Go Ask Moe

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Why Ask Moe? Moe has over 70 years combined education and experience in the beauty industry that spans from Europe to California and up and down the East Coast. All of this, at your fingertips, in Downtown Delray Beach, Florida. Send along any questions you may have to GoAskMoe@gmail.com

Q:

WHAT IS HAIR COLOR?

A:

Seemingly a simple question right? So why is there such a long answer….Sit back and try to soak it in: Your hair is a mixture of 3 colors; red yellow, and blue. These are the primary colors. Secondary colors are orange, green, and violet. If you look at the “wheel” a color opposite (directly across) will “cancel out” that color. This means if your hair is an orange color – green will make it a brown color. If you hair has a yellow tone, violet will cancel it out. Underlying color + Artificial color = Final result Different levels of Hair Color L1=Black • L2=Very Dark Brown • L3=Dark Brown L4=Brown • L5=Medium Brown • L6=Light Brown • L7=Dark Blonde L8=Light Blonde • L9=Very Light Blonde • L10=Light Platinum Blonde Types of Hair color: Semi-permanent color – This product adds color without changing natural color dramatically. The hair color contains tiny color molecules that enter the hair’s cuticle, or outer layer, and go into your hair’s cortex. They don’t interact with your natural pigments. And since the molecules are small, they eventually exit the hair shaft after several shampoos, leaving the hair as it was before treatment. This level generally lasts for 6 to 12 shampoos, covers up to 50 percent gray, enhances your natural color and leaves no roots. This hair coloring won’t lighten your hair color because it contains no ammonia or peroxide. Demi-permanent color – This product level lasts longer, through 24 to 26 shampoos. In this process, pre-color molecules penetrate the cuticle and enter the cortex where they then partner to create medium-sized color molecules. Their larger size means they take longer to wash out. These products do not contain ammonia so the natural pigment can’t be lightened. However, it contains a small amount of peroxide, which allows for a subtle, but noticeable, color enhancement. It also blends and covers gray. (Both semi- and demi-permanent colors can become permanent on permed or already-colored hair!) Permanent color – This is what you need for a more significant color change (to go from black to blond, you’ll still need to go with a process called double process blonding and it’d be wise to get this it done professionally). In this level, both ammonia and peroxide are used. Tiny molecules enter all the way into the cortex, where they react and expand to a size that cannot be washed out. Your hair actually has to grow out over time. This product acts to lighten the hair’s natural pigment to form a new base and then to add a new permanent color. The end result is a combination of your natural hair pigment and the new shade you chose. That means the color may appear different on you than on someone else using the same color. (That’s why the “strand test” is so important -) Regular touch-ups of 4 to 6 weeks are generally needed to eliminate roots — hair with your natural color growing at half an inch per month from your scalp. Highlights consist of selecting small or thick strands of hair that are then lightened at least 2 shades lighter than the rest of your hair. Highlights should complement your natural or artificial color. One misconception of highlighting is that highlights are only blonde in color. This is not true. If your color is a level 3 (dark black/brown) you can add highlights that are a level 6 (medium brown). You should never go more than 3 shades lighter than the rest of your hair color. The object of highlighting is to give you a sun-kissed look and to bring depth and light to your overall color. If you color and highlight, it is not necessary to highlight every time you color. Opt for highlight every other color appointment. Before any permanent color can be deposited into the hair shaft, the cuticle, or outer layer, must be opened. The insoluble formula then reacts with the cortex, or middle layer, to deposit or remove the natural pigment. The color is available in a variety of forms; creams, gels or tubes, or shampoos. These will not permanently change the hair color until they are part of an oxidation chemical reaction. The Oxidizing Agent or Developer is hydrogen peroxide in one of various forms and strengths. The strength of the developer – is determined by the desired results and the manufacturer’s directions. Hopefully you have a better understanding to how your stylist achieves the color level that “you” desire. With this, Knowledge is Power. You never know, you just might be able to challenge your Colorist at a few things. Enjoy!