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Hair education: Hair coloring

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Hi, everyone! It's been a while since I've contributed to this wiki and I think it's time for another article to help you guys out there that struggle with dyeing your hair. Let's get started!

  • Hair colors are divided into 10 different levels --
Level Color

Underlying-Tone

10 Lightest Blonde/Platinum Blonde Pale Yellow
9 Light Blonde Yellow
8 Medium Blonde Gold
7 Dark Blonde Gold-Orange
6/6.5 Light Brown/Lightest Brown Orange
5 Medium Brown Red-Orange
4 Dark Brown Red
3/3.5 Lightest Black/Darkest Brown

Dark Red-Brown/Red-Brown

2 Soft Black Dark Red-Brown
1 Jet Black Dark Red-Brown

This chart follows the levels that drugstore brands follow. This chart applies to the levels that this wiki follows seeing how all the hair dyes on this site are drugstore brands. Keep in mind that when using professional hair dyes, they don't follow the same levels that drugstore brands do. A Level 6 light brown to you could be a Level 7 dark blonde to professionals. Black is still considered a Level 1 but, Level 2 is considered darkest brown for professional hair dyes and the chart goes on from there. This chart is important for people who want to color their hair, especially for those who want to bleach their hair. Remember that not all hair will go through all ten stages of bleaching. Only those with black hair will, depending on the desired level.

  • Hair colors follow the color wheel chart --
Professional Hair Color Wheel

Hair Color wheel.

There are different names for the undertones in hair dyes:
  • Ash -- Hair dyes that include the word "Ash" in the name typically means the hair dye is more cool-toned. They consist of green, blue and pale violet undertones. These cancel out any unwanted red, orange, brassy, gold, and yellow undertones.
  • Gold -- Gives nice warmth to the hair. Superior gray coverage. In some cases, it can turn brassy and become more of a red-orange undertone.
  • Copper -- enhances gold to orange undertones into a nice fiery copper tone.
  • Mahogany -- Neutralizes deep red to orange undertones into a nice cool red undertone.
  • Red -- Maximizes red to orange undertones to create beautiful red tones.
    • Chocolate -- These are polychromatic blends that take advantage of all primary and secondary tones.

Remember that all colors are made from three Primary Colors: Blue, Red, and Yellow. Equal portions of blue, red, and yellow will create a neutral color. Think of it as a math equation: Blue+Red=Violet+Yellow=? (look at the chart and apply it to the formula). So, what does it equal? A neutral color because yellow is right across violet on the color chart. Secondary Colors are colors that are made when you mix equal parts of primary colors. Blue+Red=Violet, Red+Yellow=Orange, and Yellow+Blue=Green. Colors that are right across from each other on the chart signify which colors cancel out each other. These are called Complementary Colors. Green cancels red, blue cancels orange, purple cancels yellow, etc. This color chart is very helpful when making coloring mistakes.

  • Hair has different characteristics to keep in mind:
Texture -- Diameter of the hair strand.
  • Fine Hair -- Lacks body, you barely feel the strand, very thin hair strand, lightens easily, and can turn out darker when depositing color
  • Medium Hair -- Has decent body, lightens fairly well, good when depositing color.
  • Coarse Hair -- Has great resistance to lightening and may have color end up lighter when depositing color.
Porosity -- How porous the hair is.
  • Porous -- Hair is dull, cuticle is open, easy to lighten but is prone to grab color and fade quickly.
  • Normal Porosity -- shiny, cuticle is intact, has average response to lightening.
  • Non-Porous -- tends to resist lightening and may need additional processing time.
Formation -- How the hair grows ex. Straight, Curly, Wavy.
  • Straight Hair -- Reflects more light.
  • Curly Hair -- Diffuses light.
  • Excessively Curly Hair -- May need a more intense tone because the hair is curling too much that it doesn't relfect light well and lessens the effect of the shade.

Different volumes of developer -- Developers are key tools when dyeing hair. They're pretty much the things that make the hair dye work! For those of you who don't know, the developer is the white cream that comes in every hair dye box.

  • 10 Volume -- For optimum gray coverage and for lifting one level/depositing.
  • 20 Volume -- The happy medium. This is the most common developer used in boxed dyes. It's used to lift the hair 2 levels.
  • 30 Volume -- This is usually used for people who wish to go 3 to 4 levels higher. Don't be confused when boxed dyes say a certain dye is "Hi-Lift". Hi-Lift pretty much means the boxed dye is using a level 30 developer. This is good for people with black, dark brown, and medium brown colored hair wishing to go to a light brown color. There are also Hi-Lift colors for dark blondes wishing to go light blonde/platinum blonde.
  • 40 volume -- This is the highest developer. This is used for when people want to go 4-5 shades lighter and when using bleach.
  • Bleach -- Bleach comes in the form of a powder. People usually chose a 20, 30, or 40 developer to mix with the powder when bleaching hair. Bleach is used to lift the hair 7+ levels.

Please keep in mind that volume 30, 40, and Bleach are very damaging to the hair. Just remember that the higher the volume, the more damage. This is why I highly recommend people only dye their hair every 2-3 months to prevent as much damage as possible and to condition well.

  • Semi-Permanent -- Semi-permanent hair colors are the ones that last the least out of any other hair dye besides the spray ones you get at the party store. They are used to deposit color and not to lift.
  • Demi-Permanent -- Demi-permanent hair colors last longer than semi-permanent ones but are not permanent. They will wash out eventually. These will lift the hair color around 1 level and is good for coloring grays.
  • Permanent -- These are used to lift the color to any level. They last the longest and are hardest to get rid of. However, they are the most damaging.
  • Toners -- Toners are pretty much non-permanent hair dyes that are used to fix colors. For example, say you bleached your hair to blonde but it turned out a little too yellow-ish and you want to get rid of it. You would use a purple toner to cancel out the strong yellow tone of the hair. Toners are usually combined with a 10 or 20 volume developer because you're only depositing color, not lifting it. Toners are very common for people wishing to go blonde because going from a level 1 to a level 8 will most likely result in brassiness and will need toning.

I really hope this article helps you guys out there! Please feel free to ask me any questions and leave any comments below. If you would like to add something helpful that I did not put in the article, go for it! :D

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