Friday, 31 August 2012

Pre-pigmenting Hair with Colour Restore Deep Red

Pre Pigmenting is a method commonly used in salons to prepare very blonde, pre-lightened or bleached hair that is going to be coloured to a much darker or red shade.

When hair is bleached, heavily highlighted or lightened the centre of the hair can be empty and contain no pigment, this means that any subsequent colours to be applied to the hair are likely to fade quickly, requiring a lot of maintenance.

Hair that is void of any natural pigment (due to bleaching or pre-lightening) can cause hair colourants to take a much darker colour result than expected or create a odd translucent or unwanted green/grey tone.

In the above instances pre-pigmenting hair with a red temporary colour molecule (prior to permanent colouring) will fill the hairs centre and duplicate natural warmth (within the hair).  

When either a much darker or permanent red colourant is then applied, the hair will display depth, appear more lustrous and see a reduced amount of fading due to the new level of pigment molecules contained.    The new permanent molecules tend to sit on the outer layer of the hairs centre and permanently ‘link up’ trapping the pre-pigmented (temporary) red molecules inside the hair.

How to pre-pigment with Colour Restore Deep Red

If you are currently a lightened blonde and wish to go to a much darker brunette or red shade, you can pre-pigment your hair very easily with Colour Restore Deep Red.   

Colour Restore Deep Red

In addition, if using Colour Restore Deep Red immediately prior to application of a permanent red colourant you will also fill the hair with additional molecules which will not only produce a more vibrant red shade, but also aid against fading through subsequent washes.

  1. Firstly clarify the hair well to remove any surface build up and towel-dry.
  2. Apply Colour Restore Deep Red to the damp hair and comb through to ensure each strand is fully covered.  Pay particular attention to lightened or porous ends.
  3. Leave the Deep Red to develop for 20 minutes and rinse out fully – do not condition the hair.
  4. Dry the hair 100%. At this point you will see the strong red undercoat in the hair.
  5. Mix and apply your chosen dark brunette or red permanent colourant as per manufactures instructions.

If you have applied a very vibrant permanent red colourant after pre-pigmenting with Colour Restore Deep Red, you can continue using Colour Restore Deep Red as a regular treatment to encourage vibrancy and lustre.

If you have pre-pigmented your lightened blonde hair in order to apply a deep brunette or very dark shade, you should find the new colour remains permanently within the hair and displays a rich true brunette.

Friday, 24 August 2012

What Does Ash in Hair Colour Do?

Unless you are naturally quite fair it’s a fair assumption to say that when you attempt to lighten the hair by any level it will display some of the hairs natural red and yellow pigment – creating an overall orange shade.   This can even appear when you have attempted to remain the same colour due to the peroxide contained within the colourant causing some degree of lightening of the natural base.

Rachel Stevens Ash Blonde Hair
For many, a warmer hue in the hair (when intermixed with the new artificial colour) can create an appealing warm or golden shade. However, some people really dislike this warmth and seek to banish it.  Selecting colourants which contain an ash (within the formulation and box description) can remedy this issue.
Ash colourants use a green and/ or blue molecule which neutralise the orange tone.  Whereas  platinum colours which use a violet colour molecule and designed to neutralise yellow tone – which can only be seen on light blonde hair. In addition, a beige tone is a deeper violet molecule that is effective at neutralising warmth in medium blondes.

Positives to Ash         
Ash will create a neutral or cool tone in hair colours which are displaying a coppery hue.  Using an ash colour will be more effective at producing realistic light brown to medium blondes.   The darker a colourant the less required pigments can be (as the hair colour deepens and covers warmth and natural cool tone).  The lighter a hair colour is - the more likely the hair will be to display yellow for which a violet pigment is required to neutralise (such as platinum or beige).  If an ash is applied to very blonde hair it will appear silver.

Elle McPherson Ash Blonde Hair

Negative to Ash

Ash will tend to display as a matte finish, so on blonder depths the colour can appear slightly flat.  Ash is also a neutraliser and has to fight against the natural warmth in the hair; therefore it can require building up within the hair to display.  

You also need to be realistic of ash, if the hair is showing bright orange or red the ash pigment will sometimes be limited in its ability as the base shade is too dark to be neutralised.  If ash won’t display in currently red or orange hair it means the base needs to be either lightened to accommodate the ash pigment or darkened to cover the red or orange entirely.   

Victoria Beckham Ash Blonde Hair
Colour Restore Cool Ash

Colour Restore Cool Ash is simply pure ash pigment which you can infuse into the hair to balance warmth.  It can be used immediately after lightening, general colouring or hair colour removal.  For best results make sure the hair does not have conditioning barriers on it, so clarify prior to applying.  If you like super cool results (on any base) use a blue shampoo with every wash and a small amount of Cool Ash as your regular conditioner.  Leave for 2 minutes and rinse. A more intense 20 to 30 minute development of Cool Ash weekly will build a stronger ash tone in the hair.

Monday, 20 August 2012

How to Create Cool Lights with Colour Restore Cool Ash

Creating Ultra-Cool Toned Highlights with Colour Restore Ash

For deeper and more brunette natural bases highlighting the hair can evoke several tonal issues.  Many people find - as darker hair lightens - a substantial degree of heavy warmth can be revealed which can have a rusty or carroty hue which is often hard to disguise with blue shampoos.

A great deal of brunettes have an underlying cool skin tone (this is irrelevant of ethnicity) which can clash with strong (unwanted) warmth within the hair, often making the skin tone look sallow or buttery.   If you are a natural cool toned brunette and wish to have highlights you should optimize the presence of ash within your shade.

Often applying a permanent ash toned colourant to the whole head (after highlights) can cause the darker (non-highlighted hair) to lighten and expose further warmth.  The best approach is to highlight darker hair with bleach and then use a high ash toning product such as Colour Restore Cool Ash.

Colour Restore Cool Ash contains a deep level of neutralising ash and silver pigment which will turn lightened coppery or warm blondes to a solid neutral to high beige tone.  These cool toned highlights will intermix with the natural (darker) depth and created an overall ash shade which harmonises with skin tone and any (original) natural hair colour present.

There are two methods you can apply and work with Colour Restore Cool Ash:-

Using Colour Restore Cool Ash for Cool Lights At Home

You will need:-

1. Always start with dry and clarified hair. Put on the highlighting cap and pull through a mixture of hair throughout the top and side sections of the head.

2. Mix and apply the bleach and leave to develop (as instructed in the Jerome Russell kit). Darker natural bases will often require around 70 minutes to lighten the hair sufficiently.

3. Once the hair has lightened sufficiently, leave the cap on and begin rinsing off the bleach with warm water. Do this for around 5 minutes.

4. With the cap still on, apply the Colour Restore Cool Ash to the highlights and work through the hair. Leave for around 5 to 10 minutes and remove the cap. The Colour Restore Ash contains a conditioning base and will enable the cap to be removed smoothly.

5. Apply a small amount of the Jerome Russell tone and condition throughout the hair and finish.

Colour Restore Cool Ash will work relatively quickly to tone freshly bleached areas of the hair. However, if you desire a deeper ash you can re-apply the product and leave for a full 20 minutes. Colour Restore Cool Ash can then be used as part of your regular hair care regime in conjunction with a blue shampoo to keep your highlights ultra-cool.

Using Colour Restore Cool Ash At the Salon

If you have your highlights undertaken in a salon with bleach and foils, you can take Cool Ash to your appointment.   

The colourists will just need to highlight your hair with bleach and foils in the usual way.

At the backwash, after removing the foils and rinsing for several minutes, your colourist can firstly shampoo with their regular Colour rinsing cleanser and then apply Cool Ash throughout the hair (as a conditioner) and leave for 10 minutes.   

The hair will then be toned and conditioned.   You can then intensify the cool tone (at home if you choose) by applying Colour Restore Ash as either a 2 minute conditioner (following application of a regular use silver shampoo) or a once weekly for a 20 minute intense tonal application.

Some Pointers for using Colour Restore Cool Ash
  • Colour Restore products work exceptionally well on newly highlighted and bleached hair. However if you apply a conditioner immediately prior to Colour Restore it will create a barrier on the hair which will prevent the pigments from entering. For Cool Lights methods always apply Colour Restore immediately after rinsing the bleach..
  • Colour Restore Cool Ash can be built up in the hair with regular use as a standard conditioner. Be aware that very silicone rich shampoos could also create a barrier which prevents the product working, so for best results use a blue or clear shampoo for deep tonal absorption immediately prior. 
  • If you have achieved an unwanted warm result from an artificial permanent hair colourant. Remember many colourant products include a sealant conditioner to prevent the artificial colour from fading. Therefore, this sealant conditioner must be removed from the hair (with a clarifier) prior to using Colour Restore. 
  • Colour Restore Cool Ash will not damage the hair and contains no peroxide or ammonias and has a conditioning base. You can use as much or as little as you wish, if you find the tone is becoming too cool or silverized simply use a clarifying shampoo several times to reduce the pigment.

Friday, 10 August 2012

What does Ammonia do in Hair Colours?

Many people realise the term ‘No Ammonia’ in hair products typically means the item is kinder to the hair.  But do people know what ammonia does to the hair and when it is required?

The Science

Ammonia is an alkaline chemical that is used in hair colouring to open the cuticle and swell the hair shaft.  Ammonia will also increase activation of peroxide (which enables colour molecules to affix inside the hair). You can recognise ammonia (within a product) by a strong gas that is released when you open the colourant tube or bottle.

Negatives of Ammonia

Because ammonia opens the cuticle and swells the hair shaft (during colouring) it can, with continued use, cause the hair to become damaged and compromised. This continual swelling of the hair and opening of the cuticle can lead to cuticle damage, colour grabbing (and then colour fading) and a general decline in condition.

Positives of Ammonia

Ammonia does have many positives (when applied with understanding).  Stubborn white or grey hair benefits from an ammonia colourant to open the cuticle and allow full deposit of the colour.  Bleach also requires ammonia in order to lift the hair by anything more than 5 levels – which is the requirement of most blonde and highlight colourers.

Non ammonia based products are kinder to the hair, but remember they are far reduced in strength, so it’s harder to achieve dramatic results in a single application.  

Selecting a Non Ammonia Product

If you are looking to darken or create a tonal shade within your hair (and have no grey) a non-ammonia colourant could work well for you.   

Many people select shades (with ammonia) that are specifically designed for grey coverage.  If you are a serial colour swapper, it’s kinder (for your hair) to create your desired colour without the use of an ammonia colourant to do it.  Having a pre-lightened base and then using a non-ammonia colour can give you flexibility and retain your hairs health.

You should not apply an ammonia based colourant immediately after bleaching the hair or following application of a first ammonia based product.  If you apply ammonia twice in immediate succession the hair can over swell and become porous or damaged and ultimately give an inaccurate colour result and poor hair health.

When to Select an Ammonia Colourant

Significant grey coverage really benefits from the use of an ammonia active, because it opens the cuticle wide and deposits colour.  If you are looking to both lift and deposit a new colour an ammonia shade will also help achieve a desired result.  Ammonia colourants are also fine to use when changing shades after stripping.  Decolour Stripper (for example) contains no ammonia, so if the subsequent colour applied does contain the active, the hair will respond in a controlled manner and the colourant can deposit the new shade evenly on the hair. 

Remember, ammonia (in itself) is fine when applied with understanding to your hair type.  It’s the continued use (over previously treated areas of hair) which can lead to longer term problems. 

Friday, 3 August 2012

Clarifying Hair and Silicone Damage

What are Silicones?

Many people still don't realise that many hair care products contain polymers (including silicones) which sit on the outside of the hair shaft and can create a barrier.  Silicone molecules can be the worst for this because many are not water soluble so cannot just be 'washed off' in one go. You can spot silicone ingredients in products by looking for ingredient names ending in 'cone'.

Silicone Build Up in Hair

If you are using different shampoo and conditioning brands and then following with another styling product - which again contains silicones you could have three different types of silicone molecule on the hair.  Washing the hair with another silicone based shampoo will then add further silicone molecules onto the hair and result in the hair suffering heavy build up.
What is Silicone Damage?

If you use heated styling products such as hot irons you can seal this build up onto the hair, gluing down the cuticle layer, trapping in the silicone and making it difficult to remove.

In some instances a straightening iron can reach such a high temperature that the silicone molecule actually reaches boiling point and melts onto the hair shaft.  Please be aware this is the fault of the straightening iron and not the silicone and quite frankly if you are using a devise which gets so hot it can melt silicone imagine what it's doing to your hair fibres and proteins!

When hair suffers build up and/ or silicone damage, the surface is closed off to hair alteration meaning that colourants, perms, colour removers and even bleaches might not work on your hair.

If you are worried about silicone build up, hair should be clarified once a week to enable the hair to breath and function in conjunction with the products you are applying.

Hair Clarifying Tips

1.  Try using a baby shampoo on every third wash to prevent build up.

2.  Keep conditioner use to only the mid lengths and ends of the hair and use sparingly.

3.  Once a week use a Clarifying product such as Pin Up Clarifying Shampoo.  It's designed for use prior to perms and chemical services but is great for removing weekly build up  finish with the Pre Perm 'Leave In' conditioner as a light hydration product.

4.  For a deep clarifying treatment put two spoons of bicarbonate of soda into a mug of warm water.  After using a Clarifying Shampoo, pour the Bicarb rinse through the hair and comb through.  Leave for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse off.  The bicarb will help to break down any surface residue and over time can help with severe build up.

5.  If you have suffered silicone heat damage, clarifying the hair may not reverse the situation.  I would recommend you refer to Philip Kingsley products for your hair type for at least six months. Philip Kingsley products will not coat the hair any further and (overtime) will hydrate if the residue begins breaking from the hair.

Remember, if hair is very damaged from heated build up, the middle of the hair could be highly fragile.  Whilst it may look shiny on the outside, this shine is often synthetic and if a chemical product is successful in breaking through the build up the hair and entering inside, the hair could break due to its fragile state.  Always strand test before undertaking such treatments.