Today is all about hair colouring, the history, why we do it and what you can use at home.
WHY DO WE COLOUR?
I colour my hair to brighten up my complexion and to cover those unsightly grey hairs. Some people may wish to copy a celeb’s locks, some may wish to see if blondes do have all the fun; the reasons for changing their hair’s colour are varied. Why do you colour your hair?
A BRIEF HISTORY
The earliest known hair dyes were made of ingredients such as henna, indigo, sage and chamomile, and could only darken the hair.
It is said that from as early as 500 AD, people were wishing to lighten their hair and tried many solutions. Ingredients such black sulphur, alum, and honey, or saffron and onion skin, were painted onto the hair and left on in the sun.
Around 1860, hydrogen peroxide first came into use as a hair bleaching agent. Sometimes combined with ammonia and soap flakes, hydrogen peroxide was commonly used to lighten hair through the 1930s. The process was quite harsh on hair, and it was not uncommon for hair to break off during the bleaching procedure.
Two of today’s most well-known hair colouring products got their start in the early twentieth century. In 1907, French chemist Eugene Schueller developed the first safe commercial hair colourant, a synthetic formulation based on the chemical Paraphenylenediamine (Paraphenylenediamine or PPD, and its chemical derivatives are key dye components for hair colourants, most widely used to create dark shades such as brown and black) . Schueller originally called his product Aureole, but it was later renamed L’Oreal.
In 1932, New York chemist Lawrence Gelb developed a hair color product that penetrated the hair shaft, and started a company called Clairol. In 1950, he introduced the first one-step hair colouring product, Miss Clairol Hair Color Bath.
Things have changed quite a bit since the 1950’s and there are now hundreds of different hair colouring products on the market. We have an amazing choice of colours we can pick from, and several different hair colouring treatments that can provide us with permanent colour or something fun just for an evening or two.
HOW LONG DO YOU WANT YOU COLOUR TO LAST?
Comes in the form of mousses, shampoos or even hair mascaras. Some are in bright hues and are fun for parties; most are designed to brighten natural hair colours. They wash out after a few shampoos.
These products coat hair with colour that washes out after 6-12 shampoos. Unlike most temporary colour, semi-permanent dyes bond to the hair. However, the pigment molecules in temporary hair colour are too large to penetrate the hair shaft, so that hair is still “coated” with colour rather than fundamentally changed. Since the dye sits at the surface of the hair, this type of hair color is generally used to achieve brighter, more vibrant shades that may be difficult to achieve with permanent hair colour. Semi-permanent products do not contain ammonia or peroxide so they are not able to lighten hair.
This option will last twice as long as semi-permanent colour and is perfect if you wish to enhance your current hair tone or blend away that grey. Like semi-permanent dyes, this type of colour contains no ammonia and thus cannot lighten hair, only add colour to it.
The longest-lasting of hair dyes, permanent colour cannot be washed out. It contains both ammonia and peroxide, which raise the cuticle of the hair in order to allow the tint to penetrate to the cortex and lighten the hair by breaking up the melanin that gives hair its natural colour, fundamentally changing the shade of the hair.
This process lifts the colour in individual strands of hair to heighten the level of lightness in your hair. Your kit will include either a cap and hook, which is better for short hair, or a special application brush that lets you “paint” on the highlights, perfect for long hair. Highlights are permanent and use peroxide, bleach and/or ammonia to lift the hair pigment from the cortex.
This process consists of taking strands of hair and darkening them at least 2 shades darker than the rest of your hair. Lowlights are often the best option for individuals who wish to blend away gray hair in a natural looking way. The application is the same as highlighting, using a cap and hook or an application brush.
HOME COLOURING SUGGESTIONS
Herbal Essences Color Me Vibrant
An at-home colouring kit with results that last up to 8 weeks. The Color-Amplifying Conditioner helps to preserve and enrich the colour.
Available in 27 shades
Clairol Perfect 10
This colouring kit works in only 10 minutes providing high speed, high gloss permanent colour. and helps to repair damaged hair -it even leaves your hair soft and smelling delightfully fragrant. Six weekly treatments of the ColorSeal Intensive Conditioning Crème keep your hair glossy and your colour from fading.
Available in 15 shades
Superior Preference Dream Blonde Color & Care System
Launching in April 2008, Dream Blonde delivers a new spectrum of brass-free shades that are clean, clear and bright. With the help of the Pre-Color Moisture Infuser, Blonde Supreme Shampoo and Conditioner, and the Continuous Shine Crème, even the most delicate blonde hair is safe with this colourant.
Available in 10 shades
A salon-quality root touch-up that will cover those nasty roots with permanent colour without being messy or needing to pre-mix – just point, push, apply and leave on for thirty minutes, shampoo and condition. It even blends in perfectly with any brand of hair colour, so no worries if you’re concerned about a conflict with another product.
Available in 6 shades