Uncovered gray hair and ‘chicken yellow’ highlights: the odyssey of dyeing at home | Good Life

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We don’t value enough the importance of hairdressinguntil it closes and they leave us at the source of the roots, the gray hair and dyes of weeks ago, more straw and sadness with each wash. And what do we do? There is no other way to deal with what is in the supermarket, the parapharmacy or in electronic stores. Then they start The Dye Games: a gibberish of numbers, nuances and herbal alternatives, with oils or with ammonia where, as in the television series, a bad decision ends in catastrophe (aesthetics).

And it is that the star hairdressers create memorable haircuts, but the real magicians are the colourists. “Colorimetry is possibly the most difficult art of hairdressing. You have to analyze the condition of the hair, its color at that moment, calculate what mixture you should apply and monitor the exposure time to achieve the desired color. Everything, for of course, without loading the hair fiber, “explains Luis Miguel Vecina, coloring expert and co-founder of Coolday.

While you take a look at the color chart dreaming of a honey blonde like Jennifer Lopez’s or a coppery fire like Jessica Chastain’s, the colorist scrutinizes your hair and does mathematical calculations according to the essential laws of colorimetry. They know, for example, that cold colors (purple, blue, and green) dominate over warm colors (red, orange, and yellow); that the opposite tones in the color wheel are neutralized (the violet appeases a ‘chicken yellow’ and the red rescues a greenish blonde) and that one dye cannot lighten another without bleaching the hair. Is this what you need to know to get as close to your wisdom as possible on the supermarket shelves?

How dcode lhieroglyphs dthe container

To choose the right hair dye, you first have to know the anatomy of a hair, which is divided into two fundamental parts: an outer layer (the cuticle), which is made up of a kind of protective scale; and an inner part (the cortex), where the pigments are deposited. In order for the pigment to remain permanently, the scales must be lifted, inserted and closed again. The Hair products of the super that can do it are distinguished because the phrase “permanent coloration” appears on the packaging. Others, who leave with the washes and cover little gray hair, are sold under the labels of “non-permanent coloration” or “semi-permanent”.

The next thing is to interpret the numbering on the package, which is important because not all chestnuts (or blondes) are created equal. They are differentiated by reflections, something like the different degrees of intensity of a color: that is what the numbers on the packaging indicate. “In the box we see 3 different numbers. Let’s say, for example, 7.34. The number 7 equals the height of the base color tone (blond, brown, tan …), the number 3 would be the predominant reflection color and the number 4, the secondary reflection. In this case we would say that 7.34 is to get “slightly copper golden blonde.” If it appeared after the point a number zero (7.03) would be “slightly golden blonde”; if it appeared after (7.30) It would be ‘intense golden blonde “, explains Alberto Cerdán.

But the thing is not so simple because the color of our hair at the time of dyeing must also be taken into account. “It would be exactly the same as it appears on the box if the person has completely white hair. As it is not, depending on the base color of each person it will be necessary to do a different neutralization. Here the reflections come into play. It may even be It is necessary to bleach or lighten the hair. This is achieved with hydrogen peroxide. When it comes into contact with the hair, it lightens its natural pigment to achieve the desired color. “

Hairdressers work with multi-volume hydrogen peroxide. In home use preparation it is simpler: keep the exact dose in a separate vial as “revealing cream” or “hydrogen peroxide”. The slogan to not take risks is to bet on a color similar to that of the hair. At most half a tone lighter; it is always easier to darken than to lighten (one tint does not lighten another tint). “In case they have another type of coloration (highlights, balayage, babylight…) only apply the product at the roots and avoid contact with the rest of the discolored hair. “Regarding the discolorations to the bravas, better leave them for the professionals, as a failure in this step can mean from destroying the keratin of the hair, leaving it brittle (it can even break) to burns on the scalp and an emergency room visit.

Ammonia, yes or no?

Ammonia has become something of a hairdresser’s black beast. It has an intense and unpleasant odor and, although its function is necessary, it tends to be replaced by other chemical products. Cerdán points out that with this ingredient “we open or swell the cuticle so that the dye penetrates better, especially with hair that has gray hair. There are alternatives without ammonia, but they must contain derivatives of this to fulfill that function”. María Cabello, an expert colorist at Compte, points out that “the substitute for ammonia in dyes is a combination of alkalizing agents, like monoethanolamine and aminomethylpropanol. “

There is a mistaken belief that vegetable dyes substitute organic oils for ammonia. Pilar Pérez, Phyto’s director of training, clarifies that “its function is to protect hair and scalp from the negative effects of dyeing. In Phytocolor dyes we incorporate jojoba and monoi oil to nourish and shine hair. Other naturally calming ingredients are also added, such as epaline, which will form a protective veil over the scalp, and jujubier bark, which will calm any sensations of discomfort or itching. “

And if the idea of ​​playing Hair Chemistry does not excite you, you have the option of semi-permanent dyes. They do not carry ammonia, the pigments do not penetrate the cuticle and are washed away. Typically, they last 5 to 10. Here, again, it all depends on your hair: if you have it porous, the color will penetrate more and take longer to disappear. Be careful: in this case, you can do it unevenly and leave a mane of bumps.

Nothing to apply the dye to dirty hair

You have done the allergy test between 24 and 48 hours before to know that it does not give you reaction, you have put on an old shirt that does not make you feel dirty and you have taken a towel that you have little appreciation to dry yourself after finishing the coloring. The moment of the truth has come. The instructions make everything quite clear, follow them closely. “The exposure time must always be respected. In the case of leaving the dye to work longer we can darken the desired color from 1 to 2 shades “, warns Javier Vila, trainer for Redken and Salon Toro colorist. Some packages include a conditioner or mask for colored hair. They are applied after rinse the dye, but before washing. Again, the explanation goes through a chemistry lesson. “Conditioning with an acidic pH product seals the cuticle. Thus the pigmentation lasts longer and suffers less wear of the tone. This is especially important in copper, red or cold reflections. “

While passing these explanations, Vila ditches the myth that to dye you must wear dirty hair. “Many years ago the coloration was made with a high percentage of ammonia and the scalp itched. A light layer of natural sebum served as a protective element. Now we have organic colorations, in oils and ammonia derivatives, that minimize discomfort and even the possibility of allergic reactions. “If you bring your hair to the top of texturizing product, gel or, simply, grime of several days, wash it beforehand.” In the salon, on many occasions we wash our hair before applying our product. coloring to avoid that dirt preventing a better result “.

Why is gray hair so poorly covered?

If the hair were a sheet, the white areas would be covered without problems. But gray hair is melanin-free hair, rebellious by nature and hostile to coloring. “The pigmentation process works by oxidizing natural melanin. If that melanin is depigmented, as it happens with gray hair, the mechanism of action of the dye will be difficult,” says Phyto, its trainer, Pilar Pérez. Next, dismantle the idea that vegetable dyes cover worse. “The semi-permanent or direct coloring covers 30% of gray hair and only allows to dye the same tone or a darker one. The tone on tone coloration covers 70% of gray hair, lasts about 6 weeks and is applied in the same or a darker color. “

What about henna? There are no half measures here. It is a 100% vegetable dye, with Persian henna, cocoa butter, lemon and indigo grass, among other ingredients. And it has a curious way of acting on gray hair. “Unlike synthetic and chemical dyes, henna acts on the cuticle creating an extra protective layer, like a varnish. The final effect is not full coverage, but as if they were reflections. If there are many gray hairs, we suggest first applying a red henna. Let it act for at least an hour, although two is the most recommended. After that time, shampoo, rinse and dry. The color will be revealed up to 24 hours after application. Now we can repeat the process with the final color, “responds Anna Tenllado, Lush customer service manager.

It is the most natural and ecological alternative on the market, but also the most cumbersome to apply at home. “Lush hennas are sold in a solid block made up of 6 tablets divided into ounces. Cut the necessary ones, put them in a water bath until they melt, add boiling water and stir until the mixture has the texture of molten chocolate. Apply warm and, when dried, it remains like mud. The whole ritual takes time and can get dirty. My advice is to prepare the area where you are going to apply it by covering it with newspaper and an old towel on your shoulders. It can leave greenish spots on surfaces or on the skin, but they will disappear with a good wash. ” What if, after confinement, you want to return to your chemical dye of a lifetime? “You should wait at least four weeks (or until it has lost most of its color). Since henna works like a varnish around the cuticle, applying it recently will block the effects of chemical treatment.”

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