Whether you go for bold red, rich brown or glossy blonde, hair color can make a great impact on the way you look and feel. The new generation of colorants is enriched with conditioning ingredients. So, if you want a drastic change or just subtle enhancement, you can achieve results which are now no longer detrimental to overall health of your hair.
Temporary Hair Colors
Mousse, shampoo, setting lotions, hairsprays and rinses coat the cuticles, forming a film of temporary color in an instant which will wash out when the hair is shampooed. They are designed for minor changes to darken the tone of or intensify your natural color but unless specified do not have the ability to lighten the hair or conceal grey hair. You will need to seek advice before using on hair which is already color-treated or permed. Ash-blonde and silver shades are useful to brighten grey or white hair which looks yellow or dingy from cigarette smoke or pollution build-up.
Semi permanent Hair Colors
Like temporary colorants, semi-permanents coat tie hair snail with color pigments, but they will last between five and seven washes, depending on how porous the hair is. If your hair is dry and damaged, it will absorb some of the color pigments, so the color will wash out less easily. Semi-permanent colors will not turn dark hair blonde but are ideal for enhancing your natural color, adding shine and concealing grey dust be wary of red tones), and are a great way to experiment without being stuck with the results for too long. This type of colorant should be applied to damp hair, which is then shampooed once the color has developed.
Tone-on-tone Hair Colors
These are longer lasting versions of semi-permanent color which gradually fade between twelve and twenty washes. They penetrate the hair shaft slightly (so there can be signs of re-growth at the roots) and have more holding power, but they cannot lighten the hair. They are recommended for enhancing natural hair color, making hair a deeper color or covering hair that is up to 60 per cent grey.
Permanent Hair Colors
This type of colorant, which won’t wash out, is available in three forms. First, there is henna, a natural long-lasting dye that can be removed only by cutting, which literally stains the hair. Then there are metallic dyes, also known as color restorers, which are sold as banish grey hair’s colorants They deposit metallic dyes and salts from various metals, such as silver, cobalt, copper and magnesium, on the hair shaft which gradually darken. Finally, there are chemical dyes or tints, which are the most commonly used form of permanent color and come in the widest range of colors. They work by opening up the cuticles so the color pigments enter the cortex. After the color has developed, the cuticles are closed, thus trapping in the color pigments permanently. This type of treatment will allow you to tint your hair up to four shades lighter than your natural color. The only drawback with permanent tints is that, as the hairs grow, the roots will need retouching usually every six to eight weeks.
If you want all you hair lightened or are looking for results that cannot be achieved with high-lift tint, you can bleach your hair. The strong alkaline solution used in bleaching raises the cuticles and the bleach will lighten the hair’s natural pigments. Face hair goes through a color change from black to dark brown, red brown, golden brown, golden blonde and light blonde as the bleaching agents lighten the pigments. Rinsing stops the process at the shade you require. Unless you really know what you are doing, you should leave the job to the experts, as color changes can be unpredictable. Due to the harsh chemical processing involved, hair can break easily and the product can burn the scalp it left on too long. If your scalp is prone to sensitivity, bleaching is not to be recommended. As it is the harshest of the color processes, you should follow a conditioning and restructuring aftercare program. Semi-permanent colors can be applied to bleached hair to add color and help improve condition.
Highlights and lowlights
By using bleach or tint to highlight your hair, you can weave in up to three different tones of color to create an effect similar to sun-kissed lightening. Alternatively, you can add contrasting shades to your natural color for a more striking effect. Lowlights can introduce deeper glints to the hair, darkening it in places or adding intensely toned colors such as copper, gold and red, which look great on dark blonde and brown hair. As your hair grows, the roots will need retouching, probably after six or eight wee.