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Hair Color Tips
Human beings have many variations in hair colour and texture. Hair colour is the result of pigmentation due to the presence of the chemicals of melanin. In general, the more melanin, the darker the hair colour.
In general, the colour of children's and adults' hair varies from pale yellow to deep black. The ethnic distribution of colors has historically varied by geographic area. For example, deep brown and black prevail in the Middle East, North Africa, and Mediterranean Europe, and even darker shades occur in tropical Africa and Central America; lighter brown is more common in central Europe, yellow/blond in northern Europe, and reddish in the British Isles.
Last Updated - 22nd November 2005
However, considerable differences in hair colour and texture exist between individuals of similar ethnicity, and immigration and global travel have greatly increased the diversity of hair characteristics in many countries.
Names for human hair colours include -
- Sandy Blond[e]
- Dirty Blond[e]
- Strawberry Blond[e]
- Platinum Blond[e]
- Salt and Pepper
People also change their hair colour to colours that aren't their natural ones.
Effects of aging on hair colour
A change in hair colour also typically occurs naturally as people age, usually turning their hair from its usual colour to gray at first, and then white. The change is caused by the gradual decrease of pigmentation that occurs when melanin ceases to be produced in the hair root, and new hair grows in without pigment. It is common as people age (More than 40% of Americans have some grey hair by their fortieth birthday.), but can occur as early as the teens and twenties for some. The determination of when someone begins graying, whether it comes with aging or prematurely, seems to be almost entirely based on genetics.
There are no special diets, nutritional supplements, vitamins, or proteins that have been proven to slow, stop, or in any way affect the graying process, although many have been marketed over the years.
Many people use hair dye to disguise the amount of gray in their hair.
Medical conditions affecting hair colour
- Albinism is a genetic abnormality where no pigment is found in human hair or eyes, making the eyes a pale blue and the hair white.
- Vitiligo is a patchy loss of hair and skin colour that may occur as the result of an auto-immune disease.
- Werner syndrome and pernicious anemia can also cause premature graying.
Color Lift for Men
Sometimes men too want to have a lift in color. Here’s a good tip: Apply a lighter hair color that is one or two shades lighter than your own in streaks just to the top of the head. Or, if you are not comfortable with your own work, have a stylist do this. This look allows you to put some slightly lighter color in the top of the head where it shows and will comb in and blend with the rest of the hair. It takes a short time and can be redone when you feel a need to update it.
High Impact Color
The latest color term will be "high impact" and it will be creeping into the terminology in salons and magazines. What this means is that hair color for the current season will be bright and bold and have more obvious differences of color on one head.
Currently coppers are the "in" color and they are often highlighted with bold light copper blondes and golden colors. These colors are easier to achieve than you may think:
- Use the darker color of red or brown for your all-over color using a semi-permanent color that will gradually fade out.
- After the color is done, shampoo, dry, and pull the hair through a frosting cap, applying your lighter color after.
*You may not even have to bleach first if your hair is light brown or lighter. However, remember to be brave and use colors that are vibrant and obviously contrasting for a new look.
Chemicals in Hair Color
Many hairstylists become chemically sensitive because they are exposed regularly to chemicals and fumes. People who color their own hair can have the same problem. Some people are more sensitive than others, but repeated exposure to certain chemicals in hair color may cause nausea, rashes, itchy scalp, hair loss, and flaking scalp.
All hair colors are different and affect people differently. Some colors contain synthetic ingredients and toxic or allergenic ingredients in large quantities. Read the label and research the ingredients if you tend to be sensitive.
*Understanding the types of hair color available and their ingredients will help you avoid a hair color that is not healthy for you.
- When light hair or hair that has been highlighted begins to grow out, it often becomes brassy and dull. Many times you don’t want to re-color it or, in the case of naturally blonde hair, maybe just don’t want the chemicals on your head.
- Try coloring shampoos with violet or purple bases. A very good one is Clairol´s Shimmering Lights and another one is Simply Silver from Nexxus. Aura makes one called "Blue Malva" which is also good. These shampoos work on the principle that blue neutralizes yellow, and purple neutralizes gold. In other words, if your hair is yellowish or brassy these will neutralize that.
- Be careful, if your hair is dry and porous, to dilute it a bit first and do not use it more than twice a week as it can give some blue casts. These shampoos are a good way to keep light hair looking nice without a color touch up.
Home Hair Color
Most American women who want to cover gray, sport a new look or simply brighten up their appearance and color their hair at home. You can get the same good results as going to a salon by using home hair color if you follow a few simple rules:
- Stick close to your natural shade. Color only one to two shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color. Staying within your natural shade range minimizes the chance of mistakes.
- If you have your heart set on being blonde, head to the salon. Lightening dark hair is tricky. It takes expert technique to get good results.
- Do the patch test, even if you've been coloring for years. Allergies to hair color chemicals can develop at any time. Follow the patch test instructions for your hair color product every time you color your hair. It'll take a bit longer, but will save you from ending up with an itchy rash or burned scalp.
Generally when we notice gray hair, the rest of our hair is beginning to become dull and lose its color some. No worries, blending gray hair is possible.
A very good coloring technique is to have the hair tinted back to a color just slightly lighter than the natural and then have soft highlights added throughout the hair to give texture as well as make the color more natural looking.
Home Hair Color Kits vs. Professional Hair Color
You'll get more choices with professional hair colors and greater variety in the strength of developers. Home hair color kits are aimed more at covering gray and only offer one to two levels of lightening. If you're a brunette who wants to be a blonde, for example, that'll usually require about 5 levels of lightening. Wants some advice on hair color? It’s not always wise to do it yourself.
Unless you're a semi-pro yourself, you probably can't do the highlighting a professional stylist can, apply the low lights, or apply different shades creatively. The money you pay a professional stylist is payment for his or her time, expertise in application, and knowledge of style. Get your money's worth.
Choosing Proper Color
Choosing proper color for your hair by looking at swatches can be tricky!
When choosing a hair color, remember that color swatches are done on bleached, synthetic hair. On natural, human hair a tint will always appear approximately one shade darker than the color swatch. Find the shade that you like and use one shade lighter to achieve a natural look.
Hair Color for the Conservative Man
Especially in high-powered business situations, it is true that first impressions last. For any man who wants to look just a bit younger without changing his overall hair color, a semi-permanent color that closely matches his natural hair color can give depth and definition to a style without changing his looks drastically.
Good hair color for the conservative man can be found at most drug stores.
*The trick is to choose a men's hair color that is very close to the natural color.
Hair Color not Covering Anymore
As our bodies change so does our hair and one’s base color changes dramatically sometimes. Especially with gray, you have to use a hair color that is recommended for coverage on gray hair.
Facial Framing Highlights for Curly Hair
For those women who have naturally curly hair or permanents, a great deal of benefit can come from having the hair around the face colored just a shade or two lighter than the rest.
Facial framing hair highlights for curly hair soften the shading on the face and give interesting effects to the texture of the style. Having these highlights will allow you to pull down strands around the face and not have unwanted shadows cast upon the face.
Condition and Color in One Step
A very good conditioning hair color that has been around for centuries is henna. First used in Egyptian times, it is a vegetable dye that will give your hair a wonderful shine as well as color. Most of us think of henna as having a red look to it however, there are henna products on the market in a variety of colors.
Buy the regular henna and, instead of using hot water that is suggested, use liquids such as grape juice, red wine, or strong boiled coffee to mix the product. Each of these liquids, as long as it is very hot, will impart its base color into the henna and you will have beautiful color and conditioning at the end of the time recommended.
The secret is that henna products have a staining action and also gently coats the outer layer of the hair to keep the cuticle laying flat and thereby allowing the hair to shine (it can condition and color in one step).
*Be sure not to use too often. Usually about six weeks is recommended between colors.
Color Won´t Hold in Previously High-Lift
Colored Hair Color won’t hold in previously high-lift colored hair.The main factor is that so much of the color pigment has been removed by the high-lift tints that a filler (or staining product) must be used prior to tinting. The next problem is probably the condition of the hair. If the hair is in poor condition it is weak and the cuticle or outer layer is open so that nothing can remain inside the hair shaft where permanent color needs to penetrate and stay—it is vital to see a professional when this occurs.
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