of the chemical substances in the products being used. The professional colourist must be aware of the damaging effect they could have on the hair if used incorrectly.

pH Scale

The pH scale is a chemical gauge which determines whether\' a product is acid or alkaline (see diagram). pH 7 is the half-way point on the scale and is said to be neutral. From pH 6.9 down to 0.1 the scale measures acids—the lower the product reads the more acidic it is. Conversely, from pH 7.1 up to 14 the scale measures alkalis and the higher the product reads the more alkaline it is.



The pH of a product is determined by its active working substances. In refined products, a careful chemical balance is usually achieved and essential active materials are \'buffered\' with other ingredients to prevent damage to the hair or skin.

The pH scale can become complex when used by chemists to measure a product—every number is a logarithmic scale often. This means that pH 6 is ten times more acidic than pH 7 and . . .

pH 5 is 100 times more acid than 7

pH 4 is 1,000 times more acidic than 7

pH 3 is 10,000 times more acidic than 7

pH 2 is 100,000 times more acidic than 7

pH 1 is 1,000,000 times more acidic than 7

It may sound frightening when I say pH 1 is one million times more acidic than pH 7 but everyday foods, for instance, often have a very low pH. Example: Orange juice has a pH of 2. The contents of the stomach, which contain hydrochloric acid, can measure as low as pHl!

On the alkaline side of the scale . . .

pH 8 is 10 times more alkaline than 7

pH 9 is 100 times more alkaline than 7

pH 10 is 1,000 times more alkaline than 7

pH 11 is 10,000 times more alkaline than 7

pH 12 is 100.000 times more alkaline than 7

pH 13 is 1,000,000 times more alkaline than 7

pH 14 is 10,000,000 times more alkaline than 7

If you compare pH 1 to pH 13 you will find that it is ten billion times more acid. Conversely, pH 13 is ten billion times more alkaline than pH 1!
The most accurate way of reading pH is with a pH meter. This comprises electrodes which measure the concentration of hydrogen ions on the alkaline side. An ion is an electrically charged atom—ions are attracted to the two types of electrode on a pH meter: cathode and anode. The balance of readings from these two electrodes gives the pH reading.


The pH of hair and skin is determined by the sebum and sweat which make up the acid mantle. The actual pH of hair and skin varies from one person to another but will generally be acid at a pH of 4.5 to 5.5.



Tints and bleaches are always alkaline and cannot work on the outer part of the hair structure—they have to penetrate the hair shaft. How? These products have to open the cuticle of the hair shaft to enable active materials to penetrate to the inner part of the hair. This is only possible if the products are alkaline. The concentration of alkaline materials and other \'buffer\' ingredients determines how long the penetration and opening of the hair will take. If this process is carried out too quickly, hair damage will occur.

Post edited by: chris the limey, at: 2007/07/15 17:26
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Re:The Basic Theory Of Hair Coloring

Postby SophieA » 18 Jul 2007 12:46 am

Wow, Great Information Chris!!! I\'ve attached a Color wheel.:cheer: :side:


Image

Post edited by: SophieA, at: 2007/07/17 19:48
Style On, Sophiea
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Re:The Basic Theory Of Hair Coloring

Postby chris the limey » 18 Jul 2007 03:40 am

Oh thanks Soph! That\'s what\'s great about this place. Anyone else who can add to this article please do....

:)
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Re:The Basic Theory Of Hair Coloring

Postby jazz » 18 Jul 2007 04:09 am

Can I add that it gave me a \"refresher\" in chemistry of haircolor?
Whew! Thought I had it all down years ago and then here comes Chris.... :P
You need to learn the rules before you can break them
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Re:The Basic Theory Of Hair Coloring

Postby jaslamka » 29 Jul 2007 08:43 pm

Also remember that different tones on the same level hair may look visually darker or lighter. Example: Take three level eight swatches of your choosen color, one neutral(n), one cool or ash (b,a), and one golden (g). And look at them. All are the same level-8-, but the cool looks darker than the neutral or warm. Warm colors almost always tend to look lighter. So if a client wants a cool look, but thinks the swatch you\'ve chosen looks too dark, just go up one level with the same tonal value.;)
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Re:The Basic Theory Of Hair Coloring

Postby jazz » 29 Jul 2007 11:48 pm

Nice addition of information. Thank you for posting that. :D

Post edited by: jazz, at: 2007/07/29 18:48
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Re:The Basic Theory Of Hair Coloring

Postby Jeni Giles » 29 Sep 2007 12:40 am

keep in mind that porous hair will absorb cool colors faster and will also loose them faster. When natural melanin has sensitised or lightened it will reflect warmth. When hair is overly porous the cuticle layer has been damaged and the cortex is weak and the artificial pigment has no structure to hold onto.

An easy tip- What you have+ what you add is what you see- (you can\'t fall off a color wheel- and if you do there are no corners to cause harm)
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Re:The Basic Theory Of Hair Coloring

Postby beautifulmind » 25 Nov 2007 08:50 pm

this is awesome info espeacilly on color I love doing color well not that we didn\'t learn in school but seems we only get the basic there and just recently did everything started to make sense. huh ...
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Re: The Basic Theory Of Hair Coloring

Postby Glamgirl » 13 Nov 2008 03:39 pm

I can read that info again and again and each time something new sinks in for me, thanks for the great post and all added info.
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Re: The Basic Theory Of Hair Coloring

Postby Kazia » 28 Nov 2011 03:44 am

Complimentary colors play a big role when trying to tone out unwanted tones or enhancing wanted tones. For example if you are trying to tone out the warmth that occurs in a color use a cool tone (green base).
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