Hair Color and Coloring

Hair color and coloring combines the science of chemistry, biology, and cosmetics to create a palette of colors to enhance or replace natures handiwork. People color their hair in order to eliminate gray, to add highlights, or to change their hair color. Sometimes someone will change the color, and then change it back to their natural hair color. You can color it yourself or go to a salon. Methods for coloring vary all the way from a rinse that washes out quickly to a permanent color dye. Regardless of the method, the goal remains the same: to achieve a new look.

The chemistry of hair coloring might help you decide how you color your hair. The temporary hair color rinses do not penetrate the cuticle of the hair shaft because the molecules of pigment are large. This makes it possible for you to rinse out the color after one shampoo. The semi-permanent dyes have molecules that are smaller than the rinses. These semi-permanent hair dyes can be absorbed by the hair shaft, and so they will not rinse out immediately. Because of their molecular composition, these dyes result in a very natural look because each strand absorbs color differently.

Demi-permanent dyes remove some natural pigments from the hair shaft, but not completely. You cannot go to a lighter hair shade with demi-permanent dyes, but your hair color will look more natural than with permanent dyes. Permanent dyes create chemical reactions in the hair shaft that sound like they belong in a chemistry lab. The melanin in the hair shaft breaks apart and the new hair color can settle in. This is a high maintenance coloring technique because new hair growth becomes noticeable in six weeks. It is your natural color. If you like your new color and want to maintain it, be prepared to become a lab technician again. High school chemistry lab was never like this.

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