The cosmetics industry is brimming with a wide range of hair colors to suit every taste and type on this planet. You hair color helps others associate with you and speak volumes about your personality. The best way to go in for an instant make-over is by changing the way your locks look. You can opt for permanent hair color, semi-permanent or temporary hair color to spice up your tresses.
The first safe commercial hair color originated in 1909 by the French chemist Eugene Schuller and contained a chemical known as paraphenylenediamine. Today, there are thousands of hair colors available to color your mane and help you achieve the desired look. For thousands of years plants and minerals were used to color hair. Some of these natural agents even contained pigments extracted from henna, walnut shells, coffee beans etc. The color of your hair can transform your features and add feathers to your overall personality.
The science of Pigments:
Hair coloring is referred to as the science of changing the original color of the hair. The natural color of the hair is affected by hereditary factors. The various factors affecting the change of hair color are texture, elasticity and hair type.
The coloring agent present in hair is known as Melanin. It comprised of minute granules that are known as Eumelanin and Phaeomelanin. Eumelanin is the dark pigment that is found in black and brunette hair, whereas Phaeomelanin is found in blonde and red hair. The more the concentration of Eumelanin the darker is the hair color and the more the concentration of Phaeomelanin the lighter is the hair color. A mixture of both pigments can be found in several individuals as the same time which can also vary on a person’s head.
Permanent Hair color:
This type of color lifts the cuticle and penetrates into the hair shaft making it lighter in shade. In order for the color to penetrate into the cuticle, it must be opened before permanent color is deposited into the hair shaft. The color goes through a series of reactions with the interior portion of the hair and lightens it. Most permanent hair colors first remove the original hair color and then deposit a new color on to the shaft. This process is similar to lightening but a colorant is bonded with the help of the process of alkalization. Is responsible for opening the cuticle and allows the hair color to penetrate the cortex. It also acts as a catalyzing agent when the permanent hair color combines with the peroxide which is used in the form of a developer. The hydrogen peroxide is known to break the chemical bonds in the hair shaft and releases sulfur in the process resulting in the decolorization of melanin.
Characteristics of Permanent Hair color:
- All permanent colors comprise of a developer or oxidizing agent as well as an alkalizing product.
- They act by lifting the cuticle of the hair in order to deposit color.
- They are responsible for tinting the hair resulting in hair lightening.
Why use permanent color?
Permanent hair color is an ideal choice for covering and grays and has an oxidative effect that uses ammonia and hydrogen peroxide to lift and deposit new color on to the hair shaft. This enables the color to penetrate deeper into the cuticle and gives a great coverage.
High lighters as well as bleaches fall under the category of permanent color as they use both ammonia and hydrogen peroxide to decolorize the hair. They lift the cuticle layer and penetrate deep into the shaft and are great hair lightening agents.
Most women with short hair look great in uniform color. But if you have medium to long hair, you can opt for highlights, particularly around the face. Ii is best to consult a professional hairstylist to give you the right advice and look.
With medium or longer hair, it is difficult to maintain overall coloring as it requires touching up every week. The biggest advantage with highlights is that they tend to last for up to 3 to 4 months and look extremely trendy. They are four types of highlights— basic, bailage, chunking and lowlights. If you plan on highlighting your tresses at home, you can always do it with the help of a home color kit.
Remember, the color of your hair can make a world of difference to the way you look and feel. A great color can instantly boost your self esteem and confidence and enable you to look like a fashion icon in just a few minutes, whereas a poor color choice can spoil your looks and make you want to hide in a dark corner.