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Haircolor Q&A

Haircolor Q&A

Autumn is here, and as the leaves change for the year, so do many people’s haircolor. Traditionally, fall is the season when people darken their haircolor, as clients shy away from blonde and lean towards shades of auburn, chestnut, cinnamon, and cocoa. Colors such as these evoke a feeling of richness and warmth, which is just right for the end of summer. I’ve decided to devote this month’s article to answering some of the reader questions I have recieved over the course of the last year pertaining to haircoloring.

 Q: What causes my roots to turn out lighter than the rest of my hair after it’s been dyed?

A: This result occurs because the hair that is closer to the scalp processes faster than the hair away from the scalp due to body heat. Virgin (untinted) hair will always process faster than hair that has not experienced previous coloring. When coloring hair a lighter shade, the virgin root area will often turn out brassy and yellow, a phenomenon commonly referred to as “hot roots”. To avoid hot roots, haircolor must be applied to the cold shaft first. The cold shaft is the segment of the hair that is unaffected by body heat, hair that is usually 1-2 inches away from the scalp. The color should be applied to the root area after it has been applied to the cold shaft. Ideally, what you want is to have all of the hair process at the same rate for an even color result.

Q: Why do the ends of my hair turn out darker than the rest after dyeing it?

A: Your ends are probably over-porous, meaning that the ends are dry and damaged. Porous hair will act like a sponge and absorb haircolor more readily than healthy hair. When hair is healthy, the cuticle (the outermost layer of the hair comprised of overlapping scales) is “tight”, meaning that there aren’t any gaps between the scales. In hair that is porous, there are gaps between the scales. These gaps allow haircolor into the cortex (inner layer of the hair) faster than normal, resulting in a darker haircolor than desired. Frequent haircuts will prevent the ends from becoming over-porous, along with the regular use of a hydrating shampoo and a conditioner containing keratin, a protein that will fill in the gaps in the hair.

Q: Why does my hair look green under flourescent lighting?

A: Flourescent lighting, like all artificial light sources, will often distort haircolor. The green you are seeing is a reflection of an ash base. Ash haircolors are made by using a green or blue base color, which adds coolness to the shade. The haircolor should appear normal under natural light, because all of the colors of the spectrum are equally reflected. Flourescent lighting will reflect cool colors, like green, blue and violet more than it will reflect warm colors, such as red, orange, and yellow.