Hair Coloring: All You Need To Know About Hair Treatments

Hair treatments

Chemical alterations like: (hair coloring)

• The Coloring (hair coloring)
• The Perming can be carried out to change the perceived color and texture of hair.

All of these are temporary alterations because permanent alterations are not possible at this time.
Hair coloring: Hair coloring is the process of adding pigment to or removing pigment from the hair shaft. Hair coloring processes may be referred to as coloring or bleaching, depending on whether you are adding or removing pigment.
Perms and chemical straightening: Perms and relaxation using relaxer or thermal reconditioning involve chemical alteration of the internal structure of the hair in order to affect its curliness or straightness.
Hair that has been subjected to the use of a permanent is weaker due to the application of chemicals, and should be treated gently and with greater care than hair that isn’t chemically altered.

Hair coloring

The hair-colouring market is enormous. It’s estimated that almost 70% of women and 12% of men will colour their hair at some point in their life.
Colouring your hair can give you a psychological boost and a sense of being a new and younger person.
It’s an easy way to change your personality or to discard part of an old life for a new one.
But whichever colour you decide on, you need to take precautions.

All colouring processes are potentially harmful if the instructions on the packaging aren’t followed, or if you don’t take proper steps to hydrate and care for your hair afterwards.
All chemical processes reduce the elasticity (stretchability) of your hairs and increase their chances of breakage.
Therefore, any hair that has been dyed/coloured is vulnerable to damage.
However, the degree of damage that occurs largely depends on the amount of colour change. For instance, going from a dark shade to a light shade is more damaging because the colouring (bleaching) agent is stronger and/or left on for longer.
Hair coloring can be done professionally by a hairdresser or independently at home.

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Hair Coloring: Application Techniques:

Hair color was traditionally applied to the hair as one overall color. The modern trend is to use several colors to produce streaks or gradations, not all work on top of a single base color.

These are off-the-scalp techniques, and can be applied by the following methods:

• Foiling, where pieces of foil or plastic film are used to separate off the hair to be colored; especially when applying more than one color. This keeps the color only on the desired pieces of hair and protects the rest of the hair.
• Cap, when a plastic cap is placed tight on the head and strands are pulled through with a hook. This method is not frequently practiced anymore with the exception of short hair highlighting.
• Balayage, where hair color is painted directly onto sections of the hair with no foils used to keep the color contained. This method is growing in popularity because of its ability to look more natural and less placed.
• Dipping or tip dyeing, similar to balayage in that the color is painted directly on the hair, this focuses on a more solid level of coverage on the ends of the hair.


Hair coloring can also be applied on the scalp for a more solid level of coverage:

• Root Touch-Up, where color is applied only to the most recent section of re-growth. Usually the first inch of hair from the scalp.
Generally those getting root touch-ups get this service repeated every 4–6 weeks as the natural color grows in and becomes apparent.
People who color their hair to try and cover gray often do these root touch-ups.
• All-Over Color, where the individual desires for all of their hair to be a different solid color.
• Block Coloring, where the individual wants 100% coverage but desires two or more colors to be placed resulting in dimension and contrast.

Four ways you can alter your hair’s natural color:

• Temporary color:

Temporary colours are usually water-based and are applied to pre-shampooed, wet hair. They work by coating the outside, or cuticle layer of the hair. The colour washes away in the next shampoo.

1- Temporary colours are good for a quick, but fleeting, change or for counteracting discolouration in blonde or white hair.
2- Temporary hair color is available in various forms including rinses, shampoos, gels, sprays, and foams.
3- Temporary hair color is typically brighter and more vibrant than semi-permanent and permanent hair color. It is most often used to color hair for special occasions such as costume parties.

The pigments in temporary hair color are high molecular weight and cannot penetrate the cuticle layer. The color particles remain adsorbed (closely adherent) to the surface of the hair shaft and are easily removed with a single shampooing.

• Semi-permanent colors:

Semi-permanent hair coloring involves little or no developer, hydrogen peroxide or ammonia, and is thus less damaging to hair strands.
The reduced amount of developer, whether peroxide or ammonia, means that hair is less likely to be damaged during the color application process.

See also: “Haircuts: Things That Make You Love And Hate Haircut

Semi-permanent colours give a more noticeable effect that lasts for six to eight shampoos.
They can only add to, enrich, or darken hair colour, they cannot make it any lighter.
Semi-permanent colours penetrate the cuticle and coat the outer edge of the cortex (the inner layer of the hair).
The colour fades gradually and is ideal for those who want to experiment with colour but don’t want to commit themselves to a more permanent change.

Semi-permanent hair color uses compounds of low molecular weight than are found in temporary hair color dyes. These dyes penetrate the hair shaft only partially, because of the reduced amount of developer used.
For this reason, the color will survive repeated washing, typically 4–5 shampoos or a few weeks, before undergoing significant fading or washing out entirely.

• Demi-permanent colors:

Demi-permanent hair color is hair color that contains an alkaline agent other than ammonia (e.g. ethanolamine, sodium carbonate) and, while always employed with a developer, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in that developer may be lower than used with a permanent hair color.
Since the alkaline agents employed in demi-permanent colors are less effective in removing the natural pigment of hair than ammonia these products provide no lightening of hair’s color during dyeing.
As the result, they cannot color hair to a lighter shade than it was before dyeing and are less damaging to hair than their permanent counterpart.

Demi-permanents are much more effective at covering gray hair than semi-permanents, but less so than permanents.
Demi-permanents have several advantages as compared with permanent color. Because there is essentially no lifting (i.e., removal) of natural hair color, the final color is less uniform/homogeneous than a permanent and therefore more natural looking; they are gentler on hair and therefore safer, especially for damaged hair; and they wash out over time (typically 20 to 28 shampoos), so root regrowth is less noticeable and if a change of color is desired, it is easier to achieve.

• Permanent colours:

These colours contain some amount of ammonia and is mixed with an activator or developer or oxidizing agent.
The activator fully lifts the cuticle of the hair and removes natural pigment. The developer or oxidizing agent, comes in various volumes. The higher the developer volume, the higher the lift will be of a person’s natural hair pigment.
Someone with dark hair wishing to achieve two or three shades lighter may need a higher developer, whereas someone with lighter hair wishing to achieve darker hair will not need a high developer.

Timing may vary with permanent hair coloring but is typically 30 minutes or 45 minutes for those wishing to achieve maximum gray coverage.
Use shampoos which are made specially for coloured hair. Finally, when new hair grows, colour them alone.

• Natural Hair Coloring:

There are many natural ways to color the hair instead of having to use color that contains several chemicals especially, some that may cause irritation to the skin.
Different types of herbs can be used to achieve a certain color.
Indigo or black walnut powder lead to a black or dark color.
Chamomile and calendula lead to a darker blond.

Teas such as black or hibiscus that are made from black tea leaves and hibiscus flowers are also natural ways to color the hair.
Henna and derivatives are also used for hair coloring, to achieve a dark Orange-reddish hue.


Caring For Colored Hair:

Chlorinated and salt water, perspiration and the weather all conspire to fade coloured hair, particularly red hair.
However, certain special products are available that will help counteract fading, such as those containing ultraviolet filters that protect coloured hair from the effects of the sun.
Other protective measures include always rinsing the hair after you have been swimming, and using a shampoo that is specially designed for coloured hair, followed by a separate conditioner.
Finally, use an intensive conditioning treatment at least once a month.

Bleaching Your Hair

Bleach and highlights remove colour from your hair by the process of oxidation. Oxidation decolourizes the pigment in your hair shaft. Which is why bleach will turn your hair almost white if it’s left on for too long.
Very bleached hair often gains a ‘yellow’ tint, because keratin (the protein your hair is made of) is naturally a pale yellow.
Hair needs to be tinted as well as bleached for the ‘platinum blond’ look.
It’s impossible to make your hair a lighter shade without the help of a bleaching agent – all of which are called ‘oxidizing agents’.
Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia are the most commonly used ones and are often mixed together, as used separately they’re unstable and very slow in lightening the hair.

Bleaching Hair And Damage

Of all colouring methods, bleach is potentially the most damaging, and therefore should ideally always be done professionally. Bleaching raises your hairs’ outer cuticle, allowing the bleaching agent to fully penetrate. However, repeated bleaching can permanently raise the cuticle scales and allow rapid and continuous loss of moisture.
Damage from bleach includes dry, brittle, inelastic hair, and hair that is more prone to breakage and split ends. Bleached hair is also more porous and swollen and therefore more vulnerable to other chemical and non-chemical processes.

The amount of damage done also depends on the amount of colour change. For instance, going from a dark to a light shade is the most hazardous because the colouring (bleaching) agent is stronger and left on for longer.
You need to use products that encourage the cuticle to close. So that the hairs’ moisture content and integrity is maintained.

How To Protect Your Hair

The best way to combat dryness, brittleness and breakage is to use a pre-shampoo deep conditioning treatment three days before and also after bleaching or highlighting, and then weekly thereafter. This plumps your hair with moisture, making it more elastic and less likely to snap.
Use a daily damage defence product to keep your hair hydrated, shiny and protected from daily environmental damage.
Bleaching raises your hair cuticle, causing hairs to interlock and tangle easily. Condition after every shampoo to flatten the cuticle, seal in moisture, reduce knots and add shine.

Bleached hair is already vulnerable to damage and snapping.
To help prevent breakage, gently detangle bleached hair when wet (or dry). Starting from the ends and gradually working up to your roots.
Use a smoothing product to help close and smooth your hair cuticle. This will help reduce moisture evaporation and also give your hair a glossier and healthier appearance.